I was compiling a list of my top 5 favourite long-term products/items and these were a no brainer that sat at the very top. When I sat down to write the post, I couldn’t stop writing about these so I decided they deserve a post all to themselves. I’m not sure if the top 5 will happen now, it may do so keep an eye out.
I have had these for five years now as I brought them with birthday money the day after my 17th and barely a day has gone by that I haven’t used them. I even had a friend say to me recently that they don’t think they have ever seen me without them!
I have the (Solo HD)Red Special Edition Headphones which were the very first type available that weren’t black or white and they seemed perfect for me with red being my favourite colour.
The fact that I still have the box for these says A LOT about my ability as a horder, but never mind, at least I can show you it and talk about it. The box has a matte black sleeve (all the fingerprints!) with a photograph of the headphones on the front and some special features detailed. There is also a flap covering the back of the sleeve with a magnetic closure. This contains more details about special features in several different languages.
Removing the sleeve, the box itself is very minimalist but with a very luxury feel to it. It is a made of a thick, stury, bright red cardboard with the logo and company name on the front. There is a black ribbon tab in the centre of the back edge on the right, pulling this moves the side overlay flap away from the box which then separates into two pieces, held together by the flap wrapping all the way around. Inside, the red minimalist theme continues. In the right side is a black plastic slot in which the headphones sat folded in the case and on the right is another flap to be opened. Under this were the user manuals and cables.
The case for the headphones is a soft black fabric oval with a zip around half of the edge and the bright red rubber beats logo stitched on the front, this has got a bit discoloured on mine from years of sitting at the bottom of whatever bag I was using at the time. Inside the case is white with a little pocket for the cable and a cleaning cloth (bright red of course). I have used this cleaning cloth a lot over the years, with the plastic being shiny, fingerprints are a nightmare!
As I have already said, the headphones themselves are a bright red shiny plastic on the outer casing, with the beats logo on each earpiece in silver. The underside of the headphones and the earpieces are a soft grey colour which, for me at least, makes them feel a bit more sophisticated. Personally I’m not a fan of one of the newer Solo ranges which had these areas the same colour as the casing, it made them look a bit cheap. I am very glad they have moved away from this again as for £170, the last thing you want is for them to look cheap.
This pack came with two cable, neither of which I have anymore, however, one was identical to the cable I have currently, if I am remembering correctly. This is a red cable with black ends and control piece, all of which have some sort of Beats branding. One end of this auxiliary cable is a 90 degree angle intended to make it sit flush with the bottom of the item it is plugged into, causing less damage in a pocket or when wrapping the cable around a phone, while the other is straight to go into the headphones. The other cable that came with these was the same but it didn’t have the audio control piece attached.
The main reasons I chose these, despite the cost, was that the sound quality and levels of base were right for me and how I like to listen to my music and the cable is a double ended auxiliary cable so it could easily be replaced. In the past every time I break a pair of earphones or headphones it is by damaging the cable in some way which most of the time renders them useless, but not these! Countless times I have got the cable caught, on door handle mainly, and it has pulled out of the headphones but without causing damage. Since having these, I have made my way through the 2 official cables that came with it (lasted about a year and a half each with constant use and being wrapped around my phone 24/7), 2 fake cables (lasted about a month each, you get what you pay for) and I am now using a third official cable which I brought about a year and a half to 2 years ago and desperately need to replace. Generally with the genuine cables, I have had to replace them because the rubber wire surround has come away from the cable ends and I can’t glue it back together anymore and not because of internal wire issues or snapping – as was the case with the bad quality fakes.
Having had these for 5 years, the joints are getting a bit looser and the rubber part of the headband likes to fall off, but they still sound as great as the day I got them and they still feel comfortable to wear. If something were to happen to these, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy them again. I am a little worried though that the headband size may have got bigger as the smallest setting on my boyfriend’s Beats Mixr headphones is too big to fit me, but fingers crossed this is just because of the different style and won’t be the case with newer editions of the Solo range!
Yes, £170 is a lot of money, but with 5 years of constant use I do feel like I have got my money’s worth and they are still going strong so it just gets better. What’s more, they were £170 then and are still now which, with so many other products going up in price, feels good to me.
The sound quality is good. They are very comfortable for prolonged use. No, they aren’t a gimmick. No, I didn’t buy them as a fashion statement (I had them before that became a thing). Yes, they are 100% worth it.
If you have been trying to decide whether or not to get a pair, I 100% recommend them.
With these being so old, I can’t link the exact pair, but you can shop the updated version for £169.95 here.
I would love to know what you think of Beats headphones and whether or not they are worth it, let me know in the comments!
Thanks for Reading,
The Mechanic x