Beats are back. It had been a while since we’d seen new products from Beats! Fortunately, there are a whole bunch of wireless headphones coming our way that were announced during the iPhone 7 launch. Now that Beats has been fully integrated into Apple, all of these newly announced headphones have Apple’s new W1 chip, which ensures seamless pairing across all Apple devices.
With the AirPods still being worked on, the first time we got to test the W1 chip properly was on the new Beats Solo3 wireless over-ear headphones, and the experience is truly seamless — so much so that pairing other headphones using regular old-fashioned Bluetooth without the W1 chip now seems antiquated. With the Beats Solo3 Wireless, there’s no need to go into discover mode. Our iPhone 7 picked up the Beats Solo3 instantly and auto-connected. A convenient headphones icon in the top corner and an on-screen pop-up indicates an active connection, along with the battery percentage remaining on your headphones. Getting battery percentage at a glance isn’t unique to these headphones, but it’s always nice when there’s no guesswork involved in trying to figure out how much time you have left until your headphones die. If only connecting all wireless devices to your phone was this easy!
The Beats Solo3 Wireless look nearly identical to their predecessors, but there is an important yet subtle change to the design — on-ear controls. Push the center b logo to play or pause music, change tracks, answer calls, and activate Siri. These controls are convenient and easy to access since they are well laid out on the left earcup. At the same time, Beats has avoided including using any ugly dedicated buttons for the on-ear controls, which is something we very much appreciate.
Like its predecessor, the Beats Solo3 Wireless are super comfortable to wear thanks to soft comfort-cushion ear cups. They’re also nice and lightweight, weighing in at 215 g. The only thing we’d ask from the design is for Beats to release additional color options, as the current seven color lineup is a bit limited in comparison to all the color options that the Beats Solo2 Wireless had. But, knowing Beats, we’re confident that many more color options and neat limited editions are on their way.
These Beats keeps going and going.
When it comes to battery life, the Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones have become the headphones to beat. A 40-hour battery life might seem like a pipe dream, but the Beats Solo3 really do offer just that. There’s also an illuminated LED battery indicator located on one of the earcups.
Audio quality is very good, but not mind-blowing. The mids and highs are strong and music is overall well balanced, but bass is surprisingly weak. Some tracks sound a bit muddier then others, but in general the Beats Solo3 Wireless perform best on pop tracks. Overall, we think that most typical users will be very satisfied with the Beats Solo3 Wireless’s audio prowess, but these aren’t headphones that will live up to serious audiophile’s expectations, or for anyone who loves heavy bass. Personally, I’m not a fan of bass, so for me the Beats Solo3 Wireless are tuned just right. They also offer a moderate amount of passive noise isolation, too. So when you’re walking in a busy street, you’ll be mostly, but not completely, immersed in the music.