The 808 headphones fit over the ear. The build quality is quite good, not quite up to Beats Solo or Studio quality. The 808 makes use of more plastic than the Beats headphones do; this is good and bad. It’s good as they are nice and light, bad because they don’t quite convey the same premium experience. The over-the-ear style isolates the ear from outside noises. These are not noise cancelling headphones, but do isolate you from outside noises as well as the Beats Solos. In addition, my daughter mentioned that the over-the-ear design of the 808’s was more comfortable than the Beats Solo for her as the Beats put pressure on her ear rings, but the 808’s did not.
Sound quality was fine; again, not quite up to Beats Solo or Studio performance, but highs were nicely formed. Deep bass response was a little muddled compared to the Beats headphones. At higher levels, the sound distorted slightly, something that the Beats Solos do not do, but at normal volume levels, performance is acceptable.
The 808’s come with a flat cable and a traditional cable. The flat cable has a mute/pause/play button and a microphone, meaning that I could use these to listen to music and still be able to take phone calls. The cable button worked fine on my Samsung Galaxy S3 and my wife’s Apple iPhone5, in addition to the iPad, Surface With Windows RT, iPod, and Nokia Lumia 822 Windows Phone that we have in the house.
The styling of the 808’s are a little more conservative compared with the Beats Solo cans that we have. Style is a matter of personal preference, but these headphones look very nice and professional. They come in matte black, gloss black (the color that I was provided) and gloss white. The Beats are also available in multiple fun colors, but the offering in the 808 line is perfectly acceptable.
Voxx also included a really nice cloth carrying case to store the headphones and cables in. The package is marginally larger than the Beats Solos, but not enough to preclude you from tossing it into your briefcase for a trip.
The Acoustic Research 808 headphones are not quite as nice as the Beats Solo product. However, the 808 is 50% of the price. The Acoustic Research 808 is a nice set of quality headphones that fit over the ear and work with all of your mobile devices. Considering the price of $89.99, these are a good value play and should be on your radar screen if you are in the market for nice premium over-the-ear headphones. I give these a 4/5 Silver Award; check them out at the Acoustic Research online store today.
Check out some of my product picture here.