There has been concern that some MP3 players cannot power these headphones. Unlike the original Beats, the Pros are not battery-powered, which means the power consumption involved in powering the large speakers is pretty high. While the Pros will work just fine with the majority of the players we've used--iPod Touch, iPod Classic, Nano, Zune HD, and Creative Zen: Vision M--the Shuffle wasn't as successful, as it didn't output enough power for the headphones and hampered the audibility.
In use, the bass is booming; no disappointments there. As we'd expect, the genres that really shine are electronic (dub, drum and bass), dance, hard rock, and hip-hop. Strong kick drums and wandering bass lines were always prominent and delivered a proper thump. The lows are great, the mids are clear, and the highs are crisp without being tinny.
Other genres were also very good for the most part, but neither as stellar, nor inspiring. Percussion and strings, or subgenres consisting of intricate and layered sound, weren't as well defined as we would like. It takes some tweaking on the user's part (via EQ settings on your player) to get the best sound for some subtle music types.
We had the best results when turning the volume on our player up halfway. Anything higher and the bass tend to overpower the highs and mids, making the overall sound muddled and messy. There is a reasonable amount of sound isolation in heavily trafficked environments (the subway, for example). In a quiet office setting, however, the Pros do leak a bit of sound--a common complaint about earlier Beats headphones, but there's a definite improvement since the Studios were introduced.
Each earcup swivels up inside the headband, which cuts down their size in length, but they do not fold flat, so the travel pouch included was a bit of a disappointment. We would've preferred something similar to the hard-shell case included with the Beats Studio and Beats Solo.
In addition to being sold in both black and white versions, the Beats Pro come with a cleaning cloth (although the headphones are basically smudge-proof) and a threaded 1/4-inch gold-plated adapter--tethered to the 1.8-meter cable to avoid being lost.
Although the price is relatively high for the casual consumer, it is consistent with how much professional DJs spend for headphones. At the same time, these headphones probably won't satisfy the hard-core audiophiles who demand uncolored, accurate sound. For faithful, accurate, natural tone in your headphones, these cans don't offer that kind of precise audio reproduction. What they do offer, however, is a massive amount of swagger. We see these headphones satisfying aspiring DJs or anyone with a good deal of spare cash who really enjoys blasting the wax out of their ears.