Beats Solo 3 Review Facts
The first thing that comes to the average consumer’s mind when thinking about high-end headphones is Beats. Founded by Dr. Dre and acquired by Apple, this product line has taken the music industry by storm with their simple but appealing style. Whether it’s their wireless earbuds, their Pill portable speakers, or the headphones that put them on the map, virtually anything released by this brand enjoys an unprecedented amount of popularity and a dedicated fanbase. Although their aesthetics are what draws most casual customers to their products, the above-average audio fidelity and ease of use when paired with certain smart devices keeps them coming back. With the Solo 3, Beats continues delivering the features and characteristics consumers have grown to love while offering small tweaks that enhance the overall listening experience.
There’s a reason these headphones are a common sight in most gyms
. Thanks to their lack of wires, the Beats Solo 3 are excellent accessories for engaging in intense physical activities. In addition to weightlifting and calisthenics, the minimalist design of these headphones makes them excellent for use in running or jogging.
Although the aforementioned lack of cables means that the Beats Solo 3 offers a more convenient experience than wired headphones or earbuds, it doesn’t offer quite the same level of functionality that someone would find in a pair of wireless earbuds
. Although some people don’t enjoy the feeling of in-ear listening devices due to having sensitive ears, the fact remains that in-ear headphones are the most effective at maintaining a secure grip on the wearer’s head. This isn’t to say that the Beats Solo 3 is incapable of providing this purpose since they have adjustable settings on the band that ensures a secure fit; however, some particularly intense forms of exercise such as gymnastics might cause these headphones to become dislodged.
It goes without saying that these headphones offer the ability to listen to audio from a compatible listening device as its most basic feature. The Beats Solo 3 is also wireless, which means that they connect through Bluetooth
instead of through a traditional headphone jack, USB cable, or Lightning cable. However, it does use a Micro USB cable for charging purposes which are included in the product package.
The two large cups on either side of these headphones are placed over the wearer’s ears and contain substantial amounts of cushioned material in order to ensure the maximum degree of comfort
. Additionally, the thick headband is adjustable and can accommodate multiple head sizes. If the user of the Beats Solo 3 connects their device to a smartphone, a small inline remote on its side allows the wearer to accept calls and adjust the volume for both incoming calls and music. The fact that this headphone covers the wearer’s ears also provides some noise isolating properties, although they are mostly passive and aren’t of the same caliber as provided by studio headphones.
The most advanced feature present in the design of the Beats Solo 3 stem from its embedded W1 chip developed by Apple. Any Beats products with this chip are able to provide greater functionality when paired with Apple products, including iPhones and iPads, thanks to their shared architecture. Dropped connections and stuttering audio are common wireless headphone
pitfalls that are avoided due to this hardware addition.
Aside from this, one benefit provided by the Beats Solo 3’s W1 chip that even applies to non-Apple users is its battery life. On a full charge, the lifespan of this product is extremely impressive; however, users who don’t have the time to fully charge their devices can take advantage of the Solo 3’s Fast Fuel feature. When enabled, customers only need to have their device plugged in for five minutes in order to receive roughly three hours of battery life. This is a rare feature to find in many modern smart devices; while most offer large lithium-ion batteries that can last for many hours on a full charge, comparatively few can provide a fast charge time on top of this.
Considering the fact that these headphones were designed by one of the most popular and successful hip-hop producers around, it makes sense that the Beats Solo 3 offer an impressive level of audio fidelity. With the emphasis being placed on the low end of the sound spectrum, listeners of percussion and bass-heavy music such as hip-hop will particularly appreciate the sound quality on display with this product.
For the vast majority of casual listeners who are simply looking for a fashionable and functional accessory for their fitness routines or everyday life, these Beats headphones will deliver a listening experience that is more than adequate. However, individuals with a more discerning ear for audio quality might not find the Solo 3 to be as impressive. Despite the fact that headphones are, on average, able to provide a better experience than earbuds by design, the smaller size of this product’s ear cups somewhat diminishes this effect. Unlike studio headphones that completely cover the wearer’s ears, these cups only fit over them and don’t offer the same noise isolating seal. Furthermore, the bass-heavy sound with limited EQ options will likely dissuade audiophiles who prefer listening to music other than hip-hop.
In a move that is likely to surprise no one except the unfortunate few people who have been living under a rock for the past 20 years, these wireless headphones connect via Bluetooth to the user’s listening device of choice. Unlike earlier Beats models or most traditional headphones for that matter, there is no way for the user to connect the Beats Solo 3 to their devices with an analog connection.
This is the main selling point for these headphones since a wireless connection means that the manufacturers were able to remove all wiring that might otherwise become tangled, damaged, or cause discomfort for the wearer during different physical activities. Bluetooth isn’t exactly considered the best way for smart devices to wirelessly connect with each other, but its near ubiquitous status in almost all modern smart devices helps to justify its inclusion in this product. While this technology has been susceptible to connection issues in the past, Beats’ use of more advanced hardware in this product helps greatly to mitigate these problems. As a result, even customers who are wary of Bluetooth products may want to give these headphones a chance.
Since these are headphones, the Beats Solo 3 offers a major benefit over earbuds in terms of wearer comfort. Although this isn’t something that happens to everyone, there are many people who dislike in-ear headphones because they can cause discomfort and make the insides of their ears feel sore after wearing them for too long. The fact that these headphones rest on top of the wearer’s ears instead of inside them avoids this issue entirely.
However, something that is worth noting is the fact that these are not the most comfortable headphones that a prospective customer can choose from. In fact, these aren’t even the most comfortable Beats headphones, since their studio quality headphones offer a much nicer feeling of comfort while worn. Unlike studio headphones, the Beats Solo 3 have ear cups just big enough to rest on top of the wearer’s ears without completely covering them. This means that the potential for the wearer’s ears to become uncomfortably squished is much higher than with larger ear cups, and it doesn’t provide the best noise isolation either. This issue is negligible in the great scheme of things, however, and the overall user experience when using these Beats headphones is still very much a positive one.
This is the one aspect of any Beats product that outshines the rest, cementing its status as a fashion accessory and status symbol even more than its status as a decent pair of headphones. The reason why these headphones became so popular in the first place was that of the impeccable visual design they showcases. It should come as no surprise that this product line was bought out by Apple since both brands share the design aesthetics of rounded edges, simplistic logos, and mono-color palettes. Although the Beats Solo 3 retains these impressive stylistic elements, while including additional ones through many different colorways, their sense of style is also why these headphones come at such a ridiculously high price.
Due to the fact that the Beats Solo 3 is wireless, the part of most headphones and earbuds that are the most sensitive and susceptible to breakage are missing from its overall design. This comes with a substantial benefit to its durability since wearers will no longer have to worry about fraying or snapping these wires during their exercises. Since these are headphones instead of earbuds, the entire housing and ear cups for the Beats Solo 3 are also built in a way that is much more resistant to damage. The large cushioned ear cups and the thick plastic headband offer much more durability than most cheaper headphones, and they also have a nice weight to them that helps with balance.
Ease of Use
Something that comes as a pitfall to many wireless headphones in regards to their ease of use is the way in which they connect to the user’s listening devices. Bluetooth connectivity is one of the easiest ways in which to pair two smart devices and it enjoys near-universal adoption by most pieces of modern tech. However, there is still the initial hurdle of pairing the device for the first time, which can be a drawn-out and frustrating process if there is a lot of interference. Furthermore, the fact that the Beats Solo 3 are wireless makes it so that they need to be charged before usage since they aren’t able to draw from the devices they connect too as a power source. Ultimately, a pair of traditional wired headphones or earbuds will provide an easier time; however, these wireless headphones are among some of the most user-friendly options available thanks to their improved technology.
Rather than draw power from the device to which they are connected, the Beats Solo 3 need to be charged separately in order to function. While this is often an inconvenience, especially to tech enthusiasts who likely have an entire power strip full of devices that need charging regularly, Beats makes a considerable effort to make the charging experience painless. The most significant way in which they accomplish this is by making the Beats Solo 3 powerful enough that they can run for roughly 40 hours on a single full charge: almost two full days of listening to music or podcasts. Something else that helps to make their experience a bit more user-friendly is their Fast Fuel feature, which allows the user to get three hours of use out of only five minutes of charging.
Despite all of the amazing features present in the Beats Solo 3, it can be difficult to justify paying such a high price for them. For the most part, people who shell out the asking price for these headphones are paying for the brand; after all, the same price can net customers with studio-quality headphones that offer superior comfort and audio fidelity. However, those other headphone offerings aren’t nearly as popular or fashionable as the quintessential red B that adorns the sides of these wireless headphones. For customers willing to pay over $200 for that red B, these are as good a pair of headphones as any to do it for.
- Multiple colorways to choose from
- Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth
- Up to 40 hours of battery life on a full charge
- Apple W1 chip improves sound quality and functionality
- Fast Fuel allows for quick charging
Beats headphones are popular because they look good, not necessarily because they sound good. However, the Beats Solo 3 are excellent headphones due to the way in which they both look and sound good, on top of all the enticing additional features such as Fast Fuel. For individuals with an active lifestyle who want to look good while running or training, these are a solid investment.