Since their initial release upon the unsuspecting masses, we’ve seen just about every line of Beats by Dre headphones imaginable emerge from Monster’s lair. However, portable, on-ear headphones have been somewhat lacking in the prestigious Dr. Dre line-up, at least until the Beats Solo 3 waltzed onto the market.
These stylish, trendy, and above all boomy-in-the-bass cans are a great addition to any commuting package, and though the sound leaves something to be desired, we’re still hooked to these mini beauties. For our full thoughts on this portable line of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, check below!
Design and Comfort Rating
Unlike some of the beefier (and more durable) headphones to emerge from the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre collaboration, the Beats Solo features a more streamlined and minimalistic approach. The headphones still maintain the patented black, red and white color scheme as the heftier Studio and Pro models, and they even come branded with the little red B.
However, the headband has been cut down to size, reducing bulk for a metal-layered and matte plastic feel that saves on weight. The headphones are certainly light, and felt comfortable on the top of our noggin.
That being said, we had no fear of them falling off our heads, as the on-ear cups are comfortably snug. We also greatly appreciated the solid-red cable that felt extremely sturdy in-hand.
Considering it also comes integrated with a built-in mic iPod controls, and volume rocker, we couldn’t be happier with the overall mix. The Beats Solo are a brilliant, lighter addition to an already stellar line-up.
Sound Quality and Performance
Sadly, the Beats Solo 3 aren’t exactly the most genre friendly pair of cans we’ve ever experienced. As with most of the other Beats headphones, the bass is particularly thumpy in the Solos. Usually this wasn’t an issue, but in some genres where the low-end is less emphasized, we experienced a wealth of muddy mids and diminished highs.
That being said, those genres that work best with the brand typically blasted like champs. Dance, hip-hop and house were all winners with the Solos, making us believe those who truly dig the style and prestige of the Beats brand will probably be sporting playlists in these areas. All in all, we still find the Solos 3 a bit lacking in terms of performance, but this may be a moot point to the masses.
At the end of the day, the Beats Solo 3 is an eye-catching set of headphones with a somewhat disappointing audio performance. We loved the chic design, and though the cans aren’t ideal for all genres, within their limitations they’re an incredible experience. The price is decent though we have a feeling only dedicated fans of the series will be happy to shell out close to two Benjamins for an essentially trimmed edition of the heftier Beats models.