Date: Thursday , August 11, 2011
Monster is a company brand name known to consumers for its lines of premium priced audio and video cables. Notice we mentioned "premium price" not "premium quality." Monster Cable, now going by "Monster," has long been at the ire of the computer hardware enthusiast primarily due to its products being seen as overpriced and overmarketed by the community, not to mention its public and perceived as overzealous attempts at controlling "its" trademark(s). All of this makes buying a pair of its Beats by Dr. Dre $250 headphones all the more interesting. On one hand we have high expectations due to the cost, marketing, and Dr. Dre's endorsement, but on the hand, we know Monster Cable is involved. This should be a fun ride at the very least.
Three years ago, Monster began a partnership with rapper, actor, and music producer Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine in order to create a new line of headphones that could perform to their standards and still be very stylish at the same time. The different models and styles of Beats headphones and ear buds seem to be everywhere: business offices, sporting events, college campuses, libraries, and even LAN parties for PC and console gamers.
All of the product boxes and marketing materials in Monster's 'Beats' line carry the same quote from Dre which says:
People aren't hearing all the music......With Beats, people are going to hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way they should: the way I do.
Dre and Iovine have a total of sixty years' of experience and success in the entertainment business, so they should definitely know how things should sound.
Today, we will tell you if we like hearing what Dre says we should while we play games, watch movies, and listen to music on our PCs. Is it possible that we have simply overlooked these very popular headphones until now?
NewEgg.com lists the Beats Studio headphones for $299.95 with free ground shipping. Amazon.com usually sells this model of the Beats for the same price as Newegg, but it currently has them for $259.99 with free ground or prime shipping for an indeterminate amount of time.
Monster sells the Beats Studio headphones for $349.95 with free ground shipping through its own website. All of the Beats' headphones and in-ear headphones carry a one year manufacturer's warranty. For a product as pricey as this one, we would like to have seen a warranty lasting two or three times longer.
Genuine Beats Studio headphones are only available in solid white, black, or red colors and a special Red Sox edition. We purchased the solid red pair at a local Best Buy store in Texas for $324.74 including tax.
We usually list the cheapest price that we find for the product and then move on to rest of our review, but the Beats headphones warrant further explanation; these are one of the most counterfeited items in the world.
We went to several local flea markets and swap meets and found many counterfeit pairs like those pictured below for less than $200.00. Some of the vendors displayed tattered and fake-looking "Authorized Monster Dealer" banners above their booths.
Monster has a long list on the Beats headphones section of its website of the genuine, authorized dealers as well as the most well-known counterfeit ones for its products. Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy are all on the "authorized dealer" list. If you find a retailer or individual selling any of these headphones for a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Every genuine pair and style of Beats' headphones and ear buds has its own serial number that can be checked for authenticity under the "verification" section of Monster's Beats website. We verified our pair by both store and serial number as genuine. The process only took a few seconds.
If we transposed or omitted a few digits of our serial number, we received a message stating that our pair may be counterfeit and that we should report the seller directly to Monster. While it is by no means foolproof, it is good to see that Monster has a number of safeguards in place to protect its headphone customers both before and after they make a purchase.