After the rollout of Beat’s Solo 3 Wireless headphones, it’s high-time to take a look at this improved set of cans in comparison to the Solo 2s. Here, we are going to break down both sets of headphones and see how they stand up to each other. We also have the comparison of bose qc15 vs qc25 as well as Bose QuietComfort 20 vs 25.
What’s the Difference Between Beats Solo 2 and 3
Physically, both the Solo2 and the Solo3 look pretty much the same. The main difference is that the Solo3s are available in new color schemes. Upon listening to both sets of headphones, most people are unable to see much difference in sound quality. However, one major new feature with the Solo3 is that they are advertised have a battery life that lasts up to three times longer than the Solo2. This brings their battery life from a meager 12 hours with the Solo2s to an impressive 36 hours with the Solo3s. Which, is in itself, a stunning improvement.
Impressively, this improvement to the Solo3’s battery life is not due to a larger battery. Both the Solo 2 and the Solo3 have the same 3.7V 250MH Li-Po battery. How can two sets of headphones, with the same battery have such vastly different battery lives? The difference comes from the implementation of Apple’s new W1 computer chip, which has a positive effect on both Bluetooth pairing and efficiency. The new chip and a smaller circuit board in the Solo3s seem to use less battery power for keeping the headphones wireless at improved distances.
Being that the main difference between the Solo2 and Solo3 are their battery life, are the Solo3s really worth upgrading to? Well, that depends on how frequent you plan on using your headphones. For those who don’t spend extended periods of time (12+ hours), then you should be happy with the Solo2. However, if you’re an audiophile who constantly has a pair of cans on their head, it might be time to upgrade to the Solo3.
Now, let’s break things down and review each set of headphones individually.
Beats Solo2 Wireless
The Solo2 are a great set of headphones, however, they lack the W1 chip that’s been implemented into the Solo3. This just means that their wireless connectivity is quite a solid as the Solo3s.
These are a beautifully designed pair of headphones that deliver pretty much the same level of sound as any other Beats audio gear. They do, however, have slightly larger earcups to accommodate the battery and their built-in controls. Designed to be as comfortable as possible, they are made of a durable and flexible plastic that keeps the weight down for added comfort when worn for longer periods of time. Furthermore, they easily fold down for storage, making them super convenient to carry along with you wherever you go.
The logo on the side of the left earcup is where they’ve hidden their built-in controls. With just a touch, you can adjust volume, pause or stop playback and skip through tracks.
After the original Solo version, the Solo2 has curbed their bass delivery and is now much less overpowering. This improved the entire sound range and gives them a much clearer and warmer texture. These headphones are tuned primarily for genres such as hip-hop and electronic music; however, they still provide a clear acoustic sound when listening to stringed instruments. Still, the lower ends can still come off as a little bit distorted at higher volumes.
Another downside to the Solo2 is that they do not have an active noise cancellation feature. Still, their design does a decent job of minimizing exterior noise and when compared to other brands, they still deliver a decent listening experience.
Beats Solo3 Wireless
While the Solo2s are a decent pair of headphones, the Solo3 have some improvements which clearly makes them a superior set of cans. Still, this does not mean that they look much different. At a first glance, the Solo3 appear almost identical to the Solo2. However, the differences between the two are on an internal level. With the Solo3 comes the implementation of Apple’s W1 chip which improves their wireless capability and optimizes battery life.
Another edge from Solo3s is that they are available in a wider range of color schemes. You’ll be able to choose from glossy black, matte black, gloss white, gold, rose gold, red, silver or violent.
As mentioned, Beats’ Solo3 Wireless headphones look very much the same as the Solo2. Most of their frame is cast in a flexible plastic with metal around the hinge and headband for added support.
The earpads are made of a synthetic leather foam which spreads out the pressure for extra comfort. They are also designed to have a higher level of friction than other brands headband padding. This means that you won’t have to worry about them sliding off while jogging or working out at the gym. The Solo3 are also meant to have a firm grip on your head.
One bonus of the Solo3s is that that they have a 3.5mm input on the left earcup. This is great for when your battery is dead, and you still want to listen to tunes. As with the Solo2 model, these have built-in controls hidden in the Beats logo. Furthermore, they’ve added a mic in one of the earcups which let you take calls. The downside is that the Solo3 does not come with a noise cancellation feature, which has become quite common for high-end wireless headphones.
Instead, the Solo3 use a purely passive form a noise cancellation and have designed the ear pads to keep ambient sounds out. While not as effective as noise cancellation, this does a decent job of keeping your sound in and external sounds out.
The major advantage of the Solo3 Wireless headphones is its improved battery life. With a battery life of up to 40 hours, this is a major improvement over their predecessor. With this, most people should get a week or two of use on a single charge and Apple claims that these headphones will get 3-hours of playback on a single 5-minute charge. Furthermore, you’re able to check your battery level by using the LED indicator on the right ear cup.