Beats by Dr Dre have single-handedly taken over the headphone market. The whole landscape changed when Beats blasted their way on to the scene and the sleek headphones with the famous lowercase ‘b’ logo are a favourite amongst athletes, musicians and celebrities. With the help of these A-listers endorsing the brand, the popularity of Beats has filtered down into popular culture.
Global superstars like basketball king LeBron James, pop sensation Lady Gaga, music mogul Diddy and Justin Bieber have launched their own signature line of Beats headphones. They are seen everywhere – from Katie Holmes sporting them on the set of a movie to Lil Wayne donning them courtside at a basketball game.
Beats now control 57% of the premium headphones market, which mean headphones over £99. For those who are reluctant to jump on the bandwagon and want to stand out from the crown, here are some alternatives…
These headphones feature an improved diaphragm and voice coil design and Ultra-high purity, long crystal copper voice coil wire. The diaphragms are put through a special ‘de-stressing’ process in order to enhance inner detail and the headband spring provides great comfort, allowing the listener to relax and enjoy the fine tonal spread and balance.
At roughly the same price as a pair of Beats by Dr Dre Studio headphones (£195) the Grado SR125i also offer the same response (20HZ – 20kHZ). The leather headband gives the headphones a more classic look than the contemporary plastic of the Beats, but with more of a focus on comfort than style.
One thing the Beats have over these Sony headphones is the simplicity of the name, with Sony choosing a product name that sounds more like a robot from Star Wars. Name aside, the Sony R2D2 stands toe to toe with the monster that is Dr Dre Beats and for half the price. It is a headphone designed for comfort with its closed back style and being wireless headphones it offers a range of 100m and a battery life of up to 25 hours.
To ensure listening bliss this headset includes Sony’s noise reduction system to produce a clearer sound and reduce distracting ambient sounds, leaving you in pure audio bliss. These headphones are on the market for around £99 and are a perfect alternative for the Beats by Dr Dre Studio headphones in particular.
Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR
The Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR is, like the Sony headphones, wireless and relies on Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike its Sony counterpart the Sound Blaster offers just 8 hours battery life, however it does harness the power of audio processing giving you a vastly improved audio delivery. Creative promise that you will be, ‘amazed by what you hear even if it’s from the most compressed sources.’
You will do well to find a pair of these headphones for less than £200, the official price on the Creative site is £249. Despite the more expensive cost, these headphones are a good all-rounder and with their black and red finish they look stylish too.
Rachel Hurley writes for Simply Electricals, the electrical appliances specialists based in Bolton, United Kingdom.