Since acquiring Beats By Dre back in 2014, Apple’s vision of what the audio company’s headphones should look like and how they should perform has changed drastically. With the recent arrival of exceptional Powerbeats Pro, Beats is looking to continue heading in the right direction with it’s Beats Solo Pro headphones.
Design and Quality
Fans of the Beats brand had to deal with Beats By Dres for lack of better words cheap plastic look the Solo 3 had. The Beats Solo Pro features a very sleek and attractive matte finish. The exposed rails are now anodized aluminum that perfectly compliments the Beats Solo Pros’ aesthetic. The rails are also color-matched to coordinate with the color of the headphones.
As far as the fit is concerned, there is now silicon underneath the headband to provide a “comfier” fit. The earpads are now bigger than they were on Solo 3s and are made out of faux leather. With the increase of size, the Beats Solo Pros should be more comfortable for most wearers. Now that the Beats Solo Pros now features ANC (Active Noise Canceling), the earpads have to provide a much tighter seal than before. Despite being much lighter than its predecessor, wearing the Beats Solo Pros became a bit uncomfortable after 30-minutes. I would have to take them off to give my ears a break, but I also have bigger ears, so I don’t see this being an issue for most users.
On the bottom of the headphones, you will find a Lightning port to plug in the USB-A cord that we wished Apple would move on from and a single button to control the ANC. The Beats Solo Pro is designed to be used wirelessly, and we mean that literally, due to that fact, they do not come with an audio cable. So if you happen to be out and about and they run out of juice, you’re fresh out of luck.
That is one of my biggest complaints about the headphones being that I like the reassurance of knowing I can plug them into my phone as back up. Apple does allow you to purchase an audio cable, but it will cost you an additional $35.
The big draw to the Beats Solo Pro is the introduction of Active Noise Canceling technology for the first time and Transparency mode. Like Apple’s latest release, the AirPods Pro, users will be able to toggle on the features through the user’s Apple devices.
Sadly you can’t adjust the level like other headphone models that use ANC, so the Beats Solo Pro makes the adjustments for you on its own. While testing the ANC, I noticed it will kick into high gear when im in a noisy environment like the subway and lower itself in a much quieter location like the office. Compared to headphones from Bose and Sony, who are considered the standard when it comes to noise-canceling technology, Beats still has some catching up to do.
Where the Beats Solo Pro wins is Transparency Mode. It masterfully allows sound in without it sounding too loud or overly processed. Another great feature is the open-to-power feature because the headphones do not have a power button. To turn on the headphones, you just have to open them, and to turn them off, you close them.
It’s a great feature for someone like myself who forgets to power off my headphones. Another bonus, if you leave the headphones open, the Beats Solo Pro will go into a low power state that will help conserve your battery.
With Apple running things, that means Beats get to use all of the tech companies’ fantastic hardware. Like the Powerbeats Pro, the Beats Solo Pro utilizes the H1 Chip to power them. Also, the chip allows the headphones to effortlessly pair with your Apple Devices and utilize the new Audio Sharing feature that arrived with iOS 13.2 that allows users to listen to music from the same device using two pairs of headphones.
Audio Quality and Battery Life
Beats headphones are well known for its bass-heavy sound since Apple has taken over that has changed for the good. Like the Powerbeats Pro, the Beats Solo Pro delivers a balanced but crisp sound with just enough bass to keep you satisfied. The Beats Solo Pro honestly delivers the best sound from any current Beats product on the market.
As far as battery life, the Beats Solo isn’t blowing any other brand away. With Transparency Mode and ANC active, you will get about 22 hours of listening time out of the headphones. With both features turned off about 40 hours of use. If you need a quick charge, you will be able to get 3 hours of battery life off a 10-minute charge.
Should you get the Beats Solo Pro? Well, that depends on if your looking for a new pair of Beats headphones and style is essential to you. If that is the case, then that is an emphatic yes. These are the best Beats headphones on the market as of right now.
With the fresh new look, plenty of new features, and Apple technology on the inside, the Beats Solo Pros are definitely worth its $300 price tag.
Photo: Nagina Lane / @PhotosByNae