Hot on the heels of the announcement that Apple is buying Beats, the company has announced the brand new Beats Solo2 on-ear headphones, the latest in the Beats by Dr. Dre line. Touting a newly-refreshed physical design alongside improved sound quality, Beats Electronics says that the new Solo2 model will offer “a wider range of sound and enhanced clarity.” It's a good thing, too, as many have complained about the Beats by Dr. Dre line having bass-heavy sound that loses the highs and mids.
If wearing previous models of Beats headphones was something you found to be a chore, you should know that the Beats Solo2 has also been redesigned with a new look that's said to also be more comfortable thanks to better weight distribution and a memory foam-like material in the larger ear cups that should make them feel cooler and put less of a hard squeeze on your ear lobes.
You can pick up the new Beats Solo2 now. They're available in pink, grey, white, blue, and red for $199.
Read More | Beats Solo2 Heaadphones
After weeks of rumors, it's now official: Apple has announced it is purchasing Beats Electronics for the cost of $3 billion. This makes it the largest purchase in Apple's entire history, and obviously the biggest public decision made by Tim Cook since he stepped in as CEO.
"Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”
“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special."
Beats Electronics is the make of the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones and music accessories, and also the Beats Music subscription service that competes with other offerings from companies like Rdio, Spotify, Rhapsody, and the like.
Apple is purportedly set to make its biggest acquisition in the history of the company, as The Financial Times is reporting that it is about to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. What would Apple get out of Beats Audio? Well, for starters, there's the Beats Music subscription platform, which allows customers to listen to on-demand music along with curated mood-based playlists. That would be a great complement to iTunes Radio, which doesn't allow users to put songs on repeat, and limits skip functionality. Additionally, Beats is likely most known for its iconic Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line. Apple would become owner of the audio hardware in the case of an acquisition, and could even use the Beats Audio sound profile in future iOS devices (similar to what HTC did in its phones when it was a stakeholder in Beats Audio a couple of years ago.)
Apple and Beats Electronics are both keeping silent for now, but if the deal does go through, it's large enough that an official announcement will be made by both companies.
Sure, we've given you a list of our top 10 most popular stories of 2013, but we figured we'd go a bit more broad than that. We also thought it would be interesting to give you a look at the top ten most read stories on this site this year, period, regardless of what year they were posted. We must say, we're just as surprised as you are at what did (and didn't) make the list! For example, you guys seem to really like Apple. Here we go:
- Sleeptracker Watch review: This one focuses on a watch that tracks your sleep data and aims to wake you up when you are in your lightest phase of sleep. The result is that you wake up feeling more rested, and more refreshed.
- Flash on iPhone is just around the corner: This five-year-old article made it's way back after being linked to by John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Since then we've learned that just because it's in testing behind closed doors, doesn't mean that it's going to make it's way to public release. Also, John, why couldn't you have linked to when we broke what was the biggest Apple software leak of the decade?
- Mod your Xbox without a mod chip: This is an all-time favorite of our readers. It dropped out of the top 10 last year, but has reappeared for 2013.
- Apparently that Xbox 360 Red Ring of Doom issue hasn't been fixed
- OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 3 now available
- How To Mod Your iPhone on Windows Using iBrickr
- Apple releases iOS 7 beta 2 with iPad support: iOS 7 beta 1 supported the iPhone and iPod touch only. When beta 2 arrived with iPad support, many were excited.
- TiVo out-of-home remote streaming arrives on Roamio Plus, Roamio Pro DVRs: We'd been waiting for this feature for a long, long time, and it is finally here.
- Exclusive details on the next Nike+ FuelBand: We got exclusive details on the new Nike+ FuelBand months before its release.
- iPhone 5s review: Our review of Apple's flagship smartphone for 2013.
We've also compiled a list of the stories that have dropped out of the top ten between 2012 and 2013, which you can check out after the jump, and don't miss the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013 either!
2012 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, and it's dominated by smartphones and tablets, with the exception of two Monster headphones, a look at the Boeing 787, and a USB 3.0 hard drive.
Sure, we've given you a list of our top 10 most popular stories of 2012, but we figured we'd go a bit more broad than that. We also thought it would be interesting to give you a look at the top ten most read stories on this site this year, period, regardless of what year they were posted. We must say, we're just as surprised as you are at what did (and didn't) make the list! For example, you guys seem to really like Monster's Beats by Dr. Dre audio line. Here we go:
- ColorWare now offering custom-painted Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones
- White iPhone 4 vs. black iPhone 4 comparison
- iPhone 3G vs iPod touch 2G in pictures: Odd that an image gallery featuring the iPhone and iPod touch from two years ago made our top ten list, but there it is!
- Exclusive: Pink Beats by Dr. Dre Charles Hamilton customs
- Limited Edition white Beats by Dr. Dre headphones hands-on: You can't deny that Monster has a hit on their hands with the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones.
- iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. Original iPhone in pictures
- iPhone 5: White & SIlver or Black & Slate? (gallery)
- iPhone 5 White & Silver unboxing gallery
- Bleeding Edge TV 190: How to Replace Your iPhone Battery
- iPod touch picks up 4-inch display, better cameras, new colors, and Siri
Any surprises? We've also compiled a list of the stories that have dropped out of the top ten between 2010 and 2011, which you can check out after the jump, and don't miss the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2012 either!
We've been busy posting some of the tech-heavy Black Friday 2012 sales that we're finding, and now we've arrived at Target. Doors at Target will open at 9:00pm on Thanksgiving, but you can get a ton of deals online, which is always our preferred method of beating the crowds. We've got the full list of the more noteworthy items the break, and it's definitely worth taking a look. Can't wait a day or two? Target is also running a Beat the Rush sale right now!
It's not just the Beats Executive on-ear headphones that are new from Beats Audio, as the company has also released it's own portable Bluetooth speaker: the Beats Pill. Yes, it's a pill-shaped speaker, likely a play on the fact that it's part of the Beats by Dr. Dre line, and doctors prescribe pills. Anyhow, cheesy concept aside, the Pill brings 12 watts of power across four 1-inch drivers into it's contoured frame, made up of metal grilles and soft-touch plastic. The rechargeable battery can pump out up to 7.5 hours of tunes, and offers NFC support for easy pairing with Bluetooth devices that support the standard (including the upcoming Lumia 920, HTC devices, and all Android Jelly Bean NFC smartphones--the iPhone doesn't have NFC support at this time.) A microphone is also built-in, allowing the Pill to also work as a speakerphone, and a physical audio input lets you connect devices that don't support Bluetooth as well. You can pick up the Pill Bluetooth speaker for $200.
Read More | Beats Pill
Beats Audio has introduced a new model in the head-bumping Beats by Dr. Dre lineup: Beats Executive. These headphones have noise canceling technology built-in and are available today for the tune of $299.95. In addition, the materials used are far superior compared to the popular Beats Studio and Beats Solo models, which are mostly comprised of plastic. Instead, these are made from brushed aluminum and stainless steel, and the ear cups are said to be hand stitched during manufacturing. The Beats Executive feature noise cancellation that's powered by two AAA batteries, which should last for about 25 hours of usage before you need to swap in a fresh pair. You can pick these up now for $300.
Read More | Beats Audio
The rumors have been swirling for months, and now it's official--Beats Electronics has acquired MOG. Beats Electronics is the force behind the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line and the Beats Audio profile, while MOG is a fledgling streaming music service that, while popular, has been in an uphill battle against services like Spotify, Rdio, and Rhapsody. The purchase means that Beats Electronics now has an end-to-end solution, controling both the hardware for listening to music, and the service to consume it as well.
Read More | USA Today