Slowly, slowly, Apple picks up for itself not only the market for smart watches, but also the headphone market. After all, I remind you that AirPods are one of the most popular headphones in the world, and not only among TWS models, but also among wireless headphones in general. And now there is not only AirPods, but also AirPods Pro – the circulation is now being raked out of stores with bags, which will be scary to imagine by the new year. I stand in line at Starbucks on the ground floor of Xiaomi headquarters in Beijing, watching seven people AirPods Pro. According to Chinese colleagues, the demand is huge and everyone is trying, in addition to the usual AirPods, to buy a noise-canceling model – in the offices there is an open space, and although it is not accepted to make noise, ANC helps to get rid of unnecessary sounds and unnecessary information.
But that's not all. This year is significant for the Beats. Beats Powerbeats Pro TWS-headphones released: Apple chip, excellent sound quality, ideal headphones for sports. Slowly, Beats Solo Pro, over-ear headphones with an H1 chip, active noise reduction, and Transparency mode, familiar from AirPods Pro, are on sale. I guess by the end of the year they will announce Studio Pro, full-size headphones with the same set of features. And then all other manufacturers should at least very carefully approach pricing and features – the competition will be fierce. After all, Apple and Beats headphones are bought not only because of marketing, as some analysts would like to believe. AirPods is the most convenient headset for most situations, it’s awesome to fly with AirPods Pro (checked, I’ll tell you more about it), but Beats Solo Pro are like AirPods Pro and will surely become a favorite model for young people and girls all over the world.
Now let's talk about Solo Pro in more detail. Flew!
Let me remind you that Beats has Solo (these are small on-ear headphones) and Studio (full-size model). I personally see Solo more often in girls, especially often in gyms. Clearly, there is no protection against sweat, but apparently the girls do not care – the main thing is beautiful colors, and apparently the sound is quite fine. Seriously, I’m remembering: Solo saw the girl coach today, saw last weekend at another club, and saw on the street.
But this does not mean at all that Solo is an exclusively female model. Now there are six colors: red, blue, ivory, gray, blue – but, besides such exotic things, there is also a black version, as in the photo in the review. Here it is for sure that men will buy it.
Matte plastic, eco-leather ear pads, thick metal guides. The design, unlike the previous Solo, is fundamentally redesigned. Nothing creaks here, there is no backlash, the assembly is perceived in a completely different way – we can say this is a completely different level of quality. You can also say that Apple’s hand is visible here.
At the same time, typical Beats features were preserved: for example, a case is awesomely made, it's something like nylon with wool on top. The kit includes a traditional carabiner, case can be attached to a backpack or bag. A trifle, but very pleasant. Well, the Black Lightning cable is also included – yes, here, finally, this connector is used.
The packaging is excellent, everything is in place, beautifully laid out, directly asks for in your hands. Probably, it would be possible to make the designations of the channels larger – but this will remain the only nit-picking on the design. The headband inside is lined with something like rubber, but Bose and many other companies use the same material – not suede, but practical and hygienic, you can clean it with a damp cloth.
Headphones fold, I put them into a jacket pocket without any problems. Please note how cool the rubber pads are made at the bottom, at the cups, how the entry points of the guides are decorated – it's nice to see Beats have such a design. On black headphones, the letter “b” is almost invisible, but the brand name is on the headband – when you wear it around your neck, everyone understands.
It uses the same Apple H1 processor – as in the AirPods Pro, Beats Powerbeats Pro, second-generation AirPods. By the way, both Powerbeats and Solo announce the first class of Bluetooth – this means an increased range. Cool for the gym, you can leave the phone on the shelf and calmly move around the zones.
Claimed 22 hours of operation with the noise canceling system turned on, if you turn off the system, the headphones will work for about 40 hours. You can use any Lightning cable to charge, you can use iPad Pro. “Beats” turn on when you lay them out, and turn off in the same way.
Noise reduction system
In short – it works. You can calmly sit in a noisy cafe, all the loud sounds are lost behind the music. Do not forget programs with sounds of nature, white noise – I set Relax Meditation a few weeks ago and most of all I like that you can mix different melodies and noises.
Permeability also works fine, after a split second the microphones begin to amplify the sounds around and here you already begin to clearly hear the voices of colleagues in the next room. In general, everything is very similar to AirPods Pro.
What no one noticed
No one noticed: the 3.5 mm connector disappeared, there are no adapters in the kit, but in the stores of Apple appeared the royal black Lightning cable – 3.5 mm. Connect it to the headphones and on to the Nintendo Switch. Or connect the adapter to the iPhone and stick it there.
The first impression of everyone is: oh, how comfortable and cool, after an hour or two there is pressure on the ears – this happens with almost any on-ear headphones. I had to pull out the guides almost completely, so it was comfortable to use – but, of course, this is not the Bose NCH 700, in them I can fly to the USA and not feel anything, and I want to remove Beats Solo Pro in an hour, give my ears a rest.
“What to do?” You ask. There are a few thoughts. Firstly, if the head is small, everything will be fine. Secondly, if you are a girl, these are ideal headphones for you. Thirdly, in the case of Solo, everything is very, very individual: anyway, after all, the headband will stretch over time, a habit will appear. The conclusion from all this is simple: you can even buy without trying. If anything, give it to your wife, girlfriend or mother.
Setup and management
The setting is similar to that of AirPods: a pop-up menu appears on the iPhone screen, quickly connect, in the Bluetooth menu you can switch between active noise reduction, permeability or turn off both modes. The same can be done by pressing with force on the volume scale or by pressing the button on the left cup. True, there are no voice notifications and sometimes it is not immediately clear what you did.
There is also a button on the right cup, Play / Pause, Siri, rewind – in general, everything is traditional. You can call Siri without hands, but I honestly don’t use this function at all. Headphone updates will arrive unnoticed by the user – similar to AirPods. Since there will be many fakes, I advise a simple way to check: if the connection with animation on the iPhone works, then you have the original. As with AirPods, faking this thing on iOS is not possible.
Compared to the previous Solo, the sound has seriously changed: there were basses and trebles, but the middle was lost, and indeed, as for me, the sound was plastic. Solo uses other drivers, and the setting is brought in line with current trends in Apple Music: you can listen to most tracks with pleasure, especially electronic music.
By the way, I advise everyone to find the “New Music” playlist on the “For You” tab – it is updated once a week, each time getting better and better. This time both Mangroves / Shahmen, and the song from the new top album Gang Starr, and Josienne Clarke (good to listen to while you drive in the evening after working with a burned brain), and the fashionable techno Rhy. In short, all these tracks sound great. Bass as it should, there is a middle, low thick, powerful, vocals are light and good, the middle is dense. Do not expect this from overhead headphones. Here also the ear cushions should be said thanks, they fit snugly and nothing comes out. People nearby, by the way, also don’t hear your music.
Headphones in retail are 21 990 rubles. In fact, the price is not much different from AirPods Pro. Of course, Solo Pro is more versatile and will be more convenient for many – well, and do not forget that people all over the world can approach the choice equally: if these headphones are bigger, they are better (more speaker – better sound, and so on). Naturally, in reality, AirPods Pro and Solo Pro are different things for different audiences. I suppose that Solo Pro will be more often bought by girls and youth, especially headphones of bright colors – they are in the spirit of modern trends, that is, fashionable, suitable for sneakers, work perfectly with Apple appliances, have all the necessary modern functions. First of all, this, of course, is active noise reduction.
And, of course, in its category it’s a bestseller – Apple’s marketing support is endless thanks to endless money, world famous people love Solo (Farrell, for example), and there are still new colors, collages and a long cloudless existence in the market.
In addition to the review on the site, we’ll also shoot a video, soon on the channel. And finally, we are waiting for Beats Studio Pro. I believe that they will be incredible.
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Chief editor of the blog – Erika J. Wells .