Beats - Beats Solo3 Wireless


Solo3 Wireless: a more autonomous Solo2

Aprox. 179€ - see price -

When a successor arrives on our test bench, we ignore the manufacturer's promised. The main analytical axis that we give ourselves are the improvements made to the model with regard to the faults of its predecessor. With this Solo3 Wireles, direct descendant of the first model developed in collaboration with Apple, we therefore hope for better comfort (bye bye the rubber hoop and the clamp effect), greater autonomy and, let's be crazy, more sonic performance balanced. Let's see if Beats has taken our grievances into account.

Our review


The design of the Solo3 Wireless is a certified copy of the Solo2 Wireless, in turn strictly identical to that of the Solo2-tout-court. Always entirely clad in plastic, it still conveys a feeling of good quality, offers good robustness and shows unexpected flexibility; the roll bar can perform up to half a turn.

Speaking of roll bar, know that its setting is suitable for the smallest as the largest skulls. Unfortunately, we find this exasperating inner rubber lining that will catch your mane and pluck some precious hair from time to time. The famous clamp effect that we deplored on the previous model has however been reviewed and corrected: the Solo3 certainly offers excellent cranial support, but no longer exerts this ear pressure which disqualified from the outset any pierced or carrying glasses. So, although it is on-ear, it is no longer the pads (in memory foam) that cause concern, but the headband that causes pressure - more or less annoying depending on the morphologies - on the top of the skull, pressure being felt after one hour.

A short press on the logo of the left ear pauses / plays music or manages calls (off-hook, on-hook). Two / three presses allow respectively to go to the next / previous track. Finally, classic, pressing up the headset increases the volume while pressing down ... decreases it.

Symmetrically, there is the button for switching on / off and activating the Bluetooth, underlined by the 5 LEDs indicating the remaining battery level. These two points allow us to approach the unique evolution of Solo3 compared to its elder: the integration of the famous W1 chip. First of all, this wench makes it possible to increase the autonomy of the helmet to 40 hours (we have so far measured 38 ... "and counting") against 12h for the Solo2, and to benefit from Fast charging Fuel (5 minutes of recharging gave us more than 2 hours of listening time). Values to say the least impressive and highly practical.

It also allows simplified pairing with the iPhone, identical to that of AirPods. If the last device to which the Solo3 was paired is not your iPhone, the latter will automatically recognize the headset and offer you to pair it, and rename it at the same time (in this case, "Solo3 of Marie"). Thereafter, the Solo3 Wireless will automatically connect to the iPhone, which will indicate its charge level. A long press on the left atrium wakes Siri, the access point to a whole range of additional functions.

For greater compactness of storage in the flexible pouch provided, the Solo3 ear cups fold over the headband. Girly point: note that the white pads are particularly sensitive to traces of makeup (see photo above) and will betray the secret of your complexion after only a few hours of wearing.



No surprise in terms of frequency response: from the first seconds of listening, there is no doubt that the Solo3 remains faithful to the ancestral sound signature of Beats. Despite the significant efforts made in recent years in terms of sound quality, the bass, still preponderant compared to the rest of the spectrum, drag a nice overweight Christmas. Very round, they lack punch and, as long as you listen to a song erected on layers of bass sounds, the mask effects will be right for the overall intelligibility of the mix.

So let's move away from the songs with continuous bass and focus on the others: although they remain clearly on the front of the stage, the bass and the kick are then wiser, more modest. The rest of the spectrum breathes again, taking advantage of a very significant stage width and, of course, a seat in the bass and low-midrange for the less solid and immersive. The voices, flattered by a boost (see frequency response curve, between 1 and 2 kHz), are quite intelligible. Unfortunately, a significant distortion rate in the midrange and a response to soft square wave signals at 500 Hz generate a median range that lacks precision. If horizontally the good separation of the channels allows an excellent identification of the different sound actors, vertically, we do not benefit from the same intelligibility: the different layers of the mix are not always identifiable with the level of precision that we could hope for, mediums in particular suffering from sometimes frustrating confusion. Finally, the treble, in retreat, is not stifled. Admittedly, you should not expect to hear all the subtleties of an acoustic guitar playing or be moved by the mouth sounds of Petra Magoni in her cover of Roxanne, but the listener will not miss the main information. The sound is generally very round, very warm - lovers of crystal clear and very detailed sounds, run away!

The power is honest and, combined with the good sound insulation offered by on-ear memory foam, generates a convincing sound immersion, even in noisy environments. The impulse response measurement shows a latency of 180 milliseconds, acceptable for viewing videos even if, as always, we recommend for optimal result to adjust the offset on your playback software.



The Solo3 Wireless does not change much compared to its predecessor: the trichotillomane rubber headband is still part of it, the sound performance remains faithful to the Beats spirit and the design does not change an iota. Autonomy, on the other hand, made a gargantuan leap, going from 12 to 40 hours, and the "pinch effect" from which all pierced and eyewear suffered with the Solo2 is now much less pronounced.