Beats headphones for a long time had the reputation of looking really sleek and requiring a pretty penny to purchase, but ultimately lackluster on sound quality. Review after review indicated that while Beats were nice and fairly comfortable, the sound clearly catered toward a specific audience: hip hop and EDM lovers. They had an overpowering bass that threw the balance off everywhere else.
You didn’t need to be much of an audio expert to know that either. I heard it everywhere, even on college campuses from people who are far from tech savvy.
A Bumpy Road for Beats
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When I’d ask around for recommendations on a new pair of headphones or hear other people asking, one person was always bound to respond: “Don’t get Beats, they look cool but they’re overpriced.” Always.
It appears the tides are shifting though. The Beats Solo3 wireless headphones are the newest models Apple has churned out and reviews are quite solid. They all collectively agree that sound quality is significantly improved over earlier models.
“Beats arrived on the market years ago with a bass-heavy sound, but the Solo3s are tuned for all-around use, sounding just as good with a video or video game as they do with a Kanye West track,” writes Ebenezer Samuel for New York Daily News.
It looks like Beats Solo3 cups might actually be worth your time if you’re in the market for a new pair of really good headphones.
Another review from Digital Spy arrives at the same conclusion. “Yes, the Solo 3 Wireless still pump out the low end with the best of them, but sound is now far more balanced,” writes Luke Johnson. “To focus solely on their bass-loving party piece would be to do these cans a disservice. Things are now pretty sophisticated.”
It looks like Beats Solo3 cups might actually be worth your time if you’re in the market for a new pair of really good headphones. I can’t believe I’m saying that.
What Solo3 Brings to the Table
Solo3 has two notable features that help it excel among competition. The first is Apple’s W1 chip. You might have heard of this in Apple’s AirPods, but they’re also in the Solo3 headphones, BeatsX earbuds and PowerBeats earbuds. This chip is behind the seamless pairing of these headphones to any Apple device. Just hold your headphones near an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac and they’ll instantly ask you if you want to connect. Tap Connect and you’re done.
There is no need to fiddle around in Bluetooth settings and no need to wait for sound or light indicators. It’s just quick and easy. And it looks like Apple is keeping this technology proprietary for now.
The second feature — possible in part because of the W1 — is tremendous battery life. One thing that has always turned me off about wireless headphones is the need to charge them. With the Solo3 that’s much less of a problem because they get an unprecedented 40 hours of battery life. That’s absolutely incredible for wireless headphones and one of the best numbers in the industry. The Solo2s by comparison only get 12 hours.
I’m not necessarily in the market for headphones myself, but I always keep an eye out in case something new intrigues me. I’m personally waiting on the Beats Studio Wireless for a refresh. As great as the Solo3 headphones sound, they’re on-ear headphones which I’ve never been a fan of. Studio Wireless cups wrap around the ear, though they come at an insane price right now: $379.95 and that’s without W1 chip or great battery life.
Ultimately, Solo3 seems to revive the Beats brand and bring it into quality territory. They’re still overpriced as always at $299.95, but at least now if you do get on board you’re getting an exceptional pair of headphones.