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Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Dec 07, 2021 at 04:18 pm
Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless Picture
7.2
Neutral Sound
6.6
Commute/Travel
7.3
Sports/Fitness
6.4
Office
5.6
Wireless Gaming
5.3
Wired Gaming
6.0
Phone Calls
Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless are the next generation of the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless. These colorful headphones have kept the well-built and sleek design as well as the bass-heavy sound profile of their predecessor. However, this generation comes in more colors, and their companion app is now compatible with Android devices, although it still doesn't offer much functionality. Unfortunately, while they have an AUX port, they don't come with a 1/8" TRS cable. Still, these on-ears are a suitable option if you prefer a stylish and simple-to-use design.

Our Verdict

7.2 Neutral Sound

The Beats Solo 3 are satisfactory for neutral sound. They have a bass-heavy sound profile, which can muddy vocals and lead instruments. Their companion app also doesn't allow you to customize their sound profile to better suit your needs. That said, their treble range is better-balanced than their predecessor. They're also consistent in their audio delivery, so long as you adjust their fit, positioning, and seal on your head.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • No EQ.
6.6 Commute/Travel

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are okay for commute and travel. While they're comfortable, some may find they have a tight fit, which can be fatiguing when worn for several hours at a time. They barely block out bass-range noise like bus or plane engines, and their bulky design can be a bit difficult to take with you on the go. On the upside, they offer over 38 hours of continuous playback time, which should last through long-distance plane trips.

Pros
  • Over 38 hours of continuous playback time.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Some leakage at higher volumes.
  • Poor noise isolation.
7.3 Sports/Fitness

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are decent for sports and fitness. They have a stable fit, and their wireless design makes it more difficult for something to snag them and pull them off your head. However, they're a bit bulky, and some users may find the on-ear fit uncomfortable for long runs in the park.

Pros
  • Stable fit.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
6.4 Office

The Beats Solo 3 are passable for office use. They're comfortable, but some users may not like their tight on-ear fit. They also leak some audio, which could annoy your coworkers if you're listening to audio at a high volume. That said, they have a continuous battery life of over 38 hours, so you don't need to worry about charging them so often.

Pros
  • Over 38 hours of continuous playback time.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Some leakage at higher volumes.
  • Poor noise isolation.
5.6 Wireless Gaming

The Beats Solo 3 aren't recommended for wireless gaming. While you can connect them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, the latency is likely to be too high for gaming. They also aren't compatible with Xbox or PlayStation consoles.

5.3 Wired Gaming

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are Bluetooth-only headphones. While they can be used with a wired connection, Beats doesn't include a TRS cable in the box.

6.0 Phone Calls

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are mediocre for phone calls. Their integrated mic has an alright recording quality, and your voice sounds natural, although slightly thin and muffled. However, it struggles to separate your voice from even moderately noisy environments, so you may need to take calls in quieter spaces. These headphones also struggle to reduce noise around you, which can make it hard for you to hear whoever's on the other line.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 6.6 Commute/Travel
  • 7.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.4 Office
  • 5.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.0 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Oct 28, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated Dec 07, 2020: Review published.
  3. Updated Dec 03, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Beats Solo 3 are on-ear headphones that look identical to the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless. They have a sleek and curved look with no sharp edges. While they offer quite a few single-color variants such as 'Rose Gold' and 'Matte Black', Beats also offers the 'Club Collection', which are four headphones that have different accent color detailing: 'Club Navy', 'Club White', 'Club Yellow', and 'Club Red'.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.47 lbs
Clamping Force
0.9 lbs

The Beats Solo 3 are decently comfortable headphones. The ear cups are well-padded, but their clamping force could be fatiguing over time. Their headband also doesn't feel very comfortable for long listening sessions.

6.5
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

These headphones have reasonable controls. Most of their physical controls are on the left ear cup, and are really clicky. However, the headphones lack a visual cue to tell you which ear cup is the left one, which can be frustrating.

The inner 'b' button:

  • Single press: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers and ends calls.
  • Double press: Skips the track forward.
  • Triple press: Skips the track backward.
  • Press and hold: Activates voice assistant.

On the outer circle button:

  • Single press on the top side: Raises the volume.
  • Single press on the bottom side: Lowers the volume.

Power button on the right ear cup:

  • Single press: Turns the headphones on and off.
  • Press and hold: Puts them into pairing mode.

6.5
Design
Portability
L 4.1" (10.4 cm)
W 6.0" (15.2 cm)
H 2.6" (6.6 cm)
Volume 63.50 in³ (1,040.57 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

The Beats Solo 3 have okay portability. They fold up to take up less space, making it easier to slide them into your bag. However, they're still bulky, especially if you put them in their case.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Soft case
L 4.5" (11.4 cm)
W 6.1" (15.5 cm)
H 2.6" (6.6 cm)
Volume 69.10 in³ (1,132.34 cm³)

The Beats Solo 3 have a good soft case. It has a zipper to keep your headphones fully enclosed, and the material feels thick. It should protect your headphones from dust, scratches, and the occasional drop, but it won't shield them from water damage. It's also pretty bulky, which can make it hard to take with you on the go.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Beats Solo 3 have a good build quality. They're mostly made from plastic but feel sturdy and high-end. The faux leather padding also feels plush. However, they have a plastic coating that feels rigid and could crack if bent.

7.5
Design
Stability

These headphones have a stable fit. They clamp well on your ears, so they don't move too much while on your head. They also don't have any cables to catch on something and pull them off your head. However, they're not the best choice for high-intensity workouts as they may fall off with large head movements.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones
  • Carrying case
  • Carabiner clip
  • Micro-USB to USB-A cable
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
3.55 dB
Treble Amount
-3 dB

The Beats Solo 3 have a bass-heavy sound profile that delivers intense thump and boom, which is well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop. However, some users may find it muddies and clutters vocals and lead instruments. Unfortunately, their companion app doesn't offer any way to customize their sound.

7.5
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.49 dB

These headphones have a good frequency response consistency. Bass delivery is fairly consistent, although if you have thick hair or wear glasses, you may experience a drop in bass. Treble delivery is also a bit inconsistent, and it depends on the fit and positioning of these headphones. However, once you get a good fit, you should achieve a more consistent sound.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.1 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
4.58 dB
Mid-Bass
6.25 dB
High-Bass
8.47 dB

These headphones have passable bass accuracy. It's overemphasized across the range, resulting in intense thump, rumble, and boom. While fans of EDM and hip-hop can enjoy this sound, some users may find this sound overly muddy and cluttered.

7.9
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.83 dB
Low-Mid
3.34 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.35 dB
High-Mid
0 dB

The Beats Solo 3 have good mid accuracy. There's a bit of overemphasis continuing from the bass range into the low-mids, making your mixes sound muddy and cluttered. A dip in the mid-mids nudges also vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix. However, the high-mid is very neutral, resulting in clear and present vocals and instruments.

8.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.98 dB
Low-Treble
0.64 dB
Mid-Treble
-0.23 dB
High-Treble
-8.71 dB

The treble accuracy of the Beats Solo 3 is excellent. Although a little uneven, vocals and lead instruments sound detailed and present, while sibilants are slightly dull.

Note: Treble delivery can vary noticeably across users. The results here represent the average treble response, and your experience may differ.

7.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.88 dB
Dips
1.44 dB

These headphones have satisfactory peaks and dip performance. The left and right drivers are mismatched in the low-bass, which means that the left driver produces more thump and rumble than the right driver. There's a big peak between the high-bass to the low-mid, resulting in a boomy, muddy sound. The dip in the mid-mids pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix, while a couple of peaks in the low-treble add a bit of harshness. Another peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants piercing.

8.4
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.16
Weighted Phase Mismatch
5.13
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.26
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.8

The Beats Solo 3 have great imaging. Their weighted group delay is below the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our unit were exceptionally matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response. This ensures an accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, footsteps) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

4.4
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.1 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
1.29 dB
PRTF Distance
5.19 dB
Openness
5.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.2

The passive soundstage is poor. Due to their on-ear design, they have limited interaction with your outer ear, which is one of the factors in creating a large and out-of-head soundstage. As a result, sound seems like it's coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you. These headphones also have a closed-back design, so their soundstage is perceived as less open and spacious than open-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
8.4
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.163
WHD @ 100
0.059

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. All frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in a clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
7.8.8
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid for these test settings.

Isolation
4.2
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.63 dB
Bass
-0.16 dB
Mid
-7.97 dB
Treble
-27.36 dB

The Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless' noise isolation performance is poor. These headphones block out almost no bass-range noise like bus engines, which could be frustrating if you commute to work. They also struggle to cut down ambient chatter, which sits in the mid-range. They do a bit better with higher-pitched noise like the hum of an AC unit, though.

6.3
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
43.4 dB

These headphones have a mediocre leakage performance. Like the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless, a significant portion of their leakage is concentrated in the treble range, and escaping audio sounds thin. If you like to listen to your audio at a high volume, people around you are likely to hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
6.8
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
182.21 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.39 dB
HFE
3,319.91 Hz
Weighted THD
2.001
Gain
6.2 dB

The integrated mic's recording quality is alright. Your voice should sound natural, although a bit thin and muffled.

5.6
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
12.83 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling is sub-par. It struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise, even in moderately loud environments. If you take a call from a busy street, your voice is drowned out.

Active Features
8.4
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
38.2 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
38.2 hrs
Charge Time
1.4 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

These headphones have impressive battery life. They're advertised to have 40 hours of continuous playback, and we measured just under 39 hours, so they should last through a few shifts at work without needing to be recharged. However, battery life can vary depending on use, and your experience may vary. That said, they have a 'Fast Fuel' quick-charge feature, which is advertised to deliver three hours of continuous battery life after being charged for five minutes. On the downside, although they have an AUX port like the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless and support passive playback, a 1/8" TRS cable isn't included in the box, which is disappointing.

5.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Beats
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

These headphones have a disappointing companion app. The Beats app is a pop-up on iOS devices that displays basic battery information when you first connect with your device, but it doesn't offer much more. You can also download this app for Android, but it offers the same functionality.

Connectivity
7.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2 + W1 chip
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
313.00 ft (95.40 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
173 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
81 ms
Android Latency
120 ms

Update 10/29/2021: These headphones were updated to Test Bench 1.5 and their latency values have changed. Our previous Test Bench 1.4 measurements reported 'PC Latency' at 175 ms, 'iOS Latency' at 36 ms, and 'Android Latency' at 86 ms. However, our new test bench uses an average of three measurements instead of one, resulting in 173 ms of latency on PC, 81 ms on iOS, and 120 ms on Android. As a result, we have updated our text to better reflect test bench 1.5 measurements.

These headphones have satisfactory Bluetooth connectivity. While they don't have multi-device or NFC pairing, they have a W1 chip, making it easy to seamlessly pair with other Apple products. Their latency is somewhat high on PC, so they may not be ideal for streaming video. While their latency on iOS and Android is lower, some devices and apps seem to compensate for latency differently, so your mileage may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These headphones only come with a USB-A to micro-USB charging cable. However, while they have an AUX port, they don't come with a 1/8" TRS cable.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio Only (Not included)
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

The Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless are fully compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs. You can also use a 1/8" TRS cable to connect them via analog, but this cable isn't included in the box, and you can only receive audio.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only (Not included)
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
Audio Only (Not Included)
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No

You can connect the Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless to PS4 and PS5 consoles via an analog connection. However, you can only receive audio, and you need to purchase this cable separately.

Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only (Not included)
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only (Not included)
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

You can only use these headphones wired with Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles. You can only receive audio, and the cable itself isn't included in the box.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Beats Solo 3 come in several color variants: 'Matte Black', '(PRODUCT)RED Citrus Red', 'Rose Gold', 'Satin Gold' and 'Satin Silver'. There are a few Club Collection variants as well that have a multi-colored design: 'Club Navy', 'Club Red', 'Club White', 'Club Yellow'. We tested the 'Club Red' variant. These headphones are also the 2019 generation of the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless, which we tested. While they look and perform similarly to their predecessor, they don't come with a 1/8" TRS cable in the box.

If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are the next generation of the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless. While not much has changed in this update as they perform very similarly to their predecessor in terms of battery life, design, and sound profile, they now come in a variety of new colors that style-savvy users may enjoy. Just like the 2018 model, they have a W1 chip, which makes it easy to seamlessly pair with Apple devices. However, Beats doesn't include a TRS audio cable in the box anymore, meaning if you want to listen to audio passively, you need to supply the cable yourself.

Check out our recommendations for the best Beats headphones, the best wireless Bluetooth headphones, and the best bass headphones.

Beats Studio3 Wireless

The Beats Studio3 Wireless are better headphones than the Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless. The Studio3 are over-ear headphones that are more comfortable and have a good-performing ANC feature. However, the Solo3 2019 deliver audio more consistently and have a better battery performance. Some users may also prefer their more bass-heavy sound profile.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Beats Solo Pro Wireless and the Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless are headphones with different strengths and depending on your usages, you may prefer one over the other. The Solo Pro are more suitable for casual and office use. They feel better built, their sound profile is more neutral, and they have a  great ANC to help cut down ambient noise around you. However, the Solo3 2019 have a better battery performance and a bass-heavy sound profile, which some users may like. They're better-suited for sports too as their fit is more stable.

JBL Live 400BT Wireless

The JBL Live 400BT Wireless are better on-ear headphones than the Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless. The JBL have a better-balanced sound profile and can passively isolate more sound. Their leakage performance is significantly better too and while their battery doesn't last as long as the Beats, there's an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life. They also come with a companion app that has a parametric EQ plus presets so you can tweak its sound to your liking. However, the Beats are more comfortable, feel better built, and come with a carrying case.

Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless

The Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless are the next generation of the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless. They're almost identical in design and are very similarly performing. However, the 2019 comes in more color variants. This model also has a companion app that can be used on Android in addition to iOS. That said, the 2018 model includes an audio cable so that you can listen to audio passively. You need to buy this cable separately if you want to use your 2019 model wired.

Jabra Evolve2 85 Wireless

The Jabra Evolve2 85 Wireless are better on-ear headphones for most uses than the Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless. The Jabra are more comfortable and have a more neutral sound profile as well as an ANC feature that helps reduce ambient noise. Their mic performs better, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets so that you can customize their sound profile. However, the Beats have a more stable fit and a longer continuous battery life.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017

The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017 are better for wired gaming and neutral sound than the Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless. The Astro are more comfortable, better-built, and have a better-performing boom microphone. They have a wired design and can be used with Astro companion software, which offers a graphic EQ plus presets. However, the Beats are better for casual use as they have a wireless design, a more stable fit, and their sound profile is more neutral out-of-the-box.

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