Before Beats and Apple announced that they were working on a merger, Beats released a line of earphones to perfectly match the iPhone 5S. The Urbeats SE was designed for people who wanted great sound to compliment the style of the 5S. The real question for me is do they sound as good as they look?
The Urbeats SE earphones come in 3 colors, Silver, Space Gray and Gold – matching the colors of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The housing is metal with a lowercase B etched on each earpiece. The silver and gold both have a white in-line tangle free cables, while the space gray has a black one.
The UrBeats SE come with the same tangle-free cable with in-line mic you’ll find on the original Urbeats. The placement of the mic is only a few inches from the mic on the left side making it somewhat of a task to maneuver. Once you’re able to get used to the placement the controller is very responsive with the typical – Volume Up, Volume Down, Play/Pause/Talk buttons.
The description on the Beats site says that the UrBeats SE were made to take a beating. With the metallic housing and tangle free cord they feel like they can take a tussle even though I didn’t rough them up much. Just simple day to day toss in a bag, step on them by accident and wrap them around my iPhone use.
The UrBeats SE come with a choice of four different sized ear tips, a matching carrying case and a clothing cable clamp.
The review unit I was sent is gold to match my iPhone. Based on that alone I was sold. I expected the best when I read that the metallic housing prevents vibrations and unwanted sounds. However, when using the earphones I still experienced microphonics even when using the clothing clamp. Basically, when the cord touched my clothes or a table I could hear the noise in my earpiece. I didn’t find that to be as much of an issue when I was listening to music or talking on the phone.
When I figured out which ear tip fit my hear I was able to get a good seal and couldn’t hear any outside noise when listening to music. Sound wise it lived up to the Beats hype. Even on the highest volume there was no distortion, but I wouldn’t suggest rocking out at max volume if you value your eardrums.
The bass was prominent but didn’t take over any of the songs I used to test them. I used Diplo & Alvaro- 6th Gear, Julia Spada – Reptile Mission and Ledisi – That Good Good. As good as they sound after 40-45 minutes of continued use they started feeling uncomfortable.
The UrBeats SE packs a punch to be in ear earphones, and are great if you won’t be using for prolonged wear. As beautiful as they are I expected an even more beautiful experience. Sound wise they didn’t disappoint, but to be $99.95 I expected to be able to wear comfortably for a couple of hours. If you’re a diehard Beats fan this is definitely a worthwhile purchase. If you use your earphones for extended periods of time in one sitting and looking for the most efficient ear buds for your $100 investment I would sit this round out. In addition to the UrBeats SE line which included 3 colors, there are 8 other colors available in the UrBeats line.