According to a NPD Group study in 2012, Beats Electronics founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine captured 64% of the US market share for headphones under $100. Today, Beats headphones are marketed by Apple after the tech giant bought the brand in 2014.
The headphones by Beats are a mixed bag when it comes to quality and value. They were basically intended to be bass-heavy headphones but the manufacture failed to strike a perfect balance in other aspects. Furthermore, their high prices often make music lovers prefer other brands.
Our favorite alternatives to Beats…
So, if you’re looking for headphones that are better than Beats then your search ends here. We have created a list of top headphones that we prefer to Beats (they have pretty good bass response too):
#1. OPPO PM-3
These headphones came on the scene a few years ago with powerful models like the PM-1s and PM-2s. They not only sound absolutely incredible, they also set the standard for how a magnetic headphone should be.
However, these models did not have noise-cancelling abilities and were not suitable for commuters. Oppo then released the PM-3 headphones for people on the go, and when matched with the Oppo HA-2 headphone amplifier, these headphones deliver a kind of sound quality that’s much better than Beats Studio and Solo.
#2. Beyerdynamic T51P
Beyerdynamic is a well-known brand that creates some of the best headphones in the world. The T51 headphones boast a portable design, high build quality, stylish appearance and a detailed sound quality.
The metal adjustable headbands and ear cups make them really powerful headphones that can take a lot of beating. The quality of sound delivered by the T51P headphones is crisp and clear with detailed mid and high frequencies. The controlled bass works well for every genre of music.
If you are looking for some headphones with an in-line mic for taking calls then check out the T51i version which costs almost the same amount as the P model. The only difference is that i model is compatible with iOS devices.
#3. Sony MDR1ABT
Everyone who knows about audio knows that Sony is a popular brand that offers some really cool headphones. Their MDR series is not only good looking but they are also some of the best Bluetooth headphones money can buy.
These headphones boast a classy design with shallow ear cups, which mean these full-size earphones are perfect for use at home or while you are on the go. They are not too bulky and the red-black combination looks stylish. They are a good change from the dull and stiff plastic design offered by Beats headphones.
The sound quality of the MDR1ABT headphones is excellent and the bass response is really strong. This is the perfect pair of headphones for those who want the low ends to stand out prominently. Another thing we love about these Sony headphones is that they don’t have any cables hanging loose.
#4. Koss PortaPro
The Koss PortaPros have been around since the 90s and even today they retain the same design. They’re an absolutely timeless classic. If you want to add a stylish flavor to your headphones, the PortaPros are the perfect way to go retro.
What we really love about these headphones is that they can be easily folded into a tiny unit so you can easily take them with you wherever you go. They boast a rock-solid build but do not offer noise cancellation due to their open design.
The sound produced by the Koss PortaPro headphones has more emphasis on the detailed mid range. The bass is slightly less prominent but it’s hard to find another full-size and portable model that offer so much at this price.
#5. Focal Spirit One S
This is another good pair of headphones that looks classier and well-built than Beats. It takes inspiration from the Focal Classic design and is highly portable. The Spirit S headphones boast a foldable flat design and come with a hard carry case. The foldable design not only saves space but also adds a lot of portability to the product. The cables are easily detachable to give you added portability.
The Spirit One S headphones deliver a well-balanced sound that perfectly complements music genres such as rock, acoustic, classical and Jazz. The bass is punchy and well-controlled to make electronic and hip-hop music sound better.
The above mentioned headphones are better than Beats in various aspects. While some offer well-balanced sound and enhanced portability, others deliver better performance and value for money. Take your pick from the models mentioned above based on your preferences.