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Reviewed on Jan 05, 2017

Beats urBeats Earphones
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.4
Mixed Usage
6.1
Critical Listening
6.7
Commute/Travel
7.2
Sports/Fitness
6.4
Office
5.6
TV
6.3
Gaming
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Beats urBeats are simple and straightforward in-ear headphones. They don't leak much, they're easy to carry around and stable enough to use while jogging. Unfortunately, they don't have the most durable design and their sound quality is overly bass-heavy, which may be a deal breaker for some.

Test Results
Design 7.2
Sound 5.9
Isolation 8.3
Microphone 6.4
Active Features 0
Connectivity 5.3
Pros
  • Minimal Leakage.
  • Stable and portable design.
Cons
  • Subpar audio reproduction.
  • Mediocre build quality.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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7.2

Design

The Beats urBeats are straightforward in-ear headphones with a sleek, yet understated look. They're very portable headphones that come with a decent pouch, which makes them easy to carry around on your person. They're also stable enough to jog with but do not have any additional stability tips. However, their build quality does not feel very durable, and they have the typical in-ear fit, which may not be comfortable for everyone.

Style

The Beats urBeats have a simple but sleek in-ear design. They have flat cables and small earbuds that do not protrude much when in your ears. The inline controls and the ear buds look good, but the plastic used for their design feels a bit cheap upon closer inspection. They won't stick out in a crowd, especially, the gray and black color variation but the understated design will work for most.

6.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.04 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The Beats urBeats earphones have the typical in-ear fit. You will experience the same inconvenience in comfort if you don't find in-ear models comfortable. However, they do come with different sized tips to help listeners find a better fit. They're also incredibly lightweight and won't be a problem for those who regularly use in-ear headphones.

7.5 Controls
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The Beats urBeat's control scheme is simple and well-designed. They deliver call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The buttons have a good feedback. Sadly they're relatively flat and a little cramped which makes them a less easy to distinguish by feel alone. However, you quickly get accustomed to it.

9.3 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.7 C
8.7 Portability
L : 3.94 "
W : 1.18 "
H : 1.18 "
Volume : 5.42 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Beats urBeats are extremely portable headphones. They comfortably fit into most pockets purses or bags which makes them easy to carry around on your person. There's no ideal way to fold them into their most compact format, but the cable is not too long or thick, and the ear buds are quite small, which doesn't take much space.

6.5 Case
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

The urBeats come with a unique pouch that protects the headphones and doesn't add too much bulk allowing it to conveniently fit into a pocket. However, the case does not shield the headphones from hard falls or water damage. The case also opens with a squeeze which is stylish but may cause some of the headphones accessories fall out inadvertently.

6.5 Build Quality

The Beats urBeats earphones have a decent build quality. The audio cable is flat, which makes it less tangle prone, and it's sufficiently rubberized to be durable. The earbuds are hard enough, to not break from a few drops. However, the plastic design of the earbuds and the inline remote is not as durable as some higher-end in-ear models.

7.0 Stability

The Beats by Dr. Dre urBeats, like most in-ear headphones, are inherently quite stable. The in-ear buds fit deeply into the ear canal and are relatively hard to dislodge by just pulling on the cable or running. However, these headphones do not come with any unique stability tips to make them more stable. This means they will still fall out of your ears every once in a while, and the audio cable can also yank the headphones out of your ears if it gets hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : 4 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS
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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
5.9

Sound

The Beats urBeats are overly bass-heavy and won't be the best headphones for critical listening (see our recommendations for the best bass headphones). They have an excessive amount of bass, which may please some listeners but will be too emphasized for most. Instruments and vocals sound distant and muddy, resulting in an audio reproduction that lacks clarity and feels too dark. They have a poor soundstage due to their closed in-ear design but on the upside, they have low distortion and a good representation of the stereo image.

6.7 Bass
Std. Err.
:
4.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
3.81 dB
Mid-Bass
:
4.9 dB
High-Bass
:
7.04 dB

Poor Bass Range performance. The response is quite flat, but consistently overemphasized by more than 7dB. This makes the sound excessively bass heavy and muddy.

7.3 Mid
Std. Err.
:
3.66 dB
Low-Mid
:
4.43 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-2.0 dB
High-Mid
:
-3.23 dB

Average mid-range performance for the Beats urBeats. Low-mid is slightly overemphasized, which adds to the muddiness and boominess caused by the excess high-bass. Mid and high-mid are consistently underemphasized by more than 5dB, weakening vocals/leads relative to the lower instruments and pushing them to the back of the mix.

5.6 Treble
Std. Err.
:
5.37 dB
Low-Treble
:
-3.83 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-5.57 dB
High-Treble
:
-6.88 dB

Poor Treble Range performance. The overall performance is underemphasized consistently by about 5dB. Considering the excess bass that these in-ears produce, the lack of high frequency emphasis makes these headphones exceptionally dark sounding.

9.3 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.14 dB
9.4 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.12
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.36
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
0.66
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
0.96
1.0 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
2.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
0.4
Correlated Crosstalk
:
-0.15 dB
8.3 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.369
Weighted THD @ 100
:
1.021

Very good harmonic distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is quite low, regardless of the level. However, at higher volumes, there is a slight rise in distortion in the mid-range while remaining within good limits.

8.3

Isolation

The in-ear design of the Beats urBeats blocks a fair amount of ambient noise. That coupled with the very low leakage means you can mask some of the ambient noise by playing your audio at high volumes without disturbing others. However, it might not be sufficient for very noisy commutes of flights, and playing audio at exceedingly loud volumes is not recommended.

7.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-19.65 dB
Bass
:
-6.8 dB
Mid
:
-17.87 dB
Treble
:
-35.26 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

Decent isolation. Although these headphones isolate passively, they perform on par with some active noise cancelling headphones. They achieve about 7dB of isolation in the Bass Range, which is very good for passive isolation. In the mid and treble ranges, the amount of isolation achieved is very good.

9.6 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
23.39 dB

Excellent leakage. The Beats urBeats earphones leak very little as the significant portion of the leakage is limited to the 1KHz-6KHz range, and the overall level of the leakage is also quite low.

6.4

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
Yes
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
6.9 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
459.13 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.72 dB
HFE
:
20480.0 Hz
Weighted THD
:
1.941
Gain
:
22.19 dB
6.0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
12.36 dB
0

Active Features

No active features.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

5.3

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
8.5 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
iOS
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

In the box

  • urBeats 2  Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x3)
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

See our recommendations for the best cheap earbuds, the best earbuds and in-ears, and the best earbuds under $50.

Beats BeatsX Wireless

The Beats BeatsX are not directly comparable to the Beats urBeats since they are Bluetooth-only headphones and the urBeats are wired. On the upside, the BeatsX are a much more versatile option than the urBeats. They sound better, they're more practical for every day casual use, and they come with more tip options than the urBeats, which makes them slightly more comfortable (but not by much). On the other hand, since the urBeats are wired, you won't have any battery life concerns and they're a lot simpler to use.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

6.4 Mixed Usage
The Beats by Dr. Dre urBeats are basic in-ear headphones that do well in most use cases but do not have the best sound for critical listening.
6.1 Critical Listening
Mediocre for critical listening. They're too bass heavy and have a poor soundstage due to their design. Therefore, they won't be the best headphones for an accurate audio reproduction and are not ideal for critical listening. The sound quality may even be a deal breaker for some casual listeners.
6.7 Commute/Travel
Above-average for commuting. The passive seal of these headphones isolates well enough for moderately loud environments. However, they're not the most comfortable or durable headphones to use on a daily basis for your commutes.
7.2 Sports/Fitness
Above-average for sports use. They're decently stable and very portable headphones. However, they do not have any stability enhancing tips, and they're also not wireless so the cable could get tangled or hooked on something
6.4 Office
Average for office use. They don't leak much, thanks to their in-ear design and isolate well enough for a lively office.
5.6 TV
Average for home theater use. If you watch movies on a PC or tablet than the relatively short cable and low latency of a wired connection should be good enough. However, the lack of range makes them poorly suited to watch TV from your couch, unless you have an audio cable extension cord.

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