Apple acquired the Beats brand back in 2014 for $3 billion, and henceforth, all Beats products launched have been spruced up with a bit of Apple magic. Dr. Dre’s line of audio tech has always been good-looking, and now they’ve been overhauled with Apple’s superior software and hardware engineering. A prime example is the Beats Solo3 Bluetooth headphones, which boasts excellent wireless capability, good sound quality, and terrific battery life. If only they wouldn’t squeeze your cranium that much and give you permanent brain damage.
The Beats Solo3 is normally sold for $300, but right now Walmart is offering an irresistible deal on the on-ear headphones. The lowest-priced pair costs $165 (that’s $135 worth of savings), and there are other design and color options available at varying prices.
The Solo3’s design is almost identical to the Solo2, with most of its frame made of hard plastic in a glossy or matte finish. These headphones come in a variety of colors, including black, white, silver, gold, rose gold, violet, and red. The universally recognizable big bold “B” is still seen on the side of the earcups, but now it’s no longer bright red, but shade-matched depending on the color you choose.
The over-ear cups are attached to the headband on fold-up hinges which makes the headphones very portable, and the large pads are covered in synthetic leather that effectively blocks out sound. They don’t offer much in terms of luxury, but the rubber-like material serves a practical purpose. They’re grippy and sweatproof, making them perfect for jogging and working out. Although the headband is adjustable, even at its loosest the Beats Solo3 can still feel uncomfortably tight.
The Beats Solo3 sound is lively and energetic. The bass is particularly punchy and resonant, perfect for hip-hop and electronic music. Unfortunately, the mids and highs sound a little flat, lacking the richness and robustness offered by more premium headphones. It’s good, but not great.
Arguably the Beats Solo3’s major selling point is its battery life, which Apple claims can last up to 40 hours. This is courtesy of Apple’s W1 wireless chip. If the headphones are running low on juice, you can charge it for a mere five minutes and still get up to three hours of playtime. The terrific battery life can easily last you the entire day and is perfect for long commutes.
The W1 chip is also responsible for seamless Bluetooth pairing. Simply turn the headphones on and any Apple device would automatically detect it. You just need to press connect. The same thing goes with Android devices.
With its excellent Bluetooth connectivity, good audio performance, and fantastically long battery life, what holds us back from fully recommending the Beats Solo3 is its painfully tight fit and borderline cheap look.
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