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Solo Pro More Matte Collection Wireless Noise Cancelling On-Ear Headphones
Beats by Dr. Dre
Lightning to USB-A charging cable, carrying case
Call, Track selection, Volume
– June 23, 2021
The music quality is better then expected! The transparency and ANC is amazing! The only reason I give a 4 star is because of it being on ear headphones, around 30 minutes of wearing, you will need to take a break, due to the constant clamping force, you can’t just move them up to the side of your ear like the studio 3s because you would feel the clamp force pressuring your jaw also. I got mines for $150 for open box, if the status is “excellent“ them I recommend saving a couple of bucks and getting the open box.
– July 11, 2021
I can’t believe I own a set of Beats headphones. More importantly, I can’t believe I’m loving them. Let me explain why. Until now, I was never impressed with Beats. To me, Beats headphones were more about making a statement with the “b” on each ear cup for people who don’t really care about great sound. That was until I listened to the new Beats Solo Pro. I’ve had mine now for a few days and have spent many hours listening to all genres of music. I can honestly say the Solo Pro is really really good!
These are most definitely not the Beats which were. These Beats go in a totally new direction and I’m honestly stunned at how much I’m enjoying them. Gone is the boomy, mushy rattle your head bass with little regard to mid and upper frequencies. Gone is glossy, cheap plastics. When Apple bought Beats a few years ago, Apple has been infusing Beats with higher and higher levels of quality, especially in terms of sound. And these Solo Pro are without question the best Beats headphones I’ve heard.
In typical Apple fashion, these come packaged superbly. Once you remove the outside plastic wrap on the box, you flip one side of the box down to fold all sides of the box flat in Apple-esque style to reveal the carrying case, with the headphones inside. There’s a hidden slide out tray with the Lightning to USB cable and a caribiner you can attach for extra’s if you need to carry additional accessories or attach them to your backpack.
My daily drivers have been a much more expensive pair of high-end Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancelling (ANC), over-the ear headphones. Are the Solo Pro the equal of them? No, but they also cost less. and they sound really good. Beats has done a terrific job with the look and feel of the Solo Pro. They come in multiple colors from light to vivid blue, black, ivory, gray and like the pair I have, red. The design is modern and sleek looking. Beats is using high-quality plastics, which are matte finished and seemingly impervious to fingerprints. Behind the plastics are aluminum, which is anodized to compliment the color of the headphones and everything moves and slides with a feeling of long-lasting goodness. There is no power button on these puppies. To turn them on you unfold them on and you fold them back to turn them off. The ear cups are not leather but are certainly soft and didn’t make my ears sweat like some cheap pleather I’ve worn before. Underneath is memory foam which is soft and adjusts to the contours of your ears well.
For iPhone/iPad user like me, you’ll love how simple it is pair these headphones. Apple uses the H1 Chip in their new headphones. Once you unfold them to power them on, they instantly pop up on your iPhone screen (without having to go into Settings/Bluetooth) and you simply tap to connect. Going even further, if you have multiple iDevices, the headphones will now be paired with every device you have which uses the same Apple ID. With six devices under the same Apple ID, it’s a blessing to be honest. You can pair them to any device which accepts Bluetooth headphones. So, Android you’re not left out. Apple says they are Class 1 Bluetooth. Their range is beyond amazing. Many BT devices have a range of around 30 – 40 feet at most. Not these puppies. You can go way further from your paired device than I’ve gone with any BT headphone I’ve ever owned. I didn’t lose connection until I got at least 100 feet from my iPhone. There are no latency issues with videos either.
On the Apple side, there is no App for the Solo Pro. There is a Beats App available for Android for pairing and firmware updates. There are no EQ settings. You either like how they sound, or you don’t. Or you can download an EQ app, if you feel you need one. In my opinion good headphones shouldn’t need equalization to sound good. I don’t adjust EQ on my other headphones, even though I can. These are truly tap and play headphones!
Controls on the Solo Pro are physical, not touch. From personal experience with touch controls, the concept is better than reality. An unintended swipe can pause or change your music when you didn’t want to. The Solo Pro controls are simple and intuitive. Press the center of the right ear cup once to pause your music. Tap it again to play. A double press skips to the next track or a triple press goes back to the previous track. Hold the top of the button to increase volume and hold the bottom to lower volume. Press and hold the center button to bring up the virtual assistant or if you’re an Apple user simply say “Hey Siri.” The only other control is on the left ear cup, where you can turn ANC and Transparency Mode on or off.
Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) in the Solo Pro is adaptive, meaning the headphones monitor outside sounds to apply the right amount of noise cancellation without negatively impacting your music. While noise cancelling is great in noisy environments, there are times you need to hear some of what’s going on around you. So the Solo Pro also includes Transparency Mode. With Transparency Mode, you’ve got noise cancellation, but you can also hear outside sounds. This is one area the Solo Pro outshines all my other headphones. Outside sounds don’t sound digital or altered. Some people place a huge amount of importance on ANC. I don’t buy headphones for ANC. I buy headphones for their sound quality and ANC is just a nice addition. To that end the ANC and Transparency Mode on the Solo Pro is all I could ever need and then some.
Let’s talk comfort. No matter how good headphones sound, if they’re not comfortable you won’t enjoy them. I’ve read reviews where people said they are uncomfortable. One person complained they couldn’t run with them. To think these would make good running headphones makes no sense to me. For running, choose a good pair of earbuds which lock in place, not an over the ear headphone which can bounce when you run. I found if you don’t extend the ear cup arms far enough from their shortest length, they can be a little tight. But if you adjust them to extend lower on your ear, the comfort level increases significantly. It did for me and I wear glasses, which hasn’t been an issue at all. Maybe Apple will offer these in an over the ear version at some point. Anyone considering these will just need to try them on at their Best Buy store to see how they feel on their head.
A final note about comfort: There is no “L” “R” markings on the ear cups. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter which way you wear them. It matters a lot. The right ear cup has the lightning charging port and physical controls for pause/play/volume/answer/track selection. Trust me, if you put them on backwards, they’re most definitely not comfortable. It made me wonder if some people who thought they were uncomfortable, wore them backwards?
Sound trumps all when it comes to headphones. These aren’t the Beats of just a few years ago and was for me, the single biggest surprise. I commented earlier that bass doesn’t overwhelm and it doesn’t. But bass isn’t lacking either. If you play music with heavy bass, it’s powerful, with great oomph. It just doesn’t cover up what the rest of the music is doing and that’s why I think they’ve improved significantly. Symphonic music is full, with a great sound stage. Piano music resonates perfectly. Vocals sound smooth and natural. And the highest frequencies, such as cymbals, triangle or harpsichord are brilliant, without sounding shrill or harsh. Remarkably, turning on ANC didn’t diminish the sound stage, which often happens with headphones using noise cancelling circuitry. Call quality with the Solo Pro was terrific. I’ve made/answered several calls with them. I could hear them clearly and they could hear me clearly.
Battery life on the Solo Pro is great! You can get up to 22 hours of play on a single charge with ANC or Transparency on. If you don’t use ANC or Transparency, you can get up to 40 hours on a single charge. That’s FORTY HOURS!! And if you need to recharge on the go, you can plug in for 10 minutes (Fast Fuel) to get 3 hours of play time. It wasn’t long ago getting up to 6 hours was considered great for wireless headphones.
With all the praise, is there anything to criticize? Here are the few cons I can think of, which really don’t amount to anything significant:
1. The carrying case provided, while nice and soft is well, soft. I don’t like soft cases. I purchased a hard case to provide more protection during transport.
2. The Solo Pro doesn’t offer a wired connection. I you want or need one, you can buy an Apple lightning to 3.5 mm headphone plug for $35.
3. It’s disappointing to see Apple chose lighting to USB to charge these. It’s time (IMHO) for Apple to retire the Lighting connector. With Pro in their name, I would have expected USB C.
4. These don’t pause if you take them off your ears (you need to remember to tap the right ear cup once to pause them), which I find odd, given much less expensive headphones pause if removed.
5. For those who want to adjust EQ, you can’t since there’s no app provided. If you think you need one, there are options in both App Stores.
If this all I can come up with, it’s honestly trivial and in no way should stop you from giving serious consideration to the Solo Pro.
All in all, the new Beats Solo Pro, bring Beats forward many steps from the Beats from just a few years ago. They’re well-made, with premium feeling materials. They sound terrific, in fact far better than I expected. They’re for the most part comfortable and for $300 are a really great value. Beats, you made a believer of me and that’s not easy to do. Or maybe with quality and sound like this, it was.
Note: I took one star off for comfort and for not pausing when taken off your head. Otherwise, these are 5 star headphones.
– July 14, 2021
My 10 year old loves this beats pro. All the other on-ear headphones I’ve gotten for him ended up unused because he said it hurt his earlobes after a while. This one is really comfortable even after hours of use- for school, gaming or just watching videos. Battery life is great!
– August 8, 2021
So I bought a pair of these and the Bose quiet comfort 35 11 , and I got to say I didn’t expect these to complete with the Bose but wow they do I actually thing the stereo separation left to right is a little better on the beats , but the Bose seem a little more detailed when listening to easy rock music and are a lot more comfortable but they will destort at high volumes if you have a good source when listening to hip hop. When testing the same song Gerry Rafferty- get it right next time the beats hit 93 db at the highest note , while the Bose highest was 91 . The noise canceling obviously is better on the Bose but the beats is not bad . There is really no winner out these 2 with the beats on sale your almost 100 dollars cheaper. So bottom line if you want a pair for the gym and on the go these beats are perfect if your going to be wearing them for more than a few hours go for the over ear Bose , Sony . Etc the skull candy over the ear I was actually thinking of as well as Best Buy has them on display. The build quality on these is excellent as well I must say these are not your cheaply plastic made beats from the past they are solid
– August 9, 2021
So, these are exciting for a few different reasons. Starting with these are the first headphones that were designed in collaboration with Apple from the very start. Second, the headphones were built from the ground up by both Beats and the engineers at Apple. These have the same quality assurance (QA) of the rest of Apples products and you can even take them to an Apple Store if you are having problems. These come with a fold to power On and Off and a carrying case which make them very portable and easy. All these things lead to a product that quite honestly, I did not expect. As I have not liked Beats in the past because they come with poor build quality, comfort, features, and bass heavy sound at the expense of everything else for a premium price. But that has now changed, for the better, and it is dramatically noticeable which leads to a solid product that depending on your niche may be an excellent choice for you.
Some specs that they do not highlight that I think are solid selling features are it comes with Apples H1 chip. Which is the same one that just released with the Airpod Pros. This makes use with Apple products seamless and with IOS 13 allows the use of “Hey Siri” and Audio Sharing. They also have Class 1 Bluetooth which means that it can transmit up to 100 meters (328 feet) where Class 2 is about 10 meters (33 feet) which is what most devices come with. It does this at the cost of power, but you can get 22 hours with ANC on and up to 40 hours with ANC/transparency off so you won’t notice. Which is great. They also have sweat resistance which rarely comes on these types of devices. They also have quick charge which we have come to expect with most products where you get three hours of use after just 10 minutes of charge. They are the first On Ear headphones that have ANC from Beats and do the same as the Airpod Pros and make sure the noise cancellation isn’t messing with your music by comparing the waveform with the ANC on the original source file in real time and making subtle adjustments when necessary to give you the best sound.
So now that all that marketing is out of the way how does it translate to the product?
Beats have always had awesome packaging. For this particular product it’s probably one of the coolest and most satisfying openings I’ve ever had. Inside you get the headphones (matte red in my case), carrying case, and a black USB-A to Lightning cable.
I’ve found the previous models of Beats to feel cheap. But I am very pleased with these guys. They have better than expected durability and overall feel sturdy (especially to years past).
Starting from the top down they have a plastic head band (but on the inside I think they have a small aluminum band ¼ of an inch or less). And the padding there is rubber with just air between it. You can feel that band I was talking about with your thumb if you press hard. People who are sensitive to the top of their hands will probably find this hurts them after a short period of wearing.
On the sides there is more plastic but in-between is aluminum. The adjustable headband slides smoothly. They will work for anyone with a small to medium/large head. But not for large heads. You’ve also got two hinges (which have been weak points previously) that are surrounded with metal in a metal hinge. They bend and straighten easily and feel solid and don’t feel like they would break from normal use. I’m still concerned about really cranking on these guys as there is still a lot of plastic. So, I’d still be careful with them, but you don’t have to baby them.
Moving onto the earcups themselves. They have 40 mm drivers and the earcup cushions have increased surface area to make more contact with your ears for a better seal and comfort from previous models. The drivers are also raised to shoot sound into your ear better and provide a better seal. The clamping force is significant. This is a good thing as it helps create a good seal which leads to improved sound and more effective noise cancelling. It also allows it to not fall off your head if you are running or working out with them. Some may find this to be a negative and may be a bit too much for some where it is uncomfortable. For me I thought they were quite comfortable. But I wouldn’t be able to wear them all day. But I don’t think I could wear any On-Ears all day.
The earpads are also on ball joints that flex a few degrees in all positions to help get that perfect position. This is greatly appreciated as it helps with comfort as each person’s head/ears are unique.
On the right earcup on the circle peace the B is your multi-function button that allows you to play/pause/forward/back/hold for siri. On the top and button of that circle it allows you to volume up/down. It Is the worst part of the whole headphone. As it is relatively loose, is hard to press down, makes a huge racket in your right ear, and is hard to find the center. I don’t like it one bit. On the bottom of that earcup you have the lighting port for charging and a white LED when on. I think it’s red when charging.
On the left earcup you have a tiny little button in the bottom in the center that feels solid that turns on ANC/transparency mode. Or with a double click turns both off. I have no complaints with this button. There is no 3.5 mm input. You’ll have to buy a 3.5 mm to lightning adapter if you want to hardwire it in.
The soft case is made from recycled materials. It feels premium, is soft, padded, smells great (like new shoes), and is not super protective.
They are mostly accurate, with an aggressive (forward and bright) character that focuses on vocals. They are articulate, crisp, full, with good imaging and body, with a small soundstage which makes voices and vocals easy to hear and point out. You won’t hear all the nuances of the music but most of them. They have a mostly balanced sound. Bass is solid and accurate, but way less than previous models. Highs are crisp without sounding shrill. Mids also sound good. They are tuned for an exciting listen over a critical listen. I don’t find them to be blanketed, bloated, blurred, congested, colored, or muddy.
For those who don’t understand the terms above. They sound great. Most will greatly enjoy them. Bass heads may be a bit disappointed as they went for a cleaner more accurate sound this time around (which for a Beats product is strange). I have no complaints.
• Solid ANC. Not going to beat the best but is solid.
• Great transparency mode. Very similar to the Airpod Pros (which I think do it best). Voices sound like they are coming from microphone and are bit quiet but overall mixes very well and is almost like you don’t have a headphone on.
• Good call quality on both ends.
• Better than expected durability (especially compared to years past),
• Great battery life with quick charge.
• Balanced, clear sound profile (compared to bass heavy at the expense of everything else). Not audiophile but good for a fun listen. Especially for Bluetooth on the go headphones.
• Bass is not super heavy.
• Has lots of cool tech that make it a premium product worth the price tag (balanced sound with microphones to make sure you are getting the best sound experience with ANC, excellent transparency mode, fold on/off, H1 chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, sweat resistance, long battery life, quick charge, Hey Siri, Audio Sharing, on ear controls for everything, highly portable, quick connect to Bluetooth especially for Apple devices which also means low latency time.
• Fantastic portability. Which for Bluetooth headphones is HUGE for me. Are very much like Airpod’s. They are relatively compact and just work. With the added benefit of sounding great (still not audiophile).
• The best product from Beats to date. If you like previous products, I think you’ll really like this one.
• Android app for quick pairing or installing firmware updates.
• Plenty of competition. With some depending on your preferences doing things better such as ANC or sound quality.
• Don’t have an app that can change EQ, ANC quality, or other features that some others provide.
• Do not have a feature where they auto pause music if you take them off or lift an earcup.
• Doesn’t auto turn on or off. (I left them on for an hour without anything playing while I did something else and they never turned off).
• No AptX as they are made to work with Apple and the H1 chip. Makes other Android headphones better for those people to reduce latency.
• Not USB C.
• No 3.5 mm input. Have to buy an adapter from Apple if you want to listen hardwired.
• Clamping force is substantial to help with sound, noise cancellation, and keeping them on your head when active.
• Poor on ear controls.
• ANC turns off during calls and “Hey Siri”.
• “Hey Siri” cannot turn on/off ANC or transparency mode.
I’m usually not a fan of Beats. But I really like these. They feel more deserving of the $300. Which some will be willing to pay for. But I’d for sure pick them up on sale. They are still not audiophile quality but have a relatively balanced exciting style to them which makes them enjoyable. They have solid tech. If you’ve liked Beats in the past, I think you’ll really enjoy the newest generation. If you haven’t liked them in the past but use Apple products, they are worth looking into. Same if you are looking for something that is highly portable and straight forward. If you are going for that audiophile sound, sensitive to clamping force, and/or use android you may want to look elsewhere. In comparison to the niche and product demographic these are made for I think they are 5/5. In comparison to other products in this range 4/5. As they do almost everything right.
– August 18, 2021
I purchased my Ivory Solo Pro headphones in December. Overall, I have been very satisfied with the satin gold Solo3 headphones that I already have, and I decided to get another pair for work. I was originally going to get a second pair of Solo3, but I chose these because they were on sale and the Solo3 had risen higher in price anyway than when I had got them about a year and a half ago.
Sound – The sound quality on the Solo Pro headphones is excellent and the noise cancelling works effectively. I prefer to use the noise cancelling rather than not. With noise cancelling on, it lasts approximately 20+ hours or so. Like the Solo3, they do last about the same when noise cancelling is not on, at approximately 40 hours. Both headphones have good battery life – obviously, the Solo3 I charge less often due to no noise cancelling.
If you are still considering Solo3, honestly, they have just as good of sound, sans the noise cancelling. Soundwise, I can recommend them both.
Fit – overall, the fit on my Solo Pros are better. The Solo3 hurt pretty bad on my ears the first couple weeks when I initially bought them, but the Pro has larger ear cups which overall feel much more comfortable.
Frame – The frame is sturdier. It’s honestly a really great design from Apple/Beats. I noticed that the Solo3 are a tad more flimsy when folding/adjusting, etc. The Pro headphones are overall more hardy than the Solo3.
Color – Currently, there aren’t as many color options with the Solo Pro as there are with the Solo3. I chose Ivory for Solo Pro, and really like this color. See photos. Very sleek ivory color.
Case – the case the headphones come with is more durable, so if you drop your headphones the case for Solo Pro provides better protection.
As a whole, as an owner of both Solo Pro and Solo3, I would recommend the Solo Pro for sure if you’re willing to spend the extra money. Solo Pro are less clunky as well. Instead of pushing and holding a button to turn on/off, you just unfold/fold them. The Bluetooth “jingle” when connecting is also less annoying.
Better design, better design, and a little better sound quality overall.
– August 23, 2021
Beats By Dr Dre is Awesome! Got it on Sale During the Holiday sale!
I have an iPhone so the Beats as soon as I open the headphones automatically connects to my iPhone whenever I’m ready to listen to music! I can see why they are so popular – The sound is loud and you can tap to the beat of any music choice whether from Amazon Music, Pandora or online!
They fit snug on your ear! And tight to a certain point you have to take them off if you don’t give them a break and not fitted properly on your ears and head.
The Beats come with a case! The case is very nice for something that is high quality!
Pro: Music is loud and Good Fit! Connects to phone automatically
Con: From far away if someone is calling you to get your attention you can’t hear them.
– September 4, 2021
I love beats headphones..really very good quality sounds..easy to use.
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