Beats by Dr Dre Solo HD
Beats by Dr Dre / Monster, www.convoy.com.au
Stunning, hip design
Higher-quality MP3s miss the detail in the higher end
Even if you don’t much care for Dr Dre’s music, there’s no denying the man has style, especially when it comes to headphones. Everything about the Solo HD Beats is stunningly crafted, from the packaging to the colour combination on the headphones themselves (our review unit was black and red).
Beats headphones are renowned for being bass heavy, and the Solo HDs are no exception. Somehow, though, Dr Dre’s headphones turn the diminished higher-frequency sounds into a strength. Music actually sounds exceptionally good with lower-bitrate tracks, although higher-quality tracks more obviously miss the extra higher end.
This bass-heavy mixing actually makes the Beats some of the most suitable headphones for the vast majority of iPhone users who don’t actually pay attention to how their music is encoded.
There’s no distortion at high volumes, which is impressive given the depth of bass, and the headphone padding and closed design keep the music in your ears, not sharing with the world.
The thick, red detachable cable is exceptionally robust, with a flat, right-angled 3.5mm plug at the end to help mini- mise bulk when your phone is in a pocket. The microphone is conveniently located, and the three-button remote offers a functional design, although it does feel like the loosest part of the whole headphone package.
The wide, flat band of the Solo HDs is relatively unique in how it lets the headphones fold up, but also leaves them fairly bulky in three dimensions. The included carry bag is a nice addition, but unlike the other headphones that fold flat, the Beats still take a larger amount of space.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
The vast majority of people buying Beats headphones are doing it for the style or fashion rather than audio prowess. But for iPhone users who don’t actually know what bitrate their music is stored at, the Solo HD headphones conveniently sound great too.