Beats - Beats EP


Beats EP: is the popularity of this wired portable headset still justified?

Aprox. 70€ - see price -

The EP had fallen between the cracks of our net for a few years, but here it finally arrived at the editorial office. These wired nomad headphones always position themselves as a gateway to the world of Beats. Is its popularity justified?

Our review


The Beats EP was launched in September 2016, just over two years after Apple bought the Beats brand. Always valiant, these wired on-ear headphones are the most affordable from the American manufacturer (€ 100 at the time of this test). He promises us mountains and wonders of sound with “a perfectly mastered sound”, “a clearer and better balanced sound” for “music lovers who wish to discover Beats”. The manufacturer also insists on the robustness of its helmet and its simplicity of use.


The design of the Beats EP is in line with the other models of the brand. Whether we like it or not, we have to admit that the manufacturing and the finishing touches are at the very least neat. Part of the headband of the helmet rests on a sturdy metal base. The ear cups and the central part of the headband are protected by plastic shells whose robustness seems correct to say the least. The helmet has beautiful finishes, no unsightly manufacturing mark or defect is visible. It can also resist some twists. We did not notice any design flaws during our test.

For on-ear headphones (the earpieces of the headphones rest on the pinna), the EP offers satisfactory comfort. The helmet is relatively light (202 g), the imitation leather ear cups are soft to the touch and there is no accentuated pinch effect. The roll bar deployment is relatively generous, although we would have liked a small centimeter or two extra for the larger heads. The headset easily finds its place on the head and hugs the pinna well.

As with the vast majority of helmets above, comfort is less good for those who wear glasses (the helix area is caught between the helmet and the branch of the glasses) and those with holes. It will then be necessary to take breaks a little more regularly, but nothing that prevents normal use of the helmet.

This aside, the only real weakness of the helmet in terms of comfort is at the headband. The rubbery material used has an annoying tendency to pull on the hair and one quickly feels the point of contact at the top of the skull because of the absence of real pad.

The EP is connected via a non-detachable wired cable ending in a 3.5 mm mini-jack connector. The connector is not angled and the cable is flat. Fortunately, it is not too sensitive to contact noise. There is a three button remote control on this cable that is only fully compatible with iOS devices. You will therefore not be able to adjust the listening volume on another device. Apart from this point, it gives access to all the essential controls: management of playback, calls, navigation between tracks and activation of the smartphone's voice assistant.

The microphone built into this remote control does a very good job of capturing voice ... in a quiet environment. Indeed, the microphone is not at all directive and no noise reduction algorithm is present to support it. Result, the surrounding noises pollute the capture of the voice and it is quickly drowned and very difficult to understand. It is better to go directly to your phone outside to be sure that you are understood by the other party.


Unsurprisingly, the EP shows a clear preference for extreme bass and bass. Expect a particularly warm and subdued sound rendering.

After all, dogs don't make cats. The EP is an “old-fashioned” Beats headset and therefore puts the package on extreme bass and bass. Here we have a very warm and round sound that clearly does not risk attacking our eardrums. The impact and depth of the bass are propelled forward, which also tends to cause mask effects on the higher frequency bands (on demanding content with very close bass drum attacks or with many sources particularly in the grave register). Fortunately, the behavior of the membranes remains very correct and we still maintain correct precision, whether at the bass level or on the rest of the audible spectrum.

The very soft, even blunt aspect of the sound rendering offered by these headphones is also due to the decline in high mids. There is a fairly wide and marked trough between 2 and 6 kHz. The feeling of presence and clarity is recessed, as if a veil was placed in front of the stage. It is thus difficult to make a good distinction between the elements placed on the very foreground and those located in more distant planes. Fortunately, the very slight recovery between 1 and 2 kHz allows the intelligibility of the voices to be preserved. Without being perfectly clear, they are never veiled under the wave of bass. The stamps remain identifiable, even if the EP is far from being the most faithful helmet there is. It does the job properly on the treble side. We are clearly not overwhelmed by their airy appearance and their definition, but they are a minimum present. It is possible to perceive certain room effects and other subtle effects depending on the songs listened to, but you should not ask too much. The restitution of the stereophonic space is correct in width. The stereo scene lacks depth, however.

Nothing to report on the side of the distortion, which remains extremely low over the entire audible spectrum.


Although it honestly fulfills its mission, it is difficult to recommend the EP at a time when there are more efficient wired Bluetooth headsets at close prices. If you're looking for over-ear headphones, take a look at the Backbeat 500 or Major III Bluetooth. For over-ear headphones, take a look at Everest 710 or Listen Wireless.