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4.1 out of 5 stars349
4.1 out of 5 stars
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362 of 399 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2012
Having been a musician and a strong headphone enthusiast, owning dozens pairs of high end headphones with matching professional audio interfaces/converters, I wanted to have a extensive test on these Beats Solo HD headphones, and see what the hype is all about.

I first listened to them at various street retailers, but wanted to listen them through a better source, converter and amp so I purchased myself a genuine pair from Amazon to give these headphones a better potential, for a more thorough review.

Packaging, presentation - top notch. It's clear that Beats want to make this headphone very appealing, something once you have in your hand look pretty and you want to feel proud of. The headphone box itself is well made, nice printed outer packaging. The headphone is packed with accessories - a well made soft carrying case, the iconic red cable with inline control for iDevices, cleaning cloth, and some very well printed booklets.

Look and build quality - These I do admit are very stylish looking headphones. Combined with their brilliant marketing and endorsements, these headphone have become a great fashion trend. The design of these are very clever, with the ability to fold them for portability, put it round the neck when not listening to music (so it becomes a £100+ necklace). Build quality initially look decent but upon close look, it's rather poor. The folding mechanism is based on plastic, so after some fair usage, the plastic will wear off, making the headphone loose at the hinge. I have seen countless number of these headphone that won't keep it's rigidity, just flapping about.

Isolation of these headphone is actually pretty good. For a passive isolating on-the-ear headphone (without any active NC circuitry), these block out a considerable amount of noise. Comfort is good too.

Then to the sound. The Most important factor, being a "headphone" - Boy I'm I DISAPPOINTED with these!

The treble of these is seriously rolled off. Making these greatly lack in fidelity and clarity. The reason for this I would imagine to allow people to crank these up louder for more bass, without the high end to become shrill. However, for a headphone with 'HD' in the name, this is absolutely absurd. Soundstage is poor, so a track that should sound broad and spacious (think a concert hall) will sound very dry and close together (think of a tiny bedroom). Listening to anything with acoustic instrument is disastrous on these, it has very poor ability to reproduce acoustic instruments efficiently. Instrument separation is as bad as its soundstage. Strings sound fake, woodwinds sound plastic, vocals sound dull and recessed. People often say these have great bass - the truth is that they don't. They have a exaggerated bass that is both muddy and bloated - Because of the rolled off top, the bass will sound relatively louder. The mid bass is unnaturally boasted, so kicks will have a good thump, however the bass response doesn't actually go very deep at all. So you won't really hear a good quality sub bass of these. A kick drums will sound punchy but not deep and rich.

People who thinks that these headphone are the "best headphone they have heard", is likely not to be lying... However it's a given that they have only had 2 pairs in their like, the other pair they have heard being the iPod earbud. People will think these are great until they have heard proper headphones. At over £120, you could get some seriously high quality top performing headphones that is used by professionals in the studio. (Yes including Dr Dre himself)

The Noontec Zoro, which is styled similar to these headphones is a significantly better headphone, with better clarity, balance, soundstage. Build quality is superior too. What's more, the Zoro cost less than £50, making these "SOLO HD" a ridiculously over-priced and under-performing. At half of its price, you could get the Denon D1100, an audiophile grade phone which is leagues better in every aspect, except the amount of plastic used and shininess. At the same price, you are looking at some of the most used studio headphones in the world such as the Beyerdynamic DT770, Audio Technica M50, Shure SRH840, AKG K550 etc etc.

There is a reason that Beats headphone are very poorly regarded in the professional and audiophile world - they fail that what they should deliver - sound quality. If you want a shiny plastic headband or necklace, doesn't mind being ripped off, and have never heard a true high quality headphone, then go and buy these... However, if you at all care about the sound quality, run away from Beats as far and fast as you can!

Their clever marketing, endorsements with the combination of misinformed consumers have made these a success that is not deserved.
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157 of 200 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2012
I purchased my pair direct from the dr dre website. At first was happy with purchase. They are not a purists headphone but they seemed well built and had a pleasant sound which seemed optimised to deliver a weighty performance with the compressed audio that most people used. The headphones developed a fault and one speaker intermittently cut out. Since I am an engineer I dismantled the headset to fix the problem myself. I was horrified to discover that internally the headset had no resemblance of the quality it seemed to present externally. In fact the internals were of cheapest child's toy quality. The audio drivers were very cheap. The sound is only reasonable because they are equalised electrically by the most horrible looking circuit board. It is the amplification required that accounts for the headphones very poor battery life and is wholly responsible for making otherwise cheap account ice sound reasonable. The wiring was so poor and thin that I just realised I had wasted my money. I put them in the bin and purchased a quality pair of phones to replace them from den on. I feel ripped off since these phones are obviously made in china to the lowest standards possible internally. I would never buy any monster branded product again.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2014
We bought these Headphones after much pleading by our 12 yr old daughter and she certainly was pleased up to now. She has had them for less than 3 months normal use and just this week, one earpiece has stopped working and the other has detached (wire still intact) from the headset. Really disappointed in view of spin and spend on this product. Bless her she was afraid to tell us as she knew they cost so much. We can't return to Amazon (unfortunately) as we're outside returns date so we now have to go bat with Dr Beats - fingers crossed they do the right thing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2014
These were purchased as a present for my daughter, she was after good headphones and as I already have them in black I already knew they have a great sound and are comfy to wear. I wouldn't by headphones by anyone else now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2014
great gift for teenagers and above.
Not cheap but great quality (starts with the box) and tactile.
We love this product.
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on 28 December 2013
So glad I save up the money to buy these they are worth every Pennie , come with a great case to keep them safe , the beat on the music is amazing so much better then regular headphone at least I know theses are going to last for a long while , great to know on the wire that there's a button to answer phone calls and to control the volume and to pause and forward a song or to go back to a song . The black colour looks great
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75 of 98 people found the following review helpful
I am on a 25 year (so far) quest for the perfect phones.
I listen to music on the go a lot, several hours a day every day, from the earliest cassette walkman days, through CD & minidisc to the current crop of portable music players. Over that time I have run the gamut of media, players & phones, from cheap & cheerful through the multiplicity of faddy designs attempted over the years, to the high-end pro-quality ridiculously expensive end of the market.

I listen to a vast spectrum of music from many different genres & eras. I value high quality sound & good reproduction, but I do not subscribe to the myth that more expensive = better where equipment is concerned. Consequently, I feel adequately qualified to make a meaningful & impartial judgement on these phones.

They look good, there's no doubt about that. The packaging is impressive, and they seem very robust and well made. They are also very light & comfortable to wear. Not so large & obtrusive that you feel you're walking around with a diving helmet on, but large enough to feel substantial, and cover the ear as they are designed to.
Without owning/using them for a longer period than I'm prepared to do, I can't comment meaningfully on reliability.
If appearances are anything to go by (they aren't) these look very solid, like they would last a long time, and take reasonable punishment in use. As far as appearances go, these are difficult to fault.

Phones are primarily about sound quality though. And I'm afraid on that most important of criteria, these are a big disappointment. I've read lots of reviews on various sites rhapsodizing about how great these phones sound, and I'm afraid I can only assume that these reviewers would not know good sound if it jumped up and bit them. These things are awful. My worst fears were realised. They are massive overblown head-shaking distortion-ridden bass, and nothing else.
Now, I love a fair bit of bass heavy music, and it's not that these things generate too much bass (that I could at least understand, if not live with) . The problem is that there's just nothing else here. Mids are virtually non-existent, and what mids there are are so muddied & muffled it sounds like the musicians are playing in another room, on a different floor elsewhere in the building, with all the intervening doors closed.
Balancing EQ neutral mids in phones is always a crapshoot though. Almost always impossible to predict, so I'll park that one for now. What I cannot understand (or forgive) however is the almost total lack of any top end whatsoever from these phones. Believe me I've tried every different recording & genre I can think of, and have been completely underwhelmed by all of them. Normally, bad or cheap phones will produce too much, or poor quality treble, so to hear none whatsoever in these phones was a big (unwelcome) surprise.

In conclusion, I can only agree with the previous reviewer who took his phones apart to find toy electronics of poor quality. I'm not about to take mine to bits, but that view is certainly borne out by my experience of the sound of these things. It's horrible. They look & feel great, no doubt are worth big cred points on the street with the style over substance brigade, but the sound they produce is laughably poor. There are any number of headphones out there costing a third of the price of these things that simply blow them out of the water sonically.

I have "burned them in" adequately too. Used them daily for a month or so. They loosened up a bit, but it was barely noticeable & they still sounded nothing like as clear, transparent or open as they unquestionably should do at this price point.

It basically boils down to a question of priorities. You can either buy these, or spend 35-40 quid elsewhere & look less cool but enjoy vastly superior sound.

I gave mine away to my teenage nephew & will stick to my £50 Sonys.
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on 11 September 2015
Christmas present for the teen of the house. He raves about them but I think my Sony's and Sennheiser's have just as good sound at far less cost.

So they look nice, various colours, have good sound, fold - which is great, and you can buy a longer audio cable for them if you want (although this might affect sound quality).

But the packaging is barmy, Definately no 'Save a tree' consideration given.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2014
Son rarely has them off - got them for an amazing price too - only trouble is he now doesn't always hear me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2014
Absolutely amazing love them use them for everything. Jogging, gym or just in general one of my best buys x
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