The Beats Solo3 Wireless are decent mixed usage headphones with a reasonably balanced sound profile. They're almost identical to the Beats Solo2 Wireless but have a better range and battery life thanks to the W1 chip. They're comfortable but fit a bit tight on the head, making them stable enough for sports but not ideal for long listening sessions. Unfortunately, they also have fairly weak noise isolation, so they won't be the ideal headphones to use in noisy environments.
The Beats Solo3 are versatile headphones that deliver a decently balanced sound with a slight emphasis on bass. Although they struggle in loud environments, their comfortable and wireless design makes them a viable choice at the gym. The long battery life is also a plus if you're always on the go. With their slight improvements over the previous model, these headphones may warrant an upgrade if you want a better set of active features, especially if you have an iOS device.
Passable for neutral listening. The Beats Solo3 Wireless have a slightly better treble range than the Beats Solo2 Wireless. With an overall improvement in the bass and mid-ranges, the Solo3 sound more balanced. Their powerful bass caters decently well to instruments and vocals, although they sound slightly more muddy compared to some other neutral listening models. Unfortunately, due to their small, circular, and closed-back ear cups, they won't have the best soundstage.
Okay for commuting. The Beats Solo3 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 don't isolate well in loud environments, which isn't ideal for commuting or traveling.
Alright 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 long periods. They're also still a bit bulky despite their compact design, which might not be ideal for intense training.
Fair for office use. They won't isolate well in a loud, lively office and they leak a bit at higher volumes, so your coworkers might hear what you're listening to. However, they have a good wireless range - if you pair them to your PC, you can walk around in your office. They're also decently comfortable.
Disappointing for gaming. The Beats Solo3 Wireless can only be used via Bluetooth on PC. However, they have a mediocre microphone and slightly too much latency to be suitable for gaming.
Okay for wired gaming. These headphones come with an in-line microphone audio cable: while you won't be able to use the microphone when plugged into an Xbox One, you'll be able to receive audio. On PS4, however, you'll be able to both use the microphone and receive audio.
Mediocre for phone calls. The Solo3's microphone has trouble separating speech from ambient noise in moderate to loud environments, while its overall recording quality muffles your voice. You'll still be understandable on the other end of the phone, but you probably don't want to be making calls in busy restaurants.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless look indistinguishable to the Beats Solo2 Wireless. You can barely tell them apart, even on closer inspection. The only differences are in the available color schemes: the Solo2 have slightly more options. On the upside, if you liked the previous model, then you'll 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.
The Beats Solo3 are almost identical in design to the Beats Solo2 Wireless. They have the same weight, and they're just as tight on the head. The ear cups are heavily padded, which makes them decently comfortable, but they aren't ideal for long listening sessions as you'll feel fatigued from their clamping force.
The control scheme of the Beats Solo3 Wireless is efficient and easy to use. Like the Beats Solo2 Wireless, the buttons feel responsive and are well spaced out on the small earcup. They provide 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.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are breathable headphones. They have an on-ear design that doesn't fully cover the ears; heat is trapped within the notch and ear canal, leaving the outer ear relatively cool. These headphones will make you sweat a bit more than usual during intense workouts, but they're not as bad as most closed-back over-ear designs.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are passably portable headphones. They fold up to take less space and can potentially fit into larger jacket pockets. However, they're still a bit of a hassle to carry around on your person.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless come with a mediocre pouch that will protect the headphones from scratches and scuff when they're in your bag. Unfortunately, the soft case won't shield them from impacts or water damage like a hard case would, which is a little disappointing for their price, especially when compared to similarly-designed headphones like the JBL Everest 310.
These headphones 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 feels rigid; if you bend them too far, they might crack. The coating is also prone to scratches and scuffs.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are decently stable. They might not be the best headphones for high-intensity exercises involving jumping or head waggling, but they're tight enough to not move around much while on your head. Additionally, since they're wireless, they won't get pulled off your ears because the audio cable got hooked on something.
Slightly more balanced than their predecessors, the sound profile of the Beats Solo3 leans into the bass, making them a good choice for people looking for a little more thump in their audio. The dip in the mid-range recedes vocals and instruments in favor of the bass while the treble is prone to brightness. This mix can make the sound profile sound muddy, however.
These headphones have a good frequency consistency. While the Solo3 perform better than their predecessor, there are still similar inconsistencies, particularly noticeable in the treble. Depending on how you wear these headphones and how they sit on your ear, you may need to readjust them on your head to get the same listening experience every time.
The bass accuracy of the Beats Solo3 Wireless is mediocre. The overemphasized bass, while fairly even across the range, produces prominent, punchy thumps and rumbles.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless have a great mid-range accuracy. The response is pretty consistent, except for a dip in the mid-mid, which pushes vocals and other lead instruments slightly to the back of the mix, and giving more emphasis to bass instruments.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless have impressive treble accuracy. Their good balance of presence, detail, and brightness in the reproduction of vocals, leads, and cymbals make them well-balanced and quite neutral sounding.
The peaks and dips performance of the Beats Solo3 is decent. The peak in the high-bass will produce more thump while the following dip between low and mid-mid will push vocals and instruments back in the mix. Another spike in the low treble will make sounds in this range sharp or bright.
The Beats Solo3 have excellent imaging. Their weighted group delay is below the audibility threshold and 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 specific to our unit and may not be the same with every pair.
The Beats Solo3's soundstage is poor. Since these are on-ear headphones, they have limited acoustic interaction with the pinna or outer ear, which is necessary for creating a large and out-of-head soundstage. Also, because of their closed-back design, their soundstage will be perceived as less open, compared to open-back on-ears like the Grado SR80e. Overall, the soundstage will most likely be perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head.
The Beats Solo3 don't have any virtual soundstage features.
The weighted harmonic distortion performance of the Solo3's is excellent. All frequencies fall within good limits, which should result in a clear and pure audio reproduction.
The results of the Beats Solo3 are only valid for these test settings.
The isolation performance is disappointing. These on-ears provide little isolation in the bass range, which means you'll hear the rumble of airplane and bus engines. While the passive isolation provided by the ear cups start to kick in towards the mid-range, these headphones will still have trouble blocking out most speech. However, sharp sounds from the treble range will be reduced. If you like on-ear designs but need a bit more isolation for your noisy commutes, then check out the AKG N60NC Wireless, the Marshall MID ANC Wireless, or even the higher-end Beats Solo Pro Wireless.
The leakage performance is sub-par. These headphones leak a bit more than the usual closed-back on-ear headphones. While leakage is low in the bass range, there's a noticeable spike in leakage in the treble range: to others, your audio will sound thin. If you like to blast your music, people around you in quiet to moderately busy environments, the people around you will hear.
The Beats Solo3 have an integrated microphone. The detachable audio cable also has an in-line microphone.
The integrated microphone has a mediocre recording quality. Speech recorded or transmitted with these headphones will sound quite thin, lacking detail and presence. However, this won't have a big negative effect on the intelligibility of the recorded speech.
The noise handling performance of the Beats Solo3's mic is disappointing. The microphone will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderate to loud situations. However, in quiet environments, speech will sound clean and clear.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless have impressive battery life. They can last up to 40 hours of continuous playback on a single charge. They also charge surprisingly fast: a 5-minute charge delivers above 2.5 hours of playback while a full charge is complete in less than 2 hours. If you're always on the go, the long battery life ensures that you can go longer without charging them. However, they don't have an auto-off timer so the battery will continue draining if you don't switch them off.
Like the AirPods, the Beats Solo3 also use a W1 chip to provide extra features on iOS devices. These headphones connect with a pop-up that displays basic battery information. Unfortunately, this isn't particularly useful as it only shows up on your initial connection with an iOS device; however, you'll get live feedback notifications on the battery status. Unfortunately, this feature isn't available on Android.
The Beats Solo3 connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, they can't pair simultaneously with multiple devices and don't have NFC support. While the Solo3 have improved latency compared to their predecessor and have a lower latency on iOS, they won't be the ideal headphones for watching movies or gaming.
The Beats Solo3 are Bluetooth-only headphones.
The Beats Solo3 come with an iOS cable with an in-line remote microphone that's compatible with the PS4 but not the Xbox. This gives them a secondary connection option in case you want to save battery life by turning off Bluetooth or if you want less latency while watching videos or gaming.
These headphones can only be used via Bluetooth on PCs. Due to their high latency, however, they aren't recommended for gaming. While you can't use the Solo3 wirelessly on the PS4, they can be used with the audio cable plugged into the controller: you'll be able to receive audio as well as use the microphone.
These Bluetooth headphones are only compatible with the Xbox One while the audio cable is plugged into the controller. However, you'll only get audio and won't be able to use the microphone.
These headphones don't have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are the most up-to-date version of the wireless on-ear design by Beats. They're one of the best on-ear headphones we've tested. They deliver a well-balanced sound profile. They're wireless as well and have a great range and battery life, but they can be a bit tight on the head and lack decent isolation for noisy environments. See our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones.
The Beats Solo Pro Wireless are a nice upgrade over the Beats Solo3 Wireless. They're noise cancelling, which is very useful in public transit or at the office. However, the Pro are a bit too tight for some, and the Solo3 feel more comfortable. On the other hand, the Pro feel more high-end and more durable. They both have a fairly similar sound profile, but the Pro are a bit more neutral.
The Beats Studio 3 Wireless are slightly better headset than the Beats Solo3 Wireless thanks to noise cancellation. The Studio 3 isolate a bit better in noisy conditions, which makes them a better option for commute and travel than the Solo3. They also have a more comfortable over-ear design that most will prefer over the on-ear fit of the Solo3. The Solo3, on the other hand, are a bit more compact and have a much better battery life than the Studio variant. They also have a greater wireless range and better latency performance.
While the Beats Solo3 Wireless and the Beats EP have a very similar sound profile, the Solo3 are more versatile thanks to their wireless design. Their headband also feels more durable. On the other hand, if you don't want to manage a battery life, the wired EP are better, although the Solo3 have an incredible 42-hour battery life.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are better wireless headphones if you prefer over-ears; however, if you want a more portable on-ear design, then go for the Beats Solo3 Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, and most will prefer their over-ear fit compared to the on-ear design of the Beats. The Bose are also noise cancelling headphones that will give you some peace and quiet during long flights or commutes. On the upside, the Beats have a more portable on-ear design and are more stable for the gym. They also have a better wireless range and a longer battery life than the Bose.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are better on-ear headphones than the Sony WH-XB700 Wireless. They have a more neutral audio reproduction, and they feel noticeably sturdier than the Sony. The Beats give an impressive 40 hours of continuous playback and don’t take much time to charge fully. Additionally, you can take advantage of the W1 chip if you have an iOS device. On the other hand, the Sony are better suited for bass-heavy genres and they support the aptX codec and NFC. They are also quite cheaper so they could offer better value for most, especially if you’re a fan of bass.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Beats Solo 2 Wireless. While both headphones have a similar sound profile, the Solo3 have a noticeably better battery life with about 40 hours of continuous playback. They also take advantage of the W1 chip on iOS devices, which the Solo 2 don’t do. Design-wise, there isn’t much difference between the two models. Note that the Solo 2 were measured on an older version of our test bench, so not all components were tested.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Sony WH-CH510 Wireless. The Beats are more comfortable, feel much better-built, are much more stable, and have an even longer battery that charges significantly cheaper. While the Beats have a more bass-heavy sound profile, the bass range of the Sony are a bit more accurate. The Sony will also likely represent better value for most people.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are better sounding and better-built headphones than the AKG N60NC Wireless. However, the AKG isolate more ambient noise due to their ANC feature, which makes them a bit more versatile, especially for commuting and for the office. They can also connect to two devices simultaneously, which is convenient. On the other hand, the Beats have an amazing 42-hour battery life, which is about three times longer than the AKG’s.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are better on-ear headphones than the JBL Everest 310 Wireless. The Beats design is more comfortable, and they have a more accurate audio reproduction, especially in the treble range. Also, their battery is incredible and offers 42 hours of continuous playback. The Beats are also better built and feel more high-end than the squeaking JBL. On the other hand, the JBL can connect to two devices simultaneously and have a unique music sharing feature. They also isolate a bit more noise than the Beats.
The Bose QuietComfort 25/QC25 are better headphones than the Beats Solo3 Wireless. The Bose are noticeably more comfortable, have a better neutral-sounding audio reproduction, and have a great noise isolation performance, which is great for commuting. However, they are wired headphones so if you prefer a wireless design, then the Beats will be better. They also have more battery life and are rechargeable, while you need to use AAA batteries for the Bose.
The JBL CLUB 700BT Wireless are slightly better Bluetooth on-ear headphones than the Beats Solo3 Wireless. The JBL have more a more robust control scheme, a slightly better-balanced sound profile, a longer battery life, and a better app that includes a parametric EQ and presets. On the other hand, the Beats' sound profile is more consistent among users and reseats, and they feel more stable on the head.
The JBL Everest Elite 700 Wireless are not directly comparable to the Beats Solo3 Wireless since they are over-ear and noise cancelling when the Beats are on-ears and isolate passively. This means if you prefer a headphone for noisy environments then go for the JBL. They will block and cancel more noise on your commute. They also have a lot more features than the Beats since they have an app that gives them access to an EQ and noise cancelling settings. The JBL also have a better more durable build quality and a sturdier design overall. On the other hand, the Beats are a lot more portable and deliver a much longer battery life that you won't have to charge for a couple of days. They also charge a lot faster, have a greater wireless range, and slightly lower latency on iOS devices.