The Beats Tour 2 are sports earphones with an inline mic and remote. They are the mid-priced model in the company’s range, bookended by the cheaper urBeats and pricier Power Beats 2 Wireless. The Tour 2 earphones are still pretty expensive for what you get though. It’s no secret that when it comes to Beats that a decent chunk of what you pay is for that instantly-recognisable branding and look rather than the build quality. The original Tour model had a number of design flaws, and the company have come out with an updated model. We’ll look at whether they’ve hit the mark this time. The earphones are compatible for use with iOS devices. You can use the earphones with Android devices but you’ll most likely lose functionality of the mic and the volume buttons. If you are instead looking for something more audio focused, check out the Sony XBA-H3 review.
Beats Tour 2 sports features
A number of sports features have been packed into the Tour 2 design. The earphones are water and sweat resistant. The angled earpieces help keep them in place while moving around, and the variety of eartip options (7) also help in this area. The hard-shell carrying case is a great inclusion. It’s large enough to fit the earphones as well as spare wingtips, although it’s not overly bulky. As mentioned Beats can run into durability issues so the case is much appreciated. The earphones also ship with a cable clip.
The Tour 2 are the cheapest earphones from the company that are suitable for sports uses, as the Beats urBeats tend to drop out when jiggled around too much. The Beats PowerBeats 2 are a more expensive sports option. They have over-ear hooks, which are ideal at keeping your earpieces in place. However the hooks can take a bit of getting used to, and can also be a pain if you are wearing glasses. So the Tour 2 is a nice alternative for sports uses.
Thick, tangle-free cable
The Beats Tour 2 have a tangle-free 1.28m symmetrical Y-shaped cable. The cable terminates in an angled 3.5mm jack. The jack is noticeably thinner than the previous model, which makes it a better fit for phone cases. The cable is flat and is fairly thick. It’s certainly thicker than the cable of the urBeats. This, combined with the remote and mic bring the total weight of the model to 20g, so it’s not the lightest sports option around. Some people do prefer weightier sports earphones though as they are less likely to move around. The thicker cable does help with durability but it can’t solve the issue of the connections. They are not very well supported and it can be one of the points which causes breakage.
Three button remote
The three-button remote covers track changes, calls and volume changes for iOS devices. The remote has been updated from the previous model, which had a rectangular shape. It’s now smaller, looks better and is more in line with other Beats products. The mic performs quite well for calls. Beats is owned by Apple so unfortunately there is no dedicated Android version. Beats compatibility with non-iOS devices is hit and miss. You’ll be able to play music through the earphones the volume buttons will not function. The central button and mic might work but this varies from device to device.
Redesigned earpieces deliver the goods
The angled earpieces of the Beats Tour 2 have been redesigned from the earlier model. They are set at a more natural angle and as a result project better into the ear canal which also helps keep them in place. The earpiece is made out of high-quality hard plastic. It has the instantly recognizable Beats ‘b’ design on the outside of the earpiece. The Tour 2 certainly looks great and has all the distinct looks that the Beats line is known for. The available earpiece colours include black, red, blue, neon yellow and grey. Every colour has a contrasting cable colour except grey.
You get seven eartips options with the Tour 2. There are two stock standard eartips and two multi-layered tips. Things get more interesting with the three remaining eartips, which are secure-fit wingtips. The angled earpiece of the Tour 2 stays in your ears quite well already, which isn’t surprising given the amount of eartip options. If you want to use them for high intensity workouts, the wingtips will keep them in your ears without any problems.
All about that bass
If you know anything about Beats, you know they have a highly coloured sound built around heavy bass. The Tour 2 is no exception. They are one of the better-sounding products in the line-up though. They can be played at high volume without distortion. The bass is prominent, particularly the mid-bass. It’s doesn’t get muddy though, and provides greater clarity than the urBeats. With such a large emphasis on bass, it’s not really possible to retain a clear and balanced midrange. The treble is present although it can produce fatigue during long listening sessions. Overall if you enjoy bass-heavy contemporary music, then you may find a lot to like about the sound. Anyone who wants balanced reproduction or who doesn’t spend a lot of time listening to modern popular music will not appreciate the highly tailored sound. It will not flatter older recordings or styles that don’t benefit from extensive bass.
Beats Tour 2 verdict
The Beats Tour 2 will suit listeners of certain styles of modern music and general consumers. You pay a premium to get the Beats branding though and they are anything but balanced audio-wise. Beats remain very popular though so obviously their distinctive response has a number of fans. The Tour 2 looks great and has excellent sports features. The multiple eartips and hardcase are nice inclusions. The earpiece fits well and stays put during normal use. The wingtips can be used to ensure it stays secure during exercise. Despite the price tag, be aware that Beats products have a pretty questionable track record for durability.