Categories
Apple Beats

Beats Solo Pros: A Review

My work consists of a variety of things including web programming and now iOS programming. If you have ever done some programming you know that keeping background noise out is something that you will need to do. This is definitely the case for me, particularly since I work in an open office environment. In order to be able to get stuff done, I purchased a pair of Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones back in November of 2016. Since then they have served as my headphones that I used each day at work.

I did run into a problem with them not turning on in 2017 and they were replaced under warranty. Earlier this year I began running into a problem with the right side of the headband where the plastic hinge broke. Luckily, it was able to be fixed, albeit temporarily, by using electrical tape. Sometime this summer the left side began experiencing the same issue. I could have replaced the headphones, but I decided to wait until the next version before replacing them. Luckily, for me, Apple announced the Beats Solo Pros in October. Because of my new start, I decided to buy a pair of the Beats Solo Pros.

Physical Construction

The Beats Solo Pros are a much more solid set of headphones, as compared to the Beats Solo 3 Wireless. The first thing you will notice is that the headband is made out of metal, and not just plastic. Similarly, the headband construction is different. With the Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones, the headband is two pieces of plastic. With the Beats Solo Pros, the plastic is replaced by metal. Hopefully, this will allow the headphones to last longer and not break as easily.

Controls

One of the features of the Beats line of headphones is the ability to control certain aspects of the headphones. The Beats have the ability to pause, play, volume adjustment, setting the Beats for synchronization, as well as powering on the Beats. With the Beats Solo 3, the way you power them on has changed. Now, instead of having a dual-purpose power/synching button, there is only a synchronization button. This is because the way you power on the Beats Solo Pros is by a new method, simply opening them up.

This new method makes it much easier to power on the headphones and there is no more guessing whether r not the headphones are on, because they will automatically power on for you.

If you have used Beats Solo, the rest should be completely familiar. The remainder of the functions are the same. You can still use the left control to play, pause, adjust the volume, go to the next or previous track. There is one major difference with the Beats Solo Pros and that is the Noise Canceling.

Noise Canceling

The big feature of the Beats Solo Pro is its ability to enable noise canceling. There are actually three different modes for noise cancelling. These modes are “Active Noise Canceling”, “Off”, and “Transparency Mode”. Each of the modes has their own pluses and minuses.

Active Noise Cancelling

There are instances when you may want to be able to reduce the amount of noise from your surrounding area. This is where Active Noise Cancelling can be of assistance. When you enable Active Noise Cancelling, two microphones will be utilized. The first microphone will pull in the noise from outside the headphones, so it can be filtered out. The second microphone will listen to the sound coming out of the headphones and remove all of the excess noise.

It should be noted, that there are some that cannot handle Active Noise Cancellation. So, you should definitely test out a pair of Beats Solo Pros, in a store, to see if the Active Noise Cancellation is something that you can handle. For me, if I am sitting still I can enable the Active Noise Cancellation. However, if there is any movement, I start to get nauseous. Due to this, I end up turning off noise cancellation most of the time.

Transparency

The second possible mode is called Transparency. Transparency mode is useful if you want to be able to hear the audio playing in your headphones, but still need to be able to hear the environment around you. This is very useful if you are out walking about and need to be able to hear vehicles coming.

Off

If you select the “Off” option, the Beats Solo Pros will act similarly to that of the Beats Solo 3. The biggest benefit of this is that the battery life of the Beats Solo Pros will be 40 hours, which is 45% more than if you have Active Noise Cancelling or Transparency Mode enabled.

Color Options

The Beats Solo Pros come in six colors, Dark Blue, Ivory, Gray, Red, Light Blue, and Black. I opted to go with the Black headphones, because it is the default choice, for me, when it comes to electronic devices. With the selection of colors, you should be able to find one that matches your style.

Connectivity

On the Beats Solo Pros there are a total of four buttons; volume up, volume down, pause, and the synchronization button. With the Beats Solo 3 Wireless you had the option of using the headphones even if there was no battery charge by connecting the headphone cable from the Beats Solo 3 headphones to your device. That is no longer possible with the Beats Solo Pros. You can only connect via bluetooth there is no analog option.

The method of charging has changed, instead of using micro-USB for connectivity, the Beats Solo Pros use Apple’s lightning technology for charging the headphones. This makes it easier for those with an iPhone to charge using the same cable. A black lightning cable is included with the Beats Solo Pros.

I tested connecting the Beats Solo Pros to my iPad Pro using a USB-C to Lightning adapter, but it did not connect to audio. However, when I did connect the cable, the iPad Pro did charge the headphones. This can be helpful if you are in a pinch and need to charge your Beats Solo Pro headphones and you happen to have a USB-C to lightning cable with you.

Closing Thoughts

The Beats Solo Pros are the natural progression in the Beats wireless headphone line. The addition of Noise Cancelling, with its three modes, is a significant benefit for those who want to use it. The Beats Solo Pros are of a more solid construction with the metal on the sides of the headband, which should help the headphones last a bit longer than the Beats Solo 3 model.

If you want a set of on ear headphones that support noise cancelling, you cannot go wrong with the Beats Solo Pros. You can purchase a pair of Beats Solo Pros for $299.95 from Apple or another retailer. You can also add Apple Care+ for $29 as well.