The Beats EP On-Ear are surprisingly good critical listening headphones but are a bit tight on the head for long listening sessions. They're not as portable as some of the other on-ear headphones and the tight fit could be a bit uncomfortable for some. However, they're sufficiently lightweight and well-padded, and they perform well for most use cases except for commuting since they don't block a lot of noise.
The Beats EP are decent and well-rounded headphones. They have a balanced sound that's good for casual and more critical listening. They're also comfortable and tight enough for sports use. They're not ideal to use for commuting or in loud environments since they do not block a lot of noise but overall they perform well enough for most use cases.
Suitable for neutral listening. They have a balanced audio reproduction that has a good amount of bass and still caters well to instruments and vocals. They do not sound too sharp but won't be the ideal headphones for more neutral listeners. They have a relatively small soundstage and sound quality varies a lot depending on the position and whether or not you wear glasses.
Mediocre for commuting. They have a decent control scheme and they're not too bulky but do not block a lot of noise. You will hear a lot of the ambient noise on a busy train or bus ride. They also do not fold so they won't be as portable as the Solo2 Wireless.
Average for sports. They're stable and comfortable enough to jog with and have a fairly efficient control scheme. However, they're not as portable and they're a bit tight on the head which can get a slightly fatiguing. On the upside, since they have an on-ear design they won't make you seat like some of the over-ear headphones we've tested.
Average for office use. They do not leak much so you won't distract your colleagues when listening to music at moderate volumes. Unfortunately, they do not block a lot of noise so you will hear the noise of a lively office environment.
Average for gaming. They have a wired connection, so they have negligible latency which is suitable for gaming. They also have a decent microphone that's compatible with some consoles. Unfortunately, they lack a good app to customize their sound profile like most gaming headsets, and they're a bit too tight on the head to wear for really long gaming sessions.
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, like most on-ears, are a bit more breathable than over-ear designs but will still make your ears sweat a little after 30-45 minutes of intense exercise. They mostly make the notch of your ears warmer but do not touch your outer ear which stays relatively cool although the pressure caused by the tight fit may cause more discomfort over time than the difference in temperature.
The Beats EP are relatively compact on-ear headphones that unfortunately do not fold for more portability. This makes them a bit more of a hassle to carry around on your person than other on-ears if you don't have a bag.
The Beats EP come with a pouch that will protect the headphones from minor scratches. Unfortunately, it will not shield them from water damage or hard falls as the pouch is very soft and permeable.
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 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 frequency response consistency is mediocre. 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.
The Beats EP have a very good bass. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. This, and the flat low-bass, ensures a proper reproduction of thumps and rumbles. Mid-bass, which is responsible for the bulk of bass instruments and the punch of drums, is also quite flat and less than 2dB over our target. However, high-bass is hyped by 3.5dB, resulting in a bass that is deep and punchy, but slightly boomy. Also, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.
The mid-range of the on-ear Beats EP is excellent. The overall response is virtually flat and within 2dB of our target response. The only remark here is that the 4dB dip is centered around 700Hz, which nudges vocals/leads towards the back of the mix by giving a tad more emphasis to the bass instruments. This makes the overall mid-range sound a bit recessed.
The treble performance of the Beats EP On-Ear is excellent. The overall response is consistent and well-balanced. Low-treble and mid-treble are quite flat and within 1.3dB of our target. The 5dB dip around 6KHz could have a negative effect on the presence of vocals and lead instruments, but because of the narrow bandwidth its effect will be negligible.
The Beat EP have excellent imaging. The weighted group delay of the Beats is only 0.2, which is excellent. It can also be seen in the graph that the entire group delay is below our audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were exceptionally well-matched. This results in the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, footsteps, instruments) in the stereo field.
The Beats EP have a poor soundstage. This is mainly due to the closed-back and on-ear design. Good pinna (outer ear) interaction is key in creating a large and out-of-head soundstage, and since most on-ear headphones sit on the pinna, they can't fully activate its resonances. Overall, the soundstage will be perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head. Also, they won't sound as open and spacious as open-back on-ear headphones such as the Grado SR60e.
The isolation of the Beats EP is sub-par. These on-ear headphones isolate only passively using their ear cups, therefore they do not reduce outside noise in the bass range, which is important for isolating the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, which is important for cancelling out speech, they achieve a mediocre 8dB of isolation. In the treble range, which sharp sounds such as S and Ts occupy, they reduce outside noise by almost 30dB, which is good.
The leakage performance of the EPs is average. 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. The leakage shouldn't be audible to people around you unless you are in a very quiet environment (like an elevator) and really blasting your music.
The microphone of the EP has a good recording quality. The LFE of 270Hz indicates a recorded/transmitted speech that is slightly thin. However, this won't have a significant effect on comprehensibility of the speech. Additionally, the HFE (high-frequency extension) of 20KHz and the relatively flat response between LFE and HFE mean that speech will sound relatively present and natural.
The noise handling of the EPs in-line microphone is mediocre. In our noise handling test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 11dB, which means they will have difficulty separating speech from ambient noise in moderately loud environments.
These headphones are passive and have no battery life since they are wired. If you want a pair of wireless over-ear headphones with outstandingly long battery life, check out the JBL CLUB 700BT Wireless.
The Beats EP have no compatible app and no active features. If you want a wireless headphone with a good app, then consider the Sennheiser HD 4.50.
The Beats Ep have a 1/8TRRS audio cable with an inline remote microphone that is compatible with the PS4 but not the Xbox One. This is most likely due to The iOS-specific audio cable.
The Beats EP do not have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, then consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7.
The Beats Ep are good-sounding wired on-ears with a sturdy and stable design. However, they can be a bit tight on the head and do not isolate well enough for very noisy commutes. Overall, they should be sufficiently decent for most use cases. See our recommendations for the best on-ear headphones, the best DJ headphones, and the best wireless headphones.
While the Beats Solo3 Wireless and the Beats EP have a very similar sound profile, the Solo3 are more versatile thanks to their wireless design. Their headband also feels more durable. On the other hand, if you don't want to manage a battery life, the wired EP are better, although the Solo3 have an incredible 42-hour battery life.
The Sony WH-CH510 Wireless and the Beats EP are both mediocre on-ear headphones. The Beats are a bit more comfortable, feel better built, and have better controls, but are wired, unlike the Sony that are Bluetooth-only. The Sony are much more consistent every time you put them on, but as long as you find a proper fit, the Beats have a more accurate treble range.
The Beats EP are a slightly better on-ear headset than the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x, but not by much. The Beats have an in-line remote that makes using them with iOS devices and mobile phones a little easier. They also have a slightly more compact and sturdy build quality, although not by much since they also do not fold into a more compact format. The Audio-Technica, on the other hand, come with three audio cables that make them a bit more suitable for a studio setting. They're also not as tight on the head as the Beats, although they're about the same comfort level. On the upside, the Audio-Technica have a slightly better-balanced sound that most will prefer over the EPs.