Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Dec 07, 2020 at 10:16 am
Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless Picture
6.6
Mixed Usage
7.0
Neutral Sound
6.7
Commute/Travel
7.3
Sports/Fitness
6.2
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
5.3
Wired Gaming
6.2
Phone Calls
Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Beats Solo3 2019 Wireless are the updated model 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 its companion app is now compatible with Android devices, although it still doesn't offer much functionality. Unfortunately, while they have an audio port, they don't come with a cable. Still, these on-ears are a suitable option if you prefer a stylish and simple-to-use design.

Our Verdict

6.6 Mixed Usage

The Beats Solo 3 are alright for mixed use. These on-ears are comfortable and have a stable fit. They also have a bass-heavy sound profile that can keep you pumped up at the gym. However, they have poor noise isolation and they won't block out much bass-range noise like bus or train engines. While they do a better job with ambient chatter, they also leak audio at higher volumes, which may disturb others in an office setting. They have high latency on PC, and may not be ideal for wireless gaming.

Pros
  • Over 38 hours of continuous playback time.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • No EQ.
7.0 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.

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

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are okay for commute and travel. While they're comfortable, some may find they have a tight fit, and it 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 to be uncomfortable for long runs in the park.

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

The Beats Solo 3 are mediocre 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.
5.5 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 One or PS4 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.

6.2 Phone Calls

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are acceptable 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.
  • 6.6 Mixed Usage
  • 7.0 Neutral Sound
  • 6.7 Commute/Travel
  • 7.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.2 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.2 Phone Calls

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 round look. 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 satisfactorily 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 the controls are located on the left cup's 'b' button, which is very clicky. You can press it once to play/pause or answer/end a call. Double-tapping skips the track forward while triple-tapping skips the track backward. If you press and hold this button, you can also activate your voice assistant. Changing the volume is relatively simple, as you press the top or the bottom of the circle to raise or lower the volume, respectively. Unfortunately, there's no visual sign to tell you which ear cup is the left cup, so it can be a little frustrating if you put them on backward.

6.5
Design
Portability
L 4.1"
W 6"
H 2.6"
Volume 63.5 in³
Transmitter Required No

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

7.5
Design
Case
Type Soft case
L 4.5"
W 6.1"
H 2.6"
Volume 69.1 in³

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.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Beats Solo 3 have a good build quality. They feel sturdy and are made from high-end materials. The faux leather padding feels good too. However, their plastic coating feels a bit rigid and may 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 that can 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 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 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. If you have thick hair or 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. You may need to readjust them on your head each time you wear them to get the same listening experience.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
5.7
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

The bass accuracy of these headphones is disappointing. It's overemphasized across the range, resulting in prominent thump, punch, and boom, which users may like. However, others may find it sounds muddy.

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 and into the low-mids, which makes your mixes sound muddy and cluttered. However, there's a dip in the mid-mids, nudging 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.

8.5
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. However, treble varies noticeably across users, so your experience may differ.

7.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.88 dB
Dips
1.44 dB

These headphones have decent peaks and dips performance. There's a big peak between the high-bass to the low-mid, which results 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 Amplitude Mismatch
1.26
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.8
Weighted Phase Mismatch
5.13

The Beats Solo 3 have great imaging. Their weighted group delay is below the audibility threshold, which should result in a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test 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. They also have a closed-back design, and as a result, their soundstage sounds 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

These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.

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, which should result 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
4.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.63 dB
Bass
-0.16 dB
Mid
-7.97 dB
Treble
-27.36 dB

The noise isolation performance of the Beats Solo3 Wireless is poor. These headphones don't block out almost any bass-range noise like bus or plane engines. 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. Just like the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless, a significant portion of their leakage is concentrated in the treble range. 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

The Beats Solo 3 Wireless have an integrated microphone.

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.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
12.83 dB

The mic's noise handling is just mediocre. It struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise, even in moderately loud environments.

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 offer over 38 hours of continuous playback time and fully charge in roughly an hour and a half. They also have a 'Fast Fuel' quick-charge feature, which is advertised to give you three hours of playback time when you charge them for five minutes. However, we don't currently test this feature. While they have an audio cable port just like the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless and support passive playback, they don't come with a 1/8" TRS cable.

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 really offer much more. You can also download this app for Android, but it offers the same functionality.

Connectivity
7.2
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2 + W1 chip
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
313 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
175 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
36 ms
Android Latency
86 ms

These headphones have decent Bluetooth connectivity. While they don't have multi-device or NFC pairing, they have a W1 chip, which makes it easy to seamlessly pair with other Apple products. Their latency is quite high on PC, so they may not be ideal for streaming video. While their latency on iOS and Android is much 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

The Beats Solo 3 are Bluetooth-only headphones.

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 micro-USB charging cable. However, while they have an analog cable port, they don't come with a 1/8" TRS cable.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can be used with Bluetooth-enabled PCs for full audio and microphone compatibility. You can also use an audio cable for an analog connection with PC and PS4. However, you can only receive audio with this connection and this cable isn't included with the headphones.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can only be used wired with the Xbox One. 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

The Beats Solo 3 don't have a base or 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 2019 updated version of the Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless. While not much has changed in this generation 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 also 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, so 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 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 suitable for mixed use 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.

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 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.

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.

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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