Dre Beats unleashes Solo 2 Wireless for "the haters". Haters of wires, specifically

Biggest Beats launch since the Apple buyout last year

Nowadays it seems like everybody has got something to say. But what comes out when they move their lips? "Wow, those headphones are expensive and overly bassy," mainly, if it's people of the audiophile persuasion.

However, for the millions who love Beats by Dre's style, sound and enormously lucrative Apple affiliation, there's now the Solo 2 Wireless. Launched yesterday on Beats by Dre's turf on the Apple Store, this pairs the classic Dre styling in a choice of black, red, white or blue, with, obviously, wireless sound. That's got a quoted 10 metre range and 12 hour battery life.

Unlike some older wireless on-ear headphones, although very much like most newer wireless on-ear headphones, there's tthe ability to use the Solo 2 Wireless with a wired connection, specifically the trademarked RemoteTalk cable, should your battery flag. There's also a mic and earcup-mounted audio controls for your certified Apple smartphone.

At 215g they're not unbearably heavy and the smart, streamlined frame folds up for easier storage. The wirelessness is via Bluetooth, of course, though not the higher definition Apt-X variant, as far as we can make out. Our reviewer has given his initial verdict: comfy, "loving" the sound, and battery life seems decent. We'll have a more nuanced version of that later.

Fact is, we're agnostic on Beats headphones - their detractors can be annoyingly shrill, which is ironic given the nature of their complaints, and the best Beats 'phones sound propulsive and engaging with the right types of music. The styling always impresses too, though it could stand a bit of a refresh at this point.

But are they worth the decidedly premium asking price - five pence shy of 270 quid in this case? Well, that's up to you, innit. Our street team is road testing them now and we'll have a full review shortly.

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."