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On-Ear item created by cb3723, Aug 28, 2014
Pros - Design, Comfort
Cons - Inline controls dont work for android phones, Isolation is mediocre, Sound needs better clarity
OVERALL: I would say this is a fairly decent headphone but not for its price. Gets a C rating. If you don't care for isolation the Creative Aurvana Live offers better sound for 1/3 of the current price.
DESIGN: I was fairly impressed with the design of the Solo2. It is foldable with a detachable cable and even comes with a small case (Sometimes I find it hard to fit the headphones into the case though). It looks very sleek and simple. My only problem is that the inline controls don't work even though it clearly says it works with android devices. I give it an A here.
ISOLATION: The Solo2 does isolate but its not impressive or anything. C rating.
SOUND: I feel like the Solo2 needs more clarity for its price the isolation and over-ears design does give an intimate feel to the music you are listening to. B- rating
COMFORT: I am not picky with comfort so I usually get along with things fine. Keep in mind, this is an on-ear headphones so the earpads go directly on your ears, not over or around. I think this does well for comfort. B
VALUE: I received it as a gift, but it was over $200 at the time. You would find more clarity in the Creative Aurvana Live (CALs) which I got at amazon for $45. D
Pros - sound quality, comfort, build quality, form factor, portability, subtle styling
Cons - No quarter inch adapter jack provided or microfiber cleaning cloth
Beats, the biggest headphone brand in the world, selling more headphones than any other by a large margin and with a huge 60% market share in it's domestic market in the USA, has largely been the default whipping boy by the audiophile community.....until now.
Why now and what's the deal?
Well, the beats sound signature has been steadily evolving for some time now, you could say beginning from their split from Monster cables whom Beats contracted to manufacture their early models of headphones. Since their split Beats have been continuously improving each successive release and redesign of headphone, notably the new Studio 2.0 or as sometimes referred to Studio 2013, the DJ centric beats mixr, the beats solo HD monochromatic and to their latest and some are calling their greatest sounding headphone to date, the solo2.
The solo2 had already been released for a couple of months with likes of myself and HiFiGuy528 giving them deserved praise, largely met by the Head-Fi community with the usual scepticism and the dreaded loud but seemingly proud - beats haters!.
All this changed overnight though when a true legend of audio reviews and measurements released his review of the solo2, namely Tyll Hertsens and BOOM! what an explosive review it is, titled "Time to Rethink Beats, the Solo2 is Excellent" http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/time-rethink-beats-solo2-excellent which Tyll followed up with his YouTube review, found here on Head-Fi with full transcript.
What you get for your monies
Pretty straight forward really, the headphones (of course), a, as Tyll called it "handy dandy" carry zipper carry pouch, audio cable, warranty documents, usual beats logo sticker and thats it.
Opening a pair of beats headphones, I've gotta say is second to none - the presentation is superb and the box it comes in is definitely a keeper that can be used for storing your solo2's in for more added protection, though not for carrying around with you on the move.
Build & Form
The solo2 is pretty much all plastic with metal re-enforcing on the headband and folding arm brackets, and though plastic, it's high grade stuff used, finished off with a very nice high gloss finish which on darker colours like black and navy blue, can be a fingerprint magnet, the lighter colours not so much. The earpads are nice and soft, finished in a very nice synthetic leather and the inner headband has a moderate amount of padding, but very comfortable and lightweight on wearing. Clamping force on the solo2 is noticeably stronger than it's previous model the solo HD monochromatic (drenched in colour), which IMO gives the prior model a slightly more comfortable fit, but at the expense of isolation ie music leaking out, where this gain in clamping force combined with larger earpads on the solo2 improves isolation and is a very well thought out slight compromise on comfort that I think pays off. These headphones are bigger in size than it's predecessor but still small enough and when folded make for superb portable, on the go headphones for sure. The 3.5mm jack terminated cable has a three button remote with speaker for phone calls, designed for Apple IOS devices, I'm unsure of what features work with Android devices. Cable is colour matched to the headphones and is tangle free type, feels very high quality and jack which connects to your source device is of L shape design and features metal logo finishing.
The most notable change of form is it's now virtual exact copy of the Studio 2.0 only smaller, which IMO is a big step up in this headphones robustness, but unlike the Studio 2.0 which requires it's built in rechargeable via USB battery to power it's ANC feature, the solo2 does not have such - to it's benefit, as your solo2 will run for as long as your source device has juice, and though the Studio 2.0's ANC is ok - IMO it's a feature that would have benefited from being left off than added...
Here's a copy of a post I made regarding all the different colours of beats solo2
Spoiler: Warning: Spoiler!
Hmmm....well colour choice is about as personal as it gets - there's really no right or wrong choices I guess.
But here's my takedown of the colour crown
solo2 colour review (glossy)
Black - sophisticated and suave , elegant and subtle - though the maverick of the (current) solo2 pack as it's the only one with red "b" logo compared to the others silver reflective silver "b" on each outer earcup.
Red - no surprises here for my opinion on this colour - flamboyant , fun, vibrant and attracts attention. People will see you coming with these on from miles away.
"Hey, check out my new Dre" is WTF red solo2's gotta say
White - the polar opposite of black but equal in sophistication and subtlety - won't show up fingerprints like the black glossy finish fingerprint magnet.
Grey - beats for the hipsters who no longer can resist the lure of the mighty beats. Probs claim they are sporting their grey beats as an anti-beats reverse psychology statement when in reality - they lovin em, in an avant garde way but hey, like 2pac would say "that's just the way it is" and "things will never be the same" and " ahh yeah".
Pink - brings all the laaddiieeess boys to the yard, this candy pink can is not just for the female solo2 fan but also any cool cat metrosexual that is fashion cool intellectual and confident enough to beats solo2 without lookin ruff.
Navy Blue - for the Brofist few who dig same shade of blue of Cap.America and his Avengers crew, similar to Superman too.
solo2 colour review (matt)
Matt white - currently only available as an Apple exclusive, the matt white solo2 is so bright like beats future - you gotta wear shades.
Think of Medusa's head only rather of turning you stone dead it will glare you out instead.
The matt finish on this can is the same as it's predecessor - the solo HD monochromatic, only it's pushed things further from what I see in that even the "b" logo on outer each earcup is bright white too and is like an unofficial Studio 2.0 snarkitecture special edition, which has that can all brilliant white complete with a marble pillow storage/headphone stand.
solo2 matt bright white makes the glossy white equivalent look light grey.
Beats solo2 Invasion - lol
Here's another track I'm recommending for the solo2
Go Euphoric with your solo2's!
THRO YO HANDS UP SOLO2 PARTY CREW!
My first impressions on the day of solo2's official UK Release (solo2 in grey colour was first colour of this can I picked up, followed by red, navy blue & black )
This is by far the most "neutral" sounding beats headphone to date, but is still by no means a genuinely neutral sound signature.
The bass on the solo2 is tight, punchy and controlled yet maintains its presence without alienating beats core fans, you could say this is a true blue audiophile beats headphone for sure and I've already recommended it to folks who are interested in the ULTRASONE Signature DJ which is a remarkably refined audiophile basshead headphone that's possibly peerless in its class. For those with an eye on the Signature DJ but who's budget doesn't quite stretch that far, the beats solo2 is a very credible and worthy cheaper alternative at approx a third less of the Sig DJ.
The mids and a highs are forward in my view but crisp and detailed with decent soundstage for a portable closed back headphone, highs are smooth and not harsh at all.
Which genres of music is good for the solo2 - with maybe the exception of classical - this headcan is good to go on everything - truly a headphone for all the people.
The solo2 also responds very well to EQ and upscales with amplification, yet nonetheless sounds amazing just plugged in directly to your source, be it iPod, iPad, smartphone etc.
This is a fun but refined sound I've heard very little from elsewhere and puts the solo2 in a very distinguished category IMO, regardless of brand, these are truly a revelation and something I think many will very much appreciate.
So what's the big deal?
Well, the big deal is pretty much as Mr.Hertsens remarked in his solo2 review - the solo2 headphone is likely to be the worlds most sold and therefore used headphone bar none - especially when you consider that Apple now own the beats brand and sell in every nook and cranny on the globe - they have an amazing market coverage, so this is the headphone that is going to deliver very high, if not audiophile quality sound to the masses - just think about the significance of that for a second.....
If there is such a thing as a gateway drug, then beats is then headphone equivalent - it was for me anyway - beats are what got me into this hobby and opened my eyes and ears to so much and it's beats that led me to head-fi and I can only but imagine the solo2 is going to do the same - only a million fold - so please greet the new breed of head-fiers that are on their way by the droves. Beats hating should now truly be over and welcomed as a credible audio brand like the rest we love and enjoy here on head-fi.
Is solo2 a one trick pony?
Not IMO - the solo2 may well be the straw that broke the camels back but there have been many more than credible headphones from beats to the lead up to the solo2, namely the Studio 2.0, Studio 2.0 wireless, mixr and solo HD monochromatic.
The beats sound has been evolving unnoticed by but a few on Head-Fi for quite some time now, outside of the legend that is HiFiGuy528, another first in this turnaround of perceptions was part time audiophile aka Scot Hull with his take on the Studio 2.0 here in his YT review.
If you imagine beats and haters in a bar brawl fight, there would be the beats appreciators in the minority against a majority of the most vicious in some cases, pack of beats hater wolves, the fight almost a war of attrition, when all of a sudden out of nowhere a mighty sucker punch comes out of the blue and sucker punches the wolves with one clean uppercut that is so profound, it's majestic in its delivery - SMACK! right on the haters chin......as the dust clears the owner of the sucker punch is revealed....Mr.Tyll Hertsens armed with his solo2 review that has the power to make people sit up and take note...
Legendary reviewers that aren't afraid to tell it as it is no matter how unpopular it may seem
All 3 of above reviewers are also members here at Head-Fi
I recommend the solo2 to any and everybody that care about sound - so that's pretty much the entire Head-Fi community, with the caveat that this is not a neutral headphone but can be credibly considered as a basshead audiophile headphone of distinction as it is highly refined in sonics.
The solo2 is also a great portable on the move headphone that folds into a much smaller for for storage and is available in a range of colours to suit individual tastes.
Beats, if you will, has finally arrived....
Also very worth mentioning regarding the red colour solo2's
Beats by Dr. Dre contributes a portion from the purchase price of every Beats by Dre (PRODUCT)RED Solo2 Headphones to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.
I'm sure other headphone brands do similar contributions to worthwhile causes, but it's worth noting that beats have been doing this for sometime now, something that many of the beats haters seemed to miss
Recommended tracks for the solo2
Dr Dre feat. Eminem - "Forgot about Dre"
Prophetic Lyrics 4 sure
("Ya'll know me still the same OG
But I been low key
Hated on by most these
you'd better bow down on both knees")
For bass impact - mids and vocals
The White Stripes - "Seven Nation Army"
LL Cool J - "Mamma said knock you out"
"Don't call it a come back, I've been here for years"
Skrillex "Punch" - "First of the Year"
WARNING! The immensity of track + video listened with solo2 cans may reduce some to tears as they behold a new definition of Epic video made from film "Sucker Punch" which is equally - Epic "CALL 911 NOW!" :eek:
For bass impact and male vocals
v For female vocals v
v And last but not least - rec'd for...everything - open up your solo2's fully & drop the Ragga Bomb v
From NWA to Beats by Dr Dre - The American dream done the right way.
Ask yourself - the beats solo2 - TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?
Side Note: Are you into BASS?
Then check out the biggest & best bass thread on Head-Fi & the world -
The Extreme Bass Club
It's time to believe the hype.....