Beats Studio headphones get a smart overhaul for the modern gentleman in the form of the Beats Executive. But do they justify the price tag?
Originally conceived by Dr Dre and Monster, the Beats range of headphones has raised the performance bar for noise cancelling headphones and the latest addition to the range - the Beats by Dre Executive adds build quality and style. But do they have what it takes to make it into our list of the best headphones to buy?
Beats Executive: Design
The foldable, over-ear design is now enhanced via metal instead of the shiny smartphone style plastic of the original Beats Studio headphones. The cups are thicker, the headband is bigger and as a result, these headphones sit against your head in a more natural way. They're extremely comfortable and don't clamp onto your skull like boxfresh rivals.
The left cup hides the battery cover which takes two AAA batteries as standard and the cable remains identical to the Beats Studio headphones with an inline Apple remote for track switching and calls. The right cup allows you to stop sound via holding your hand against it.
Beats Executive: Comfort
The cups themselves are flatter against your head compared to Beats Studio headphones and are slightly larger as is the overall weight but you'll struggle to notice. The thicker headband is a welcome change too - it's actually broader so feels more secure when you're travelling.
Beats Executive: Durability
The plastic and metal combo is the equivalent of a new iPhone 5. The foldable design protects the cups in transit and the new slimline rugged carry case helps protect the headphones during longer trips or long haul flights. The trademark red Beats cable is sturdy and there's a back-up one in the box, alongside an airline adaptor and adaptor for a hi-fi system.
Beats Executive: Sound quality
If you've listened to a pair of Beats Studio, you know what to expect. Detailed, loud sound which is ideal for pop and rock but can also manage acoustic tracks when in the comfort of a quieter home environment.
There's plenty of bass as you may expect from a product produced by Dr Dre but it doesn't overwhelm the listener like, say, a pair of Bose headphones which smother your ears in bass tones. Of course, you can only listen in noise cancelling mode which, while impressive, does require batteries - once they run out, so does your sound.
Beats Executive: Verdict
If you're spending £269 on headphones for your smartphone, Beats Executive, like Beats Studio before them, are among the best you can buy. You will get better sound by spending more, but not from your smartphone or laptop - you're then entering hi-fi territory and need a better source for your sound.
Designed for comfort and privacy, the active noise cancelling works brilliantly without sacrificing sound. For music, movies and games, Beats Executive are exceptional headphones. However, they're still on the pricey side and the fact that you're stumped for sound when the batteries run out is a slight disappointment.
Beats Executive release date: Out now
Beats Executive price: £269