Aside from announcing its entrance into the portable Bluetooth speaker category today, Beats Electronics has also launched its first new set of headphones post-Monster. Aiming to cater to the jet-setting business crowd, the company is classing things up with its (finally released) $300 Executive noise-cancelling over-ears. The design of the headphones seems to be a blend of the Mixr and classic Studios, wrapped in brushed aluminum that's complimented by dark gray leather pads and the requisite "b" on each earcup. Requiring two AAA batteries for power, these active cans (read: they don't work passively) are rated to last up to a healthy 25 hours. The Active noise-cancellation functionality is aided along by two microphones inside the headphones that automatically adjust the effect depending on your surroundings. That said, we'd be remiss not to note that ANC is always enabled, as it's tethered to the power -- you know, to help avoid making your head ring from the likes of jet engines and subway cars. A detachable 3.5mm cable is included, featuring a 3-button in-line remote and mic and a right angle jack on its end. While we're fans of 90-degree jacks, we found that this one couldn't plug into our cased iPhone 5 fully, rendering the remote useless. Lastly, you'll notice from the photo above that the earcups on this pair thankfully fold flat, allowing for easier storage that its Solo and Studio siblings in a briefcase and the like.
We only had a paltry few minutes to try out the cans, but we came away with good vibes about them. To get this out of the way, the voicing from its drivers is totally colored and seems to have that typical Beats S-curve with boosted sub-bass and treble -- a stark contrast from what you'd get with a passive set like the V-Moda M-100 cans. Compared to a similar active pair like like the Klipsch Mode M40, the sound is much more aggressive and lively. Although we listened in a quiet hotel room, the ANC circuitry did seem to dampen a significant chuck of the ambient noise around us -- however, it did have a very noticeable hiss (more apparent than similar cans) from it that we'd likely become annoyed by without music. The earpads are very supple and moderately deep, and the inside of each earcup has some padding over the driver which should help you to evade the dreaded cartilage cramps. The headphones feel extremely sturdy and miles more robust the plasticky Studios, all while still retaining a light feel free of excessive clamping force on this editors head -- very similar, actually, to what we enjoyed with the Parrot Zik cans. All in all, while these aren't the first aluminum clad cans from the company, the Executive headphones really seem like they could stand to be a much better option than the Studios for overall value. Of course, we'll let you know either way when we come to our conclusion. For now, the Executive headphones are on sale today from the Beats Electronics and various retailers if you'd like to try 'em out for yourself.
Beats by Dre Executive noise-cancelling headphones (hands-on)See all photos
BEATS ELECTRONICS SETS NEW STANDARD IN WIRELESS SPEAKERS WITH INTRODUCTION OF THE "BEATS PILL"
The Company Also Officially Unveils The "Executive" Premium Headphone With Focus on Quality, Comfort, and Design
New York- Tuesday, October 16, 2012- Beats Electronics LLC, the leading audio brand co-founded by legendary artist and producer Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine, today announced the expansion of the company's global product offering with the introduction of the Beats Pill, a portable wireless speaker with built-in patented Beats Audio, and the Executive premium headphones. Beats currently owns over 56% of the $100+ premium headphone market in North America according to data from NPD, and these two new products will continue to raise the bar across form, function, design and most importantly, sound quality.
"The introduction of the Beats Pill and the Executive is the perfect beginning to a truly autonomous Beats as we transform into a freestanding consumer electronics company this year, " said Beats By Dr. Dre President & COO, Luke Wood. "These products demonstrate our total commitment to design, technological innovation and premium sound experience."
Introducing The Beats By Dr. Dre Beats Pill Wireless Speaker
At Beats, sound is king. From the placement of the drivers to the materials of the grill, the Beats Pill is specifically designed to optimize sound quality and maximize volume. The Beats Pill is the first product to be fully integrated with the company's patented Beats Audio algorithm and also features exclusive speaker modules to provide the highest quality portable listening experience.
The Beats Pill is also the first wireless speaker to hit store shelves with tap-to-pair NFC and apt-X technology for easy and instant Bluetooth audio. More features include:
• All call functions - including speakerphone when paired with your smartphone
• Four speaker system with Beats unique sound profile
• Rechargeable lithium ion battery provides 7 hours of continuous play
• AC Power adapter with USB receptacle for charging
• Auto shut-off after 30 minutes of no signal detection in order to conserve battery life
• 3.5mm line out for connection to an external speaker system
• Built-in mic for hands free conferencing
• Echo cancellation for call clarity and feedback control
• 8 Bluetooth profiles
The Beats Pill will be available in the Beats by Dr. Dre signature colors black, white and red with additional color options coming soon. The Beats Pill retails for $199 and is available today at The Beats Store as well as authorized Beats resellers and will also be available at HYPERLINK "http://www.beatsbydre.com/"www.beatsbydre.com.
Introducing The Beats By Dr. Dre Executive Headphones
The Executive represents a new distinctive, sophisticated design for the Beats By Dr. Dre brand that focuses on craftsmanship using premium materials such as aluminum alloy, stainless steel and leather. The soft leather headband and comfortable ear cups are designed for long wear and a unique folding design make Beats Executive headphones easy to carry on-the-go. The Executive has superior Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) performance, tuned for uninterrupted listening enjoyment at 35,000 feet and everywhere in between and with the iOS compatible microphone cable, it offers full phone functionality including answer/end, call waiting, call switching and voice command.
The Executive comes in a classic silver and retails for $299. The Executive line of headphones is currently available for purchase at the Beats Store, authorized Beats resellers, as well as at HYPERLINK "http://www.beatsbydre.com/"www.beatsbydre.com.
Additionally, Today Beats Electronics is expanding its in-ear product offering with the launch of the new urBeats. These new earphones were specifically designed to be a substantial upgrade from the headphones that come with your music player: more durability, better sound, and a chance to do real justice to your music. urBeats provide the premium sound quality that has become synonymous with the Beats by Dr. Dre brand.
The new urBeats earphones are available in Black, White and Gunmetal and retail for $99.