Beats by Dr. Dre has celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Kanye West touting its headphones. Lady Gaga even designs for the brand … ("…Heartbeats by Lady Gaga." MUSIC) And they're being worn by Consumer Reports testers - to be evaluated, that is. They also evaluated headphones from traditional big names like Bose, Sony, and Panasonic. "The models in our tests ranged from about 10 dollars to 350 dollars." They included studio-style headphones, which are good for listening to music at home, and portable ones, which are better on the go. Also tested - noise-canceling and noise-isolating earphones, which block outside noise to varying degrees.

Consumer Reports' audio experts, who've tested hundreds of headphones, say you can't buy by brand. Jim Willcox "Monster's Beats by Dr. Dre headphones have done well in our tests. But one model, the "Solo," which costs about 180 dollars, didn't do as well. In fact it was one of the lowest-rated models we tested." But you don't have to pay for pricier celebrity headphones to get very good audio quality. These studio-style Sony PIIQ headphones are a Best Buy at just 35 dollars. If you prefer a portable set, these Sennheiser headphones are also a Best Buy at 40 dollars. They're model C-X-215. A plus - they reduce outside noise. ."