MHBTSIEDYBKCT_129493_GLAM3WHAT: Diddybeats High Performance In-Ear Headphones

PRICE: $179; at Best Buy for $149.

FUN FACT: If you buy them now, you get a ticket to download Dirty Money's single, "Hello, Good Morning." What an incentive.

HERE'S THE DEAL: Well, we can't say we didn't see this coming. Monster Cable's Beats By Dr. Dre headphones have been a runaway success for the high-end audio company, appearing in music videos as often as Nuvo liquor and Apple iPhones. Marketing aside, though, the reason they've sold so well is because they are damn good. Looking to capitalize on this market Diddy (another Interscope artist—are we seeing a trend here?) has partnered with Monster to create his own: the Diddybeats. Labeled as high-performance in-ear headphones, the Diddybeats do provide a premium listening experience—nice, even sound with a finish that seems expensive. But are they really worth it? Yes and no...

Cool design: Using aluminum, leather, and an interesting cone shape, Diddybeats present a clean and stylish case for the earbud. They're not overly flashy like the Dr. Dre or Lady Gaga models. If you're on your "all-black everything" kick, these are for you.

Good bass: Monster Cable made a big fuss over the bass the Diddybeats delivered, and for good reason. While not the deepest, it's level and accurate.

Great clarity: While the bass may not knock as much as our similarly priced headphones, they are as clear, or clearer than most we've tested. You know those odd little sounds that don't come across on most headphones? You can hear it all.

Lightweight: The aluminum and leather strip give it a high-end feel, but they're not as heavy as they look. You can rock the Diddybeats for a long time—cross-country flights, long train rides—without your ear feeling dogged down.

Perfect for iPhones and BlackBerrys: We wish all headphones had a feature like Monster's ControlTalk remote control/speaker. You can use the remote to pause music to take phone calls and adjust the volume. It doesn't seem like something that would be integral to your usage, but we don't want to use headphones without something similar.

Durability: We're not sure what patents they have on the cables, but they're very durable. Unless you take a scissors to them, you can be sure they won't rip or strip. Monster guarantees you can beat on its earbuds and they don't break. These are no different. Granted, we used a rubber mallet, but they still survived.


Pricey: At $150, they're a bit expensive. Yes, they sound great, but our other favorite headphones, the Klipsch Image S4s, sound very similar and cost a grip less.

Cable can be painful: This may be a personal gripe, but we found the flat, fettuccine-like cables became slightly uncomfortable when they settled on our ear.

SUMMARY: As we've said, you want premium sound, you need to pay a premium. When it comes to premium sound, Monster is a leader, and the Diddybeats carry on that tradition. Sure, you can cop cheaper headphones like the Image S4s that sound very similar. But if style and design are big on your list of must haves for your gadgetry, we think the price is right on. You won't find many other headphones, especially in-ear headphones, as stylish as these.