The Beats EP On-Ear have a surprisingly good sound and a sturdy durable design. They're not as portable as some of the other on-ear headphones and they're a bit tight on the head. However, they're sufficiently lightweight and well-padded to be decently comfortable, and they perform well for most use cases except for commuting since they don't block a lot of noise.
- Good audio reproduction.
- Sturdy build quality.
- Poor noise isolation.
- Slightly tight on the head.
The Beats EP are decently sturdy and comfortable on-ear headphones, with a compact and sleek-looking design. Like most on-ears, they're a bit tight on the head but the ear cups are sufficiently well-padded to reduce some of this clamping effect, and it also makes them stable enough to jog with. Unfortunately, they have a non-detachable cable that makes them a bit less suitable for high-intensity sports, and they don't conveniently fold into a smaller format for more portability like the Solo3 Wireless. On the upside, they have an easy-to-use and fairly responsive in-line remote.
The Beats EP look like a cross between the Beats Solo3 Wireless and the Beats Mixr which we didn't get a chance to review. They have a compact and sleek form factor that will work for most and come in a variety of color schemes to suit your taste and style. The relatively unique headband design makes them stand out a bit more especially in other color schemes, where the metal of the hinge contrasts well with the color of the ear cups. However, the all-black variant is a bit more understated, subtle and has a high-end appeal which some may prefer.
The Beats EP are comfortable headphones but like most on-ears, they're a bit tight on the head. The ear cups are decently well padded but the rigid swivel hinge design and relatively compact headband don't cater well to all head sizes and shapes. This puts enough pressure on the ears to cause fatigue during long listening sessions but they should be sufficiently comfortable for most listeners when used for a couple of hours.
These headphones have a simple and easy-to-use control scheme. They have a typical three button setup that offers call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The buttons are decently responsive, although the volume controls do not deliver as much feedback as some of the other in-line remotes we've tested.
The Beats EP are stable on-ear headphones with a non-detachable cable that makes them less ideal for sports. They're tight enough to maintain a stable fit under most conditions even while jogging and exercising. Unfortunately, the non-detachable cable will yank the headphones off your head if it gets tangled or hooked on something.
The Beats EP like most of the newer Beats models are well-built headphones that make use of high-end materials in their design. The ear cups are dense and the headband is flexible and made from a good combination of plastic and metal. They also do not have a lot of moving parts since they don't fold into a more compact format like Solo2 or Solo3. The entire frame isn't metal, however, which is less durable than some other on-ears, but they won't break from a couple of accidental drops. Unfortunately, the non-detachable cable is not replaceable and will wear over-time which reduces the EPs overall durability.
The Beats EP On-Ear are a good sounding pair of closed-back on-ear headphones. They have a deep and extended bass, a virtually flawless mid-range, a very good treble, and low distortion. However, their bass is prone to inconsistencies and tends to sound slightly boomy and muddy. Additionally, their treble lacks a bit of presence, and like most other closed-back on-ear headphones, don't have an open and spacious soundstage.
Very good bass range performance. Low-bass is extended down to 10Hz, and bass is within 0.5dB of our target, which is excellent. However, high-bass is overemphasized by more than 3dB, making the bass of these headphones noticeably boomy and muddy.
Excellent mid-range performance. The response is mostly flat. However, the 1.5dB overemphasis in low-mid, which is the continuation of the high-bass bump, could add a bit of clutter to the mix.
Very good treble range performance. Low-treble is virtually flat and the 1.5dB underemphasis won't be bothersome to most. The 5dB dip around 6KHz could have a slight negative effect presence and detial of vocals/leads.
Mediocre consistency. Due to the closed-back and on-ear design, the bass of these headphones is prone to inconsistencies across multiple re-seats even on the same individual. The maximum variance at 20Hz is more than 9dB. The treble range's performance is a lot more consistent though.
Poor soundstage. Due to the closed-back, on-ear design, and the shallow ear cups, these headphones don't interact with the pinna like loudspeakers do. Therefore they won't have an open and spacious soundstage.
Very good Imaging. Phase error is minimal, and so is the amplitude and frequency response mismatch. However, the small amount of phase mismatch could skew the stereo image very slightly, especially in the bass range.
Very good harmonic distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is within very good limits, regardless of the level. However, under maximum load, there's a small rise in distortion around 5KHz, but it won't be perceptible to most.
The Beats EP On-Ear don't leak much but also don't block a lot of noise. The small on-ear cups do not prevent noise from easily seeping into your audio. They do block a bit of high-frequency noise, but it won't be enough for the loud environments involved in commuting. They won't be the ideal travel headphones, but at least they don't leak too much so you can use them in quieter settings, like being at the office, without distracting your colleagues.
Poor isolation. These on-ear headphones isolate only passively using their ear cups, therefore they do not reduce outside noise in the bass range. In the mid-range, they achieve a mediocre 8dB of isolation, and in the treble range, they reduce outside noise by almost 30dB, which is good.
Average leakage. The significant portion of the leakage sits between 2KHz and 20KHz which is a broad range. However, the overall level of leakage is quite low, making the leakage performance of these headphones decent.
Decent microphone performance. The microphone on the Beats EP has a good recording quality so the person on the other line will be able to hear and understand you easily in quiet and moderately loud environments. However, in louder situations, such as in a metro station, the noise will most likely drown out your speech which makes it difficult to hear and comprehend.
Good recording quality. The microphone on Beats EP lacks a little bit of low-end, as well as some presence around 3KHz. However, their response is extended up to 20KHz and relatively flat.
- 100% SpNR
Mediocre noise handling. Like most other in-line microphones, the performance of the EP is barely passable in noisy environments, mainly due to the distance of the microphone from the mouth.
No active features.
Wired connection, negligible latency.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Beats Ep On-Ear Headphones
- Carrying pouch