Beats By Dre Mixr On-Ear Headphones Review
Updated July 5, 2022
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- [Rating: 4.5/5]
As I make my rounds through the barracks of the many audio camps, like some odd white-gloved ball-busting scribe with preternaturally acute hearing, one headphone manufacturer seemed more elusive than an oiled-up ninja rocking out to the Detox album. That’s right, I’m talking about the audio tech juggernaut – Beats by Dre. But if you prefer over-ear headphones, check our guide on the best over-ear headphones.
“Dr. Dre” is a name oft associated with “gangster rap”, nice men with attitudes and thrusting now-music moguls: Snoop Dog and Eminem into the multimillion-dollar limelight. Now Dre continues to nurture his mighty music production career with the impending Detox album while working tirelessly to assure the digital age of music does not sully the overall audio quality which artists work to achieve. That last bit is how Beats by Dre was born–and there was much rejoicing! Our Beats Studio3 wireless noise-cancelling headphones review covers yet another fantastic headset by Dre.
Today we drape our fleshy sonic receptors in the special edition white Mixr headphones from Beats by Dre. These top-rated headphones are a product of Beats working with famed DJ and producer–David Guetta. No familiarity with either of these folks is needed to appreciate the totality of awesome that is the Beats by Dre Mixr DJ headphones.
The Mixr unit ships in a sturdy and sizeable red boxed packaging. You get the headphones, a rugged carrying case, company literature, an instruction manual, and two different cords to connect to your audio device du jour. Again this is the white version. The Mixr unit also comes in black. Both are dripping with elegance and style. The logos and accents are well placed, add charm, and do not feel self-serving or overly indulgent. Its simplistic, yet sharp design is reminiscent of another brand, the Bowers and Wilkins P3 mobile HI-FI headphones, which are also foldable.
Related: For those who want to buy a different brand, read the Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone review
Moreover, the craftsmanship is a showpiece all on its own. We have brushed aluminum, limited use of plastics, and wildly useful pivoting earphones for quick sound checks and general spatial awareness without having to take the headphones completely off your musically massaged head. You can easily see, what went into the design was equal parts beauty and brains.
Let’s turn our gaze toward function. I mentioned two cables are included… One cord is for audio-on-the-go and features Control Talk+ functionality and support with iPhone and Blackberry (RIM limited functions). You can answer, hang up, and mute calls with ease. I should note that Blackberry users are limited to answering and hanging up phone calls. The cord also sports in-line mic controls such as volume controls and skipping tracks. Using this cable on the go is great, where I saw no issues. Its length is sufficient. The mic works as needed with all callers reporting clear reception. The buttons on the in-line remote are responsive with noticeable tactile feedback. Nothing eventful here. Audio on your mobile device benefits immensely when heard through the Beats Mixr.
Related: And if you want to acquire an over-ear headphone from the same brand, read our Beats By Dre Remastered Studio Over-Ear Headphones review
The other cord is partially coiled like a DJ’s and features a removable (yet still attached) 1/4-inch connector normally used by DJs. Remove that connector and we find a familiar 3.5mm connector. I love the option to go either way. I don’t usually use headies when talking on the phone so I appreciate the second option sans the in-line remote. Also noteworthy: either cable can be connected to the left or right earphones, unlike most offerings. This option also allows for daisy-chaining several headphones together for multiple listening from a single audio source–also damn cool!
So what does audio actually sound like through the Mixr set of cans? Presidential! Out of the consumer level over-ear headphones that have gone through our audio obstacle course, the Mixr from Beats by Dre and co-created by David Guetta are trendsetting pack leaders–shot callers, even… Every ounce of audio reproduction goes untouched by the competition. Lows, highs, midrange…you name it, it all sounds impeccable. The bass is so pure and rich, it’s amazing. I hesitate to say “deep”, while the bass does possess immense depth… The bass reproduction is so clean and rich that it stole the show and is truly what impressed me the most. Yet the Mixr unit goes beyond the booming system, nightclub thumb of which Guetta and Dre are known. With no fear, they gracefully consumed Classical, Samba, Reggae, Jazz, Blues. .etc, and spat out pure harmony.
Even still, I was ill-prepared for the aural ambrosia that was unleashed when I used the Mixr set for gaming. I could never get the in-line mic to work for in-game voice chat. It mattered little. The trick here was my Astro Gaming mixamp. The amp is connected to my PC sound card. So I connected the Mixr headphones to the 3.5 connector on the amp. The result was shocking. Positional audio was questionable. But the level of fidelity, clarity, and richness was just as impressive in games as in movies and music. The Mixamp functions like an exosuit augmenting the existing might of anything that dares strap it on. Gaming “al carte”, or without the mixamp was filled with hollow echo sounds. Not surprising! This set is not made for gaming. But the lesson here: an appropriate amp can admirably extend the functionality of your Beats by Dre Mixr headphones, making a complete and nearly over-achieving package.
That package does have a few smudges. I will admit, some girth accompanies the Beats Mixr headphones, but they’re not abundantly heavy. The fit is quite comfortable for the most part. However, I did notice they become too tight around my ears after about an hour of straight uninterrupted use. Also, the band padding, which touches the top of your head, is a little deficient and could use a bit more cushioning.
But really I’m splitting hairs at this point. None of this unseats the new king crowned. I cannot recommend the Mixr headphone enough. They are a bit pricey, but lesser performers brandish equal or higher price tags. The V-Moda Lp2 headphones, for instance, are similarly priced but come nowhere near the level of audio quality produced by the Mixr DJ headphones from Beats by Dre (-ed. That’s saying a lot SFYS).
Bottom Line: Go buy NOW! I have never heard anything like this. Premium quality comes with a price, which is forgotten with lightning speed as soon as you hit “Play”!
- Peerless sound quality
- Amazing performance
- Elegant and handsomely crafted
- Surprising in games (amp assisted)
- Tight around ears after extended use
You can buy the Beats by Dre Dave Guetta Mixr on-ear headphones at Amazon for $249
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.
Beats Mixr vs Beats Solo 2
If we exclude the hit-or-miss, artificially bass-heavy sound profile that the Beats headphones are known for, the brand has only had one recurring criticism since its conception – the price.
Now the sound profile, while not a favorite among audiophiles, isn’t a disadvantage. It’s a feature! It’s not a feature for everyone, but there are many who appreciate it.
Still, the general consensus remains that most Beats headphones are overpriced and that logo on the earcups easily makes up for at least $50 of the overall price.
However, enough time has passed since some of the more respectable models by Beats were released that the price isn’t really a challenge anymore if you aren’t dead set on owning only the latest models.
That’s why in this guide, we’ll be comparing the Beats Mixr and the Beats Solo 2 headphones to see which of these old-timers would be the best choice if you want to feel what the Beats are all about at an affordable price.
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Now, these two on-ear headphones do have a lot of similarities, which is unsurprising given there’s only a one-year gap between them. They’re both on-ear headphones that were designed with as much emphasis placed on the looks and portability as on the sound.
So if you’re judging by the looks, there isn’t an obvious winner here. They’re both quite attractive, with more than enough color options to satisfy any user.
The Mixr does look a bit more unique, especially with the rotating ear cups, but it by no means presents a grand departure from the signature Beats looks that the Solo 2 has going for it.
Overall, which headphones you’ll find more appealing will boil down to your personal preference, but since they both look simply outstanding, we don’t think this should ever be an issue.
However, the same can’t be said for the build quality. Now, the Mixr is not a flimsy or poorly made headphone, but it isn’t as good compared to the Solo 2, which is the focus of this guide.
The Mixr has some durability going for it, thanks to a few metal parts and the robust-feeling plastic, but it just didn’t impress us. The Solo 2, on the other hand, may look a lot alike, what with the mostly plastic design with a few metal parts, but it definitely feels like the sturdier headphone of the two.
Don’t expect them to be impervious, but it’s also highly unlikely that you could break the Solo 2 unless you really set your mind to it and put in an effort.
Otherwise, they should hold up just fine and handle the everyday wear and tear like a champ. They’re very twisty and bendy, and the headband can handle a 140 degrees angle. Not that it should, but it can.
Now we have to emphasize that the margin in build quality between the two isn’t all that big. Again, the Mixr is by no means a cheap piece of plastic that’ll break if you cast a mean glance at it, but we have to give the slight edge to the Solo 2 as far as durability is concerned.
Still, what really sets them apart is the sound isolation. Both of these headphones only offer passive noise-cancellation, but the Solo 2 is genuinely exceptional in this regard, while the Mixr is only so and so.
This is a huge plus if you like listening to music while outside or are just surrounded by people, as it’ll make sure you aren’t bothering them and they aren’t bothering you.
Of course, if you mostly listen to music in a quiet apartment, then feel free to ignore this entirely should the Mixr’s aesthetic appeal tickle your fancy more.
Although there are better headphones you can get if you plan on using them mostly in your apartment, as we’ve already mentioned, a great deal of effort went into producing both of these headphones to be portable and appropriate for outdoor use. Part of these efforts is the stronger-than-average clamping force with which the Mixr and the Solo 2 grip your head.
If you’re out and about, this is an indispensable and welcome characteristic that’ll help keep these headphones firmly on your head while you walk, jog, or even during your workouts.
However, if you lead a more sedentary lifestyle and you can most often be observed sitting on the couch or in front of a computer with the headphones on, then you’ll definitely appreciate wearing headphones that don’t put as much strain on your ears.
What’s more, the increased clamping force is hardly the only concession that these headphones made in order to be more portable.
The Beats Mixr, for example, feature a rubbery headband that’s good for keeping the headphones locked in place but hardly contributes with anything worthwhile to the comfort department.
The Solo 2 doesn’t fare much better. They both have decent cushioning, but it isn’t enough to make up for everything else.
Again, we have to emphasize that these aren’t design flaws – they’re features, brilliant features, in fact, when we consider what their intended purpose is. If you don’t like how any of this sounds, then you’re probably not looking for portable headphones. And it’s not like they’re painful to wear. On the contrary, in fact!
But you wouldn’t be playing into their strengths if you aren’t planning on taking advantage of their portability, and if you’re not playing into their strengths, then you shouldn’t even buy these particular headphones in the first place.
We should also note that both of these headphones are wired, using the standard 3.5 mm audio cable. This is particularly vital because the Solo 2 headphones also have a wireless variant that costs more and sounds quite different.
We’ve actually done a full review of the Solo 2 Wireless, so check that out if you’re interested.
Now, what we like about both the Mixr and the Solo 2 is that they come with detachable cables. So, if you lose or damage your cable, you can replace it instead of having to purchase a whole new headphone.
This is a welcome feature, and the Mixr takes it a step further by placing ports on both earcups so that you can plug them into whichever one is more convenient. This, in turn, also unlocks the daisy-chaining perk.
The Mixr also comes with more cables and connectivity options than the Solo 2, but most of these aren’t relevant for the average consumer. Still, it’s a nice plus, and having a ¼ adapter around definitely can’t hurt.
All that being said, none of these points are as important as the sound. Now, these are both Beats headphones, so they naturally both have the bass-heavy sound signature, but how do they compare to each other?
First and foremost, it’s essential to mention that both of these headphones were made when the Beats headphones actually got good.
The original Solo headphones may still be one of the most popular headphones ever, but this popularity can be attributed to their marketing strategy more than anything else. Most notably, while they were bass-heavy, the bass on the original Solos was very boomy and muffled.
The Solo 2, however, has a clear bass that doesn’t need to trick you into thinking it’s good by being extremely loud. It has great detail, even at lower volumes. And while the bass is the dominant frequency, the treble is still great here.
As expected, the mids are definitely the leg day the Solo 2 skipped. They’re sacked to make room for the good treble and the great bass, plain and simple. It’s not like the mids are bad either, there’s even some clarity and detail in them, but there’s no denying they’re the weak link here.
So if you’re a fan of music where heavy emphasis is placed on the vocals, then you won’t be doing yourself any favors by opting for the Solo 2. Then again, the Mixr shouldn’t be your first choice for vocals, either.
So if this is the type of music you’re interested in, we highly suggest you forget about Beats entirely and try Audio-Technica headphones – for example, the excellent ATH-MSR7.
But we digress.
So how does the Beats Mixr hold up against what the Solo 2 has to offer? Honestly, it’s not all that different, but it is a bit more extreme.
The bass on the Mixr may very well be the punchiest bass you can get in a headphone at this price. This is unsurprising, seeing how the Mixr was made in collaboration with David Guetta.
It’s got power, but it doesn’t attain it at the expense of detail and richness. That said, there isn’t much else that you’re getting with the Mixr.
The treble is better on the Solo 2, and while the mids may not be worse in a vacuum (and there is clarity to them), they’re even more overshadowed by the immense bass, so chances are you may not even hear the clear vocals properly.
Overall, it’s quite apparent that the Mixr was designed by a DJ and for DJs, so unless you’re part of the ‘bass-head only’ club, we think the Solo 2 sound will appeal to you more.
Overall, both the Mixr and the Solo 2 are great at what they do, and what they do is very similar: offer a great bass-heavy sound in a portable package.
The Mixr has a more powerful bass and connectivity options, while the Solo 2 gives a more rounded listening experience, has better durability, and is slightly more comfortable.
However, the thing that’ll determine how cost-effective each of these headphones is will, of course, be the price.
At the time of their respective launches, the Mixr was more expensive, but it also offered more bang for your buck, with several cables and connectivity options and a more unique design, just to name a few things. The Solo 2, by comparison, felt a good $50 too expensive.
Still, both of these headphones are fairly old at this point and can be found at less than half the original price, so all that’s left for you to do is decide which one adheres to your preferences more strictly.
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