Audio November 1, 2020
Whenever I see a host of celebrities endorsing a brand, I usually assume it is because that product doesn’t have the quality needed to promote itself and as a result, I have never been drawn to the Beats headphones.
However, since the Apple take over in 2014 these headphones have seen improvements in both build quality and features with the year-old Beats Solo Pro being a great example of this. These headphones come in Red, Grey, Ivory, Black, Light Blue and Dark Blue, and sit on the ear rather than over the ear. They come in 70% recycled fibre packaging which unfolds neatly, like a flower blossoming, to reveal the compact and soft -shell carry case. The Headphones themselves are folded neatly inside the case; this dense little package makes a nice change from some of the bulky cases you get, making it simple to ease into your bag. The headphones automatically switch on when the ear cups are unfolded, they are also ready to connect without pressing a combination of buttons. This simple feature is a great addition for people like me who forget to switch things off and run down the battery unnecessarily.
They look like they are worth every penny with a minimalist, once piece design, hidden hinges and mono colour matt finish. It is worth pointing out that the Solo Pro comes with a Lightning to USB-A charging cable (included) and this is the only port on the headphones, they are strictly wireless so when the battery is dead there is no option for wired listening. The head band and ear cups are comfortably padded and form a surprisingly effective seal for on ear headphones, even before you switch the tunes on background noise is greatly reduced. The ANC (active noise cancelling) works impressively and uses real-time audio calibration for a truly immersive sound, I couldn’t even hear myself singing when testing these out (probably for the best) and you don’t have to worry about sound leaking out and annoying people around you. The Transparency Mode allows you to hear the world around you when needed, when both Noise Cancelling and Transparency mode are switched off, the Solo Pro delivers up to 40 hours of battery life. Regular use provides up to 22hours with just 10minutes charging giving you an extra three hours of playtime.
The Audio Sharing mode allows for two sets of Beats headphones or AirPods to be paired with one iPhone and enjoy the same song or film audio and the integrated on-ear controls allow you to take calls, skip songs and control volume directly intuitively, or simply use the hands-free voice controls to activate Siri on iOS devices. Beats have had a bit of a reputation for having an over baring bass but this is not the case with the Solo Pro, the sound is evenly balanced with clear top notes, but without sacrificing the bass, it makes EDM and Folk music sound equally good. My partner said that these headphones felt a little tight, especially when wearing sunglasses, so it maybe worth trying them on first if you wear glasses or have a larger head (there’s no putting it more politely). I found myself testing these headphones out for much longer than needed, they were just such a pleasure to wear and listen too, come for the noise cancelling and style, stay for the sound and the comfort. RRP £269.95
- Impressive noise cancelling
- Balanced enjoyable sound
- Up to 22-40 hours of listening time
- Automatic power on and off when unfolded
- Strong connectivity with zero latency
- On-ear controls
- Noise Cancelling/Transparency mode
- Fast charging
- No Aux port for wired listening
- Slightly narrower fit might be uncomfortable for some