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    Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Design
    1. Style
    2. Comfort
    3. Controls
    4. Stability
    5. Portability
    6. Case
    7. Build Quality
    8. Breathability
    9. Cable
    10. Front
    11. Angled
    12. Side
    13. Rear
    14. Top
  3. Sound
    1. Bass
    2. Mid
    3. Treble
    4. Frequency Response Consistency
    5. Soundstage
    6. Imaging
    7. Total Harmonic Distortion
  4. Isolation
    1. Noise Isolation
    2. Leakage
  5. Active Features
    1. Wireless
    2. Latency
    3. Battery
    4. App Support
  6. In the box
  7. Conclusion
  8. Q&A
Reviewed on Apr 05, 2017 , Marc Henney, Jean-Christophe Lamontagne

Beats Solo 3 / Solo3 Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings
7.3Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.6Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.1Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.4Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.2Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.3Home Theater
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Score components:
Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Beats Solo3 are almost identical to the Solo2 Wireless except for slight improvements in the active features thanks to the W1 chip. They're comfortable and stable wireless on-ear headphones, with an above-average sound, an excellent battery life, and great wireless range. Unfortunately, they don't have the best isolation, so they won't be ideal in loud environments and they also leak at higher volumes.

Test Results
Design 7.2
Sound 7.6
Isolation 5.8
Active Features 7.5
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Stable and sturdy design.
  • Excellent wireless range and battery life.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Leaky at higher volumes.

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7.2

Design

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Score components:
Beats Solo3 Wireless Design Picture

The Beats Solo3 are practically identical to the Solo2. Like the previous model, they have a sleek and sturdy build quality, an efficient and responsive control scheme, as well as a compact design making them somewhat portable. They're above-average comfortable for an on-ear headphone thanks to the ample padding of the ear cups. Their tight fit also makes them stable enough to jog and exercise with. However, this means like the Solo2s they're not as comfortable as the Beats Studio Wireless

Style
Beats Solo3 Wireless Design Picture 2

The Solo3 look indistinguishable to the Solo2. You can barely tell them apart even upon closer inspection. The only differences are the available color schemes for which the Solo2 have a bit more options. On the upside, if you liked the previous model then you will be familiar with the sleek design and the small, round, and well-padded earcups of the Solo3. They'll still stand out in a crowd, especially, if you choose one of the flashier color schemes.

7.0 Comfort
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What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Beats Solo3 Wireless Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.47 lbs
Clamping Force
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What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
1.1 lbs

The Solo3 are almost identical in design to the Solo2 Wireless. They have the same weight, and they're just as tight on the head. Luckily the ear cups are heavily padded which makes them comfortable enough to wear for decently long periods of time without feeling any listening fatigue.

8.1 Controls
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What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Beats Solo3 Wireless Controls Picture
Ease of use : Above-average
Feedback : Above-average
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The control scheme of the Solo3 is efficient and easy to use. Like the Solo2 the buttons feel responsive and are well spaced out on the small earcup. They provided the basic but essential functions: track-skipping, call/music, and volume controls. The buttons are a bit small but they're not much cause for concern.

7.5 Stability
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What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Beats Solo3 Wireless Stability Picture

The Beats Solo 3 are stable enough to run with. They may not be the best headphones for high-intensity exercises that involve a lot of jumping, but they're tight enough to not move around much while on your head. Additionally, they're wireless, so they won't get pulled off your ears because the audio cable got hooked on something.

6.4 Portability
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What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Beats Solo3 Wireless Portability Picture
L : 4.25 "
W : 6.13 "
H : 2.63 "
Volume : 68.5 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The Solo 3 are decently portable headphones. They fold up to take less space and could potentially fit into larger jacket pockets. However, they're still a bit of a hassle to carry around on your person.

6.0 Case
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What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Beats Solo3 Wireless Case Picture
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

Comes with a mediocre pouch that will protect the headphones against scratches and scuff when they're in your bag. Unfortunately, the soft case won't shield them from impacts or water damage like a good hard case would which is a little disappointing for their price.

7.5 Build Quality
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What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Beats Solo3 Wireless Build Quality Picture

The Solo3 like the Solo2 are well-built, compact headphones that won't break if you accidentally drop them a couple of times. They're made using high-end materials and the headband is reinforced with a metal frame that makes them decently sturdy under physical stress. Unfortunately, the plastic coating is prone to scratches and scuffs and feels a bit rigid, which could crack if you bend them too far.

7.9 Breathability
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What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
  • 100% Avg.Temp.Difference
Beats Solo3 Wireless Breathability Before Picture Beats Solo3 Wireless Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 2.3 C

Cable
Beats Solo3 Wireless Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.2 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

Comes with a 1/8" TRS audio cable and a USB charging cable.

Front
Angled
Side
Rear
Top
7.6

Sound

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What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Beats Solo3 Wireless Frequency Response

The Beats Solo 3 Wireless have a good overall sound and plenty of Bass, which is very similar to Solo2 Wireless and more balanced than previous attempts by Beats. They perform consistently across multiple users and produce little distortion. However, they are too heavy on Bass, which tends to sound muddy and overpower the Treble, and lack a bit of Mid Range that can push the lead instruments to the back of the mix a bit. Also, the Soundstage doesn't feel immersive due to the small, shallow and closed ear cups. 

8.2 Bass
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What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Beats Solo3 Wireless Bass
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.7 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
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What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.41 dB
Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.01 dB
High-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.34 dB

Excellent Bass Range performance. Despite having an on-ear design, the Solo3 is able to produce more than enough Bass throughout the range. The low-end is extended down to 10Hz and the rest of the range is also virtually flat, but overemphasized by an average of 3dB, making the sound of these headphones slightly Bass-heavy and muddy.

7.9 Mid
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What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Beats Solo3 Wireless Mid
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.79 dB
Low-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.12 dB
Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.02 dB
High-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.69 dB

Good Mid Range performance. The mid is scooped by about 4dB, which tends to push the voice and lead instruments to the back of the mix. This accentuates the bass-heavy and boomy Bass of these headphones.

8.8 Treble
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What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Beats Solo3 Wireless Treble
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.54 dB
Low-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.5 dB
Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.44 dB
High-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.73 dB

Excellent Treble Range performance. Low-treble and treble are reproduced very well and the inconsistencies could very well be do to the averaging of multiple re-seats. However, due to the slightly heavy Bass and scooped Mids, Treble on these headphones may not necessarily cut through.

7.5 Frequency Response Consistency
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What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Beats Solo3 Wireless Consistency L Beats Solo3 Wireless Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.5 dB

Good Consistency in frequency response. Despite having measured the low-end of these headphones on 5 human subjects, 5 times each, the variance in Bass response is +/-1dB which is very good. However, these headphones perform a bit less consistently in the Treble Range, again due to their on-ear design and different positioning preferences that people tend to have with on-ears.

5.2 Soundstage
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What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in Pinna-Related Transfer Function of the headphones, compared to that of a loudspeaker. Whether the soundstage is perceived to be unnatural, located inside or in front of the head, is dependent on this quality. The more the headphones activate the HRTF resonances of the ear (similar to what loudspeakers do), the more the soundstage will be pulled out from inside the listener's head. This quality affects both stereo and mono content.
When it matters: When a natural, in-the-front soundstage is desired, similar to that of a loudspeaker.
Good value: <5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
7.28 dB
Openness
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What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
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What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones takes some of the characteristic of its environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.0
Correlated Crosstalk
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What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

Poor Soundstage. Due to the on-ear design, these headphones don't activate the pinna like a large over-ear or loudspeakers, therefore the Soundstage may be perceived to be located inside the listener's head. Also, due to the closed-back, the Solo3 won't have an open and immersive Soundstage.

8.4 Imaging
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What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Beats Solo3 Wireless Phase Response
Phase Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in the phase, from the ideal flat response.
When it matters: When an accurate and transparent imaging is desired.
Good value: <60°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
28.17 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
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What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <0.3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.83 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
15.57 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <90°
Noticeable difference: 30°
:
35.75 °

Very good Imaging. The amount of phase error is minimal, especially in the Bass Range. Most of the phase shift in the Mid and Treble Ranges won't be audible. Additionally, the drivers of our unit were decently matched.

8.5 Total Harmonic Distortion
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What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Beats Solo3 Wireless Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.353
Weighted THD @ 100
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.547

Good Harmonic distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is quite low throughout the range, and doesn't increase considerably under heavier load either, which is very good for an on-ear design.

5.8

Isolation

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Score components:

The Beats Solo 3 Wireless have a below-average isolation performance. They don't actively cancel noise like the Studio Wireless, and the small earcups don't create a good enough seal to prevent ambient noise from seeping into your audio. They won't be the ideal headphones to use in loud and noisy environments, and unfortunately, they also leak quite a bit so they may distract the people around you in quieter settings.

5.7 Noise Isolation
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What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Beats Solo3 Wireless Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
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What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-13.32 dB
Bass
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-0.69 dB
Mid
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-9.04 dB
Treble
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-30.84 dB
Self-Noise
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What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
14.21 dB

Poor isolation. These on-ears provide little isolation in the Bass Range. The passive isolation provided by the ear cups start to kick in at around 300Hz, but the isolation won't get significant until around 1KHz. The overall amount of isolation achieved in the Mid Range is about 10dB, and in the Treble Range is a decent 30dB.

6.0 Leakage
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What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Beats Solo3 Wireless Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
44.96 dB

Poor leakage. These headphones leak a bit more than the usual closed-back on-ear headphones. The noticable portion of leakage is between 400Hz and 8KHz, which is rather broad. However, the overall level of leakage is low, except for the sharp peak at 4KHz which could be significant at closer distances.

7.5

Active Features

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What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The main difference between the Beats Solo3 and the Solo2 is the W1 chip. It adds a few improvements to the active features and a better integration into the iOS software similar to the AirPods. They have a more reliable wireless connection that has a longer range and slightly lower latency on both Android and iOS. The battery life has also improved significantly while having fast charge capabilities which is great if you're often on the go. Unfortunately, some features are only available on iOS which may not be ideal for some. 

8.8 Wireless
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What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Type
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What it is: The type and version of the wireless network, the headphones use to connect to the audio source. This could either be Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: The Bluetooth version will determine how compatible the headphones are with your Bluetooth enabled devices. Typically, newer Bluetooth versions are backward compatible with older ones but may lack the additional features that more recent Bluetooth protocols provide.
:
Bluetooth 4.2 + W1 chip
Obstructed Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
55 ft
Line of Sight Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
242 ft
NFC
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What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
:
No

The Solo3 make some improvements in their wireless connection and range compared to the Solo2 Wireless. They have one of the best line-of-sight and obstructed range that we've measured on an on-ear headphone so far. The latency has also slightly improved over the previous model, however, the lack of a low-latency codec means they won't be the ideal headphones for watching movies or gaming but should have no issues streaming music. Unfortunately, they still do not have NFC pairing which makes them a bit frustrating to pair if you're often switching between Bluetooth devices. Once paired though they will quickly reconnect when you turn them on.

2.9 Latency
Base Latency
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What it is: The latency for the default sub-band coding of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 75ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
179 ms
aptX Latency
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What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 130ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
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What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A
8.2 Battery
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What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Score components:
Battery Type
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What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
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What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
42 hrs
Charge Time
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What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.5 hrs
Auto-off
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What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
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What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
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What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

The Solo3 have a phenomenal battery life. They can last up to 40 hours of continuous playback on a single charge. They also charge surprisingly fast delivering just above 2.5 hours of playback from a 5-minute charge and a complete charge takes only 1.5 hours. This makes them a great headphone if you're often on the go and do not have a lot of time to charge your headphones. However, they do not have an auto off timer so the battery will continue draining if you do not switch them off.

5.0 App Support
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What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Beats Solo3 Wireless App Picture
App Name : N/A
iOS : Yes
Android : No
Equalizer
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What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
No
ANC control
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What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
No
Room effects
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What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
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What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
No

Like the AirPods that also use the W1 chip to provide some extra features on iOS devices. The Beats Solo3 connect with a pop-up that displays basic battery information. The pop up is not particularly useful as it only shows up on your initial connection with an iOS device, however with the integration into the iOS software you get a constant notification that gives you live feedback on the battery status. Unfortunately this feature is not available on android.

In the box

Beats Solo3 Wireless In the box Picture

  • Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones
  • Carrying case
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.3Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
The Beats Solo 3 Wireless are versatile headphones that struggle a bit in loud environments but deliver a good sound and an excellent battery life. The slight improvements over the previous model may warrant an upgrade if you want the better set of active features and especially if you have an iOS device.
7.6Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. The Beats Solo3 have a slightly better treble range than the Solo2. That and the overall improvement in the bass and mid ranges that Beats has made with their recent lineup of headphones, makes them sound a bit more balanced. They have a powerful bass and cater decently well to instruments and vocals, although, they sound a bit muddy compared to some other critical listening models. Unfortunately, due to their small, circular and closed-back earcups, they won't have the best soundstage, which means they're great for casual listeners but may lack the ambiance that more critical listeners are looking for.
7.1Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Decent for commuting. They have an efficient and straightforward control scheme. They have a great battery life, and they're also somewhat compact which makes them a bit easier to carry around on your person. However, they do not isolate well in loud environments, which isn't ideal for commuting or traveling.
7.4Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Above-average for sports. Their tight fit and wireless design mean they won't easily fall off your head even when running. However, they do tend to get a little steamy when exercising for a long time. They're also still a bit bulky despite their compact design which might not be ideal for intense training.
7.2Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Above-average for office use. They won't isolate well in a loud, lively office and leak a bit at higher volumes so what you're listening to may be overheard. However, they have a good wireless range so if you pair them to your PC you can walk around in your office. They're also decently comfortable.
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