At a Glance
The Beats headphone is one of the more 'divisive' brands in the market today. Some call it an excellent addition to the market, while some claim it as an overpriced marketing fad.
One thing is for sure though, the Beats brand has made its mark in the headphone arena, and its competitors took notice of its growing popularity.
In this review, we will be taking a look at Beats Solo 2. This is one of the more stylish iterations of this headphone and undoubtedly stands on its own in this regard.
However, how does it stack up on other factors like sound quality? Is it worth the price of admission? Let us find out.
- Durable and comfortable leather earpads.
When it comes to design, Beats is known to deliver a versatile selection with its handful of color variants.
The first thing you will notice is how the shell casing features a glossy finish. Fortunately, the headphone is not a fingerprint magnet as you would initially think.
We do recommend that you have a microfiber cloth on hand if you wish to have it in pristine appearance at all times. We also liked how the design of the headphone is streamlined and smooth.
If you have been following this brand, then you will notice how the Solo 2 takes cues from the Solo HD with its overall design.
You can take this as a positive or negative, depending on how much you liked the minimalist look of the Beats Solo HD from 2014.
This headphone is primarily made of hard plastic and features a fold-up mechanism for added portability.
Of course, this is not just a repeat of the Solo HD's design. You will notice that the Beats Solo 2 has a far sleeker appearance and is lighter than its predecessors; good news for those who felt Beat's headphones were too cumbersome.
The foldable design, along with its lighter and sleeker frame, also makes the Solo 2 considerably more portable and more comfortable to stash when you’re out and about in the city.
We also noticed the slight tweak in the design of the earpads, which allows for better seal around the ears. This gives it better sound isolation than previous models, in our opinion.
The headband features rubber covers instead of the leather which provides almost similar comfort.
Keyword being "almost". For a headband in this price range, you would expect that it uses high-quality leather with its padding.
The band also provides adequate rigidity and feels snug when worn and will give decent stability when worn.
One downside we found with this extra snug fit is that people with glasses will find it uncomfortable.
Some people also prefer their headphones not to feel too tight around their heads. If you are one of these people, we suggest you try out the Solo 2 first.
Controls are relatively rudimentary with Solo 2. You have the typical three-button control layout.
However, an important side note here is that this control scheme might differ depending on the device you have connected the headphone with.
For example, those who have an Android device will notice that only the middle button works. Beats Solo 2, paired with an Android device, will incorporate the one-button click control.
Those with iOS devices will be able to take full advantage of all three buttons as it is originally designed.
Using these headphones for answering calls provides decent mic clarity and audio.
Although this is not the type of headphone, you will use it for making important calls as it is rough around the edges compared to other headphones or headsets.
In regards to comfort, the Beats Solo 2 might not meet everyone's standards. As we have noted earlier, the Beats Solo 2 provides quite a snug fit.
While this adds extra levels of stability and security when worn, it can also lead to some discomfort.
As a person who wears glasses myself, I found myself taking a break from using Beats Solo 2 barely an hour in as the pads press my ears towards the specs of my glasses a bit too much.
That being said, the lightweight nature of the headphones is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
This is where the line is drawn when it comes to Beats headphones. A good percent of consumers will agree that Beat's headphones fall considerably short in this department, which is why audiophiles often ignore it.
That being said, Beats has made some strides towards the right direction over the years. If you compare Beats Solo 2 to the first Beats headphone, you will notice a handful of upgrades and improvements both in design and performance.
Beats headphones built a reputation for delivering robust bass-heavy audio quality and that characteristic is present in the Solo 2, but not as prominent as you would think.
It appears that the manufacturer has decided to dial the overpowering bass and lean towards delivering a more balanced listening experience.
Again, this is another step in the right direction for the brand. Booming bass sounds awesome in some musical genres, but not in others.
By targeting a more balanced audio quality, Solo 2 instantly enhances its overall versatility and range.
Don't get me wrong, the Beats Solo 2's strong point still lies in delivering powerful bass, but it is not as overwhelming as before.
While the bass was undoubtedly pulled back, the midrange frequencies were boosted, albeit only slightly.
There is still some rough delivery though depending on which spectrum the mids lean towards, specifically the upper-mids.
This is also where the shortcomings stem from the Solo 2. While high-end detail was adequately represented, there are instances where a noticeable dip is experienced, and it feels as if the highest range frequencies were held back to balance everything else.
As for the soundstage, the Beats Solo 2 delivered a relatively open audio quality.
It avoided sounding like you are in an echo chamber and focused on delivering an impressive frequency range on the lower scale.
Describing the Solo 2's sound quality can be summed up as "enthusiastic", similar to what the previous Beats headphone models delivered but with a more conservative approach to the bass delivery.
The earpads also form an excellent seal around your ears which effectively eliminates sound leakage.
You don't need to worry about disturbing the person right beside you when you crank up the volume during your favorite tunes. The Beats Solo 2 does not have any active noise cancellation feature though, keep that in mind.
Since the Beats Solo 2 comes with wireless functionality, battery life will be one of the most crucial aspects to learn.
In this category, the Beats Solo 2 does a pretty decent job with its 12-hour battery life.
This is a pretty good number overall. While some wireless headphones clock in more hours than that, these are the ones that you describe as being on the upper echelon of the rankings and price.
The 12-hour battery life will probably last you a couple of days to a full week if you primarily wear headphones during your daily commute.
Fortunately, you can plug in the cable during instances wherein your Solo 2 is running out of battery.
As for charging the Beats Solo 2, you can expect it to top off within just a couple of hours.
You charge the Solo 2 using a micro USB cable so charging it is relatively easy to do as you will have access to a bunch of power outlets around you nowadays.
The Final Verdict
Overall, the Beats Solo 2 would fit nicely with casual music lovers that include style in their purchasing decisions.
While the Beats Solo 2 headphones perform quite well across the board, with its price tag, you would expect more than what it manages to deliver.
The Beats headphones are also quite accessible to those who enjoy booming bass in their listening experience.
While the Solo 2 did dial this aspect down, it still delivers some ear thumping listening experience that will please its target audience.