Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones Review
Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones Review
If you’re even slightly interested in anything to do with movies, music, or home entertainment in general, then you’re going to want a good pair of headphones that makes your content come alive; hence why Home Theater Headphones Are A Good Idea.
But these particular pair of headphones came as a little bit of a shock to me.
Well being the audio fanatic that I am, I’m always after the best sound possible without having to sacrifice my left leg just to get it.
Couple that with the fact that I’ve tried a few other headphones from this particular brand in the past, and they sounded absolutely nothing like these did. This was a sound I’d expect from a pair much more expensive.
What am I talking about exactly?
Look at the title.
This is the Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones review. 😉
If there’s one thing that Beats headphones have always been lauded for, it would have to be their impeccable design. From the moment that they were introduced to the public in 2008, they were praised for their unique looks.
So much so in fact, that in what seems like the blink of an eye, they quickly became a mainstream fashion piece to the masses.
From high profile celebrities to the average high school student, it became a much bigger hit than anyone could have ever anticipated.
Even today, if you were to take a look around any college campus, gym, or major city, it’s likely that you’ll see that iconic B symbol at least a few times.
And even though the original Beats brand was purchased by Apple in 2014 for 3.2 billion, (wow) the headphones themselves have still remained true to their roots.
This, along with their pedantic design philosophy and emphasis on providing you with quality sound is what still holds true.
The box that the Beats comes in is a lot more compact than you would think. The front of it shows a picture of the headphones that matches the pair inside, and a tag in the upper left hand corner boasts a claim of a 40 hour battery life.
On the right side, you get a little message from Dr. Dre about how you’ll hear details in music that you were previously unable to along with some technical info towards the bottom and on the left side is just another picture.
The back talks about the various features of the headset, and the bottom is just some more legal & technical info. What’s really interesting is how you take them out.
The exterior of the box is actually a sleeve that slides out to reveal a black box underneath, which can then be lifted to reveal the contents inside.
Now what you get inside is pretty straightforward; the headphones which comes folded up in a case, a micro USB charger, 3.5mm cable for wired use, a carabineer, and some paperwork rounds out the list.
It’s a nice presentation overall truthfully. I feel like the unboxing experience is something that’s extremely important as well since the first impression you get from the package is likely to steer your opinion on the product in some way.
Luckily, it’s certainly done the right way here; simple, yet elegant.
So now that brings us to the Solo 3, a headphone that is the culmination of years of refinement and improvement. It’s the cornerstone of what they’ve worked so hard to achieve thus far.
Now to say that the headphones are beautiful in person would be an understatement. Everything about them screams premium, which is certainly a far cry from how their first few headphones felt.
To start, each pair has the Beats signature logo on both sides of the ear cup, as well as the brand name on the top matching the color of that specific pair. This wasn’t the case just a few years ago where each logo would be red regardless of the color, so it’s nice to see that they finally decided to match them instead.
What’s interesting to note is that the left side’s logo is actually a button that can mute and stop music when you need to, as well as activate Siri. The construction of the headphones feels pretty sturdy too. The exterior is a hard plastic, while being reinforced with a metal band that runs through the headband for extra support and rigidity.
This makes them feel solid in hand, and when you adjust them to your head size, it doesn’t feel like it’ll snap or give at all; so no worries there in regards to durability. The folding hinge is also metal which is a plus.
The padding of the headband is pretty copious, and is made out of a synthetic rubbery material as opposed to the typical plush material used in other cans (that’s an informal term for headphones)
The idea here is that with the rubber creating a larger amount of friction and therefore grip with your head, it won’t end up falling off when you’re doing any physical activity with it.
These things will definitely stay on your head even without you even having to set them uber tight which is something I feel a lot of people will appreciate. No cause for concern when it comes to comfort either as these are surprisingly comfortable as well.
Even though they aren’t the lightest headphones in the world, they distribute the weight evenly across your head in such a way that you wouldn’t even notice.
Of course this has to do with an appreciable level of ingenuity in regards to build quality, but it also has just as much to do with the plush ear cups that rest on your ears as well.
The cup’s material itself is a faux leather that sits atop a foam base, and the result is something that is actually quite comfortable. Even by compressing them, they quickly spring back to shape when their released which shows that these should last a while.
I can personally vouch for that since I’ve had mine for months now and they still feel just as soft with no wear and tear. I will also say however, if you do wear these for a few hours, it’s not the most breathable material in the world.
Chances are that you will sweat if you keep them on for extremely long periods of time. But this is literally after 6-7 hours or so of continuous use which is atypical for the average user anyway.
Another concern however might be for glasses users.
Now I don’t wear glasses but my friend does, and he says after wearing his pair for 3 hours, the stem of his glasses starts to feel slightly uncomfortable due to the pressure of the pads on his ears. But after a 5 minute break everything feels fine again.
So while not really a big deal, it would still be something to just be aware of.
On the side of the right ear cup though, you’ll find the power button to turn them on, and when doing so, it’ll give you an indicator of it’s current power status. This is done by way of 5 small led lights just under the button.
All 5 illuminated means it’s fully charged, while 1 red light means the battery is running low and needs a charge. If there’s a blinking red light, then that means it’s about to die and needs to charge immediately.
The micro usb slot that’s located just under the right ear cup is how they can be recharged, so the process is super simple.
Even if they die and you’re unable to charge them, the benefit of them being both a wired and wireless capable headset means that you can just plug in a 3.5mm cable and use them like a normal pair.
They can also be folded as well, and even come in a cool little Beats protective carrying case. Another pretty nifty touch is the fact that the cable actually matches the headphones themselves, so no matter what color you get, they’ll always be the same as each other.
The reason I make mention of this is that the cable use to always be red, so it’s awesome to see that they changed that. Speaking of colors though, oh boy do these come in a wide variety. From Rose Gold, to Red, there’s certainly one here for everybody.
Do note however that the glossy models can attract fingerprints (especially the glossy black pair.) I opted for the matte black due to this and because I thought it looked cool, but others might prefer a more bold looking one.
All up to individual preference really.
The specs of the headphones aren’t lacking either. Being that they tout wireless capability, that means that they also happen to function through the usage of Bluetooth. As long as the device you’re pairing it with has Bluetooth, then it’ll be compatible with it.
It has a lithium ion rechargeable battery that’s stated to last 40 hours on a single charge. That’s enough to get you through multiple days of use. But what’s particularly interesting to note is the fact that these also utilize fast charging, similar to that of a smartphone.
It’s so fast in fact, that just charging it for 5 minutes will give you about 3 hours of playback, and a full charge only takes about 2 hours total. You really can’t beat that. This is a great feature for those of us who are always on the go and don’t have the most time to top up fully.
The 5 LED lights on the right side that I talked about previously act as the battery gauge to give you an idea of how power is left. 5 means full, while none means empty. There’s also a built in microphone as well so that you can even take calls while wearing these.
The frequency response of these is also pretty good too. For those unaware, that’s the highest and lowest note that it’s capable of making (I talk about this more here). The higher the right hand number (the treble) the better, while the lower the left hand number (the bass) the better.
These are able to go down to about 10 Hz while going up to a little over 20 kHz which is really good. If you’re curious about more of the technical side including graphs, that’s talked about here.
Using the Solo 3 is incredibly easy as well. Simply press the circular button on the side which turns them on, then once they’re fully on hold that button down for 5 seconds. It’ll begin to flash which means it can now discover nearby Bluetooth devices.
Then on that device, select to pair the headphones with it and voila. What’s great about these is the fact that they remember the last device they were paired with; so unless you listen on multiple devices often, you shouldn’t have to repeat this process more than once.
So once you have everything all paired up, you’re good to go. As a little side note, you can also control audio with the included Remote Talk cable in various ways. Here’s instructions on how to do that since it’s pretty dependent on what device you have along with its software version.
Now this is what we’ve been waiting for, how do the darn things sound?! Well if I had to sum it up in one word, it’d be amazing. No mistake about it, these cans sound amazing. But let’s go deeper and look at exactly why.
So when I first got them I wanted to see how the headphones sounded by themselves without any equalization, presets, or fancy settings that would alter the original sound. So I turned all of that off in my phone and decided to play some music using the default media player.
First up was some hip hop in the way of Kick Push by Lupe Fiasco. Immediately I found myself completely immersed in the beat. Not only was it punchy and authoritative, it effortlessly managed to maintain the clarity in the vocals which is something that’s hard to do typically.
These do it easily however.
Even with the few other hip hop songs I tried it was the same story.
The bass was undoubtedly strong, but it certainly wasn’t overbearing or sloppy by any means. All of the other details were maintained in a perfect sort of harmony so to speak. If anything, it seemed to be able to separate the sounds entirely.
Best way I could describe it would be similar to that of a home theater system but on your head as weird as that sounds. You’d really need to try them out to see what I’m talking about.
Anyway, knowing that they sounded great with hip hop, I wanted to see how they faired in other genres as well. Not surprisingly, they still faired superbly. EDM and House music made these headphones come alive, while heavy metal sounded intense.
Even classic rock, which is not something you’d initially associate Beats with, sounded extremely lively and articulate. That was certainly not something I was expecting honestly, but I was happy to be wrong.
The Solos manage to be extremely versatile in ways you wouldn’t expect them to be. They can be downright unrelenting when it comes to it, but be gentle and subdued when you need them to be seconds later. That in my opinion is a characteristic of quality, and these certainly don’t disappoint in that department.
Even better is that these respond extremely well to equalization. For those of you unaware, if you listen to music on your phones, then there are EQ applications out there that allow you to alter the sound. The one I used is called Poweramp, but there are countless good ones out there.
But with an EQ in place, it ramped up the sound quality even further. Being the basshead that I am, I also played with the bass setting.
Let’s just say it woke me up.
Turning it all the way to the max (why would I do that, I know) caused the entire experience to become tactile, and they would actually shake from the bass (insane right?)
Now this isn’t something I’d advise you to do of course, but it’s just awesome to know that they’re actually capable of this without completely falling apart.
Like I stated previously, versatility is a huge theme here, and they manage to tackle both admirably. But for the people who prefer a more neutral and less bass heavy sounding headphone, you may not enjoy these as much. If you prefer complete accuracy over a more fun sound signature, then these may not be your cup of tea.
However there is something about these headphones that did concern me a little, and that was audio leakage. At higher volumes, you can definitely hear anything that’s playing even if somebody is wearing them.
I don’t particularly mind either way since I never listen to my content that loud anyway, but some may and so this would need to be something that you keep in mind.
- Eye catching and attractive appearance
- Adequate cushioning makes them quite comfortable
- 40 hours of wireless battery life lasted a few days before needing a charge
- Charging barely takes 2 hours
- Can be used with a wire as well as wireless via Bluetooth
- Sound quality is incredible
- A surprisingly good home theater headphone for video gaming and movie watching
- Thick framed glasses users may find these uncomfortable after a few hours
- You might sweat wearing these for prolonged periods of time due to their closed back on ear design
- Sound leaks out a higher volumes
- Glossy models pick up fingerprints rather easily
- Prioritize sounding fun rather than completely accurate
Well that’s it for the Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones review. The final verdict is that unless you prefer a totally neutral headphone, these are an absolutely fantastic addition regardless of your type of media consumption.
They’re fun, lively, and completely immerse you in the content. This was not something I honestly expected at all since earlier models were relatively boomy, but these are a different beast entirely. It screams quality in a way I’m not sure a lot of headphones can match.
Whether as the perfect gift for somebody else, or simply for yourself, the fact remains that I highly recommend you go get these.
They’re absolutely incredible.