Dr. Dre's Beats Go Wireless (But Where's the @*##ing AirPlay?) (Ears On)

Illustration for article titled Dr. Dres Beats Go Wireless (But Wheres the @*##ing AirPlay?) (Ears On)

No Detox announced today! But Dr. Dre's commanding bass-heavy Beats empire expanded a little today with a wireless iteration of the Beatbox iPod and iPhone dock. Good: it'll probably be as low-end heavy as the headphones. Bad: Bluetooth.

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Beats says the new $400 Beatbox, available "early next year," will get 8 "loud hours" off a single charge, and support multiple Bluetooth protocols. We'll be back with ears on soon—but still, no AirPlay? Come on. For the prices Dre charges, this should be a given. [Beats by Dre]

Ears On: No dice on a demo of the Beatbox—we were only able to pick the thing up and tell you it's sturdily built. And handles! Handles are nice.

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But we put the new Beats Wireless headphones through their paces. They're Bluetooth as well, and sound like it. The rap-friendly signature "Christ, my ear drum" bass was there, but a variety of songs—Chris Brown to Coldplay—sounded muddled and tinny. Probably because Bluetooth just isn't that great for beaming around audio. The $280 (!) available next month, were highly comfortable (albeit during a short time on my skull). But the side-mounted buttons were mushy and poorly laid out, and I found myself skipping tracks instead of turning them up.

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DISCUSSION

Bluetooth will be an advantage for when you travel with this thing and don't have access to wifi (on the beach, tailgates, etc.). From my experience, connecting to a bluetooth device is exactly the same as connecting to an Airplay device. You just click the Airplay logo, and then choose your Airplay or Bluetooth speakers you want to stream to. Obviously there are drawbacks to each. For example, the sound quality over Bluetooth is noticeably inferior while Airplay requires that both devices be connected to the same wireless network.