Beats By Dre: So This Is What Music Is Supposed to Sound Like!

Beats Ultraviolet foldedMusic Fangirl Confession #4:  I may have recently bought a pair of Beats by Dre Solo3 wireless headphones largely… ok almost entirely… for the primary purpose of listening to U2’s new album…

I mean that album is just so freaking good (check here and here for my reviews of that album and singles) that I wanted to hear it properly… not through my Apple earbuds that came with my phone, not through my crappy but adorable 50s inspired stereo that isn’t really even a stereo.. just one of those record/radio/CD/bluetooth combos (that I may also have bought mainly for my U2 collection (hey, don’t judge me!)) that the CD player has never worked on…

I wanted to really hear this album (and all my music), all the sounds, every note, every purposeful placement of musical texture, the engineering, the production…  The album the way it was meant to be heard.

Also, so many people were saying how bass-driven the album was and I’m going, hmmm, bass?  Sure in some songs, but as an album?  It’s there, it’s typical Adam awesomeness, but clearly I’m not hearing the same thing they are…

Plus, I’ve been wanting higher quality listening/playing equipment for awhile.  For all my adult life I’ve had only poor to maybe medium quality stuff.  I think $30.00 is the most I’ve spent on headphone up til now… I’ve had other priorities for my spending – like groceries and rent; and then when I could, travelling.

Don’t get me wrong, the stuff I’ve had served me well.  I’ve had the Apple ear buds as my favourite headphones since my first iPod (the green mini!).  I love them.  In fact I still use them when I don’t or can’t wear the Beats.

But the Beats… it was just time, time for quality and time for wireless.  I kept getting tangled in my earbuds at work, even knocking stuff over on my desk, or running them through my lunch… Ughhh gross! Spaghetti sauce on my wires!  They’d frustrate me when I tried to unwrap the snarled mess from the bottom of my purse as I’m running out the door with bags in my hands and keys and my phone to attach them too.  Or I’d yank them out of my ears accidentally by a stray, impulsive hand motion, or do that dog-on-a-leash jerk as I pushed myself from my desk in my wheeled chair, still wired into my computer…

It was just time…

So I did the research because it’s what I do.  Of course I had heard of Beats by Dre and how wonderful the sound was, and how trendy they are… And how expensive.  But I looked online at prices and options, I tried my colleagues’ headphones, I went to the stores and spent hours, wandering around trying on each pair.  Sony.  Bose. Monster. Skull Candy.  Philips. And so on.

First time I tried the Beats Solo3, the quality of sound was instantly noticeable.  Miles above the others, even Bose, for my likes.  Of course they had music pre programmed so it was hard to compare with my own music and my own earbuds.  But it was gooooooood.

I hemmed and hawed, because that is also what I do.  I went back for a second round of testing all the options. And again. Beats by Dre.  Hands down the best sound to me.

Not to mention the 40 hours of playtime per charge – there are many days where I listen to music for around 8 hours through headphones… I needed a pair with a solid charge. And the Beats reviewed very well, especially for connecting to Apple products, which is all I own…

When I saw the Beats Solo3 came in purple I was sold! Ultraviolet even.

So I asked for gift cards for Christmas and I waited for the Boxing Day sales (akin to the USA’s Black Friday sales but on December 26) and I placed my order and waited impatiently for them to arrive…

I’ve had them for about two weeks now and I absolutely love them!  The sound is just brilliant!  Freaking amazing, really!  There are moments where I am listening to music, songs I have been listening to for decades, its just on for background, I am not concentrating on the music, and all of a sudden I will perk my head like a meerkat who has just heard a sound in the distance – possible danger for the meercat; for me, I perk for bliss.

‘What was that!?  Holy crap!  I have NEVER heard that instrument in this song before!’ ‘Wow! Wow! OMG a hint of cymbal just there!’
‘Oh yah, I forgot that sometimes the sound moves from one ear to the other!’

These headphones have significantly upped the level of musical appreciation in me.  I am just hearing so much awesomeness in how things work together.  I am constantly shaking my head in disbelief at how much I am hearing in a song now! A song with some groove or dance to it and I am on the floor livin’ out Michael Jackson’s edict:

Groove, let the madness in the music get to you
Life ain’t so bad at all
If you live it off the wall

At my desk, on the street, in my house, wherever I wear these puppies, I can’t stop that madness 😀 (Ok, so at my desk and on the street I’m really just bopping my head or tapping my feet, but still, the point is the music moves you through these headphones!)

(And now I am listening to Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough… yah the bass, sigh.  And my shoulders are going… head swaying and I’m trying to type here.  I told you. Dun da da dun, Owwwww!)

There have been so many moments where I am listening to music and I am caught off guard by these sounds and voices in my head! (not those kind of voices, don’t worry!), or where I just can’t not dance or bounce.

The bass and low range is strong but not overwhelming.  Drums are gorgeous. The middle and high ends are superb. I don’t have enough musical knowledge to tell you how or why, but everything sounds so crisp and clear yet perfectly blended together.

I feel like I think I would feel if I had gotten a great hearing aid for the first time.  You go through life thinking this is normal, this is how everyone hears, or at least normal for you, and then you get a new pair of hearing aids and you can hear birds chirping from the distance, the whispers of people in the other room, etc.

The sound of these headphones are worth the price for me.  They are pricier than I would have liked, especially considering the year of concerts I intend on having… but I can’t believe I waited so long to hear music like this!  As someone who claims the music is my soul, you’d think I would have invested awhile ago!

The wireless-ness is also worth the price.  It is so nice to just throw on the headphones and walk out the door. Or step away from my desk without lynching myself, or dragging a cord through my lunch.  It’s a little odd though to not have a wire to let you know that the headphones are connected to the player… I’ve already pressed play on my phone at work with the headphones on my ears and I can hear the sounds… but so can everyone else because I forgot to turn the bluetooth on… (mind you, I have also forgotten to plug in the jack in public as well…)

I’m struggling with the 40 hours so far – it doesn’t feel like I am getting close to 40.  So I took note of my playing time from a full charge to complete shut down and I only calculated 24 hours or so…  which is still really good, but not 40.  I googled it and it seems like most people do get close to 40 unless they blare the volume.  So I’ll count again and maybe take them in – maybe I got a bad battery or something…

Beats by Dre Solo3 Wireless Headphones UltravioletWireless also apparently does not like the cold.  I read one person’s review saying as much and today I took my Beats for a walk and sure enough they shut down after about 10 minutes – it was -10 degrees Celsius or so. I don’t know if its a Beats by Dre thing or wireless in general. But not a big deal – my plan for them is mostly indoors anyways.  These Beats are on ear and much more noise-cancelling than I expected.  I’m not sure I feel safe walking around outside with the sounds of the outside world cut off…  You know, approaching cars and such…

Also – I worry about the white leather – My second time wearing them I had purple spray in my hair and remembered seconds after putting them on, I pulled them off instantly but sure enough the dye had transferred.  A lot!  Most of the purple came off the Beats but there is a tiny tinge left on the fabric (that probably only I will ever notice).  I’m usually pretty careful with my things so we shall see how clean they stay.  I’ve had a friend who has the same pair tell me she uses the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean hers.

So there you go. The search for Rock Gods is bountiful.  I think His Purpleness in particular would approve.  Oh (Rock) God! I have to go listen to Prince with these right now!

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