Beats made a lot of improvements to the Solo Pro that helped these models earn a score of 81 from us. First and foremost, the sound and ANC quality are excellent — there’s plenty of bass, a feature many have come to expect from Beats headphones, but it doesn’t overpower everything else. ANC also does a good job of blocking out noise around you, although it won’t be as effective as the ANC on over-ear headphones from Bose or Sony. The Solo Pro have transparency mode like Apple’s AirPods Pro do, so you can quickly hear a conversation when necessary and jump right back into your music.
The similarities between the Solo Pros and AirPods don’t stop there — they have Apple’s H1 chip built in, which means you’ll be able to quickly pair these headphones with iOS devices and switch between them seamlessly. They also support hands-free Siri so you can call upon the virtual assistant without tapping the cans or pressing any buttons.
While the Solo Pros don’t have a 3.5mm jack for wired use, they have a formidable battery life. Beats estimates 22 hours of use with ANC turned on and up to 40 hours of use with that feature turned off. Engadget’s Billy Steele was able to get through almost an entire work week before needing a recharge and that was with multiple hours of use each day.
The Solo Pros’ major compromises come with its on-ear design. Even though Beats improved upon the design as a whole, outfitting it with better materials and thicker earpads, the inherent design of on-ear headphones won’t be suitable for some people. While we still recommend Sony’s WH-1000XM4s (and even the older but no less excellent XM3s) if you want the gold standard in wireless ANC headphones, it’s hard to argue against the Beats Solo Pros when they are $100 off.
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