I'm only partly joking. Total newb here - and I'm sure you get tired of these types of threads.
Have done quite a bit of reading here as well as some other related websites in the past week and am waffling between feeling like I'm reaching a decent conclusion, and being thoroughly confused.
Short story is I'm Christmas shopping for my early teen girls (2 of them) who of course want....yes you guessed it - Beats Solo HD headphones.
Without even knowing anything, I assumed there would be better quality choices at or below the price point of the Solo HD, and reading here my suspicions were quickly confirmed.
However, I do understand that they want something fashionable that also sounds "awesome".
At this point I think I'm leaning toward the V-Moda M-80. Looks like I can get them online for about $150 which is where I'd really like my limit to be, and the reviews are generally very positive. Plus I think they will satisfy my girls in terms of being fashionable - especially if I tell them they can replace the ear plates with a custom design in the future if they want.
But I've waffled so many times in the past week - so much to read, understand, and weigh in this decision. THe only local place I can test any headphones is Best Buy. Tried the Sol Republic and they liked the sound but didn't care for the styling.
Other options I've been weighing:
Noontec Zoro (they might see them as Solo knock-offs and not like that).
JVC HA-S400 (after reading a thread here).
Most of their listening will be on their iPod Touch (4th gen), primarily current pop and hip-hop type stuff. They do listen to some show tunes since they are both involved in theater, and one of them loves Elton John.
Will the M-80 sounds as "awesome" to their teen girl ears as the Solo HD? If so, they'll be happy with the look I think.