Beats have had a huge following for many years – almost a cult of high-profile celebrities as well as the enthusiast buyer. Under Apple’s ownership things haven’t changed much overall, but the refinements being made are making Beats a genuine force against some of the biggest headphone brands on the planet
Headphones though are a very personal thing. What I think may not apply to you in any way, there are three key things about any headphones that influence that decision-making process; Design, Comfort and Sound.
From a design perspective the company has always had that colourful shiny plastic look to the ear cup and that continues with the new Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones available now.
The Solo range is basically the third tier of Beats – you have the Pro, then Studio and for the everyday user the Solo.
Design wise they look every bit a pair of Beats, and the Solo range have always been an on-ear cup. Personally, I’ve never much been a fan of headphones pushing on my ears, somehow though through the comfort of the cushion these are by far the most comfortable I’ve worn.
When it comes to sound, something that has put me off Beats in the past (remember, headphones are very personal – sound style is not a shared love), that was the Bass. Beats were and are renowned for their bass. A heavy bass may be good for some music, but for a wide music taste it can be a bit overwhelming.
From my perspective, these new Beats Solo 3 Wireless have hit the sweet spot. There’s a clarity to the sound, a depth to the tone but without an overbearing bass. These are the first great sounding Beats I’ve tried and could easily live with day-to-day.
So with all that said, they’re a winner right?
At $399 they are also not cheap. Not at all. Not the most expensive Beats, but we’re talking Bose QC25 price territory.
OK they are wireless, tick. They are great sound. Tick, and comfortable, Tick.
But $399 is still a heck of a lot to spend.
Good News – there’s some serious upside to that price – and it’s on the inside you’ll never see and only works for iPhone users.
Android owners, you can pair these just like any other Bluetooth headphones. iPhone users – magic! Using the W1 wireless chip first announced for the EarPods which we’re still yet to see in-market, it has some nifty features which aid battery life, but most of all – it makes pairing and use a breeze.
For an iPhone user, you just open the headphones up, put them next to your phone and hey presto like magic a prompt appears on-screen to pair up.
Within audio apps then when you look at the output device you can also see things like the battery life too. Very handy. This all works on iOS 10 and WatchOS 3 and with an iCloud account they just work across your devices.
You’re looking at 40 hours of battery life – that’s not good, that’s great. Stunning even. Oh, and a 5 minute charge before you run to the bus will give you another 3 hours play-time.
They are not noise cancelling, but because of the on-ear cup you do get a solid block-out of ambient noise, a very good sound.
These headphones are impressive, very impressive. While I never really understood the love and lust for Beats in the past, I can see more people wearing Beats when the sound, battery, and comfort is as good as the Beats Solo 3 Wireless.
Available in Gloss Black, Gloss White, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Black, Violet and Product (RED), they’re going to suit your style too.
Now in-store and online at Apple.com