Before we get into the Beats Solo vs. Solo 2 comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
Today I will simply give you a no nonsense article outlining the similarities and differences between these two headphones. 🙂
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
I despised the Beats line for a long time, and for good reason. They were awful headphones back when they first came out. All style, no substance, and no quality anywhere to speak of. I’m frankly surprised so many people bought them and continued using them. The sound was harsh, overblown, and obnoxious. The build quality was also pretty bad. Cheap plastic dominated the scene, and I would frequently hear of people I knew that had problems with them breaking in various places.
Luckily, Apple swooped in and salvaged their image, because I honestly don’t know how long they could have gone remaining a clearly awful investment. I actually really enjoy the Solo line, although I don’t think the Studio versions are all that great. How can you market your headphones “studio” with a bloated, artificial sounding bass? It makes absolutely no sense. Come to think of it, Audio Technica kind of did the same thing with the M50’s and M50x’s. While I did use them in studio for a long time, they are meant for casual listening and bass heads primarily. The point is, they aren’t bad for mixing, but the marketing is very misleading. The “Studio headphones” moniker isn’t warranted. A pair like the Sony MDR V6 is the quintessential closed back studio mixing headphone and has been for decades. Same with the AKG K240, as well as the MDR 7506.
Aside from that, I do like the Solo line (specifically the Solo3’s) a lot and would recommend them as a fantastic Bluetooth portable headphone. There are some differences between the Solo and Solo 2 in question, so let’s find out what they are!
Similarities and Differences
Both have good sound isolation. Neither are actually noise cancelling though, so be aware of that.
Neither have particularly great soundstage, although on the Solo2’s it is decent for a closed back model. What is Soundstage?
Both are very portable.
Both are really good for hip-hop, rap, and other bass heavy genres, but don’t do as well with other stuff.
Build Quality. The build on the Solo2’s is light years better. When the Solo Wireless came out, Beats still hadn’t really revamped their image. The Solo2’s are very well made, and while both fold up, the 2’s have a much sturdier mechanism. The headband on the 2’s is also a lot better and less prone to breaking down. The headband snapping on the originals is pretty much a unanimous complaint. I had zero issues with it on the Solo2. Also, the chord is shoddy on the original Solo’s. I didn’t have direct experience with the one on the Solo2’s because I was using them as Bluetooth, but I’ve heard that it’s much more durable. The bottom line is that the Solo2 is a very durable headphone in comparison to the Solo.
Ear-pads. Parlaying off of the build, the ear-pads on the Solo’s feel much cheaper and they are less comfortable. I love the protein leather material on the Solo2’s. It feels plush and doesn’t seem like it would break down over time.
Comfort. The Solo2’s are much more comfortable than the original.
Manufacturing. When the original Solo’s came out, they were still under Monster’s authority. The Solo2’s are products of Apple and it shows. I’m not an Apple fanboy by any stretch; I’ve actually never owned anything by them other than an iPod. That said, I can recognize a difference in quality when I see it. The Solo2 and 3 are miles ahead of the originals and it’s not even close.
Sound Quality. The Solo’s are much too bass heavy, which was the trademark of the original Beats origins. It’s bloated, artificial sounding, and just way too loose in general. Also, the overall sound isn’t crisp and tight. It’s just kind of too out of control and tends to meander a lot. By contrast, the Solo2’s are much tighter, well balanced, and crisp. The bass is deep and punchy, but it’s not that obnoxious. You still get a sense of the instrument placement and separation, and generally stuff stays in it’s place and sounds fairy accurate. Also, the mid-range and treble are both much improved on the Solo2. A big issue with the original model is that the sound tends to get drowned out by that big booming bass.
Bluetooth. Apparently the original Solo’s did not work with anything other than an iPhone when using Bluetooth. The Solo2’s worked fine with my Android device.
Aesthetic. In my opinion, the Solo’s look very dated and you may agree. I love the look and feel of the Solo2. It’s well designed and very minimalist, which is quite comical considering we’re talking about Beats here. 😛 The Solo’s just simply don’t look as cool.
Well, I think it’s obvious which of these you should go with. The Solo2 trumps the originals by a wide margin, but the Solo3 is actually better than the 2’s by quite a bit as well. Interested in learning more about them?
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.