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Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine founded Beats Electronics in 2006, and over the course of a few years their company changed the game, turning a $300 pair of headphones into an iconic and must-have fashion accessory. A burgeoning fanbase and a bevy of celebrity endorsements led to a $3 billion acquisition by Apple in 2014, the largest such purchase in the company’s history.
While Beats, Dre, and Iovine make stellar additions to the Apple product lineup and team, they are not without their competitors. Check out some of the top over-ear Beats competitors that are giving Dre a run for his money.
If you don’t want to fork over $300 for a pair of headphones that make you look like an extra in a Daft Punk video, the u-Jays by JAYS Headphones are well worth your consideration. The u-Jays pair an unbeatable price point with an elegant, back-to-basics aesthetic. The wireless Bluetooth headphones also pair easily with the iPhone and offer exceptional battery life, lasting over 25 hours. But their best feature is that they opt to let the speakers do the talking, with crisp and balanced sound delivered over two 40 mm drivers. The exchangeable earmuffs form a snug seal that are not only comfortable to wear, but also block out ambient noise and limit sound leakage, making for a rich and private listening experience. Learn more about u-Jays here. Get u-JAYS here for less than $169.95.
If you are in the market for a $300 pair of premium headphones, take a look at the Sony MDR-1A. It’s relatively light and offers fantastic sound from bass to treble, producing deep lows and crisp highs. The MDR-1A is great if you like to travel with your headphones; not only does it come with a carrying pouch, it also features rotating earcups that sit flat against your body when worn around your neck. The earcups themselves feature soft cushions that are angled for a snug fit on your head. The MDR-1A also comes with two cables, one of which features a microphone and inline remote for basic functions. Get them here for $298.00.
The Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 offers among the best audio quality for headphones at its price point. While the ATH-MSR7 beats Beats handily in terms of price tag, it also delivers rich, high-resolution sound over 45 mm True Motion Drivers that will leave discerning audiophiles satisfied. These wired headphones feature a lightweight frame and plushly cushioned earcups that fit comfortably on a variety of head sizes. Get it here for $238
Sennheiser is a rockstar in the headphone world and the Momentum 2.0 provides insight as to why. Though they don’t come cheap, the headphones provide superb, best-in-class sound over Bluetooth and advanced noise-cancellation. The design speaks for itself: the Momentum HD1 comes with soft leather earcups, stainless steel rails, and a leather headband,
which make for a timeless look. To top it off, Sennheiser’s high-end headphones offer enduring battery life and a sturdy frame that folds up for portability. According to Sennheiser, “18-ohm transducers deliver wide frequency response and high output levels when connected to portable audio devices,” so they’re built to work with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Get it here for $180.
No list of headphones would be complete without mentioning Bose, a longtime powerhouse in the market. If you’re looking for a great and comfortable pair of wireless headphones, the SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II ought to do the trick. They offer an attractive blend of comfort, noise-cancellation, stylish looks, and of course, deep and immersive sound (widely acknowledged to be among the best in their class). These headphones come with a solid battery that lasts 15 hours, an advanced microphone, and a lower price tag than Beats Studio Wireless headphones. Get it here for $229.00.