When it’s time to gear up the iPod, Zune, or any MP3 player, most people are content to jam with the headphones that are included in the initial packaging. It makes sense, they’re convenient, they let you listen to your music, and most of all they’re free. Those are all valid points, but with the age of the audiophile upon us, there are better, more stylish ways to listen to our favorite music.
One of those ways is the new Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Headphones. The latest from the collaboration between legendary rapper/producer Dr. Dre, Chairman of Interscope Records Jimmy Iovine, and Monster Cables, these high performance phones not only deliver unbelievable sound, they’re also serious eye candy. Made from a high-quality resin, Beats are pretty durable and have a high gloss factor. In fact, ever since I’ve been rocking the Solos, I’ve gotten nothing but compliments on how great they look, especially when I’m wearing my white winter jacket.
In addition to the awesome aesthetics, Solos hold their own in the sound arena. Even though they are lighter and more compact than the landmark Beats Studio, they knock just as hard. The on-ear headphones are covered in soft leather that can cradle even the largest ears. Even after hours of wearing the Solos, my ears are never uncomfortable due to pressure from the headphones or random ear sweat (Eww!). When I’m in jam mode, I can hear all the highs, lows, and everything in between with crystal clear sound minus all the outside interference from the world at large thanks to the high quality microphones and sound isolators.
Even though the Solos are right up there with the Studios in the sound department, there are some notable differences. Beats Solos’ headphone cable is equipped with a remote control that allows easy control of your music selections as well as any incoming coming phone calls. The ControlTalk remote controls volume, playback selection, call waiting, answering/declining calls, and play/pause on a track. Thanks to the built-in mics, screaming at the top of your lungs like you would with a Bluetooth headset is a thing of the past.
My favorite thing about the Solos is that they don’t need batteries to keep the party going. The Studios run on two AA batteries and while they have a serious playback time, I don’t want to have to worry about having to scrounge up three bucks at some random hour because the batteries have died. The other cool thing about the Solos is the size. Once you’re done, you can just fold them up and put them in their case. They’re small enough to fit in a medium size purse and not hog up all the space.
There are only a couple of cons about the Beats Solos. One is that I really couldn’t use them at the gym. They do slip when I’m hitting it hard on the treadmill or the elliptical. Trying to fix your headphones while you’re using exercise equipment is just a disaster waiting to happen. The other con is the price. Even though they’re incredibly affordable in the world of high performance headphones, only serious music heads are going to thing about shelling out $199 for a pair. However, once you hear a few of your favorite tracks on the Solos, you might just become a convert. After using Beats I can never go back to those rinky-dink $20 headphones. No bumping bass, no soaring highs, no sale.
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