Beats Solo 2 Wireless Headphones Review

Reviewed Oct 24, 2016 at 04:08 pm
Beats Solo 2 Wireless Picture
Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise-Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Beats Solo 2 Wireless are sleek, lightweight, on-ear headphones that deliver an above-average sound. They're sturdy, comfortable and stable enough to use while jogging. They're a well-built wireless headset. However, they're a little leaky at high volumes, and they don't block much noise.

Our Verdict

7.1 Mixed Usage

The Beats Solo 2 Wireless are a decently versatile set of on-ear headphones. They deliver a well-balanced sound and a good wireless design. They feel sturdy and have a comfortable fit but don't isolate very well, which limits a bit their use in loud, noisy environments.

7.3 Critical Listening

The Beats Solo 2 Wireless have an above-average audio reproduction with a well-balanced bass-range that doesn't overpower the instruments and vocals. The high frequencies are also not too sharp, but due to their small ear cups, they can't create a spacious soundstage. This makes them a little less ideal for critical listening, but they sound good enough for most casual listeners.

See our Critical Listening recommendations
6.9 Commute/Travel

Average for commuting. They won't be sufficiently isolating for loud, noisy environments. However, the compact, wireless design and convenient, easy to use control scheme make them a decent option to use while traveling.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
7.2 Sports/Fitness

Above-average for sports. They're stable enough to jog with and have a comfortable fit. They're also wireless with a good control scheme. However, they get a little steamy during intense exercise and although relatively compact they still feel a bit bulky to go to the gym with.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
7.0 Office

Above-average for office use. The Beats Solo 2 Wireless have a good wireless range, and they're comfortable. However, they won't be ideal for loud, lively offices due to the subpar isolation.

See our Office recommendations
5.9 Home Theater

Subpar for home theater use. The Beats Solo 2 Wireless have a bit too much latency for watching videos and movies. They're also a bit tight on the head so they may not be comfortable enough to wear for long viewing sessions.

  • 7.1 Mixed Usage
  • 7.3 Critical Listening
  • 6.9 Commute/Travel
  • 7.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.9 Home Theater
Pros
  • Above-average audio reproduction.
  • Sturdy, wireless design.
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • Poor isolation from ambient noise.
  • A little leaky at high volumes.
  1. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.0. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Beats Solo2 have a sleek and polished design, that's eye-catching and looks high-end. They have a glossy finish and come in a variety of bright color schemes to suit your tastes. They have a large stylish headband and small well-padded ear cups that further add to their premium appeal.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.47 lbs
Clamping Force
1.1 lbs

The Beats Solo 2 are comfortable but slightly tight on the head. The headband is well built but feels a bit stiff, which in turn causes the headphone to exert a lot of pressure on the ears. Fortunately, the ear cups are very well padded making the clamping force a little less intrusive than expected. They won't be the most comfortable headphones for long listening sessions. However, they're a lot more comfortable than some other on-ear headphones.

8.1
Design
Controls
Ease of use Above-average
Feedback Above-average
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Noise Canceling Control N/A
Talk-Through N/A
Additional Buttons No

The Beats Solo2 like the Studio Wireless have a good and easy-to-use control scheme. They offer music/call, track skipping, and volume controls. The button layout is efficient and delivers a good tactile feedback. However, the buttons are a little flat and a lot smaller than those on the bigger studio wireless model.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Beats Solo 2 Wireless are a stable pair of headphones that won't easily fall if used while jogging or exercising. They exert enough clamping force on the ears to not sway and slip off mild physical activity. Additionally, they're wireless which means they won't be yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something. However, they're still a bit bulky and cumbersome, and the soft padding does get steamy during when sweating.

6.4
Design
Portability
L 4.38 "
W 6.13 "
H 2.63 "
Volume 70.6 Cu. Inches
Stand required N/A

The Solo2 Wireless have a fairly compact design that's somewhat portable but hard to carry on your person. They're mid-sized on-ear headphones that fold into a smaller footprint to easily fit in a bag or purse. However, they're still too large to carry in any pockets, which makes them, a bit cumbersome, to comfortably carry around on your person.

6.0
Design
Case
Type Pouch

The Beats Solo 2 Wireless come with a pouch that conveniently zips up like a soft case and will protect the headphones from minor scratches. Unfortunately, it will not shield them from water damage or hard falls as the pouch is very soft and permeable.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Beats Solo 2 are well-built headphones that make use of high-end materials in their design. The headband is reinforced with a relatively thin metal frame that feels sufficiently sturdy. The ear cups are also sufficiently dense, and capable of handling a few falls without getting damaged. However, the plastic coating the headband and ear cups feels a little rigid and inflexible, which could crack under enough physical strain. The glossy finish also may get scratched by regular wear and tear and won't look as good over time.

7.9
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 2.3 C

Design
Cable
Detachable Yes
Length 4.4 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS

The Beats Solo 2 Wireless come with a 1/8" TRS audio cable and a USB charging cable.

Design
Front
Design
Angled
Design
Side
Design
Rear
Design
Top
Sound
7.7
Sound
Bass
Std. Err.
3.37 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
3.16 dB
Bass
3.76 dB
High-Bass
4.1 dB

8.2
Sound
Mid
Std. Err.
2.42 dB
Low-Mid
0.26 dB
Mid
-3.42 dB
High-Mid
-1.28 dB

8.2
Sound
Treble
Std. Err.
3.21 dB
Low-Treble
-0.5 dB
Treble
-0.64 dB
High-Treble
-7.35 dB

7.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.6 dB

5.3
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Error
7.28 dB
Openness
5.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.9
Correlated Crosstalk
0.04 dB

7.3
Sound
Imaging
Phase Error
70.55 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
0.53 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
19.08 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
76.12 °

7.7
Sound
Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
1.803
Weighted THD @ 100
1.152

Isolation
5.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
-12.91 dB
Bass
-0.8 dB
Mid
-9.77 dB
Treble
-30.95 dB
Self-Noise
16.82 dB

Poor isolation. The Beats Solo 2 Wireless provide little isolation in the Bass Range. The passive isolation provided by the ear cups start to kick in at around 300Hz, but the isolation won't get significant until around 1KHz. The overall amount of isolation achieved in the Mid Range is about 10dB, and in the Treble Range is a decent 30dB.

6.1
Isolation
Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
44.46 dB

Poor leakage. These headphones leak a bit more than the usual closed-back on-ear headphones. The noticable portion of leakage is between 400Hz and 8KHz, which is rather broad. However, the overall level of leakage is low, except for the sharp peak at 4KHz which could be significant at closer distances.

Active Features
7.6
Active Features
Wireless
Type
Bluetooth 4.0
Obstructed Range
42 ft
Line of Sight Range
118 ft
NFC
No

The Beats Solo 2 have an above-average wireless range that's suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. They delivered a stable connection up to 40ft, which allows listeners to move about in their homes when the Bluetooth source is in another room. However, they're not the farthest reaching headphones and might not be ideal for large offices with a lot of walls. They're not too difficult to pair, and remember the last synced device but the press and hold procedure can get a little tedious if you often have to switch between Bluetooth sources.

2.3
Active Features
Latency
Base Latency
192 ms
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

8.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Battery Life
18.25 hrs
Charge Time
1.35 hrs
Auto-off
No
Audio while charging
Yes
Passive Playback
Yes

The Beats Solo2 Wireless have a better battery life than the Studio Wireless and deliver up to 18.25 hours of continuous playback. They also take less time to charge via USB, which makes them decent headphones, to take on a long road trip or a particularly lengthy flight. However, you will still need to charge them throughout the day if you use them continuously. They also don't have any battery saving features, like an auto-off timer, and will quickly run out of power if you forget to turn them off.

0
Active Features
App Support

No compatible app.

In the box
In the box

  • Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones
  • Carrying case
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Beats Solo3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Beats Solo 2 Wireless. While both headphones have a similar sound profile, the Solo3 have a noticeably better battery life with about 40 hours of continuous playback. They also take advantage of the W1 chip on iOS devices, which the Solo2 don’t do. Design-wise, there isn’t much difference between the two models. Note that the Solo2 were measured on an older version of our test bench, so not all components were tested.

Beats Solo 2 Wireless Price

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