Beats headphones have achieved a level of notoriety based on their style, but the sound they offer isn’t for everyone. Often touted as headphones for urban music–rap and hip-hop–the Beats sound doesn’t transfer well to all genres.
It just so happens Apple is giving new Mac buyers a free pair of Beats Solo2 headphones as part of its back to school campaign. But it’s worth investing in headphones that offer better sound quality. (Maybe you can sell the Solo2 headphones and use that money for a different pair.)
I found the Beats Solo2 to be comfortable, and to offer good noise isolation, but, as for the sound…while some music sounds excellent–Bob Dylan with an acoustic guitar, for example–most music doesn’t. The bass booms, overwhelming much of the music, in what sounds like an artificially equalized sound. It’s as though I pushed the loudness button on my amp, then turned down the treble. Sometimes these headphones make it sound like you’re in the bathroom of a club, listening to music through the walls. The bass can be so overwhelming that it drowns out much of the rest of the music.
I tried three other wired, on-ear headphones, at a similar price as the Beats Solo 2. I tested these headphones with a wide variety of music, from Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, to Miles Davis (both acoustic and electric) and Brad Mehldau’s piano trio, as well as with classical music, from solo instruments to string quartets and orchestral works.
Read the rest of the article on Macworld.