On May 28, 2014, Apple announced to the world that it was going to buy Beats for 3 billion dollars. Why? It needed an on-demand service to keep up with the ever-growing music industry. So rather than building their own set of products, they decided to buy an already popular brand and claim it as its own. The Beats Solo 3 was the first product which Apple, through Beats, released for the public.
These Beats Solo 3 wireless on-ear headphones were either going to be a hit or a miss and would decide the entire future for this version of Beats. Most people enjoy the Solo 3 because it was from a reputable company from Beats, but like many products from Apple, these headphones definitely have their flaws.
Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones Review
The Beats Solo 3 wireless has an average playtime of around 40 hours. It was equipped with Bluetooth 4.2 as it was released on September 07, 2016, and that was the latest Bluetooth version of that time.
Features and Specifications
The Apple W1 chip is the same chip as the one used in the older series of the Apple Airpods 1. The Apple W1 chip is a tad bit older than their newer chips, but during 2016 it was the newest during the time. The Apple chip means that the Beats headphones will be optimized for iOS devices, which is a minus one in my books as I love my android phone and use a windows laptop.
While I can still use these headphones with my non-Apple devices, they cannot be used to their full potential if I had Apple devices instead. This ends up being another shameless marketing technique that Apple is known for doing. However, the W1 chip does provide a much balanced audio quality for bass lovers.
Now, let’s talk about Bluetooth. Without boring you with all the different versions, its origins, and how it works. I will only talk about the two Bluetooth types that might be included with the headphones present in the current market. Bluetooth 4.2 is a bit older but can transfer data up to 1 Mbps, much better than most headphones. Also, it has a range of effects of 30 feet. After Bluetooth 4.2, comes the newest Bluetooth 5.0, which can transfer data at a speed up to 2 Mbps and has a range of 260 feet.
The Beats design is built out of plastic and it appears to be unchanged from the previous iteration, which was the Beats Solo 2. Another point that shows the connection between Apple and Beats is the color scheme of Beats Solo 3. This is due to the fact that the Beats Solo 3 has the same seven color schemes as the Apple iPhone 7 – shiny, matte black, rose gold, silver, gold, white, and purple.
The arms of the headphones fold inwards to allow them to be more portable and to fit in the carrying case which comes with the headphones. The plastic material helps to make the headphones lighter.
These headphones have faux leather material for the ear cups and the headband. Unfortunately, this cheap material does not protect these headphones from getting dirty quickly. Furthermore, there are several reported complaints that the headphones are tight-fitting compared to other name-branded headphones. This was especially true for the out of box experience for these headphones. There were reports from users who had to take breaks during long listening sessions.
The headband for these Beats Solo 3 wireless has a clear and definite purpose and that is not to make these headphones look clean or elegant. It has a squidgy rubber material made to spread pressure evenly on your head, allowing for it to create a higher friction hold than conventional padding.
This allows the Beats Solo 3 to stay on your ear during running, exercising, or cases for when you are listening to upbeat and bass-heavy music. This could contribute to the fact that these headphones are better when listening to music with heavy bass.
If you wear glasses like me, then these headphones are not ideal as you could feel the headphones on your glasses. They can leave those nasty red trenches on the side of your skull which hurts every time you briefly try to touch it.
The left earcup has a 3.5mm connection for the included sound cable and the control panel. The outer panels for both ears look identical, but the Beats logo on the left ear is actually the functional button. Pressing it controls playback, answers or ends calls, and skips through tracks, depending on how many taps it receives. Tapping above or below the logo controls the volume levels, which works along with your phone’s amount/quantity levels. The right earcup houses the power/pairing button, as well as the micro USB port for the included charging cable and a light indicator to inform you of the battery level.
Controls are placed on the left earcup. Press the Beats logo to control playback or activate Siri, the iOS artificial assistant, with sound level controls at the top and bottom.
They work well enough but make a weird clicking noise of a button being pressed when using them. The headline feature of these headphones is the W1 chip, and it offers some benefits, especially to iPhone users, but some Android phones can take advantage of too.
For iOS users, there’s a very smooth link with your iPhone. Turn the headphones on and your iPhone will ask if you want to connect, which was briefly mentioned in the “What Do They Mean” section.
Android users will have to spend a little longer following the regular Bluetooth pairing steps. However, they will still get to share some of the bigger improvements that the W1 chip has to offer, which is primarily the improved sound quality.
Even though these revolutionary improvements to the wireless experience exist, the Beats Solo 3 remains the same pair of headphones as the Solo 2 Wireless. And that’s a shame because there is nothing physically new about these headsets. They feel as if someone upgraded their main chip, tweaked their performance up by 10%, and then slapped the same skin as the Beats Solo 2.
It’s not that the sound is bad, the sound has indeed somewhat significantly improved since the last iteration. For all they give in an immersive sound, they lack detail-oriented music and require further improvements.
Play Godzilla by Eminem and the Beats are in their niche. The aggressive bass creates a large focus on the instrumental and is rich and serious, with the sharp, snappy vocals being delivered with speed and viciousness.
Clearly, the Bluetooth Beats are great for rap and rock music due to the average frequency range in those genres being enhanced by the W1 chip. However, it is not something brand new and exclusive just for Beats. In fact, most DJ headphones do this job much better than Beats. These Beats Solo 3 Bluetooth headphones play to their strengths by doing a good job rhythmically and using the Beats by Dr. Dre name to propel themselves in the consumer’s market but that is really all there is to it.
Hopefully, you found this Beats Solo 3 review helpful. These Beats Bluetooth headphones are great in their wireless technology. They have a good range and an excellent battery life. It has a great bass response even if it is not meant to be neutral or accurate, but it does so by providing physical thuds without major booms, that usually cause a slight static sound wave to pass through. It has a wide range of colors so you can be sure to pick one which you like.
There are no major sound qualities going from the Beats Solo 2 to the Beats Solo 3. It has limited dynamics and a lack of spatial detail. As mentioned several times these headphones are meant to be the next-gen wireless headphones for iPhones, but their wired connection won’t plug in directly to an iPhone without using a dongle and they are charged by a basic micro USB instead of a lighting type-C connector. Furthermore, with the annoyance of their headbands, the Beats Solo 3 won’t fit everyone and those who wear glasses, like me, will most definitely hate these headphones after a while.
Basically, these beats Solo wireless headphones are not for everyone unless you are a fan of Apple or Beats. If you are switching from a Beats Solo 2, I recommend that you don’t buy these headphones. There aren’t that many major improvements that make the Solo 3 a must-have.
Sample Customer Review… Quality pair of on-ear headphones with more emphasis on bass than highs. Best if you like your dubstep, hip Hop, or dance/rave music. Not really for the sophisticated listener that prefers classical/orchestrated tunes. Based on other reviews, I thought these would hurt my ears and be too tight creating pressure. Mine is actually quite comfortable; but then I don’t have a huge head.
There is no true noise cancellation with these. Set-up was quick and easy on my Pixel 4a 5g phone. I downloaded the Beats app and I like that it shows the battery percentage of the headphones on my screen. I love this feature so that I do not overcharge the headphones when they need to be topped up. These are meant to be used on an iPhone/Apple device, but they work just fine on Android. The battery life seems solid and with medium, to low volume, I’m sure you will get your 40 hours worth of listening time.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
How much is Beats Solo 3?
As of January 2021, the Beats Solo 3 Bluetooth headphones are $136.10.
Can beats Solo 3 work with Android?
Yes, the Beats Solo 3 compatibility is with iOS and non-iOS devices. This includes Android devices.
How to turn on Beats Solo 3?
The Apple Beats Solo 3 turns on by holding down the power button then charging by using the micro USB cable that is provided.
Is Beats Solo 3 wireless?
Yes, the Beats Solo 3 headphones are a wireless Bluetooth product.
What is the Beats Solo 3 charge time?
It takes about 2 hours to fully charge the Beats Solo 3 headphones and they have up to 40 hours of power on a full charge.
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Is the Beats Solo 3 Wireless worth it?
Overall, the Beats Solo 3 is a decent choice for the price it is at. For the value, it offers great sound and fast charge but there are better options if there is more you are looking for.
Are Beats worth the money?
Beats are really known for their style more than the sound they offer. Depending on what you are looking for these could be the headphones for you but if you are looking for better sound there are better options.
Are Bose better than Beats?
Beats are built for more enhanced bass which some people like and some don’t. On the other hand, Bose is built with an equalizer to balance the sound and smoother listening.
Written by Abheek Mondal and Hannah Lee