Beats Solo2 Wireless

Beats Solo2 Wireless

Beats Solo2 Wireless is the wireless version of the original Solo2 headphone.

Beats recently added three new "iPhone colour" versions - space-grey, silver and gold - to the existing red, blue, black and white Solo2 Wireless models. The review unit came in white.

Except for the Bluetooth connectivity, the Solo2 Wireless is a carbon copy of its wired cousin. That is a good thing, as it shares the same good looks with no visible screws to disrupt the streamlined aesthetic and smooth-flowing curves.

And, of course, there is the Beats' iconic logo on each earcup that sets fashionistas' hearts a-flutter and makes audiophiles grumble.

The curve of the headband is a nice snug fit over your head, while the cushioned ear cups wrap around your ears nicely for great comfort.

On the right earcup is a small power button and five LED lights to indicate battery level, and a micro-USB port for charging.

The left one houses a 3.5mm jack, so you can plug in an audio cable (included) with a three-button remote for iOS devices.The headphones run out of juice after 12 hours of continuous playback.

The Beats logo on the left earcup is actually a play/pause button. You adjust the volume by pressing the upper and lower parts of the ring around the logo.

Pairing the Solo2 Wireless with iOS devices and Apple Mac computers is easy. Hit the power button to switch on the headphones, look for "BeatsSolo Wireless" to appear on the Bluetooth settings screen of your device and tap it to pair.

The Solo2 Wireless worked fine even beyond the supposed 10m limit from my connected iPod Touch. I must have been about 12m away. But I could not pair the headphones with my Android devices. No such problems with my iMac and iPhone 6 Plus. Obviously.

When I tried the original Solo2, the headband was really tight at first. Thankfully, the headband of the Solo2 Wireless is not as tight and requires minimal breaking-in.

The wireless headphones may not have noise-cancelling capability but the earcups provide good-enough sound isolation. And I actually prefer being able to hear some ambient sound, to forestall accidents, especially when you are at road-crossings.

Wireless headphones usually do not sound as good as their wired counterparts. Not so the Solo2 Wireless. Having reviewed both wired and wireless versions, I found the Solo2 Wireless just as good.

The bass is still strong and evident even at low volume, which is characteristic of the Beats brand. But it has been tamed, so that the treble is clearer and smoother with better fidelity. Nonetheless, the mid-range still sounds a bit flat and could do with more details and texture. There is some jittering during initial music playback in wireless mode.

With no noise-cancelling capability, the Solo2 Wireless is a tad expensive at $490. At this price, you can get headphones with more features and better performance, but they will not be as good looking.

If you have the cash and you want sexy-looking wireless headphones with good audio quality to work with your Apple devices, get the Beats Solo2 Wireless.

trevtan@sph.com.sg

This article was first published on May 27, 2015.
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