Beats Dr Dre Beatbox Review
Mini-speakers are an audiophiles guilty pleasure. With the success of their line of headphones, Monster’s Beats by Dr. Dre probably could have conquered the mini-system market had they been more clear on what their goals should have been. Today, after fully testing the Beatbox, I am realizing that Monster’s Beats by Dr. Dre is a choice that will please a small segment of the market. House party throwers are well of with the Beatbox but if it will please the majority, I’m not so sure about this.
The customer that is looking to buy an iPod/mp3 speaker box is looking for a few specific features. First, they are usually a younger crowd; most have their first apartment and/or smaller living quarters. Any space is valuable real estate and worth it’s weight in gold. They need a small system that sounds like the old powerful multi-unit rack systems of years past. And for a lot of their hard earned money, they almost get it. The small box does a fairly good job at shaking all corners of a small apartment. If this was blasting at a party it would do the job. However, you can not party every minute. And most of the time this will be used like everyone else uses their stereo; home alone doing chores. This is where the first real problem comes in.
The sound quality on the Beatbox has been called “aggressive”. Now, when others read that, they must think That’s great, that means it will really rock . But, audiophiles use the term “aggressive” in a much different way. Much like an American in the deep south will say “Bless his heart…”, neither is a real term of endearment, and are far from being compliments. The Beatbox needs a built-in equalizer. It also would not hurt to have pre-set equalizer settings (i.e. “Concert Hall”, “Rock”, “Hip-Hop”, “Jazz”, et al). The old mini-systems of the early 90′s did extremely well with these options. Unfortunately, the sound you are stuck with is finely tuned for low frequencies (Hip Hop, Jazz, Blues) but the treble is a nightmare. For rock and roll, symbols sound like corrugated steel being banged on with a hammer.
The Beatbox is a bit different to other wireless speakers discussed here on the side as it is less portable. The engineers finished it with an AC plug only. Their customers want to have beach parties, go camping, attend sporting events, play in sporting events, etc. The only customers that want a non-portable mini-system, are the slightly older crowd; the Bose Wave customers. Now, they actually do have a portable version of this. But that is a separate review.
The last mistake Beats by Dr.Dre/Monster made was that they did not include a Bluetooth receiver. That is a feature that is ready to be used because they created a Bluetooth port. This is such an odd decision to make no matter what the target market is. Adding that feature is unbelievably cheap. Leaving this out is nonsensical but a Bluetooth receiver can be acquired for a small price.
So what did Monster get right on the Beatbox? Unless you are regularly keeping your neighbors awake throwing late night parties, unfortunately not much. The minimalist design is nice. And that is about it. The sound is “aggressive”, which well not please everyone. It is not full, it does not handle all genres of music well, mids are drowned out by lows, and the highs (treble) is tuned so high it is actually distorted. That being said, if you’re part of the market that is being targeted and you don’t care for a Bluetooth or WiFi connection the Beatbox it is a decent choice.