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Beats Solo 3 vs Solo Pro (2021): Wireless Beats Headphones Review And Comparison

Beats headphones are some of the best when it comes to fashion cans since they have a stylish and modern look to them. The Beats Solo3 and the Beats Solo Pro are the top on-ear style headphones from the brand. The Beats Solo 3 is an older model but it is still a reliable pair of headphones that delivers good sound and a stylish design. On the other hand, the Beats Solo Pro is a newer model and it is the company’s first active noise cancelling headphones. Is the Beats Solo3 still worth buying today? Or should you just go with the newer Beats Solo Pro? Here is our Beats Solo 3 review and comparison against the Beats Solo Pro.

Beats Solo 3 vs Solo Pro Comparison Chart

ModelBeats Solo3 WirelessBeats Solo Pro
 Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, 40 Hours of...Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise Cancelling On-Ear Headphones - Apple H1 Headphone Chip, Class 1...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
StyleOn-earOn-ear
Weight215g267g
ConnectivityWired
– 3.5mm
Wireless
– Bluetooth 4.2
– Apple W1 chip
Wired
– Lightning to 3.5mm adapter
Wireless
– Bluetooth 5.0
– Apple H1 chip
Battery Life40 hours40 hours
22 hours (ANC)
ANCNoYes
Controls“b” buttonANC button
“b” button
What’s IncludedCarrying case
Micro USB cable
Carrying case
Lightning charging cable
ColorsBlack, Red, Silver, Club Navy, Club Red, Club White, Club Yellow, Rose Gold, Satin GoldBlack, Gray, Ivory, Light Blue, Red, Dark Blue

Design

The Beats Solo Pro has a more premium look and feel than the Beats Solo3 due to its metallic headband.

beats solo 3 vs solo pro design
The Beats Solo3 (left) and the Beats Solo Pro (right) both have an on-ear design.

Unlike with over-ear headphones, the Beats Solo3 and Solo Pro earcups will rest on your ears when worn. Due to having the same on-ear style, they are quite similar looks-wise. That said, the Beats Solo Pro has a bit more premium look and feel to it since it is heavier and it has some exposed metallic parts, specifically, the point where the headbands and earcups meet.

The two headphones are comfortable to wear since their earcups have thick and soft padding. Their headbands are adjustable as well so you can easily get the right fit. The Beats Solo3 has a more relaxed fit than the Beats Solo Pro. You can feel the tighter clamping force of the Beats Solo Pro when it is worn for an extended period, and this can be fatiguing.

Due to their thick earcup padding, the two headphones are quite bulky. Even though they have a collapsible design and they come with their own carrying case, they will still take up a lot of space inside your bag when travelling.

The Beats Solo3 is available in 9 color options while there are 6 color options for the Beats Solo Pro.

Sound

The Beats Solo3 has a more emphasized bass but the Beats Solo Pro sounds better overall.

beats solo 3 vs solo pro sound
The Beats Solo Pro is the first active noise cancelling headphones from Beats.

Even though the Beats Solo3 and Solo Pro have similar designs, they have very different sound profiles. The Beats Solo3 has a more bass-heavy sound with underemphasized mid and treble. Its low frequency output is a bit overemphasized and this results in punchy and boomy bass. Bassheads might like this pair of headphones, but if you prefer a more neutral sound, the Beats Solo Pro is more up your alley. Its mid-range is underemphasized, where vocals and instruments are pushed to the back. The highs are slightly dull but it is still detailed. The good thing with this is that even if you are listening to tracks that feature high pitched vocals and instruments, sibilance and harshness won’t be an issue.

The Beats Solo Pro, on the other hand, has a more neutral sound profile but it still has emphasized lows that Beats headphones are known for. Even though the bass is a bit exaggerated, it is still accurate and it doesn’t sound muddy at all. The mid-range on the Beats Solo Pro is also better than the mid-range on the Beats Solo3. It is more accurate and it is a bit more forward. The highs are crisp and detailed as well, however, they can get harsh and piercing when listening to high pitched vocals and instruments.

Features and Controls

The biggest difference between the Beats Solo3 and Solo Pro is that the latter has ANC.

beats solo 3 vs solo pro features
Both the Beats Solo3 (left) and Beats Solo Pro (right) have a collapsible design for portability.

The Beats Solo Pro is a pair of active noise cancelling headphones while the Beats Solo3 is not. If you need a pair of headphones that can block outside noise, the Beats Solo Pro is the right choice for you. It is quite good in blocking out mid-range frequencies such as chatter and most ambient sounds but it doesn’t block out low frequency noises completely. If you are interested in more active noise cancelling headphones, check out our comparison of the Beats Solo Pro vs the Beats Studio3.

The Beats Solo Pro also has a transparency mode that allows you to hear your surroundings more clearly. You can toggle the ANC/transparency mode on and off using the Beats app or using the dedicated ANC/transparency button on its right earcup.

When it comes to controls, the two are similar. All of their music playback and call controls are on the left earcup. The left “b” button is clicky and it functions as the play/pause and answer call buttons. You can also click it twice to skip track and thrice to skip to previous. Pressing and holding it activates voice controls. You can click the upper part of the “b” button to increase volume and the lower part to decrease.

Battery Life and Connectivity

The Beats Solo3 and Solo Pro have similar battery runtimes.

beats solo 3 vs solo pro battery life
The two headphones have similar music playback time.

The Beats Solo3 and Solo Pro can both last up to 40 hours on a single charge. When using ANC mode on the Beats Solo Pro, it has a battery life of up to 22 hours. The Beats Solo3 has micro USB port while the Beats Solo Pro comes with a Lightning port. They both come with charging cables.

Both headphones can be used wirelessly and with a cable. The Beats Solo3 has a simpler approach when it comes to wired connectivity since it has an analog 3.5mm port. In contrast, you will need to get a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter if you want to use the Beats Solo Pro in wired mode.

The Beats Solo3 sports Apple’s W1 chip and Bluetooth 4.2 while the Beats Solo Pro is equipped with the newer H1 chip and Bluetooth 5.0. If you are going to pair either headphones with Apple devices, the H1 chip offers better connection reliability and it also offers a more seamless experience when switching devices.

Verdict

The Beats Solo Pro is the better pair of headphones across the board.

The price difference between the two is not that significant and because of that, we recommend the Beats Solo Pro over the Beats Solo3. It’s worth it to spend the extra money for the Beats Solo Pro as it offers better sound, more features and a slightly more durable build. It also comes with the newer Apple H1 chip that gives you a more reliable wireless connection. The only time that we recommend you get the Beats Solo3 over the Solo Pro is if the former is heavily discounted.

FAQs

📌 Which is better, Beats Solo3 or Solo Pro?

The Beats Solo Pro is the overall better pair of headphones. It sounds better, has active noise cancelling and it comes with the newer Apple H1 chip.

📌 Is the Beats Solo3 waterproof?

No, it is not waterproof.

📌 Can I use the Beats Solo Pro in the gym?

Yes, but it is not rated as a sweat-resistant pair of headphones so you might damage it when doing so.

📌 Is the Beats Solo Pro good for running?

Yes, it is comfortable and stable when worn and it comes with ANC and transparency mode which are useful when running. However, it is not sweat-resistant so it might get damaged when exposed to sweat and moisture.

Last update on 2021-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.