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 its 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 Beats Solo 3, the company continues to deliver the features and characteristics consumers have grown to love while offering small tweaks that enhance the overall listening experience.
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 loudness of in-ear headphones, the Beats Solo 3 is 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; however, some particularly intense forms of exercise such as gymnastics might cause these headphones to become dislodged.
The two large cups on either side of these headphones are placed over the wearer’s ears and contain substantial amounts of cushioned material. This is designed to ensure the maximum degree of comfortwhen wearing them.
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 if needed. The fact that this headphone covers the wearer’s ears also provides some noise isolating properties, although they aren’t of the same caliber as studio headphones.
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 Beats 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.
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, the Beats Solo 3 will deliver a listening experience that is more than adequate. However, individuals with a more discerning ear for audio quality might not find the Beats 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 the Beats Solo 3'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.
This is the main selling point for the Beats Solo 3 since a wireless connection means that the manufacturers were able to remove all wiring, that might 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 device.
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.
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, the Solo 3 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 the Beats Solo 3 is still very much a positive one.
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.
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.
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, the Beats Solo 3 are among some of the most user-friendly options available thanks to their improved technology.
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.
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, the Beats Solo 3 are a good 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