These are Beats by Dre, probably the most iconic and most popular brand of headphones ever because of the amount of advertising, brand endorsements, and let’s not forget the number of pro athletes that have a pair on every time we see them. While they are certainly well known, the text based on YouTube has always had a negative viewpoint on them. Yes, they are expensive but is it the only reason or are these some really crappy headphones with a really big price tag? I’m definitely no expert but I have been fine tuning my taste for audio delivery over the past few years. I used to be okay with a pair of AirPods a few years ago, now only two pairs of headphones will be found anywhere near my head: Jaybird’s X2 for workouts or when I’m on the go and for my traveling purposes, the Bose QuietComfort 25, the predecessor to the 35 wireless headphones that you may have heard of recently. So what do I make of these Beats Solo 3 wireless?
Well, first of all, the presentation of these headphones were on point. However, the quality of the heaphones themselves leave a little to be desired. The construction is hard plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap but also doesn’t feel like a pair of $300 headphones. Plus they feel a whole lot more brittle than my Bose QuietComforts. With the Bose pair, I can stretch and move around any direction without the fear of snapping them in half. The Beats, not so much.
The headband on the Beats are also not as comfortable as the ones found on my Bose. Also, the ear muffs are more stiff than the Bose. And the fact that these are on ear headphones rather than over ear means they can be uncomfortable when using them for an extended period of time. Another thing I didn’t like is the placement of the power button. It’s on the right ear muff but it’s on an angle. I can never get it right when it’s actually on my head so every time I want to turn it on or off, I have to take off the headphones.
It sounds like I have a lot of negative viewpoints about these. And while I do, there are some good things as well. First off, I really like the integrated controls on the left ear muff. You have volume rockers and the center button will control your music selection. It’s all really intuitive and I prefer this over buttons on the side of the wireless headphones. Another big plus is the connectivity you can have with iPhones. The Beats Solo 3 wireless is one of the first pairs of headphones that has Apple’s W1 chip. With the W1 chip, it lets you connect to Apple products with ease. No more going through the settings, it just pops up on your iPhone’s homescreen or whichever Apple device’s homescreen and you can just hit connect.
Also, the battery life on these headphones are phenomenal. They are rated for about 40 hours of listening and so far, I’ve only had to charge these once after about two weeks of listening of and on. Plus they have a quick charge capability that will give you three hours of playback with a 5-minute charge. Now that’s going to be super useful on those gym visits.
Now, we get to the tough stuff: Sound Quality. Again, I’m no audiophile but this sounds just fine. I said it-- they are loud, definitely bass-heavy. But if you listen to that type of music, especially for workouts, they definitely do a good job. The audio is not quite as clear as my Bose headphones and it certainly has a different tone or a lot of genres. But any workout beat or EDM track just sounds more powerful on these headphones than any other pair I recall.
Do they sound $300 good? No. They are probably $150-$200 pair of headphones in terms of sound quality. Build and ergonomics, they probably feel like $100 pair. Although packaging, those definitely feel the price tag. But you don’t go around listening to the box, now do you?
Those are my thoughts on this super controversial pair of headphones. Love them, hate them or ignore them, it’s your call on this one.