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Beats Solo3 Wireless - Impressions Thread

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    I really enjoyed my time with the Solo3, but at the end of the day the Momentum 2.0 Wireless is superior sonically (with a wire... I prefer the Solo3's wireless mode) and I only paid a bit more for it. It just doesn't seem logical to keep the Solo3 in comparison even though the wireless performance is the closest to perfect you can find. Funnily enough I don't think I'll be using the Momentum wirelessly often, but it'll work as a placeholder until audiophile brands catch up in wireless technology/quality.
    Although -- I'm already having second thoughts about getting rid of the Solo3. They do genuinely surprise me every time I put them on, especially since I expect them to sound terrible after listening to the Momentum for a few hours but it never happens. They sound surprisingly decent, and this is in wireless mode impressively enough.
    Haven't been able to make it UPS the past few days. Played around my Mac's Bluetooth settings, increasing them to their max value and increasing the AAC bitrate to over 256kbps just to ensure no data is lost in transmission with my 256kbps Apple Music files (the iPhone also transmits at 264kbps), and wow the Solo3 flat-out rock. I'm most likely going to end up keeping them. On one hand I think the price is high for Beats headphones, then I put them back on and I'm surprised by the quality every single time. Switching off between the Momentum 2.0 over-ear in wired mode and the Solo3 with these new Bluetooth settings, and there really isn't a noticeable amount of detail lost even though it has a punchier sound signature, obvious soundstage difference notwithstanding. The improved quality even brings back some subtlety in the treble.
    I think a lot of Head-Fi members simply hate Beats because they're Beats, because every time I put the Solo3 on I'm expecting the new headphone excitement to wear off and for them to sound terrible but they don't at all in wireless mode. For some songs I even prefer them to all the other headphones in my collection. Apple's done a really good job here.
    The worst part about Beats is really the brand stigma and the price. But the most appealing alternatives cost around the same, and though I expect the Solo3 to sound terrible after listening to higher-end headphones it just doesn't happen. For out-and-about listening I prefer the smaller soundstage, and I believe consumers do too. I'm not sure if it's a benefit of the on-ear design but even though the Solo3 has a narrow soundstage it can produce very convincing 360 degree audio, even more so than my over-ears for placing sounds behind the listener. Not to mention the punchy bass which I also believe is a benefit of the on-ear design. I can EQ an over-ear to much stronger bass levels, but nothing matches the punchiness (yet not overpowering) bass of the Solo3.

    Sounds like I should really just keep them lol.
    Am still astonished by the quality in wireless mode. They're not really made for high-fidelity lossless music (listeners won't really notice the difference with these between AAC and FLAC), but I was listening to Tidal with a wire with these then switched to wireless mode on my Mac and they sound even better wirelessly with AAC than they do with FLAC. Better yet with Apple Music (no recompression) than streaming Tidal lossless.
    After a night of listening to the V-MODA M-100, Sennheiser Momentum 2.0, and now the Solo3 I may even have to say the Solo3 are my favorite of the three for simply enjoyment. Mids are beautifully upfront, and bass is addictively punchy. Treble is lacking but I can listen louder without fatigue.
    I prefer these for basically every modern pop song ("Closer" by The Chainsmokers is irresistible, the bass line in "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" is extremely well-extended, basically every song on the Apple Music playlists, etc. etc. etc.) Pop, EDM, hip-hop, and most types of rock sound very enjoyable on the Solo3.
    I may be crazy but I ended up returning and re-buying the Solo3 and my 2017 model (the boxes list the year) Solo3 has better definition in the bass and treble than I remember.
    $159.99 at Amazon today. Under market value even before the Beats logo is factored in!
  7. SparkOnShore

    Be careful, they may be fake!!

    Ships from and sold by Amazon.
  9. bstrobl
    Just got a pair of Audio Technica SR5BT and I can recommend them if there are still some of you looking for what basically amounts to a much more neutral variant of the Beats. Battery life at 38 hours is nearly the same. Even managed to replace my M50s with these since those were lacking in the mids.
    Stick to the Beats if you like Bass however!
  10. m1dday
    These have completely surprised me. I have been looking for an an on-ear bluetooth headphone for my iPhone 7+ and lucky enough I stumbled into these on a sale!
    Very happy so far. People give the Beats brand a lot of flak which I will agree with in terms of build quality since they're very plastic, but it's definitely blown my expectations SQ-wise. I like my sound signature warm and coming from a P7 wireless these come very close to that sound!

    Everybody I pointed to the Amazon sale came back with the same impression! These are a surprisingly solid pair of headphones, they also absolutely blew away my expectations for sound quality.
  12. trancedout
    I too was pleasantly surprised when I tried these at the Apple store. They are half the price on Craigslist, might pick up a pair.
    These are my favorite headphones out of all that I own. Excellent imaging, powerful non-muddy bass, clear mids, and I've grown to appreciate the roll-off at the top of the treble since it makes the sound non-fatiguing. Then there's the cherry on top -- perfect wireless. Seriously, seriously impressed still.

    Plus when you take the time to get the fit perfect the bass is even more visceral :).

    Don't write them off because of the brand.

    Writing an updated review soon...
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
    Just realized RTings rates the imaging on the Solo3 the same 8.4 score as the HD 800 S, and overall sound quality higher than any other wireless headphone. Which I'd agree with. These are seriously good headphones, some of the best overall on the market if you can deal with a bass boost.
  15. skyejack
    Just read all the impressions (Thanks Michael). I never really considered Beats again after trying them years ago and absolutely hating them, but today I helped my parents buy a new iMac and Apple is apparently throwing in a free pair of Beats Solo 3, so I'll be taking them as my "finders fee". :k701smile:

    Looking forward to pairing them with my Apple TV 4. Hopefully they sound good that way for movies/TV.
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