At a Glance
The Beats EP are simple and effective headphones that offer affordability combined with good build quality and audio performance.
There’s little to dislike on the whole with only some sound leakage and the non-folding design bothering us. As usual, the sound is bassy and more suited to pop and dance music so bear this in mind.
So you want a pair of Beats headphones but haven’t got hundreds to spend. Well that’s not an issue with the Beats EP. They’re affordable, no-nonsense on-ear wired cans.
Price & Availability
Solo 3 Wireless cost £249/$299 (and you can spend even more on the
Studio 3), the EP headphones are priced at £89/$129.
So you could buy two pairs and still have change leftover compared to the Solo 3. And that’s at the RRP but you can get them cheaper from the likes of
Argos at £49 and
$89 from Amazon US.
Check out our round-up of the
best Beats headphones.
Design & Build
The EP headphones have that quintessential Beats style with that all important ‘b’ logo on the side of each earcup.
Although there’s still plenty of plastic on show, there’s are metal arms that connect the earcups to the headband. This is left silver on most of the colour options – white, blue and red – but the black option is sprayed to match.
The combination of stainless steel and plastic gives the headphones both rigidity and flexibility at the same time. They feel sturdy yet can bend an alarming amount without even a hint of breaking.
On-ear headphones aren’t for everyones, largely depending on the size your ears and how the headphones sit on them, but having tested countless pairs we can say these are pretty good. The foam pads covered in faux leather are soft and the earcups rotate to help the fit.
The main difference compared to other Beats headphone is the wire, which in this case has an in-line remote and microphone.
The flattened cable helps avoid tangles and you also get carry pouch in the box. Our only real complaint is that the EP cans don’t fold up for easier transport when not in use.
Features & Sound Quality
Being simple wired headphones, there are no features to speak of really apart from the in-line control we mentioned above. Wireless headphones can be more convenient in some ways but you’ll run out of power eventually which is a real pain when it happens.
The EP headphones can’t run out of power and you don’t need to worry about Bluetooth performance either, just plug them in and get listening.
Like some Apple products, the specs for Beats headphones are something of a mystery. The Argos listing mentions 3.5mm drivers but that sounds way too small for on-ear headphones so we think they’re getting confused with the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The big question is how good they sound, regardless of specs. Although they’re some way off the Solo 3 Wireless, the price difference means this isn’t much of a surprise.
We’ve become accustomed to Beats headphones focusing on bass when it comes to frequency response and that’s no different here. Fortunately, the low-end isn’t overpowering so you can appreciate the rest of the sound.
It’s still bassy so these cans are more suited to pop and dance music. Vocals come through nicely crisp so it’s not like you can’t listen to other music, the tuning doesn’t doesn’t lend itself to delicate instruments that require a bright and balanced high-end.
Although the headphones are supposed to be good for noise isolation, they leak a fair bit which is a shame.