Beats Solo 3 Vs. Solo Pro: Comparing On-Ear Beats Headphones

Beats by Dre has become one of the most recognizable brands for headphones and earbuds, known for their stylish designs and signature bass-heavy sound.

Two of their most popular on-ear headphone models are the Beats Solo 3 and the Beats Solo Pro. But what exactly sets these two apart?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the Beats Solo 3 Vs. Solo Pro, examining the key differences in design, sound quality, features, and price. We’ll highlight the pros and cons of each model to help you determine which on-ear Beats are the better pick for your needs and budget.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureBeats Solo 3Beats Solo Pro
DesignOn-ear, foldableOn-ear, foldable
Ear CupsCushionedAdded padding
Sound QualityPunchy bass, muddy mids/highsCleaner bass, better mids/highs
Noise CancellationNoYes, plus transparency mode
ChipApple W1Apple H1
Battery Life40 hours22 hours ANC on, 40 hours ANC off
Fast Charging3 hrs with 5 min charge3 hrs with 10 min charge
Sweat/Water ResistanceNoYes
MicrophoneFor callsFor calls and Hey Siri
ColorsGlossy black, rose gold, silver, redMatte black, light blue, dark blue, red

Beats Solo 3 Overview

Released in 2016, the Beats Solo 3 are the third generation of the classic Beats Solo on-ear headphones. They come with the Apple W1 chip for Class 1 wireless Bluetooth connectivity and seamless pairing with iOS devices.

Beats Solo 3
Beats Solo 3

Some key features and specs:

  • On-ear design with cushioned ear cups
  • Foldable design for portability
  • 40 hours of battery life
  • Fast Fuel charging gives 3 hours of play with 5 minutes of charging
  • Apple W1 chip for instant pairing and extended range
  • Capable of taking calls and activating Siri
  • Available in a variety of color options


  • Longer battery life than previous models
  • Easy iOS pairing process
  • Balanced sound with punchy bass
  • Comfortable cushioned ear cups
  • Control music, volume, calls directly from headphones


  • Sound quality isn’t audiophile-grade
  • Bulky design when folded
  • Not sweat or water resistant

Also Read: Differences Between Skullcandy Hesh Evo And Crusher Evo.

Beats Solo Pro Overview

The Beats Solo Pro were launched in 2019 as a higher-end upgrade over the Solo 3. They include active noise cancellation (ANC) technology and a transparency mode.

Key features and specs:

Beats Solo Pro
Beats Solo Pro
  • On-ear design with cushions and added padding
  • Foldable with a more compact footprint
  • 22 hours of battery life (40 hours without ANC or transparency)
  • Fast Fuel gives 3 hours of play with 10 minutes charge
  • Apple H1 chip for iOS pairing and hands-free Siri
  • Active noise cancellation and transparency mode
  • Sweat and water resistant design


  • Effective active noise cancellation
  • Transparency mode lets in ambient sound
  • Apple H1 chip for easy pairing and “Hey Siri”
  • Long battery life even with ANC on
  • Better build quality and comfort than Solo 3
  • Sweat and water resistance for workouts


  • More expensive than Solo 3
  • Sound lacks detail and richness for the price
  • Bulky when folded up
  • ANC isn’t as strong as over-ear models

Also Read: Is Beats Solo 3 Better Than Studio 3?

Sound Quality Comparison

When it comes to audio quality, the Solo Pro headphones do sound noticeably better than the previous Solo 3.

Both models have Beats’ signature amplified bass response that brings thumping low-end power to hip hop, EDM, and other bass-heavy genres. However, the Solo Pro has a cleaner, fuller sound profile. The bass feels tighter rather than booming and overbearing.

The mid-range and higher frequencies also have better definition on the Solo Pro. Vocals and instruments sound clearer and more textured. The overall improvements make the Solo Pro a more well-rounded listening experience compared to the Solo 3’s somewhat muddy output.

That said, audiophiles may still find both models lack refinement and naturalness compared to similarly priced headphones from other brands. Those looking for neutral, detailed sound should consider other options.

For bass lovers though, the Solo Pro hits harder and cleaner while the Solo 3 provides that classic Beats thump.

Design And Comfort

Beats has refined the Solo design over the years for better wearing comfort and aesthetics. Both models have a fairly lightweight on-ear form factor built around folding headbands and rotating ear cups.

The Solo Pro shows more attention to ergonomics and quality. The ear cup cushions use softer materials with more padding, reducing clamping pressure around the ears. The shape also improves noise isolation.

Build materials feel more durable and premium throughout. Small touches like the headphones powering on/off when unfolded/folded add to the refinement.

When folded down, the Solo Pro lays flatter in a bag while the Solo 3 remains quite bulky. Overall, the Solo Pro offers a more comfortable and portable wearing experience.

In terms of style, both models come in understated color schemes compared to past Beats. The Solo 3 sticks to basic glossy black, rose gold, silver, and red.

The Solo Pro opts for more matte finishes in black, light blue, dark blue, and red. Individual preferences aside, the Solo Pro’s build and ergonomics edge out the Solo 3’s.

Features And Connectivity

Connectivity and device pairing is a major advantage on both models thanks to Apple’s custom chips. The Solo 3 uses the previous W1 chip while the Solo Pro gets the newer H1 chip.

Both chips allow near instant pairing with iOS/macOS devices. Just power on the headphones and an iPop-up connects them. Bluetooth range is extended with fewer drops outs compared to standard Bluetooth.

The H1 chip adds “Hey Siri” always-listening voice activation for hands-free use. You can ask Siri to change songs, adjust volume, make calls, and get directions without touching your phone.

Active noise cancellation and a transparency mode are the other big additions on the Solo Pro, powered by the H1 chip. Noise cancellation helps block out ambient sound very well, especially in the low end.

Transparency mode lets in external noise through the mics so you can hear travel announcements or have conversations. The ANC and transparency work seamlessly together by pressing and holding a side button to toggle between them.

Battery life is excellent on both models but the Solo Pro comes out ahead. With everything maxed out you get around 22 hours on the Solo Pro versus 40 hours on the Solo 3. Turning off ANC and transparency gives the Solo Pro a similar 40 hours of use. Both charge quickly via USB-C.

For phone calls, built-in mics on each model enable clear voice pickup and communication. On iOS, you can say “Hey Siri” to activate calls on the Solo Pro.

Overall, the Solo Pro pulls ahead again with noise cancellation and transparency modes making them a more versatile listening option both in and out of the house.

Also watch the video!

Price And Value Comparison

When it comes to price, the Solo Pro headphones are more expensive than the Solo 3. Upon launch, the Solo 3 retailed for $200 while the Solo Pro cost $300.

These days, both models can be commonly found under their original MSRPs. The Solo 3 sell around $150 now depending on color options. Sale prices for the Solo Pro tend to be around $200.

At those discounted prices, the Solo Pro becomes an even stronger value over the Solo 3. For $50 more you get noticeably better sound, comfort, ANC modes, and battery life. The improvements make the extra cost easily justifiable.

If your budget is tight, the Solo 3 can still be found under $100 on sale. They provide that punchy Beats sound in a simpler package. But for a little more, the Solo Pro offers plenty of upgrades that are worth the difference.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between Beats Solo 3 and Solo Pro?

The key differences are the Solo Pro have better sound quality, more comfortable ear pads, active noise cancellation and transparency modes, and Apple’s H1 chip compared to the Solo 3’s W1 chip.

Are Solo Pros better than Studio3?

The Studio3 are over-ear headphones with larger drivers and a more immersive soundstage, making them preferred for critical listening. But the Solo Pro pack impressive sound in a more portable on-ear design. For everyday use and travel, the Solo Pro competes well.

Why were the Solo Pros discontinued?

Beats likely discontinued the Solo Pro to streamline their headphone lineup. The new Beats Studio Buds and Fit Pro models offer similar features like noise cancellation in sportier designs. The on-ear Solo Pro were probably squeezed out by Beats’ newer releases.

Which Beats Solo is the best?

The Beats Solo Pro represent the pinnacle of the on-ear Solo line with their well-balanced sound, noise cancellation, Apple H1 chip, and refined design. With the Solo Pro discontinued, the Beats Solo3 Wireless are now the top choice for an on-ear Beats model.

Also Read: Choose Between HyperX Cloud Alpha And Cloud 2.

The Verdict

When comparing the Beats Solo 3 Vs. Solo Pro, the Solo Pro comes out on top as the superior on-ear headphones. The improvements to sound quality, comfort, ANC features, and device connectivity make them a meaningful upgrade over the previous Solo 3.

Of course, budget is a consideration. But with sale prices bringing the Solo Pro closer to the Solo 3’s original MSRP, they are an even better value proposition. The Solo Pro address most of the areas people wanted upgraded from the Solo 3. Unless you need to pinch pennies, go with the Solo Pro. They offer an excellent listening experience in a stylish, travel-friendly package.

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