In our tests, we listened to some Gillian Welch, Adele, The National, Peter Gabriel's "Scratch My Back" album, then moved on to Lady Gaga herself and some hip-hop tracks. Overall, we liked the sound of the Heartbeats 2.0. They're pleasant-sounding earphones with lots of bass. But clarity just isn't their strength.
As we said, like seemingly all Monster and Beats by Dre headphones, you'll get plenty of thumping low-end out of these guys (or should we say gals, since these are Lady Gaga earphones). It's just not terribly well-defined bass, and for those who like more natural sound, you'll consider these a little too accentuated.
In other words, if superclear sound is your thing, these probably aren't the headphones for you. The Bowers and Wilkins C5 earphones are the next logical step up in quality, and for $179, they offer more detail in terms of sound quality. And if you can do without the flashy design, the Klipsch S4i's at $90 are a better bargain along with Monster's own $99 Turbine earphones.
Still, the Heartbeats 2.0 offer decent sound that appeals to the types of folks who would buy them (perhaps we're stereotyping, but we're assuming that if you're interested in Lady Gaga earphones, you listen to music that's oriented more toward pop and hip-hop).
To a certain degree, the attraction of these earphones is the design, and their celebrity backing--or not. If you're a Gaga fan, these are quite decent-sounding earphones that have the added bonus of including a built-in microphone for cell phone calls, as well as a flat, tangle-resistant cord. Yes, you can get less flashy earphones that sound about the same for around $100, but that extra $30 is the price you pay for the leather-and-stud flair that goes along with the Lady Gaga and Dr. Dre mantles.