The Beats Solo range has given us some of the most popular and recognisable on-ear headphones ever made. And this year Beats has given the series a huge boost in tech and sound quality with the Beats Solo Pro.
At first glance they may seem similar to earlier models like the Beats Solo 3 Wireless. The classic curves that let you spot a Beats headphone from 50 paces are still here. But almost everything else has changed. You can buy the Beats Solo Pro from Currys PC World today for £269.
Pure ANC: Blissful quiet
Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling is our favourite new Beats Solo Pro feature. This blasts noise at a level you simply don’t normally hear in a small, stylish pair of on-ear headphones.
Noisy trains, chatter-soaked offices and busy, car-filled streets all become temples of calm. Your music doesn’t have to compete with engine hums. Just wearing them without music feels like self care, zapping the stresses of the city.
And if you do need to hear what is going on around you, just press a button on the Beats Solo Pro cup to switch to the Transparency mode. This uses smart algorithms to let the sounds of the outside world in, without ruining your music.
We are blown away by how well Transparency works. It sounds so natural you can use it for hours at a time without feeling like your music is compromised. This is real wireless headphone progress.
(Image credit: Beats)
The perfect music partner
Beats has also changed how the Beats Solo Pro operate, to make them an even better life partner. You get all the usual Solo benefits, like the gym and run-ready grippy headband and easy fold-up portability. But now you no longer need a power button.
Just unfold the headband to turn the Beats Solo Pro on, fold them up again to switch them off. Pairing is near-instant and the connection is always reliable, thanks to the use of the advanced Apple H1 chip. This also lets you wirelessly share your audio with friends who have other Apple-powered headphones, like the Beats Powerbeats Pro and Beats Solo3 Wireless. Your average pair of Bluetooth headphones simply can’t do that.
They also have incredibly intuitive controls. The Beats logo on one of the Solo Pro cups is a button that pauses and plays your music. Press above and below to change the volume. These are controls so easy, you’ll have no problem even in the final stretch of a workout so tough you can barely see straight by the end of it.
Battery life is another huge win for the Beats Solo Pro day-to-day experience. They last up to 22 hours with active noise cancellation switched on, or a massive 40 hours with it turned off. And even if you do pick them up and find them out of juice, a quick 10-minute charge with the included Lightning cable will see them last a full three hours. You’ll get a day’s use in the time it takes you to shower and get dressed.
Sound: High fidelity refinement
We can’t end without talking about the sound. The Beats Solo Pro are the best-sounding on-ear Beats headphones to date.
Beats redesigned its drivers for this pair, to lower harmonic distortion and improve tonal balance. The sound you hear is that much closer to what the record producers heard in the studio, on their multi-thousand pound monitors. Greater refinement and spatial clarity lets you explore your favourite music at an all-new level.
You don’t have to dig out your phone to switch artists either. The Solo Pro’s advanced beam-forming microphones let you talk to your iPhone’s Siri assistant just by saying the usual “Hey Siri” wake word. No button-presses required.
Android owner? Don’t worry. We’ve used in the Solo Pro with several of the latest Android phones and experienced nothing but rock-solid reliability.
The Beats Solo Pro are available now for £269 from Currys PC World in six colours including black, white, grey, two shades of blue and classic Beats red.