BEATS SOLO PRO
Design & Construction
After the success of the Solo 3 Wireless, Beats is back again with an upgraded solo headphones model, the Beats Solo Pro. Now, we all know that Solo's sell like hotcakes in the past due to celebrity endorsements, but can Beats prove themselves in the tech world this time. Let's find out. The Beats Solo Pro is said to have gone through quite a bot of re-design. This time, premium materials were actually used and the headphones feature metallic headband extensions. It is also a full matte colour scheme that resists fingerprint smudges really well, All controls for music playback and calls are controlled via the D-pad on the right earcup. Pressing the top will increase the volume and the bottom will decrease it. Single press the Beats logo to play/pause music and answer/end calls, a double press skips forward and a triple press skips backwards. At the bottom of the right earcup, there is a Lightning port for charging and wired use and an LED indicator. By now, you may realise the 3.5mm audio-in port is missing and that is because in line with Apple, Beats has officially killed that port. If you would like to go wired, Beats now sells an extra Lightning to 3.5mm cable. Now that will also mean that it is impossible to charge and listen with the Solo Pros at the same time Moving onto the bottom of the left earcup, there is an ANC button which allows you to turn on Transparency Mode and allow you to quickly talk to someone or hear an announcement. This feature will work with music playing. There is no power button as the headphones turn on when they are unfolded and off when they fold up. Pairing via Bluetooth is simple and quick It is also worth noting that the headphones only requires 10 minutes of charging for 3 hours of playback. After an hour or two, I experienced severe wearing fatigue due to the tight clamping force the on-ear headphones produce while it rests directly on my ears. There is also quite a bit of weight due to the premium materials used in the headphones. Both sides of the headphones bear the Beats logo. The headphones have thick earcup cushions and does not cause pinching to those who wear spectacles. On the headband, there is also silicone cushioned headrest which didn't help much when it come to alleviating wearing fatigue. The earcups do pivot left and right and fold up for easy storage.
The Beats Solo Pro produces a very energetic sound signature. Highs are crisp and mids have clarity and bass is tight and punchy without bleeding into other frequencies. The soundstage was not bad with distinct left and right channels being heard clearly. This makes the headphones great for all genres of music ranging from soothing jazz to fast-paced EDM tracks. There was some sound leakage at full volume and but no high-volume distortion. Based on user experience, the noise cancellation is top-notch, I could not hear much of my surroundings even when I had no music on and when I am using it at a low volume level. However, the noise-cancelling is not customisable. Call quality was decent, the caller managed to hear me on the other end but feedbacked that the mics do pick up surrounding noise.
Connectivity & Portability
The headphones support the AAC and SBC codecs together with Class 1 Bluetooth. In the Beats App available on both App Store & Play Store, you can configure the Transparency and Noise-cancelling on or off. The app also allow you to receive new software updates and take not e of the battery life remaining. However, it does not allow you to tune the sound signature of the headphones or customise the noise-cancelling. The battery life peaks at a decent 22 hours per use and up to 40 hours with both ANC and Transparency off. The package also comes with a Lighting to USB-A cable for charging, not USB-C unfortunately and the headphones' connectivity to the app is okay as I experienced some hiccups now and then when it comes to it being able to detect the headphones. If you are planning to watch videos or movies with these, I am glad to report that they do not suffer from much latency. Lastly, the package also comes with a soft carrying pouch that protects the headphones from scratches but not drops and crushes.
A Range of Colour
Class 1 Bluetooth
Controls For Music Playback, Volume & Calls
Soft Carrying Pouch
No 3.5mm port
No Sound Signature Customisation
The Bottom Line
The Beats Solo Pro has exceeded expectations and proven themselves to be a contender for those looking for a fashion-forward and simple user experience. With an energetic sound signature, strong noise-cancelling and premium materials and build quality, it makes it worthy of its rather high price. Beats do offer these in multiple colourways and definitely more in the near future.
WE RATE IT!
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