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Beats Solo2 On-Ear Stereo Headphone review


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Here's the "new" Beats with near-hi-fi sound, as covered previously by Innerfidelity. While I find this particular headphone to sound good as-is, or extremely good with my special tune-up, the questions that are probably on everyone's mind are whether Beats is really going to compete for hi-fi customers in new models of their other headphones, or whether this is just coincidental. I don't know, but part of me anticipates better sound from Beats if they can get there consistently (something Bose never did), and part of me dreads an even bigger takeover of the market now that Apple owns Beats.

 

Beats Solo2 On-Ear Stereo Headphone review

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I don't think they care about Hi Fi customers too much. However I think they want to do a better product. I think it's a win in exposing people to better sound. I would like to audition them but everywhere I go, they are connected to the Beats demo console.

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I don't think they care about Hi Fi customers too much. However I think they want to do a better product. I think it's a win in exposing people to better sound. I would like to audition them but everywhere I go, they are connected to the Beats demo console.

 

I did demo them, but I had to finess the plug going into the iPhone of theirs to get into my iPhone, by holding mine very close to the store's phone because I had only an inch or two of slack. Not very comfortable. And funny too - I've accumulated a lot of different music doing reviews -- EDM, Dubstep, even a bit of hip-hop, but whatever they put on those iPhones at the Apple store is pure dreck - not listenable.

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Lol, every time it go to a best buy nothing works. They are so afraid or jus putting demo headphones for people to connect to their own source. They had the momentums connected to this demo console that sounded horrible, people will think that the headphones are bad. The big electronics stores in the US are horrible.

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Lol, every time it go to a best buy nothing works. They are so afraid or jus putting demo headphones for people to connect to their own source. They had the momentums connected to this demo console that sounded horrible, people will think that the headphones are bad. The big electronics stores in the US are horrible.

 

I go to Best Buy, and if I pick up a headphone, use a credit card, take outside to car, try it out, take back into store for credit. They actually prefer the extra trouble that way, and I think it's because a lot of people just keep the stuff even though it's not exactly what they want. It probably accounts for a lot of the financial woes Best Buy has had - you go into the store most times and they look at you with suspicion, then they ask if they can help, and when you say you want to look around or try something that's not expensive, they stand off and glare like you're a shoplifter. I've found that true in several Best Buy stores, at several Barnes & Noble stores, at the Walmart in Oxnard Calif., a few others. Some of the better stores watch people closely, but they manage to make customers feel welcome at the same time. Best Buy isn't real good at that.

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I don't think they care about Hi Fi customers too much. However I think they want to do a better product. I think it's a win in exposing people to better sound. I would like to audition them but everywhere I go, they are connected to the Beats demo console.

 

I had the same issue with Best Buy. However, Best Buy has a very liberal return policy (14 days, no questions asked, no restocking fee). I bought them and brought them home for evaluation. Which reminds me, my kid still needs to pay me for them. :-/

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

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I don't think they care about Hi Fi customers too much. However I think they want to do a better product. I think it's a win in exposing people to better sound. I would like to audition them but everywhere I go, they are connected to the Beats demo console.

 

I had the same issue with Best Buy. However, Best Buy has a very liberal return policy (14 days, no questions asked, no restocking fee). I bought them and brought them home for evaluation. Which reminds me, my kid still needs to pay me for them. :-/

 

Thanks for the Tip-

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  • 10 months later...
Apple is now offering these free with a Mac purchase for students. I would be interested in understanding how to make the best of them.

 

The Solo2 would sound the best with one of those classic mini-DACs like the Dragonfly or Microstreamer, running off of a computer USB port. Results vary a lot though, if the music player and the system aren't optimized for best sound.

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What is your "special tune-up"?

 

I will try to make a long story very short. Nearly all objections to headphones are based on a combination of colorations or severe peaks or recesses at certain frequencies. If a headphone has severe problems I suggest looking elsewhere. But if it has appeal to you and it has one or two minor faults, and you're willing to address those with a judicious and minimal EQ, you get not only a lot better sound, but in most cases the soundstage gets much better too. But few audiophiles seem to try - they just keep chasing new headphones and settle (temporarily sometimes) for the least offensive they find.

 

Edit: The Solo2 is well made and very comfy - a really nice package if you allow that it's Beats, so I think it has enough potential to make it worth the time to tweak it, physically or electronically.

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