Beats by Dre has always been known as a celebrity-studded brand of headphones that are worn not just to listen to music, but also as a fashion statement and to show off one's social status and preferences. This image has much to do with the fact that its frontman is a star status rapper.
This popularity is also why every release by Beats creates a sense of excitement among users and audiophiles. However, many people think that these headphones focus more on design and looks than sound output. But that opinion has not deterred users from buying these headphones, and in fact, Beats by Dre has its own fan following.
To top it, Apple has marked its stamp of approval on this brand of headphones and even has it in their esteemed corner in Apple Store. This strong association with Apple boosted the popularity in the company
Having said all that, we will now review two popular headphones by Beats, namely, Studio 2 and Solo 2. As with all of the Beats by Dre headphones, these also focus heavily on Bass to give you those head-thumping and heart-pounding notes that take your listening experience to new levels, especially if you like loud and fast music.
But which of the two is better? In this article, I would try to explain the differences between these two and which one I think is a better bang for the buck.
Please note: This is my view on this, and everybody might have different opinions. So before you buy, please read the full article so we can help you make an informed decision as to which of these are better for you.
Table of Contents
Beats Studio 2 vs Solo 2: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Let's compare both of these headphones over different important aspects to understand the strengths and flaws in each of these headphones. I hope, based on my detailed review, you can decide which of the two would work better for you.
The design is one of the first things you see in a pair of headphones and with an impressive design, your decision is half-done. Let's see how both these headphones score on this front.
Beats Studio 2
Beats Studio 2 has a classy and streamlined design. The trademark of Beats by Dre, which is a mix of black and red coloring, is seen in this pair of headphones too. The classic ‘b' sign is present on the outer side of each ear cup as well.
The outer cup of these headphones has a reflecting plastic finish. I always say that it's easier to fake quality in satin plastic. That's why a lot of these new cheap brands use a satin finish. So I would say this is definitely a good pair of quality headphones.
You can get these headphones in three color combinations – a black and red, white and red where the entire headphone is in white, and the ‘b is in red, and red and white where the entire headphone is in red and the ‘b' is in white. All three combinations look great, and the right one depends on your personal preferences.
If you like to wear a flashy pair of headphones, go for red by all means. On the other hand, if you want a more subtle version that will go well with anything you wear, black is a good choice. Somewhere between the two is white. It just depends on you. But regardless of which you pick, they are sure to look good on your head.
The build quality is also solid and everything seemed to be fine during our testing process.
The earpads are comfortable and soft made with synthetic leather. But in my opinion, it has a fake leather look, so maybe Beats should have considered using a higher quality leather material for these headphones.
The headband is made of some rubber and not the usual synthetic leather or fabric, so they tend to stay on your head well. This aspect makes these headphones ideal for use and doesn't slip off even during fast-paced aerobics. Also, it is quite portable as it folds nicely and fits into the hard case that comes as a part of the accessory.
When it comes to comfort, I can not complain whatsoever. The Beats Studio 2 fits very well and adjusts to any shape and size. The cushioning on the earpads made my ears feel very comfortable.
Beats Solo 2
Beats Solo 2, the design and construction are similar to Beats Solo in their construction. They are mostly made up of plastic, and it does look like it as well.
The good news is there are no cross-eyed designs, and this makes the Solo 2 look neat and nice. They look a little bit curvy compared to the previous version, and I think this makes them more accessible and usable to a wider age group.
As with Studio 2, Solo 2 also comes in some loud shades, mostly geared for the younger generation. Besides, there is also the classic black on red and white on red shades.
In terms of comfort, these headphones are good too. They do not stick out too far from your head and gives you a comfortable seal. It does not clamp down either, making it a good choice to use across a wider age group.
The headband is made of rubber and is lightweight, so it is flexible for the head of any size and sits well on the ears, so you can do activities like running without ever worrying about these headphones falling off.
Solo 2 doesn't come with a hard case. When I was traveling, I liked the hard case that studio 2 comes with; it makes it worry-free when cramping that suitcase closed.
Which of the two scores high in design? Well, it is too close to call. Both the headphones are stylish and come in attractive colors to meet the preferences of different people. The comfort is great, and the build is solid. So, we can say that both of these headphones are winners in this category.
2. Sound Quality
Sound quality is a major aspect that determines the usability of headphones and in many ways, justifies its price tag as well.
Beats Studio2 is one of the better sounding headphones from Beats. Though it is not exactly studio grade, it is a perfect commuter headphone, thanks to its many features such as adaptive noise cancelling technology and a comfortable fit. The soundstage offered by Studio is mind-blowing and can help you identify the right instrument at the right spot. Almost feels like you're sitting in a live concert.
When you compare the sound quality of Beats Studio 2 and Solo2, the latter sure sounds crisper and clearer. Beats Studio 2, unfortunately, falters heavily on this front. It tries to give out too much bass and that takes over the other notes in a track., This means, what you hear is a set of muddy notes backed by a full blown out bass.
Solo 2, on the other hand, also has a decent emphasis on bass, but it also brings out the other notes well. This model has definitely improved on the previous version of Solo and adds a lot of depth to sound output. This is why you'll find that the bass is not blown over or bloated in any way, rather it is prominent and blends well to give you a crisp tone, though not a balanced one. In fact, there is a slight tilt towards bass in these headphones too, but they are not as bad as Beats Studio in their bass emphasis.
Again, we're not trying to say that Beats Studio 2 is necessarily bad, but when you compare it with Solo 2, the latter's bass is much more controllable and this makes the overall sound output crisp and clear without sounding muddy at any point.
One aspect that is common to both these headphones is that they are compatible with Apple iOS because they have the same codec format used by Apple. This means these headphones sound great when paired with any Apple device. If you're an Apple user, your wait for quality headphones geared specifically for iOS ends with these products. The sound quality offered is much better than many headphones that are designed more for Android devices than iOS. All this means if you're an Apple user, its happy time for you!
Now it is time for the verdict on the all-important sound quality. Which of the two is better? Though soundstage is fantastic in Beats Studio 2, its emphasis on bass can be a little too much. This is why we prefer to go with Beats Solo 2, even if it does not have the same soundstage as that of Beats Studio 2. You'll still hear some bass in Solo 2 and that's a signature of all headphones from Beats by Dre. But this bass is not so overpowering to muddle the other notes.
Also, the sounds are crisp and clear in Solo 2, though it is not as balanced as we would have liked. But that's also something that should not be expected from Beats headphones because they are meant more for heart-thumping tracks that exude bass all over it.
All that said, the sound quality of Beats Solo 2 is better than Beats Studio 2, so the winner is Solo 2.
The list of features for both the headphones is impressive, to say the least. These features enhance the usability of both the headphones in a big way. Let us now discuss some of the important features that come with both Beats Studio 2 and Solo 2.
One of the salient aspects of Beats Studio is its adaptive noise cancelling feature. The advantage of this feature is that outside noise will not interfere with your listening in any way, so you can enjoy listening to your music even if you're in crowded places like public transport. This adaptive noise cancelling technology works by blending the outside noise with your music in such a neat way that you'll not even be able to identify or distinguish that the sound is coming from outside your headphones.
Beats Solo 2 is also impressive when it comes to noise cancelling. In fact, we think it is one of the best choices for noise cancelling and scores even better than some of the other popular models from the house of Sennheiser and Sony.
That said, cutting out outside noise may not be always good, especially if you're one of those people who tend to do go for a walk or jog outside, as the outside noises can warn you about impending dangers such as a speeding car. So, this is something to keep in mind before you jump into adaptive or active noise cancelling headphones.
Besides adaptive noise cancelling, Beats Studio also comes with an amazing battery life. One full charge can give you up to 20 hours of battery life and that's seriously amazing. Imagine how much you can use these headphones without having to recharge them often. This long battery life is sure to give you a ton of flexibility, especially if you tend to travel often.
The accessories that come with Beats Studio are quite good and helpful. Along with these headphones, you get a 3.5mm audio cable, cleaning cloth to wipe down your headphones after use and an owner's manual that has detailed information about the product and gives you a clear explanation on usage.
Other than these, you get three different kinds of cables. The first one is a charging cable, a mini plug that allows you to plug your headphones into any device so you can listen to the list of songs on that device, and finally, a phone cable with a built-in microphone and volume control, as well as a few other controls for scrolling through your playlist. A USB 2.0 and a USB adapter also comes along with these accessories.
So, the list of accessories that come with Beats Studio is impressive and adds to the versatility of these headphones. In some ways, they also justify their cost.
Moving on to the features of Solo 2, they come with a chord and an inline remote with microphone and volume control. This cable can be used for the wired mode, though Solo2 sounds great on the wireless mode too. There is also a button on the side that you can use to raise and lower the volume or even answer calls. The mic is built into the headphones itself and this makes it convenient to answer calls at any time. It also comes with a charging cable to charge the headphones.
When compared to Beats Studio, Solo 2 pales in battery life, as the latter gives only 12 hours of play after a full charge while Studio gives an impressive 20.
So, when you compare the feature set of both these headphones, it is clear that Studio is the winner, as its feature set is longer and more impressive than Beats Solo 2. In fact, the battery life alone is a big game changer. The long list of accessories you get is also impressive, as it is not often that you get a bounty.
After comparing the two headphones, the winner in features is definitely Beats Studio mainly because of its extraordinary battery life and impressive set of features.
Beats by Dre has always been criticized for selling expensive headphones that are not really worth the price tag. But then, Beats has been able to sell a substantial number of them which goes to show that price alone is not a factor, but buyers have taken into account other factors such as brand value and design.
That said, Beats Solo 2 is priced reasonably, which we think is a good bargain coming from the stables of Beats. It is stylish and offers good sound output, and all this makes Beats Solo 2 a good value for money.
Beats Studio, on the other hand, is a different case altogether. Priced a bit higher, these headphones are surely on the expensive side, considering that it does not offer much by way of sound output. Though the design is stylish and impressive, the audio quality is not as a great as it should be. The list of accessories that come with these headphones are impressive too, but they sure don't justify the price tag of these headphones.
Overall, the winner in this category is Beats Solo 2 as it is competitively priced and is a good value for money compared to the more expensive Beats Studio.
4. Beats Studio 2 vs Solo 2 – Pros and Cons
To get a bird's eye view of the advantages and shortcomings of each of these headphones, we present below a quick bullet-list of their pros and cons.
Beats Studio 2 Pros
The advantages that come with Beats Studio are as follows:
- Intense bass that makes it the perfect pair of headphones for some bass heavy tracks.
- Comfortable fit.
- Good design.
- Solid build.
- Plenty of accessories.
- Pairs seamlessly with many devices via Bluetooth.
- Rich soundstage.
- 20 hours of battery life.
- Little sound leakage.
Beats Studio 2 Cons
The shortcomings of Beats Studio are listed below:
- Too much emphasis on bass and this muddles out the other notes.
- Not ideal for use in passive mode.
- Highs can get distorted, especially when you listen to higher volumes.
- Active noise cancelling can be a little tricky.
Solo comes with the following pros:
- Sound output is excellent.
- Good distinction between mids, highs and lows, and doesn't sound too bassy.
- Sound isolation is great as well.
- Comes with a comfortable fit.
- Lightweight and is easily foldable and portable.
- Provides a good grip while doing exercise.
- Inline remote and mic for handling calls.
- Good value for money, considering that it comes from the house of Beats by Dre.
Some of the drawbacks of using Solo are:
- The sound could have a better balance, especially when compared to other models available in the same price range.
- It is not the most comfortable pair of headphones if you wear glasses.
- Not ideal for critical listening or critical analysis.
- There is more emphasis on bass.
Beats Studio 2 vs Solo 2 – Final Verdict
Now it is time for the final verdict.
Beats Solo 2 is slightly better than Beats Studio because of its lower emphasis on bass. Also, it is priced lower than Studio and that also adds to its favour.
That said, if you love bass and listen to only bass tracks, then Studio is your outright choice. They give you top quality bass that is sure to take your listening experience to new heights.
Overall winner – Beats Studio 2.