Beats solo 3… just like the new powerbeats 3, the solo 3’s look almost identical to their pervious generation counter part. The real upgrade here is all under the hood. These bad boys retail for $299.95 and they come in 8 different colors. Are these headphones worth the money? Lets find out!
The packaging here is much better than the Powerbeats 3 we reviewed a few weeks back. First youre going to find the headphones themselves inside their carrying case, more on the case in a few. Under that youre going to find some documentation, warranty information, and a beats sticker if you want to give them free promo. underneath all of that youre going to find a cable with an inline controller fairly similar to the one found on the Powerbeats 3, a carabeaner that you can attach to the caring case, and a micro usb cable. You have to bring your own wall wart for this one which is kind of disappointing.
The headphones themselves are made mostly out of plastic. We’ve got the glossy white version here which is just going to be a finger print magnet. the headband itself is padded and has a rubber feel to it so it stays in place when its on your head. The ear cups themselves are very supple and looks to be made out of leather… but who knows it could be fuex leather. The headphones are light weight and comfortable enough to wear all day long. Although they fit rather snug, the super soft ear cups kept my delicate and dainty ears cool and comfortable even after extended use. The hinges are made out of metal and allow for the headphones to fold and get compact for storage and travel. only time will tell if the hinges will stand up to extended use.
Build quality on the Solo 3 is ok, but beats has never been really known for their build or sound quality. But where Beats is currently excelling right now is in the battery life department. The beats Solo 3 has a drastically improved battery life of 40 hours vs the 12 hours the Beats Solo 2 offer. The Beats Solo 3 also has Fast fuel, which will get you 3 hours of play from just 5 minutes of charging… “I Like That”. On the bottom of the right ear cup youre going to the find the power button, when they turn on they will show you a fuel gauge reminiscent to the one on a mac book that will show you the current battery level. The Beats Solo 3 charge via a micro usb cable, which i find od because i thought apple would have swapped it out for a lightning port by now.
Just like the Powerbeats 3, the Beats Solo 3 also features Apple’s new W1 chip that was introduced back in September in their iPhone 7 keynote. The W1 chip helps these ear phones be energy efficient all while providing a strong and clear wireless connection with your apple devices. I found these headphones have a 50 foot range with direct line of sight and no obstacles in the way. Pairing is super easy, its almost automatic. The best part is, the w1 chip allows the headphones to automatically pair with all other apple devices associated with your iCloud account. this means if youre listening to music on your iPhone, but then want to listen to music or videos on your mac, ipad, or apple watch all you have to do is switch the source on said device. this just a taste of apple’s truly wireless and hassle free future.
Now don't worry, if you don't have an iPhone or are deeply imbedded into apple’s eco system the beats solo 3 can still connect with non apple devices via standard bluetooth. just press and hold the the power button for 5 seconds to start the pairing process to connect your android device.
The sound quality on these headphones is practically the same as the Powerbeats 2. They do have a deep base and are best suited for hip hop, R&B, techno or dance music. You can control your music by pressing one of the three buttons found on the left ear cup. press up or down to adjust the volume, press the Beats logo once to play or pause your music, double tap the Beats logo to skip a song, triple tap the Beats logo to go back a track, or press and hold the beats logo to activate siri. you can also accept or end calls by pressing the beats logo as well. These headphones also have a built in microphone so you can argue with siri or wirelessly take calls.
Now you may be wondering, “What about the included cable, does it help?” Great question jimmy! Yes, connecting the headphones directly to your phone does help improve the sound quality slightly, not drastically. When using a wired connection, the headphones wont draw power from their internal battery and all control functions will be moved to the inline controller.
The carrying case here is a let down yet again like the Powerbeats 3. I don't know if this is a form of cost cutting on Apple’s or Beat’s behave, but if I'm paying upwards of $300 dollars for some headphones I would expect to get a decent carrying case that will protect them from getting crushed while in my bag. The case offers minimal padding and is water resistant.
So whats the verdict on the Beats Solo 3.. its a mixed bag. They aren't the best sounding headphones on the market, the build quality is ok, and they're pretty expensive. On the other hand, they have a battery life thats just ridiculously long and they are a huge convenience if you have multiple apple devices. If youre looking for headphones to workout with then you should consider the Powerbeats 3 or Jaybird X3, links to their video reviews and where to buy them are in the description. But if youre a young professional thats looking for a pair headphones to listen to music while youre commuting back home then the Beats Solo 3 is worth looking at. The cushioning on the ear cups offer passive noise cancelation so you can listen to your music or watch videos in the loudest of buses, subwayys, trains, ferries, or air planes. The super long battery life also helps ensure they wont die on you mid commute. Links to buy the Beats Solo 3 will be in the description below.