I use these daily and have pretty much taken them everywhere: 6-hour amtrak ride to so-cal (from san luis obispo), 8-hour computer sessions, biking around campus, I even wear these to sleep sometime. So after 3 weeks, I feel I can finally provide an honest review:
This is probably the biggest reason why I (and I would imagine most other people) bought these and not alternative brands like Grado or Sennheiser. These look and feel great. The glossy finish looks great and the material is easy to wipe clean. The way these fold up is interesting and something I haven't seen on other full-size and on-ear headphones. They fit nicely in the main compartment of my Case Logic NOXB-114 Corvus 14 to 15-Inch Laptop Backpack (Black)
Although these took some time to get used to, I find myself very satisfied with the sound. I listen to rock, hip hop and some pop music (my current favorites are Band of Horses, Vampire Weekend, and Foster the People). At first, they sound very bass-heavy, but the more time I spent listening to these on a flat equalizer, the more my ears began to adjust and appreciate the of sound the deeper lows with the moderate highs and mids. The earpads make a great connection with your ears, making passive noise cancellation pretty good when I'm in the lab or library. Some would say you can find alternative on-ears with better sound - like Grado Prestige Series SR225i Headphones
- but again, I am satisfied with the Solo HD.
Construction and Durability
The construction of the Solo HD is definitely an improvement over the previous model (from the complaints I've seen). If you take care of your stuff (which you should, considering you're investing $180-200 in headphones), you shouldn't have a problem with these breaking. Just keep in mind they are primarily plastic and have an internal metal band for support, making them very bendable. These come with a nice case and sturdy, thick cords that do not tangle easily and firmly connect to your music device and the headset.
The earpads on these are extremely soft. What I enjoy is the fact that these do not put too much pressure around your head. I have 8-12 hour sessions with these while designing on the computer, and my ears are comfortable for a solid 5-6 hours before feeling sore (from the fact that my eardrums need a break). I have the MEElectronics HT-21 Travel Lightweight Headphone with Swivel Cups, Adjustable Foldable Headband (Black)
and although they are great for what you pay for, they start to feel uncomfortable after 2 hours. I also own the Sennheiser HD-280 PRO Headphones
since 2007 (which are full-size headphones) and these make my head feel hot after 2-3 hours of listening. I'm not sure if my experience makes my opinion the most informed, but I do believe these headphones are one of the most comfortable out there.
With a 4th generation iPod Nano, all of the controltalk music functions work. I own the HTC Inspire 4G Android Phone (AT&T)
without the expectation for any features to work. However, these do work if you press once to answer or make a call (to the most recent caller) and double-press to end a call (the volume controls did not work with the phone).
I bought these with the expectation to try these for a couple of weeks before deciding if they were worth it (Amazon has a great return policy). These aren't for everyone - many people find them over-priced and most audiophiles loathe Beats by Dre in general. But after 3 weeks of extensive use, I am definitely glad I bought these for their comfort, style, and quality. PLEASE buy from an authorized dealer to ensure you get an authentic headset. The only way to get the 1-year warranty from Monster is to buy from authorized resellers - like Amazon and not from the third party sellers on Amazon.com.