The Beats brand is famous in the world of high-end headphones. And for a good reason! Beats has been making premium headphones since 2006, and the latest models offer some unique innovations in consumer technology.
Today, we compare two of the company’s best-selling over-ear wireless headphones: the Beats Solo Pro vs. Solo 3. They look nearly identical,but a few key differences might sway you to one model in particular. We’ll see how they stack up against each other and tell you which model comes out on top.
best one for your needs. Let’s get into it!
Beats Headphones: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Beats were initially founded in 2006 by famous producer Dr. Dre.
- Apple purchased beats for $3 billion in 2014.
- Besides headphones, the company also produces a wide range of audio gear.
- Many Beats headphones are available in various colors, like red, black, white, and blue.
- Beats earbuds and wireless over-ear headphones are popular, depending on which style you are most comfortable with.
Beats Solo Pro vs. Solo 3: Side By Side Comparison
|Beats Solo Pro||Beats Solo 3|
|Designed By||Beats Electronics||Beats Electronics|
|Released||October 2019||September 2016|
|Battery Life||Up to 40 hours||Up to 40 hours|
|Charging time||Yes (1 hour, 45 minutes)||Yes (2 hours)|
|Features||ANC, BlueTooth, Spacial Audio||ANC, BlueTooth|
- Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) blocks external noise
- Up to 22 hours of listening time (up to 40 hours with ANC and transparency turned off)
- Features the Apple H1 Headphone Chip and Class 1 Bluetooth for extended range and fewer dropouts
- Compatible with iOS and Android
- Built-in microphone allows hands-free controls via “Hey Siri” on iOS devices, and voice capability with the push of the b button on a variety of compatible devices
Beats Solo Pro vs. Solo 3: What’s the Difference?
If the terminology surrounding headphones sounds a little confusing, don’t fret. The vital differences between these headphones boils down to a few factors, notably design, sound quality, battery, and ease of use. Let’s explore each factor a little closer.
Design & Comfort
The Beats Solo Pro and Solo 3 differ significantly in their design. While they might look similar from a distance, a closer inspection reveals a few critical design choices that make them different.
The plastic construction of the Beats Solo 3 does not look as premium as the Titanium finish of the Solo Pro. However, both models are sturdy. Solo 3’s plastic construction feels almost as sturdy as the hefty Titanium body of the Solo Pro.
Both models are extendable and can comfortably fit over your ears without sitting too loose or tight. With subtle metal accents peppered throughout the sleek metallic finish, each model looks and feels like a premium device. The cushions on the inside are soft and supple, while the exterior gives off a fashionable appearance.
Since the earliest Beats headphones, the brand has always been associated with Hip Hop, Pop, and bass-heavy music. As a result, the company designs its headphones to accentuate the bassy tones prevalent in this music. Beats headphones will do their job if you enjoy as much bass as possible.
While this is not necessarily bad, it might not be the most desirable tone for specific music genres. Either way, if you’re looking for the best sound quality overall—bass aside—the Beats brand is still a great choice. The Beats Solo Pro offers a good balance of low, mid, and high-end sounds, making it a great all-around model for any music enthusiast.
Conversely, the Beats Solo 3 offers the characteristic heavy bass tone the company is famous for. Pumping out deep bass tracks is no problem for these headphones. However, tracks with an abundance of mid and high notes might sound slightly muddled.
The microphone and call quality are superb on both models. Since Beats Solo Pro and Solo 3 include embedded microphones, you can make phone calls with these headphones. Additionally, if you use your phone or computer to make Zoom or Skype calls, you may use your Beats headphones as a wireless microphone.
Noise management on the Solo Pro is reliable, thanks to six active microphones. However, the Solo 3 doesn’t impress. With a single microphone pulling its weight, you’ll be able to hear whoever you’re chatting with, but they might pick up sounds from the surrounding environment. If you’re in a crowded spot, the Solo 3 picks up plenty of sound from the activities around you.
The Beats Solo Pro is undoubtedly better than the Solo 3 regarding microphone noise management and overall sound quality.
You can’t enjoy the advantages of wireless headphones if you have to charge them constantly. Spending time on the charger is a real downer when you could be out and about with your headphones. That said, neither the Solo Pro nor Solo 3 will tie you down to the charger. Both models offer excellent battery life.
Most BlueTooth headphones on the market can’t compete with the battery life these Beats headphones offer. Each part of the unit comprises long-lasting battery cells between the case and the earbuds.
The Solo 3 has a slightly higher battery life than the Solo Pro, with each model offering roughly 40 hours. However, this number is only achievable with active noise canceling disabled. Once you turn on noise canceling, these headphones will rip through the battery in over 22 hours.
What sets these headphones apart is not the charge time but how long it takes to charge. In other words, convenience is the first thing in mind. The Solo 3 can fast-charge to provide up to 3 hours of listening in a mere 5 minutes. The Solo Pro is almost as impressive, with 10 minutes required to charge to the same capacity.
If you want to charge up your headphones completely, the Beats Solo Pro takes about one hour and 45 minutes to reach a full charge. On the other hand, the Solo 3 reaches a full charge in around two hours.
Your headphones’ controls determine their usability. No one wants to fumble with their headphones or remove them to set the volume or change the song. Both the Beats Solo Pro and Solo 3 were designed with ease of use in mind.
The controls are highly intuitive, and you might use them purely based on instinct. For most tasks, you don’t even need to pull out your phone—all you need to do is tap the side of your headphones to do what you want.
On the Solo Pro, a small button on the lower part of the left ear acts as an additional control to toggle between transparency and ANC modes. Both headphones come with controls on the left side, with functions for playing music and taking calls. The play and pause buttons are on the left side as well.
You can easily skip songs or change the volume with a few taps. The Beats logo acts as a volume controller, and pressure to the top will increase the volume. If you want to turn the volume down, push on the lower half of the Beats logo. To turn your headphones on and off, you can fold them up. All in all, you can’t argue with the intuitive controls on these headphones.
Active Noise Cancelling, also referred to as “ANC,” has been a growing trend in the latest headphones. ANC blocks external sounds by playing a constant frequency to tune them out. As a result, you can hear your music, movies, and podcasts more clearly. Even if you’re not listening to anything, ANC blocks sound whenever you wear your headphones.
While both the Beats Solo Pro and Solo 3 offer ANC, the noise cancellation is noticeably better on the Solo Pro. While not as effective as some of the most premium wireless headphones from Bose or Sony, these still block out external sound and unwanted noise, allowing you to enjoy a more immersive experience.
ANC is a desirable feature, but it can be a hassle to take your headphones off whenever someone is talking to you. That’s where “Transparency Mode” comes in. With the tap of a button, you can enable transparency mode and disable ANC to pick up outside sounds.
Audio leakage is also kept to a minimum on both models. While some of us enjoy loud music, people sitting next to us might not appreciate the audio leaking out of our headphones. With the Beats Solo Pro, you can raise the volume without disturbing those around you. The Solo 3 is not as effective, with some audio leaking out when you increase the volume.
Beats have always been in the midrange as far as headphones go. While they are not the cheapest headphones, there are other more expensive models from brands like Bose or Sony.
With this being said, the price difference between the Beats Solo Pro and Solo 3 is unavoidable. While the Solo 3 starts between $120 and $150, depending on where you can find the best deal, the Solo Pro is more than double the price.
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Each pair of headphones has some great features, but the Beats Solo Pro is the winner. With a more premium design style, better overall noise management, and superior sound quality, the Beats Solo Pro defeats the Solo 3 by a wide margin.
However, the Solo 3 is still competitive and beats the Solo Pro regarding pricing. If you’re on a tight budget but still want active noise canceling, bass-heavy sound, an integrated microphone, and intuitive controls, you can get all that and more with the Solo 3. What’s more, is the Solo 3 offers a slightly watered-down experience from the Solo Pro but at less than half the price.