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Monster Beats Solo - Sound Quality and Verdict

By Hugo Jobling



Our Score:


Sadly despite the quality on the design front, the Beats have a serious problem with their audio reproduction, which left various staffers with impressions from underwhelming to 'the worst headphones I have ever heard.' Considering some of the good things we've heard about Monster audio products, and the £130 price tag on the Solos, we were understandably disappointed.

The problem is the overwhelming bass response of the Solos, and when we say overwhelming we don't just mean strong. Unless you listen to music with a very anaemic low-end, or adjust your player's equalizer to compensate, bass lines throb over every other facet of the Solos' output. In the Solos' limited defence, there's a good level of detail in this powerful low-end, and it has a warm enveloping texture to it, but with all but the most limited selection of music it's so enveloping as to be suffocating.

This is a shame because when there's plenty of detail hidden in the mid and high end when not being trampled on by the bass. In intros to songs we frequently found ourselves wondering whether we weren't being too harsh to the Solos, as the reproduction had real clarity, but then came the bass to ruin the reproduction. From Dr Dre's I Need a Doctor through Muse's Space Dementia to Wagner's Die Walkure it was the same story.

We can't help but point out that the less attractively named Fanny Wang On-Ear Wang headphones do a much better job of targeting the bassy, but still detailed style that the Beats Solos are aiming for. It's also worth noting that the Beat's Solos seem to need a lot of power, as our resident iPod nano wasn't able to supply much volume (although ironically this was almost an improvement as it helped de-bass the tone a little) .


After listening to the Skullcandy Aviator's, we weren't expecting that any fashion headphone could have a greater low-end bias, but the Monster Beats Solos manage it. Monster's headphones redeem themselves somewhat with their design and build quality, but not enough to justify the asking price.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design & Features 8
  • Sound Quality 5
  • Value 5


April 21, 2011, 12:02 am

My friend had these pair of headphones. He's broken the headband twice. I've heard many other people breaking them. They are not durable.

John Tinnerman

July 7, 2011, 3:10 am

Its funny you mention Fanny Wang as "knock offs" in the review. If you check other reviews (or check them out for yourself), Fanny Wang actually makes much better quality headphones for almost half the price as the Beats. I got a pair of Fanny Wang On Ear Wangs for myself after listening to them next to the Beats. The Wangs have far better sound quality, the bass is nice and strong but the mids and highs are crystal clear as well. With the Beats, the bass is way too strong and overpowers all other aspects of the music.


January 23, 2012, 6:03 pm

Right you are, which is why we gave them 8/10. http://www.trustedreviews.c...


March 9, 2012, 8:44 pm

There great. i have the red ones. they have great quality and sound.


February 7, 2013, 12:24 am

these headphones are simply grossly over priced, over hyped and over rated. They don't perform as well as the average 15 quid set of headphones......the only thing good about them is the marketing....fashion accessory with no sound quality

Amanda Bee

March 9, 2014, 2:08 am

Maybe I don't know a lot about headphones but I just bought a pair of beats solo and I really like them! I think the sound quality is good and I like the strong bass, personally. They do leak some sound but who cares if you're the one listening to it? As long as you aren't on a city bus no one would mind. However, I do agree they're over priced. I bought them for $220. They could be $150, no more than $200.

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