Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014
Digital Life
 
Audio

Beats By Dr Dre Solo2: Looks hip and sound hop

Published on Jul 17, 2014 3:33 PM
 
Beats By Dr Dre Solo2

Solo2 are the first headphones Beats Electronics have released since the company was acquired by Apple for US$3 billion (S$3.75 billion).

The original Solo was a top seller because of its trendy good looks, but critics panned it as overpriced and over-heavy on bass, and criticised its audio quality.

The Solo2 retains much of the original's good looks and smooth curves, with no visible screws to disrupt the streamlined aesthetic.

I think Solo2 looks better than the original and will certainly attract admiring stares from onlookers. The review unit comes in white but the model is also available in blue, pink, grey, black and red.

Unlike the metal construction of the original, Beats has opted for a plastic build here. But the glossy plastic does not feel cheap. In fact, the build somehow feels sturdier and more solid than the original.

Yet, the Solo2 can be folded into a compact neoprene carrying case that is included along with a carabiner. This allows you to carry it in your bag without worrying that it will be scratched.

Solo2 comes with a thick audio cable (matching the headphones) that plugs into a standard 3.5mm headphone socket on the left earcup. It has a three-button remote for iOS devices.

The cushioned earcups cuddle your ears nicely providing great comfort and superb sound isolation.

I heard nothing but music from my media player (medium volume), when I wore the Solo2 on MRT trains and in shopping malls.

On the downside, the fit of the headband is really tight and it may need some breaking-in before it gets comfortable. In addition, while the earcups are comfortable, my ears did feel sweaty after several hours.

Overall, Solo2's audio quality is a big improvement over the original with far more balanced audio output.

While its bass is still strong and evident even at low volume, it is not so overbearing that it muddles the mid-range and treble.

In fact, the treble is clearer and smoother with good fidelity. However, the mid-range sounds a bit flat and could do with more details and texture.

Listening to a variety of music genres, I think the Solo2 best suits those who listen more to techno and hip-hop (no surprises here). Country, pop and rock songs sound great on Solo2 too. But with classical music when you want to hear every instrument, the lack of details in the mid-range is evident.

If the Solo2 was priced at $200, I would recommend it unreservedly. But at $310, there are better headphones in the market for the same price, albeit not as stylish and good looking.

  • If hip-hop is your style and you like to look hip, the Beats By Dr Dre Solo2 will be worth the premium.

trevtan@sph.com.sg

This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on July 16, 2014.

Background story

TECH SPECS

Price: $310

Weight: 205g

RATING

Design 4/5

Performance 4/5

Value for money 3/5

Overall 4/5