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Beats Solo3 Wireless - Impressions Thread

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  1. XERO1
    MNEN2.jpg
     
    MP582.jpg
     
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    MNEQ2.jpg
     
    MNER2.jpg
     
    MNET2.jpg
     
     
    http://www.beatsbydre.com/headphones/browse-headphones/wireless-headphones/MNER2.html
     
    http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MP582LL/A/beats-solo3-wireless-on-ear-headphones-black
     
     
    I recently listened to the Solo3 at an Apple store and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by their overall SQ.
     
    IMHO, these are the best sounding Beats headphones yet.  And the fact that they are wireless and an on-ear design makes that achievement even more impressive. They have pretty neutral mids and highs with a somewhat boosted low end, but nothing too crazy. 
     
    I never thought I would be starting a thread about a Beats headphone [​IMG], but the Solo3 is a surprisingly great option for someone who is looking for a compact, stylish and comfortable wireless headphone (it can also be used wired as well) that also doesn't disappoint in the SQ department either.
     
    Please post your own (good or bad) impressions below.
     
  2. burkerg
    I bought them to try out the new W1 chip. I'm literally on my second song with them, so not much to say about the sound. But man... The pairing was so easy on my iPhone, and the connection was almost immediately propagated to all my other Apple devices. Super cool and useful for folks deeply invested in Apple's platforms.
     
  3. XERO1
    Has anyone else given these a try?
     
  4. bstrobl
    So I just bought them, definitely incredible bluetooth connection and battery life. Looks pretty neat in matte black.
     
    As for sound, a lot have mentioned that its similar to the Solo 2(maybe with slightly less bass) but I don't have those to compare to.
     
    When compared to my ATH-M50 its definitely a much warmer sound, but then again the M50s lean more to a clinical neutral along with the slightly recessed mids and slightly harsh treble. Can't speak for the M50x.
     
    Bass is very prominent but tight, mids and highs are clean.
     
    What I have noticed is that these are easy to equalize. The Bass Reducer or Treble Booster in iTunes and iOS can make up quite a bit for the warm sound and drag it more into neutral territory.
     
    Still testing though, not sure if I will send these back. Its definitely a big boost to convenience in terms of wireless connection even with the current flaws in sound quality.
     
    Clamping force is high though, might loosen up a bit if given enough time.
     
  5. burkerg
    Strange question... I have the Solo2 Wireless, and the light on the left ear cup illuminates all the time. The light on the left ear cup of my Solo3 hasn't illuminated once that I've noticed. Makes me worry there's some kind of short that might lead to problems down the road.  For those who have the Solo3... Does the small LED on your left ear cup illuminate?  Thanks!
     
  6. Heyyoudvd

    How's the detail, the soundstage, the comfort, and the build quality?

    I use a pair of M50s as my daily drivers, and I'd like to get a pair of wireless headphones to replace them. The Solo 3s sound tempting, especially because of the W1 chip, but I'm worried that they'd be a downgrade in sound quality.
     
  7. bstrobl
    The small LED should definitely light up when turned on and stay on for the duration of usage along with the row of 5 LEDs to indicate battery life when pressed.
     
     
    Soundstage seems similar maybe even slightly bigger. The M50s were never known for having a proper soundstage so yea.
     
    Build quality is ok but definitely not tanklike when compared to the M50s. Have to treat them well to make them last, and I would probably avoid folding them unless when placed for transport since the cable is in the hinges.
     
    Comfort is currently hard to tell. Clamping force is high but then again the M50s had the same problem when I got them so probably given some time they will loosen up.
    They do allow better heat dissipation since they are on-ear and are lighter. Not having to deal with a cable is also awesome.
     
    As for sound, they definitely sound a bit thick and you will definitely lose some detail in the highs when compared to the M50s. Then again the different frequency range has brought things to my attention that were hard to discern on the M50s.
     
    However, they seem to flesh out the mids quite nicely, making the M50s seem more airy when returning. Pretty neat actually when you have lower frequency brass instruments as the power comes across better. Instrument segmentation is very good, with some instruments no longer being squashed into the upper highs.
     
    Bassy, but a very clean bass. 
     
    Right now its a huge toss-up, they are both good, and its easy to get used to either. 
     
    Definitely going to need a lot more time to test and see how equalizer settings might come into play.
     
    Katysax likes this.
  8. burkerg
     
    Well, I exchanged for another pair, and the light on the left cup also doesn't light up.  I don't mean the light in the power button.  On the other cup, you'll see there's a small hole where the silver (or whatever color you got) plastic meets the white interior plastic.  On the Solo 2, this is in LED that lights up when the headphones are in use.  It doesn't on both pairs of the Solo 3's I've had.
     
  9. bstrobl
    Mine does not light up in that case either, all LEDs are on one side.
     
  10. hifi80sman
    Sound is subjective, but I found the Bose Soundlink On-Ears sounded "cleaner" with better balance.  Depending on the song and source, the Solo3s seemed to sound a bit congested.  
     
    Given they sounded exactly like my Solo2s, I returned them.  The battery life and range is impressive, but in my real-world situation, neither is particularly useful.  Who is flippin' 100 feet away from their iPhone 7?  Answer:  A person who just got their iPhone 7 stolen because it was flippin' 100 feet away.
     
    The W1 chip was supposed to give us better "sound quality", and perhaps it may in the future with firmware updates, but now, I can't justify the $300 for a product that, for me, is exactly the same as the one I have now, even if the colors are more refined and "adult". 
     
    Also, I've seen only a sparse amount of feedback on the new Solo3s, which have not been selling at my local Best Buy.  There were 4 Black in stock last week, which is the same stock as this week.
     
    I really want to love these, but I need a compelling reason to go out and spend 3 Benjamins!
     
  11. bstrobl
    Returned mine as well, shame but not quite there yet. Might get a pair of Airpods to replace my current headphones once they become cheaper though.
     
  12. hifi80sman
    Not sure what your budget is, but if you like them, you should just pick up the Solo2s.  Same sound, just shorter battery life and range.  But honestly, most people I know charge their phone everyday, along with most other wireless accessories.  Class 1 BT is a nice novelty, but in real-world application, its use is fairly limited.
     
    If the W1 chip can actually enhance sound, that would be great, but I suspect Apple is using the same drivers as the Solo2.
     
  13. All Day Breakfast

    I'm not totally sure what the W1 chip does but the Apple/Beats new BT EarPods/headphones still transmit via Bluetooth using AAC codec so I don't see how the W1 chip would affect the sound. I'm curious what BT5 will bring as it has more bandwidth which could permit less compressed BT codecs, compression and poor drivers going hand in hand to limit BT sound quality.. If coupled with more sophisticated drivers we could have better sounding BT audio when BT5 is abundant. What Apple has done imo is make BT sound more of a "thing" with the masses which means a bigger market to seduce companies to up their BT game. I suspect the next gen phones incorporating BT5 will start the improved audio ball rolling.
     
    trancedout likes this.
  14. bstrobl
    One of the major issues I encountered is the very high delay, especially when dealing with audio production (nothing serious but still).
     
    AAC suffers from a rather large delay of 200ms which really makes things difficult when producing a bit of music. Opus might have d been more suitable in this case.
     
    Anyways they do sound pretty thick in the lows and the clamping force has become a much bigger issue then expected.
     
    That and sudden drops in audio which require resetting the headphones have lowered the experience (immature W1 chip perhaps).
     
    trancedout likes this.
  15. MICHAELSD
    I'm quite proud of my concensus after playing with them in the Apple Store. I think it sums up the Beats sound quite well: the Solo3 sound ****ty in a fun way that surprisingly isn't horrible. It still almost captures the sound of somebody turning the bass all the way up on a stereo that can just barely support it, but it's not unlistenable.

    The lack of clarity in the mids just doesn't scream high-end headphones. For half the price I would want a pair for the fun sound (that makes guitars sound terrible, mind you) and convenience as the W1 provides the most seamless audio pairing process available. I'd certainly consider a pair of Solos for $299 if the Solo4 retains the bass but provides much clearer mids and highs and a more open soundstage.
     
    trancedout likes this.
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