Hands-On With Apple's New Beats Solo Pro Headphones

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On Tuesday, Apple's Beats brand introduced the new Beats Solo Pro headphones, the company's first on-ear headphones with active noise cancellation. The new $300 headphones don't launch until October 30, but we've already had a chance to test them out so check out our video below for our early impressions.


Starting with the unboxing experience, you'll find that the Beats Solo Pro headphones come with a new soft case covered in a nice felt-like material, as well as a few accessories such as a Lightning to USB-A cable for recharging the headphones. While USB-C rather than Lightning might have been a bit more universal, at least you can charge your headphones with the same cable you use for your iPhone.

The Solo Pro headphones come in six colors including Black, Gray, and Ivory, and then three colors from the "More Matte Collection" being promoted by Pharrell Williams: Light Blue, Dark Blue, and Red. We have the Dark Blue ones on hand, and they are made of a nice matte plastic with an inside metal adjustment band for durability and a premium feel.


Apple's new Beats Solo Pro automatically turn on and off when you unfold or fold them, so there's no power button on the headphones. Pairing via Bluetooth is a simple process, and thanks to the Apple H1 chip inside they can automatically pair with and switch between all devices tied to your iCloud account. The H1 also provides hands-free "Hey Siri" support.

While there's no power button, there are still a few controls located on the Solo Pro headphones, including playback controls on the right ear cup. Tapping above or below the Beats logo on the ear cup adjusts the volume, while tapping on the logo itself will play/pause or skip tracks.

On the bottom of the left ear cup is a button for toggling through three listening modes: Apple's proprietary "Pure ANC" noise cancellation mode that debuted on the Beats Studio3 headphones, a new Transparency mode that activates external microphones to draw in ambient sound, and an extended battery life mode where ANC and Transparency are turned off.


We really liked the new Transparency mode, as it will come in handy in lots of everyday situations where you need to hear a quick conversation or airplane announcement, for example, and don't want to take off your headphones.

Sound quality on the new Solo Pro headphones is solid, and it's about what you'd expect from a set of Beats cans. They sound a bit better than the Solo3 headphones and are right up there with the Studio lineup, although not quite as immersive due to the on-ear rather than over-ear style. The audio comes through warmly and with above-average low-end, which is typical for Beats headphones.


Battery life on the Solo Pro headphones is pegged at 22 hours with Pure ANC and Transparency turned on, and extends to 40 hours with those features turned off. A fast fuel charging feature will give you about three hours of listening time with a 10-minute charge. We haven't had time to thoroughly test these battery life specs yet, but they've traditionally been pretty accurate on other models.

So what do you think about the new Solo Pro headphones? Are you thinking about picking some up when they launch on October 30, or are there options you think you like better? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: Hands-On With Apple's New Beats Solo Pro Headphones
 

fmcshan

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2019
157
405
USA
It seems like a lot for what you get. I have the Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones and I prefer those because of the larger sized cup that goes over your ear. I’m probably going to wait for when the rumored AirPods Pro with ANC are released.
 

macfan57

macrumors newbie
Oct 20, 2014
20
34
I'm actually looking to buy some wireless, noise-cancelling headphones right now but with these being on-ear headphones, they're probably going to be as uncomfortable as the Studio 3s were. Count me out.
 

Herrpod

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2019
285
438
Hopefully they reinforced the hinges because that's what broke most of the time on the Solo 3s. And since the on-off mechanism is engaged only by using the hinges, these are going to break much more quickly if the hinges haven't been addressed. They do look thicker in pictures.
 

McG2k1

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2011
159
205
My wireless powerbeats pro headphones are a huge $250 disappointment. I feel like I can’t trust beats brand, apple, or any of the websites that gave them glowing reviews.
 

SDJim

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2017
145
419
San Diego, CA
Honestly, I preferred my Studio3's for sound quality for music over Bluetooth (The Sony's are great if you have HiFi signal over cable, otherwise it's pretty much a wash). I settled on QC35's strictly because they're the only model with appropriately deep ear wells to prevent fatigue with extended use.
 
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smoking monkey

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2008
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I HUNGER
I'm actually looking to buy some wireless, noise-cancelling headphones right now but with these being on-ear headphones, they're probably going to be as uncomfortable as the Studio 3s were. Count me out.
I personally had two problems with the Studio 3s and it's interesting you found them comfortable. It's the old YMMV at play.

1. So uncomfortable. After 30mins I had to take them off as they were dishing out the hurt on levels I never expected. I got pretty rigid ears so maybe that has something to do with it.

2. The ANC. Solid when it worked, but on an airplane it would constantly adjust, so it was incredibly annoying.

I only bought them due to the W1 chip and I could get them cheaper than the Bose and Sony, but in hindsight it wasn't worth it as I had to sell them. I'd imagine it's the same with these.

I'll also wait for the Apple release with noise cancelling, but I have a bad feeling that they'll use the exact same noise cancelling as beats. I hope not.
 

Aragornii

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
421
57
When I look at those headphones it gives me the impression of a cheap plastic set you'd buy for a child. That matte blue isn't helping and maybe they look better in person, but the pair i use to own felt like cheap plastic, too.

I spent a few extra bucks for B&W PX, and the sound and feel is 10x better, not to mention USB-C like everyone else in the world. Lightning to USB-A, Apple?? Really???
 

Hazmat401

macrumors regular
Dec 29, 2017
228
269
Delaware County, Pa
I own the Studio 3’s and the Powerbeats Pro

I love my powerbeats but I have mixed feelings on my studio’s

I owned a pair of Studio 2’s that I left in some hotel somewhere and in my opinion they sound a whole lot better than the 3’s
 
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iGeneo

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2010
402
521
I have:
AirPods 2nd gen
Bose QC35II
Bose QC20
Powerbeats Pro

I travel a fair bit... The QC35's are great for shorter flights, terrible to sleep in. The QC20's are really nice and noise cancellation works great, but... wires. ugh!

Powerbeats Pro are my go to, if you get a good fit on the buds, they do a reasonable job of noise cancelling on their own. Typical 10hr flight.... QC35's and PB Pro's

I'd consider these if they sound great and fit well. The QC35's get a little warm as well. The Beats seem to pack up nicely, that is key as well.. I have a perfect spot for the QC35 case in my carry on bag. They would need to fit there and sound great to get my $$... I'm always looking for something a bit better, so I'll give these a listen when I can.