By guest editor Karsten Lemm
A surprising number of people seems happy to spend a relative fortune on a shiny new music player, only to listen with the headphones supplied in the box – a box, mind you, which was usually designed in California, made in China, and is arguably more sophisticated than the earbuds inside.
Slight exaggeration, OK, but seriously: Plugging your ears with the cheapo headphones that Apple, Creative and others throw in for good measure when they sell their digital pocket entertainers is like buying a $3,000 camera and taking pictures with a $50 lens – you just don't get the results that your expensive toy can deliver.
Despite the armies of white-corded iPod lovers, there is, of course, a vibrant market for third-party headphones trying to bring out the best in your MP3 player, cell phone or iGizmo of choice. So far, companies like Shure, Sennheiser, Sony, and Bose have dominated this segment – but it may be time to add a Monster to the list.
The Californian Hi-Fi cable giant first made a splash with its Beats by Dr. Dre noise-cancelling headphones
So here come the "Beats" etc. "Tour" edition, meaning the mobile version of Dr. Dre's Monster cooperation – much cheaper, if still pricey, at $149 in the U.S., as well as much smaller and lighter, since they fit in the ear canal rather than encasing the ear. The first thing you (and anybody within a mile around you) will notice is the flashy red cable – take that, Apple! And perhaps: Take that, robbers of the world, if you happen to venture into certain areas of certain cities...
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