Beats by Dr. Dre has always been a household name for music listeners, regardless of their opinion of the brand. Its recent offering is the Beats Mixr On-Ear Headphone, which was touted as the best among other Beats products. The lovechild of David Guetta and Beats by Dr. Dre, it was designed with DJs and party-goers in mind. How it fares with DJs and regular music listeners will be delved into.
Design and Comfort
In terms of color, Beats Mixr is a tad more colorful than other Beats products. It’s available in the traditional red, white and black as well as five others; blue, orange, green, pink and yellow, all neon. The good news is the neon ones would cost just as much as the regular colors, while still having similar designs and components.
Made from metal, they are claimed to be “the lightest headphones ever”, and that claim stands true. It’s easy to forget having it around your neck at just 0.21 kg. Nonetheless, it is fully capable of withstanding the wears and tears of everyday life. Even when it is twisted in such a way that would strain a normal headphone, there is no fear of the headband snapping. As flexible as a yoga teacher and lightweight, Beats Mixr seems to be the perfect lovechild.
However, comfort seems to be its sore point. Although the ear pads are made from soft leatherette, pain will be felt after a maximum of one hour usage. Its tight fit requires it to be taken off now and again for ear relief. In this respect it fares badly compared to its predecessors, Beats Solo and Beats Studio. Those two are more suitable for continuous usage.
Ear cups that can be rotated up to 270 degrees are Beats Mixr’s claim to fame. For DJs, it will mean hands-free, single-ear monitoring. There’s no need to put a hand over the ear cup to keep it in place as the headphone won’t be falling off your head. For regular music listeners, it will mean that the headphone will fit like it was made for your head and your head only. It’s snug and secure for any type of activity.
It is also graced with the usual inline microphone and control piece to adjust the volume and skip tracks. When tested with Apple gadgets, Beats Mixr seems to be fully compatible with all of them (for iPhones: 3GS and above) – not surprising since it was recommended on the Apple Store itself. Fair warning; Android phones may not produce the same result. One common problem is that whilst the audio would be unaffected, the control piece would not be fully functional. Test it before buying.
With dual input and daisy chain connectors, sharing your music is fun and not an awkward affair. A friend can simply plug in a jack to his own headphone and listen in. The ultra-flexible headband is foldable, and with a sturdy carrying case included, ensures that it won’t be squashed in your bag.
No matter what genre of music you listen to, Beats Mixr delivers. From country to rock music, the audio remains impeccable and accurate. The bass sounds deep all the way through, while the high and mid frequencies are maintained. Simply put, the bobbing-your-head factor does not drown out the delicacies of other instruments in the music.
There’s barely any leakage even when music is cranked up to 70%. This can be attributed to the snug fit of the ear pads, which is impressive considering that it is an on-ear headphone instead of a circumaural one (around-ear). Thus, it is an upgrade from the notoriously noisy Beats Studio. Distortion is also pleasantly absent even up to 100%, ensuring accurate reproduction of the music.
Beats Mixr is claimed to be heard over loud parties, specifically those around 100+ decibels. Although this could not be viably tested, it does a pretty good job keeping out ambient noise in a subway ride, which figures around 95 decibels.
The question that everybody would be asking is, would the $250 price tag that comes with the headphone be justified? Audio-wise, Beats Mixr is a solid contender, more so than its predecessors. It provides good noise isolation while still retaining the clarity of the music. So it sounds good, and looks good. However, design-wise, discomfort from its tight fit could be a problem. This can be remedied by stretching the headband over an armrest overnight or as much as you would need to. It seems to ease up after that, making the discomfort a moot point.
The answer is yes, $250 is pretty reasonable if you factor in the Beats name.