If you’re looking for a wireless pair of headphones to use on a daily basis, both the Beats Solo 3 and the Solo Pro are ones to consider buying. These headphones are available at under $500 and deliver some impressive sounding audio.
But, if you’re confused about which headphones to buy among the two, then this in-depth comparison of the Beats Solo 3 wireless vs Beats Solo Pro will cover everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision.
Over the course of this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons, similarities, design, performance and more to help you choose which one of these two headphones is best for you.
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|Beats Solo 3||Beats Solo Pro|
|Build & Design||Durable Plastic; On-Ear||Durable Plastic; On-Ear|
|Enclosure||Closed Back||Closed Back|
|Active Noise Cancelling||No||Yes|
|Battery||40+ hours||40+ hours (ANC Off); 22 hours (ANC On)|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth; 3.5mm Audio Cable||Bluetooth; Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Cable|
|Processor||Apple W1 Chipset||Apple H1 Chipset|
Beats Solo 3 Wireless vs Beats Solo Pro
What’s in the Box
When it comes to the packaging and what’s in the box, Beats headphones are unlike any other. The packaging is premium and all the accessories you get with the headphones are lightweight.
Both headphones come with soft cases but unlike the Solo 3 that is equipped with a micro USB charging cable, the Solo Pro has a lightning charging cable in the box.
Another difference we found between both boxes is that you will only get a 3.5mm audio cable with the Solo 3, whereas you will have to purchase the 3.5mm audio cable separately if you buy the Solo Pro.
Both headphones are well-designed and come with breathable ear cups and a set of easy-to-use controls. There is a difference in the size of the headphones, with the Solo Pro being slightly larger and heavier than the Solo 3. They have soft ear cups that are comfortable to wear for long periods of time and both headphones are made from a durable plastic.
The Solo 3 and Solo Pro look alike in so many ways, but there are some subtle differences. For example, though both headphones are built from the same material, the Solo Pro looks better and has a matte finish that adds to the premium look and feel.
While taking portability into consideration, both headphones can be folded and the ear cups swiveled inwards making them easy to carry around. The one distinguishing difference between the two headphones is that the Solo 3 will have a metallic band across the headband, right above the ear cups that reads “wireless”.
Winner: Beats Solo Pro
As we’ve noticed with other Beats headphones, they are normally comfortable to wear and fit well on the ears, the same can be said for the Solo 3 but not so much for Solo Pro headphones.
Both headphones have small, circular ear cups that don’t wrap around the ears but instead sit firmly on top of them and while the ear cups of the Solo 3 are smaller, those used on the Solo Pro are thicker and the tight clamps can ruin your listening experience as it does get uncomfortable after a certain period of time.
Their ear cups are made from a breathable material that prevents you from sweating and will keep your ears cool even after wearing them on for hours at a stretch.
Winner: Beats Solo 3
There’s practically only two major differences between the Solo 3 and Solo Pro in terms of controls available.
Both headphones can handle calls and are equipped with built-in volume controls on the side of the ear cup and when you’re using the Solo 3 in wired mode, you will have a three-button controller and microphone built into the headphone cable which is not available with the Solo Pro headphones.
Also, the Solo Pro is equipped with ANC, so you do get an additional control switch to toggle between ANC and transparency mode. All it takes is a simple fold out or fold in to enable or disable ANC/transparency mode.
Winner: Beats Solo Pro
Sound & Performance
The Beats Solo 3 and Solo Pro are on-ear headphones that perform quite well in any situation and are ideal for most genres of music. Their sound is well-balanced and powerful so it’s good to note that there’s no loss of quality when listening to music at high volumes and while using Bluetooth.
Thanks to the built-in noise canceling capabilities, the Solo Pro performs slightly better than the Solo 3 and with ANC enabled, you will have less sound leakage and a much more clearer playback experience. One important point to note is that both the Solo 3 and Solo Pro do not have any adjustable sound profiles, so what you hear is final and the only changes you can make will be to the equalizer built-into your smartphone.
Many of the subtle differences in performance between the two headphones can be attributed to the different processing chips used in them. You will have better performance with the Pro over the Solo 3 as the former uses the latest Apple H1 chip, whereas the latter is equipped with the older Apple W1 chip.
Winner: Beats Solo Pro
Comparatively, the battery on the Solo 3 is much more efficient than the one used in the Solo Pro. Though they both use the same type of battery, you need to take into account the fact that the Solo Pro has ANC and transparency mode which are not found on the Solo 3.
Based on our tests, the Solo 3 and Solo Pro are more than capable of functioning for over 40 hours, only if you have ANC and transparency mode switched off in the Solo Pro. Otherwise, with ANC and transparency mode turned on the Solo Pro would last only a maximum of 20-22 hours on a single charge.
In terms of charging capabilities, the Solo 3 and pro are equipped with fast charging which takes around 90 minutes to 2 hours for a full charge and a quick 5 minutes charge on the Solo 3 and a rough 10 minutes charge on the Solo Pro is enough to provide you with up to 3 hours of playback.
Winner: Beats Solo 3
Both the Beats Solo 3 and Beats Solo Pro are equipped with Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to easily pair with any device in a simple and straightforward process. But, we found that the whole connectivity experience was seamless when pairing these headphones with any Apple device over an Android one.
If you’re unsatisfied with the sound quality when paired with Bluetooth, you can simply plug in the audio cable and connect it directly to the source. You will also need to remember that the Solo 3 comes with a 3.5mm audio cable in the box whereas the Solo Pro doesn’t, so for that you will need to pick up a lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack to use the Pro in wired mode.
The Solo 3 costs around $100 cheaper than the Solo Pro, but that’s because the Pro has some additional functionality and is slightly larger than the Solo 3. You will be able to find the Solo 3 for $150 on Amazon, while the Solo Pro would be between $199-$220 on a good day. You can also find the Solo 3 on AliExpress starting at $165 and the Solo Pro starting at $268.
Now, these prices are pretty reasonable considering the build, sound quality, functionality and all. But, since there’s a very marginal difference in the prices of these two headphones, I’d suggest putting in a little more money and picking up the Solo Pro mainly for the active noise cancelling and transparency mode.
Winner: Beats Solo Pro (Amazon)
Beats Solo 3 Wireless vs Beats Solo Pro – Pros and Cons
Beats Solo 3
|Long lasting battery (40+ hours)||Inadequate sound isolation|
|Decent sound quality||Tight clamp|
|Fast charging capabilities|
Beats Solo Pro
|Premium build quality||Quite expensive|
|Above average sound quality||Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable has to be bought separately|
|Long battery life with ANC (20+ hours)|
|Fast charging capabilities|
|Great noise isolation and low sound leakage|
Beats Solo 3 Wireless vs Beats Solo Pro – Which one is Better?
Based on the tests conducted and our personal experience, it’s safe to say that if you’re looking for sound quality, isolation and noise cancellation, then it’s best you pick up the Solo Pro. But if it’s comfort, price and battery life, then the Solo 3 are the ones for you.
It all boils down to personal preference at the end of the day. However, the Solo Pro does come with Apple’s latest processor, the H1 which is faster and more efficient than the W1.
Why are the Beats Solo Pro uncomfortable?
Well, the Beats Solo Pro is not as uncomfortable as you may think. It’s just that these headphones have a headband that doesn’t sit well and since the ear cups are designed for an on-ear experience, the headphones tend to produce a clamping effect by pressing against your ears.
Are the Beats Solo 3 worth it?
To some buyers, yes they are. But for serious audiophile listeners, I’d suggest buying the Solo Pro over them any day. Though the Solo 3 has an impressive battery life, they don’t deliver in terms of sound quality and noise isolation which can be found on the Solo Pro for a few dollars more.
Can you workout while wearing Solo Pros?
Yes, you can wear the Beats Solo Pro headphones while working out. They stay in place for most activities and are sweat-resistant. The only time you’d face a problem is if you’re using them for rigorous workouts, then they may start to slip off your head.