Where Beats didn't excel with the new model is comfort.
Where Beats didn't excel with the new model is comfort. I've never been a fan of the way this brand of headphones feels when I wear them, and unfortunately, the Solo² is more of the same. Despite a new headband and ergonomic, pivoting earcups, the headphones still feel like they're pinching in on my head -- a feeling that gets uncomfortable about 15 to 20 minutes into a listening session. That's a common criticism of the Solo HD set, too. This new model is 45g (1.6 ounces) heavier than the Solo HD, and while it's 25g (0.88 ounce) lighter than my usual (albeit more pricey) B&O H6 set, the way the headphones take hold makes them feel a lot heavier. There's new material wrapping the earcups to help dissipate heat though, and that tweak was quite noticeable after several minutes of listening.
In terms of aesthetics, the area housing the iconic circle logo on the outside of the earcups is concave and the leather-esque material meets the plastic on the inside seamlessly. That bunched-up hemline is no more. There's still a color-coordinated in-line remote for toggling tracks, adjusting volume and taking calls, but only on iOS devices. The center play/pause button was all that worked with both Spotify and Google Play Music or answering calls on my Moto X. Finally, the cans still fold in on themselves just like the previous version, should you feel the need to toss 'em in a bag or the included carrying case for transport.
If you're looking to update from the latest model, or opt in for the first time, the Beats Solo² headphones are available for a $200 investment starting today. As you might expect, there are six color options (gray is pictured) to match your smartphone, wardrobe or football cleats.