The Beats Solo 2 Wireless are the cheapest wireless headphones in the Beats line-up. The on-ear headphones offers both wired and wireless functionality with an included 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable. They offer noise isolation but are not noise-cancelling, unlike the more expensive Beats Studio Wireless. The Solo 2 Wireless is a step-forward for Beats. There’s a lot of familiar elements here but the audio quality has been balanced out and the clarity has been improved. The build quality has also been improved. They are definitely one of the most enticing prospects among the Beats line-up, although the comfort can be a sticking point for some.
Wireless vs wired versions
The Solo 2 Wireless is one of two on-ear headphones offered by the company, the other being the very similar Beats Solo 2. The earpieces on the wireless version looks a little different but other than that, the models are very similar. The wired version is a full $70 cheaper though, so that’s not to be sniffed at. Including the optional cable in the wireless model was a smart move, giving more options to listeners who want the higher quality wired listening experience. Beats state that the headphones offer 30 feet of wireless listening. The Bluetooth coverage is decent but it’s not perfect. The occasional drop out is experienced.
The RemoteTalk cable has a three-button remote, which is the same as the remote offered on other Beats products. The cable terminates in an angled jack that leaves plenty of room for a phone case. It’s designed for iOS devices and there’s no corresponding Android version. The remote controls are doubled on the headphones themselves. Beats have chosen a minimalist control layout similar to the Beats Studio Wireless.
The b logo button on the earpiece enables Bluetooth connection, play/pause and song skipping. Buttons above and below the logo control volume. The power button and five-bar battery indicator is on the opposite earpiece. The battery offers 12 hours of listening time, and can be recharged via the included USB cable. The integrated mic on the headphones produces good results for calls.
Headband design can cause issues
The Beats Solo 2 Wireless has a flexible headband and a pivot leading to each earpiece. The pivot quality has been improved from the Solo HD but it still can become loose over time. The headphones have a gloss plastic build, which quickly builds up fingerprint marks. With only a soft carry case, you’ll want to be careful with your headphones. Chucking them in a bottom of a bag could be a very costly move. The most common user complaint is one the drivers dropping out. Beats have neglected to include a pouch in the carry case. This seems a strange choice as you have two cables to carry around with the headphones. For a $200 pair of cans, you’d think they’d be able to do a little better.
Compact headphone design
The headphones are on the small side, compared to the larger over-ear Studio Wireless. They are compact and travel-friendly and also reasonably light at 215g. The headband can be too tight and end up crushing your ears. Even people who don’t have particularly large heads can run into this issue. It’s one of the biggest problems with the Beats Solo 2 Wireless design. It’s definitely worth trying out before you buy this model. On the flip side, some users will like the fact that it keeps a firm hold on your head and is thus suitable for exercise. The secure fit also assists with the passive noise isolation.
Beats Solo 2 Wireless audio performance
Everyone knows the signature sound offered by Beats: Bass, and lots of it. The Solo 2 Wireless is a bass-heavy headphone but it’s not as pronounced as some Beats products, which is a good thing. The bass is tight and clear, although some distortion can be present at high volumes. The mids and highs are pleasant although they are recessed to a degree. The headphones are well-suited for modern bass-heavy styles like rap and electronic music, and they can also work for rock and pop. The audio quality isn’t award-winning, but in terms of the Beats line-up, the Solo 2 Wireless puts in a pretty good showing. Some degradation of clarity is audible when used wirelessly, although it’s subtle enough that it won’t bother some users.
There’s 11 colour options available: Black, blue, red, siren red, white, silver, flash blue, gold/white, rose gold, yellow, grey. Beats have always known how to produce good-looking products, which is no doubt part of the reason they are so popular. With so many colour options on offer, it’s easy to pick a design that matches your style.
Are they worth it?
Beats have got a lot right with the Solo 2 Wireless. The wired option is appreciated, and the sound performance is an improvement from previous models. There’s still plenty of bass but it’s not overwhelming. The construction has also been improved, although it’s not as tough as Beats claim it is. The headphones stay put due to the firm fit, although some people will find it uncomfortably tight. This is definitely a model that requires a try-out beforehand. The headphones look good and there’s a huge array of colour options to choose from. The price does bring the whole package down a bit though. $200 is a lot of money, and at that price range you would want to hit a little higher in terms of comfort, build and audio quality.
The Beats Solo 2 Wireless are one of the better models in the Beats line-up. They offer fair audio performance and the option of wired and wireless function. Some users will be put off by the tight fit though.