When Apple bought Beats as a new foray into the music gadget market, many have wondered where this company would be heading to under a new owner. And with the new headphones Beats has introduced since then, we already have the answer.
Beats is still producing its unmistakable headphones with some new tweaks in design and improvements in audio quality. All these changes have accumulated into Beats Solo Pro – its first on-ear headphone with active noise cancellation.
So what can we expect from the newest version in the Solo series? This Beats Solo Pro review will answer all the questions you need to know.
Beats Solo Pro Review
The Beats Solo Pro will catch your eyes at first glance with how sophisticated and striking it looks as the mono-color motif, the matte finish, and the hidden seams bring into these headphones a distinctly minimalist aesthetic.
Beats Solo Pro
Previous wireless headphones from Beats suffer from the same problem with the headband, which may expose the metal sections if you extend the side arms, but this is not the case anymore with the Beats Solo Pro. In this new model, the side arms have been brushed with anodized aluminum for better durability while also making them seamlessly blended to the whole clean design.
On the headband, you can still find the hinges that allow you to stow the headphones into the default carrying case or your own pouch. These joints on the headband fold up smoothly into a small package and prevent the Solo Pro from getting scuffed in your bag.
But even with such a sleek and stylish look, a customer can reasonably demand more from premium headphones like that from Beats and Apple. It’d be much better if they use more metal in the design as currently, only the joints and yokes of the headband are made of stainless steel while the rest is made of plastic.
But we also must admit that the plastic underside is a nice choice with its cushiony and soft touch that makes the headband incredibly soft.
Beats Solo Pro is available in multiple colors
Controls and Connectors
The minimalism approach of this on-ear noise-cancelling headphone is not only present on the outside look but also extends to the nearly-invisible on-ear controls.
You can press the logo on the right ear cup to play/pause music and answer calls while doing that twice will skip tracks. To play the previous song, just press it three times. You can also press right above and below this logo to increase and decrease volume.
This multi-function button feels firm with springy feedback and noticeably audible clicks while the headphones provide an almost immediate response to your actions, so even a new user should have no issue getting used to these controls.
There is a button at the bottom of the left ear cup. It allows you to turn on or off Pure ANC and the Transparency Mode, which lets outside audio go through to help you be more aware of the surrounding environment.
On top of that, on Apple smart devices, you can trigger Siri the voice assistant in a hands-free way. No more fumbling with buttons; just say “Hey, Siri”, and the Solo Pro will ask Siri to be ready to receive your command.
Comfort and Fit
Many people are not a fan of wearing one-ear headphones, including previous Beats’ models, for an extended time as the ear cups may put more pressure into the ears and become uncomfortable quickly. But with the Solo Pro, the situation does seem to get a little better.
After the break-in period, you can enjoy 2 hours of continuous music without any discomfort. Even though no one can deny that they are still a level below other premium over-ear headphones like the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, you don’t have many better choices when it comes to comfort at this price point.
Beats Solo Pro fits better than older models
The Solo Pro weighs only around 9 ounces, and as redesigned ear cups have been redesigned to add more density to the cushioning, you can enjoy a more comfortable fit.
That being said, the issue still doesn’t go away completely since the firm headband still applies some pressure to your head during a long listening session. People with glasses should try the Beats Solo Pro before buying as this may get even worse for them, making their ears sore after one or two hours.
The positive point is that this new version feels tougher and sturdier than previous models in the Solo series. You can twist the headband within a fair limit while doing so to the old Solos may risk breaking them apart.
- Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) blocks external noise
- Up to 22 hours of listening time (up to 40 hours with ANC and transparency turned off)
The Solo Pro is equipped with Apple’s H1 chip, resulting in incredibly simple and seamless pairing and switching between Apple devices, including Macs, iPads, and iPhones.
But Android users don’t need to worry too much either as the process is still nearly the same on Android phones. Just unfold the Solo Pro and put them on your head, and paring it is just as straightforward as you can expect so you can be ready to jam to your favorite songs within seconds.
Beats Solo Pro works seamlessly with Apple devices
In addition to that, thanks to the new 5.0 version of the Bluetooth technology, the Beats Solo Pro delivers more stable and faster connections. In its maximum capabilities, you can enjoy a range of up to 50 feet, which means, for example, you can leave your phone upstairs and still get to listen to music while doing chores elsewhere.
One of the most common criticisms Beats has received for their products is that they are often geared towards only bass-heavy music, such as EDM and hip-hop while leaving high and mid frequencies a little muddled and flat.
However, the Solo Pro and its 40-mm driver seem to get everything more balanced and suitable for a wider range of music. While you can notice the punchy bass here and there, the highs and mids are now cleaner and exceptionally warmer, meaning instrumentals and vocals have more resonance and become more emotive.
This improvement is even clearer when you can compare it with cheaper on-ear noise-cancelling headphones such as the Jabra Elite 85h.
For a pair of noise-canceling headphones, we can’t leave this ability uninspected. All things considered, the Beats Solo Pro does an acceptable job of actively preventing the ambient noise from disturbing what you’re listening to. While it’s only an on-ear model and the ear cups won’t cover your ears entirely, the Solo Pro produces a decent seal over the canals of your ears and significantly reduces the outside noise.
The Solo Pro isn’t far behind the best-in-class wireless on-ear models with its 40 hours of battery life for a single charge via the lightning cable. However, remember that this number is only valid when you turn off the Transparency mode. With this feature on, the battery life is brought down by half to around 22 hours of listening time.
Beats Solo Pro has a maximum battery life of 40 hours
Pros and Cons
- Sleek and sturdy design
- Seamless integration with Apple’s devices
- Hands-free Siri experience
- Impressive active noise canceling performance
- Balanced audio
- Acceptable microphone quality
- Stable connectivity, thanks to Apple’s H1 chip
- Many smart features: Audio Sharing, Transparency Mode
- Not a budget option
- No 3.5mm input port
- The headband is still too firm in extended periods of use.
Our Beats Solo Pro review has finally drawn to an end!
As you can see, this wireless headphone proves another time that Beats’ design and style are still unparalleled in the industry with its elegant and classy mono-tone look. But look is not the only thing great about this pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones.
This new model shows that Beats and Apple have acknowledged and succeeded in addressing the sound quality issue existing in some old Beats headphones. The Solo Pro has remarkable noise isolation while producing a more balanced sound, especially when you don’t want to spend more on a higher-end and more expensive pairs of headphones.