Stock image: Apple | Design: HomeStudioBasics
Originally published 6/3/17.
- 4/26/22. Article update.
Greetings friend and Welcome aboard!!
Before we get into the Beats Solo 3 Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
- Introduction & Summary
- Video Review
- Amp/DAC requirements
- Who these headphones benefit?
- Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
Beats Solo 3
- Type: Closed back. Closed back vs. Open back headphones
- Fit: Supra-aural (On-ear).
- Weight: 215g.
- Bluetooth: Yes.
- Detachable Cable included: Yes.
- Wireless: Yes.
Introduction & Summary
Ah, Beats by Dre.
For the longest time, I shunned this brand, and rightly so.
Everything I had heard about them was downright atrocious, and to this day the negative reviews of their old line are warranted.
Before Apple took over Beats, the audio quality was pretty laughable. Hugely overblown bass, no mid-range, awful build quality, etc., etc.
Fast forward to today, and we’ve now got a respectable product on our hands though it’s still flawed.
Even so, I was pleasantly surprised at how good these sounded. For what they are and who they target, I can’t complain at all.
Build & Comfort
They’re very comfortable and seem durable as well.
The folding mechanism is pretty ingenious, and the earpads themselves are made of soft pleather that doesn’t seem like it would peel over time.
One of the things I didn’t like about my beloved MDR-7506 and MDR V6 was the pads; they would crack and peel after about two years, leaving a mess and a seemingly never-ending supply of black specs around my room, in my ear, in my hair, etc.
It’s a mess, but something I’m willing to deal with because they sounded so good.
As far as the Solo 3, I like the simplified structure of them. They’re fashionable, but not too flashy and don’t seem to utilize the same cheap-ish material for the pads.
The sound is very good, but not quite as revealing as some of my other favorites. There were a few times when the sound opened up, and overall they are decently clear. I would say on a clarity/detail scale they get a solid 7.75. There is a bass emphasis on these, but it doesn’t seem out of control.
Do bear in mind that it is forward by about 5-7dB across 20Hz to around 200 which is also pretty standard for this type of headphone.
The mid-range is pretty good but could have been better.
These seem to sacrifice the low mid-range for more bass emphasis which isn’t too much of a surprise if we’re being honest.
It just doesn’t always work and you’ll find that while the Solo 3 does well for hip-hop and the like, it suffers in portraying the hum of an organ correctly and comes across as a bit muffled in those areas around 300Hz to 1kHz.
Fortunately, the 3kHz bump saves these from sounding too recessed in the mids overall, so that’s definitely a good thing.
That said, one thing I appreciate about these is their treble response. I never felt as if it bordered on sibilant which is something a lot of manufacturers tend to screw up.
The treble isn’t dark or veiled, but I think there’s just the right amount of brightness here without feeling over the top.
It’s simply a fun consumer headphone, no more no less.
- Nice bass. Not overblown or cheap sounding.
- Durable. I can see these standing up to some light abuse, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hurt them. 😛
- Comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised by the comfort factor. I didn’t have to take these off really at all.
- Nice features. I like how compact and convenient they are. Being Bluetooth with a removable cable adds a nice element of versatility. Use them in any circumstance!
- Good packaging. You feel special when you open these up. The boxing and presentation are very elegant and make you tingle inside. 😛
- Treble can become a bit harsh/sibilant at times. What does Sibilant mean?
Make sure to subscribe to Lachlan’s channel!
You won’t need an amp with these. How to choose a headphone amp!
Who these headphones benefit?
They sounded pretty decent with rock, but their strong suit is definitely more bass-oriented music.
I found the treble range got a tad harsh at times with more treble-heavy stuff, but as mentioned above the treble is good for the most part and fine with well-recorded tracks.
They also sound surprisingly good with Jazz which is something that kind of shocked me a bit at the time of this demo in 2017.
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- The folding mechanism is pretty simple; you just push the bottom halves of each side and they collapse in. To open them back up, they snap into place with what looks like some kind of very small magnet contraption. Very simple and effective.
- I’m not a huge fan of the glossy finish. I tend to like my headphones more muted down and less prone to fingerprint smudges.
- There isn’t a scroll button as far as I know. The Play/Pause function is nice. You simply press the side in that has the “b” on it.
- To turn them on and off, you simply hold the small LED button on the right underneath the ear cup. There is also a 5-light indicator that lets you know how much battery life is left.
- They have a detachable cable option which I thought was cool. So they’re good for on the go or in-studio if you prefer to listen to them at your desk.
- The carrying case is nice but smells funny.
- The Solo3 comes with a charging cable, a detachable cable with an inline mic, and a carabiner.
- The headphones work with both iPhone and Android devices.
- The wireless battery life is around 40 hours.
- Apple’s W1 chip makes these very easy to pair with your iPhone. In fact, as soon as you have both in the same general vicinity, the headphones will pair automatically.
A good consumer headphone with a good sound signature. Portable, convenient, and Apple’s W1 chip makes Bluetooth extremely easy to pair.
Final Word & 2022 Update
I liked the sound of these a lot back in 2017.
They were comfortable, durable, and sounded surprisingly good considering how bad Beats headphones were in the past.
Would I recommend them today?
Well, considering they didn’t make my top headphones for hip-hop list, I’d venture to say no.
In other words, I do think there are better options if you’re looking for a headphone like this that does well with harder genres.
Interested in a complete guide?
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Beats Solo3 Review and came away with some valuable insight.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please Contact me!!
Would you invest in the Beats brand? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,