Review: Beats by Dr. Dre Beats by Dr. Dre Solo

Published: April 13, 2011 11:00 PM
Updated: December 23, 2013 5:51 PM
By Tristan François
Translated by: Catherine Barraclough
Monster keeps on expanding its oh-so-popular Beats by Dr. Dre headphones range. Unfortunately, in spite of the celebrity endorsements and stylish design, these headphones systematically fall into the same traps, model after model.

Design: flimsy cable

Since these headphones are pretty much identical to other products in the Dr. Dre range, it's no real surprise to see the same design flaws back again. In other words, although the headphones seem to be quite well made, the materials seem a little flimsy and they don't look like they'll stand the test of time. The cable looks quite fragile too.

That's a shame, since with such a distinctive design—that you'll either love or hate—and a good-quality finish, the Solo headphones had started off on the right track.

The accessories are pretty flimsy too. Although the semi-rigid travel case is nicely designed, it still feels fragile. It's also the only accessory supplied. On this front, Monster (and most other headphones manufacturers) could learn a thing or two from in-ear headphones makers, who regularly supply products with huge ranges of accessories. Some of these are obviously gimmicky gadgets but others are very handy indeed.

We've got no complaints on comfort, as these headphones are almost on a par with the best Bose models in this field—and you'd certainly hope so given how thick the padding is!

Audio Quality: Monster Beats = monster bass

It's clearly no surprise that these Beats by Dr. Dre headphones pump out a monster bass. Even if the Solo headphones are more moderate than the Solo HD (undoubtedly due to a lower-performance speaker), the bass is still heavily dominant. That's fun for about five minutes with a good old hip-hop/west-coast/g-funk tune or some funky downtempo beats, but it soon becomes tiresome.

Logically, this over-abundance of bass drowns out the rest of the spectrum. You can hear voices, instruments and other higher pitched sounds but they just don't stand out enough. Clarity and accuracy suffer as a result.

In the end, the Solo are by no means bad headphones. In fact, they're actually slightly better than the Solo HD thanks to an output that, although less sharp and subtle, is actually a bit more consistent across the spectrum.

The main problem with the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Solo headphones is their price, which seems to be totally out of sync with what's actually on offer. For £150 we'd expect something better.
2/5 Beats by Dr. Dre Beats by Dr. Dre Solo DigitalVersus 2011-04-14 00:00:00

Pros

  • Original, stylish design
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Too heavy on the bass
  • Fragile cable

Conclusion

Like most pairs of headphones in the Beats By Dr. Dre series, the Solo goes way overboard on the bass. The sound output loses precision and clarity as a result.

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