Product Type: Monster headphones
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Beats by Dr Dre - Ibeats in-ear earphones.
Beats by Dr Dre iBeats
Member Name: ladyofcampfires
Beats by Dr Dre iBeats
Advantages: Sound quality is amazing, they're attractive and offer a very comfortable fit.
Disadvantages: Buttons on control panel keep falling off! They're a little expensive but completely worth it.
----- Where can I buy Ibeats and how much do they cost? -----
I paid £79.99 for these from HMV which, as I recall, was the cheapest price I could find for them at the time. A quick internet search now shows these are still the same price from HMV although Sainsurys and Amazon sell them for £78.47. John Lewis charge the same as HMV and Tesco sell these for a much higher £99.97. It's definitely worth shopping around for these earphones before buying the first pair you find.
I should also point out here that saying HMV offered the cheapest price I could find wasn't strictly true. There were countless amounts of internet sites I'd never heard of and many sellers on ebay selling these for a lower price. As there are so many 'fakes' on the market I felt much safer buying from a reputable and trusted seller such as HMV. I would strongly recommend other's thinking of buying these or a similar product do the same. What appears to be a bargain won't be such a bargain when you realise you've got a fake pair with the sound quality of a pair of earphones from Poundland! Remember, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
----- What do Ibeats look like? -----
As luck would have it these earphones are pretty good looking, or they are too me anyway. They are available in three colours, black, white and chrome. I opted for a black pair purely because I liked these ones best. The earphone bud and tip is black (white or silver for white or chrome) while the cable is dark red. The bud also features a dark red 'b' and 'L' and 'R' are printed on the side of each bud so you've always got the right bud in the right ear (or left)! The earphones also come with a stylish carry case which protects the earphones when not in use and is extremely handy at preventing the earphones from getting all tangled in my bag. The carry case is also black with a dark red 'b' printed on the front. The square pouch is the perfect size for storing the earphones and has come in ridiculously handy. Should you need to, you can purchase a replacement case although this will cost you another £18 from HMV.
----- Are Ibeats comfortable to wear? -----
One of the features which sold these earphones to me was that they are 'custom fit'. Each pair of earphones comes with five pairs of ear tips so you can find the right size to fit your ears. I experimented with all five pairs, some it was blatantly obvious within seconds they were the wrong fit for me. I had to give two pairs a proper 'trail run' to see which fit my ears best though and quickly found my perfect size. Being able to select from a number of different sized ear tips means the chances of the earphones keep falling out and not staying in place is significantly reduced. In fact mine have hardly ever fallen out even during workouts and are extremely comfortable to wear. Correctly fitting ear tips also means greater noise isolation is achieved. One thing I particularly hated about earphones I'd used before these was that when walking down a main road the sound of car engines would drown out my music. This doesn't happen with these earphones. When they're in I can hear the music and only the music I'm listening to which gives a much more pleasant listening experience.
----- Any other product features? -----
As I've stated, Ibeats are specially designed for iPhones, iPods and iPads. These apparently reproduce high resolution sound from such devices which is lost through other unequipped earphones. I can't rightly say if I believe this claim to be true or not. Ibeats definitely produce the best sound quality of any other earphones I've used, there's no denying that. However I can't help but think that's probably just because they're decent, high quality earphones. Although I've never tried my Ibeats is anything other than my iPhone I can't imagine the sound quality being lower in a regular MP3 player or a different phone.
They are, however, better suited for iPhones for one main reason. Ibeats have a control panel and built in mic. This means hands free calling is easily done. Using my iPhone has my iPod means my music is interrupted if someone rings me whilst I'm listening. Rather than having to unplug the earphones and take them out of my ears, I can answer my phone, have the conversation and then pick up my music where I left off. I wouldn't say the earphones offer a completely hands free calling experience and you can still only answer and end a call via the phone itself. I still find this feature particularly useful for when I'm just walking about though.
The mic is built into the control panel which, when wearing the earphones, is around my chest area. I find the mic works perfectly fine from this distance and I don't need to pull it up closer to my face so the person on the other end of the phone can hear me. Like wise, I can hear the person I'm talking to crystal clear through my earphones and easily turn the volume of their voice up or down using my phone as if I were turning the volume of my music up or down.
The control panel contains three buttons; play/pause button and two skip buttons, one forward and one backwards. These all work well and allow me to have decent control over my music without having to get my phone out. Perfect for using at the gym.
Here is where I have a complaint. The actual earphones themselves have lasted well for the six months I've had them. They still fully function and the sound quality hasn't deteriorated in the slightest over time. All three of the buttons on the control panel have fallen off at one point or another though! As the earphones are stored in the case they come with when I'm not using them the buttons have always been easy to locate and all I need to do is push them back on (they'll fall off again in a couple of weeks though) so it doesn't completely ruin the earphones. And the buttons still function correctly once I've done this so it's perhaps not a major problem. I do think for the price I've paid for these though they should be a little more durable than they've proven to be. I'm not particularly rough or heavy handed with these buttons so I can only assume it's down to poor design alone why these have fallen off and continue to do so.
----- So, what's the sound quality like? -----
In short, the sound quality is excellent and absolutely nothing is compromised. Everything is crystal clear and it's easy to hear every single instrument in a particular song clearly. Bass isn't distorted and doesn't provide unwelcomed vibrations. This is helped by the solid metal housing of these earphones which prevents vibrations and sonic artifacts from ruining the listening experience. These earphones really do offer a full range sound which is so clear and noise isolating for the first time ever my music isn't turned up to full volume when I'm wearing these earphones! I can't write a long list of jargon detailing what makes the sound quality of these earphones so good as I can't even pretend to understand all of that. What I can tell you though is that I highly doubt anyone would be disappointed by the sound quality Ibeats produce. I certainly got to hear my favourite albums in an entirely new light through these earphones purely because I'd never heard them so clearly and detailed before.
---- Would you recommend? -----
Definitely! Despite the poor quality of the voice control buttons Ibeats do best what they're supposed to do - enhance your listening experience. In terms of sound quality I can't fault these at all. They keep out unwanted noises whilst you're listening to your music perfectly, they fit comfortably and stay in place, they're attractive and just suit my every need brilliantly. If you regularly use earphones through your iPhone then these will probably be perfect for you too. Particularly if you're looking for something easy and convenient to use which will stay perfectly in place during workouts!
Summary: A great pair of earphones suited to all of my needs!
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