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REVIEW / Beats by Dr. Dre Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD

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Tristan François Published on September 15, 2010
Updated on December 23, 2013
Translated by Jack Sims

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Headphone Type Closed
  • Speaker Dynamic
  • Cable Length 1.2 m
  • Weight 186 g
Monster's commercial success with the Beats by Dr. Dre brand continues with a new set of headphones, the Solo HDs, designed for use with your iPhone.

Design and build: comfortable and nicely thought out

There's not much to reproach the Solo HDs for here. This set is very well assembled and the materials used are of great quality. Foldable, they slip into a semi-supple neoprene case, which protects them very well and is relatively compact given the size of the product.

There's a microphone on the cable with hands-free calling. Although it is detachable, it's a shame that no other cable, standard and/or long, is supplied (see inset).

On your head, even after a few hours usage, you'll easily forget you're wearing the Solo HDs, thanks to the very supple foam and soft imitation leather.

Audio: a real lack of balance

Fairly simple to describe: bass too far forward, low-notes too dominant and lacking precision, veiled mediums and neutral high-end. As you can see, no masterpiece in terms of accuracy.

When you're listening it's very noticeable. On some pieces, you wonder what's happened to the high end. Sometimes you have the impression that there's a veil between the source and your ears. The Solo HD only does alright on big rhythmic hip-hop and techno sounds, as long as you're not too worried about the rest of the sound.

In terms of sharpness and precision then, we're far from the perfect solution. Thankfully, with good contact between the heaphones and your ears, the sound is well-insulated and this improves listening.

Once again, Monster has given us a set typical of the Beats by Dr. Dre range - excellent looking but with doubtful sound quality. The rest of the Monster range (the Turbines, Miles Davis and so on) prove however that Monster are competent.
Reserved for iPhone users
Hard luck if you like the look of the Solo HDs but you don't have an iPhone!

The connector specific to Apple won't give a good connection with standard mini-jack sockets. If you do persist and try to use it, the sound will be thin, veiled and weak and you'll only hear it very faintly in one of your ears.

It's a shame however, with the detachable cable, that Monster aren't offering a second standard cable automatically. It wouldn't have cost much more.

PROS

  • Impecable finish, high-quality materials
  • Extremely comfortable, practical for carrying around

CONS

  • Unbalanced sound, too random
  • Bass sounds too far forward and lacking definition
  • Only compatible with iPhones

CONCLUSION 2/5

Not many innovations on these Solo HDs in comparison to other headphones in the Beats by Dr. Dre range. They're still just as nice to look at and well-finished, but still just as poor when it comes audio quality.
2 Beats by Dr. Dre Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD DigitalVersus 2010-09-15 00:00:00
Compare: Beats by Dr. Dre Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD to its competitors
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