No more Beats, top headphones on the market

Frank Passalacqua, Opinion Editor

Let me guess; you wear Beats by Dre, bro?

How come? Because they sound good, they are stylish, recognizable, comfortable? I’ll give you two of the four, because they are a fashion statement and are certainly recognizable with that glaring “b” on the ear cup.

However, that is really all Beats are.

They do not sound good by any means, compared to a proper pair of headphones, they most likely feel awkward on your head, and are insanely over priced.

Now now, before everyone get’s all angry and upset that they payed over $200 for a fancy piece of plastic, let me explain.

Dr. Dre made Beats with one thing in mind, bass. Since hip-hop and rap is what he is known for, Beats were designed to give the listeners some extra punch on those 808’s.

With that being said, Dre did not compensate for the highs, mid’s, and low’s that you want to hear in your music. Beats will produce bass, but will make everything else muddy and some garbled.

So they next time you are headphone shopping for a real pair of headphones, take this list into recommendation. They may not be a fashion statement or make you look like a cool kid, but they will give you the best listening experience on the market.

First up is the V-MODA Crossfade LP. These headphones are an over-the-ear style headphone with 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers that allow for deep and vibrant bass, organic mids, and high end clarity.

The frame of the headphones are composed from a light weight steel with a flexible memory headband for great comfort. Do not worry about breaking these.

To top it off, the ear cushions are made from memory foam, which not only will feel like pillows on your ears, but will reduce ambient noise on the outside and favor that low bass response.

These are probably the most fashionable on this list, coming in a variety of colors and actually allow for customizable plates on the ear cups. They can easily be found for around $100, unless you want to spend a little extra on it’s big brothers and go for the LP2 or the M100 models.

Next up is the AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones signature headphones.

These are a unique pair of cans that will allow for a great listening experience.

The reason they are unique is because of their design. They are classified as “open-back” headphones, meaning the drivers inside are exposed. Not only that, but their flex-band headband won’t have you fussing over sliding the headband up and down to best fit your head. With this flex-band, they automatically adjust to the size of your noggin for maximum comfort.

I mentioned before they are open-back. What this means is the headphones on the outside expose the drivers on the inside, so the soundstage will be much bigger. Meaning, it will sound like you are in the actual room the song is being played in, instead of having the song projected into your ears on typical closed-back headphones.

The AKG Q 701’s come in neon green, black, and white. Something else that is also cool is the fact they have removable cables. This is a bonus because if your cable frays or the wires inside stop working, you don’t have to replace the entire pair of headphones, you can just swap cables.

They are a little more expensive at around $170, but are still cheaper than Beats and sound 100 times better.

Now is time for perhaps one of the most popular headphones in the world, for audiophiles that is.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are true professional studio monitoring headphones.

The M50x’s are respected as the top-tier headphones because they give the most true and natural sound throughout the frequency range with deep and accurate bass.

Inside the cans are 45mm drivers. One of my favorite things about the headphones, besides the sound quality, is how portable that are.

Both ear cups swivel 90 degrees and the hinges fold up in to the headband for maximum portability. Much like the AKG headphones referenced earlier, these too come with three different removable cables.

The M50x headphones come in black, white, blue and dark green, but their M50 predecessors come in red and silver as well.

For around $160, the M50x will blow your mind, and your ears.

Lastly, I am going to list a pair of headphones that are probably the coolest and most unique on the market.

The Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro headphones round off this list and offer a great listening experience for all genres of music.

Customizable. That is the one true word for this pair of headphones.

I say that because literally everything can be customized, even down to the sound.

Yes, the sound.

On their website, you can order the headphones in either black or white, but change the color of everything to fit your style. You can customize the headband, ear cups, steel accents, and the ear cup plates with a logo, pattern, picture…anything.

Now back to that custom sound I was talking about.

On the bottom of the headphones, you will find a slidable port on both sides. The one port allows for opening and closing the “bass port,” which means you can choose to have no bass, some bass, or a lot of bass. Same applies for the other slider, but this one allows for them to be closed-back or open-back, again which is something I eluded to earlier.

Given all the customizing and the features for the Custom One Pro’s, you can not go wrong.

So there it is, a list of headphones that will blow your Beats out of the water any given day. Remember, you are buying headphones to listen to music, not to look good.

Or maybe you are. In that case, stick to Beats and leave these true headphones available for people who actually care about sound quality.

Shots fired.