From Puff Daddy to P. Diddy to Diddy and now: DiddyBeats. Whatever you choose to call him, it’s clear that the fashion icon and R&B mega-star is a polarizing figure. One tends to love him or hate him. So, it isn’t all that surprising that there are many who have been quick to judge this new product based on its endorsements rather than on the merits of its function. The latest headphone offering from team Monster/Dr. Dre promises to marry substance and style in a hip-looking set of headgear that is uniquely Diddy. In this review, we open our ears and take a moment to listen to what the DiddyBeats have to say for themselves. You might be surprised. We were.
Out of the Box
The DiddyBeats are packaged with the same buffet of ear-tips that we’ve seen in Monster’s Miles Davis Tribute and Turbine Pro model earphones. We consider this no small feature, since proper fit in the ear is so crucial for the best possible sound. We like to have options and the DiddyBeats offer you eight of them. The DiddyBeats package also includes a soft carrying pouch and a security clip for the earphone’s 3 foot long wire.
Features and Design
We’re not sure how involved Diddy was in the design, engineering or voicing of these earphones, but we’re pretty sure he wouldn’t have signed off on anything unless he was confident they upheld his image. Considering that style can be subjective, we feel the DiddyBeats deliver on their promise to integrate well with the wardrobe and other wearable accessories-if you’re concerned about that sort of thing. They certainly seem to fit in with Diddy’s preference for luxury and bling.
In general, the DiddyBeats are well constructed. Clearly, Monster used high quality materials and put some extra care into designing robust strain reliefs that will keep the earphones from breaking down due to wear and tear. You can get the DiddyBeats in iPod White, Powder Pink or Black; Monster gave us the black version.
The earpieces are wrapped in black leather and fitted with a polished aluminum and enamel end-cap. These earpieces are a bit on the large side of the scale but are thankfully much lighter than the Turbine Pro model earphones. It took us a while to find the L and R markings that indicate which headphone should go in which ear. It turns out the markings are located on the underside of the earphone, just above a small screw head and in grey writing on polished silver. Don’t bother hunting for the markings; it’s really not worth the time, effort or eye strain. Instead, try to remember that the iPhone Control Talk piece is just under the LEFT earphone.
Speaking of the iPhone ControlTalk module, it is located just five inches below the left earphone and offers volume control and a pause/play option. While we do appreciate the ability to make and receive calls with minimal interruption, the ControlTalk piece weighs down the left ear just enough to be noticeable. While a security clip is included, we found it to be ineffective at relieving the excess strain on the left ear. On its own, this issue wouldn’t be so bad, but a one inch metal cylinder that joins the left and right cords into one just adds more unneeded heft to the product.
The “tangle free” cord is unique in that it is totally flat but we didn’t find it to be entirely without tangle issues. The cord does maintain its shape pretty well, but is susceptible to kinks when folded or sat upon. At the end of the day, we felt the flat cord did more to help the earphones stand out from a stylistic point of view rather than serve a practical benefit.