What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 9 Feb 2009, 4:00pm

Monster Beats by Dr Dre

Tested at £280

No marketing gimmickry at work here. These are serious cans – seriously good, that is

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  • Formidable noise-cancellation
  • comfortable and stylish
  • powerful, exciting sound
  • flexible spec


  • Won’t work if the battery is dead
  • not cheap

Having picked up five stars back in 2008, we deemed it time to put the Beats by Dre through the mill once again, with the advent of worthy rivals.

They're stylish and solidly made, but we're not sure they quite cut the mustard compared to the best available.

Flush on the ear and capable at isolating noise, they're less gifted at cancelling typical background frequencies.

But there's much to like in the sound: Vampire Weekend's Holiday sounds lively, delivering a dynamic sound, although it lacks a touch of poise.

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