Beats Solo - Sound Quality and Verdict

Score

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  • Page 1Beats Solo
  • Page 2 Sound Quality and Verdict

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) .

Verdict

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.

Score in detail

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

Features

Type On Ear (Supra-aural)
Noise Cancelling No
Microphone Yes
Inline Volume Yes
Number of Drivers (Times) 2x
Modular Cabling Yes
Remote Control Yes
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