We’ll be having a side-by-side Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3 comparison, taking a look at the features of each pair of headphones and giving them a quick review. Hopefully, by the end of the comparison, you’ll have a better idea about which of these headphones will be the better option for you.
Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3 – Unboxing
You might’ve guessed, each of these beats headphones are packaged almost identical. I think it makes sense to unbox both earbuds side-by-side simultaneously. We have the $199 Solo 3 and the $349 Studio 3. The first thing we’ll have to do is remove the plastic film from each of the earbuds boxes and from the front of the box, you can already see how the ear cups differ between the two models with the larger over ear cups featured on the Studio 3.
On one side of the boxes, we have images of the headphones themselves. Whilst the other side features a quote from beats founder, Dr. Dre, and also shows us at the bottom color option, which in Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3 for gym review is matte black for both models. Manuals contain a rundown of the headphones main features, which are largely identical, both the Solo and Studio 3 feature Apple’s W1 chip.
Both earbuds offer enhanced wireless Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in wireless microphone, built-in music and phone controls and feature a huge 40 hour battery life for wireless play. Both earbuds also feature “Fast Fuel”, a fast charging feature, which allows three hours of playback after five minutes of charging with Solo 3 and after 10 minutes of charging with Studio 3.
The Studio 3s also have an additional feature in pure ANC or active noise cancellation. This feature can be toggled on or off at will. When active noise cancelling is activated the wireless playback time is reduced from 40 hours down to 22. At the bottom of the box, we can see the included remote talk cable, which features an in-line microphone and music controls.
Finally, we have the micro USB cable for charging these headphones. So despite Apple taking over the manufacturer of Beats, we still have no lightening connector for charging the headphones. This decision likely has been made in order not to alienate non iPhone users.
You can go ahead and slide out the box from the sleeve. As always, the contents are packaged really nicely with simple and clean aesthetic that is typical of Beats and other Apple products. Opening them up, we’re met with a cardboard cover featuring the Beat slogan, but we can remove this with handy tab at the bottom to reveal the headphones included carry cases, which just as with the previous generation are quite different between the models.
Solo 3 has a redesigned soft shell carry case while the Studio 3 Beats has a new hard shell carry case. At the bottom, we have the remote’s all cable featuring volume control and the in-line microphone. The center button is used to play, pause, or skip your tracks, answer hangout phone calls and also to activate Siri on iOS devices.
The envelope with the Beats logo on it will contain all of the paper information. Additionally, we have a carabiner which can connect to the carry case, so you can clip your headphones to something like a rucksack during travel.
And finally, we have the micro USB charging cable, which with the Studio 3 packaging advertises the “Fast Fuel” feature but oddly enough, not with Solo 3, despite the fact that this feature is of course compatible with both models.
Manuals: Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3
So taking a look at the included paper information, we first have the quick start guides, which are actually very useful. I definitely recommend looking at these before using either of these headphones. These are largely identical between models with the main difference, being that Solo 3 guide features instructions for iOS 10 whilst the Studio 3’s instructions are for iOS 11, choose simply to the respective release dates of Beats headphones.
We also have a large red Beats sticker and then finally the safety and warranty information in the boxes.
Built- Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3
Beat’s Solo 3 Carry Case & Headphones Built
We can take our first look at the headphones themselves. Starting with the Solo 3 wireless headphones, we do have a redesigned carry case. We still have a soft shell carry case, but this time around, we have a much more water resistant carry case as opposed to the softer fabric from the Solo 2.
The interior material has also changed. Solo 3 has slightly less cushion now. But for a soft shell carry case, I still think that the new fabric will offer sufficient protection. I would say that these changes overall are an improvement from the previous generation. Now we can open carry case up and take a look at the Solo 3s matte black finish. A new color option for the Solo range.
In my opinion, Solo 3 black matte finish does look fantastic. Your overall shape design, button layouts, and folding mechanism is however unchanged from the Solo 2.
On the left ear cup, we have the onboard volume, music and phone control, and also the glossy wireless wording at the extension joint for resizing the headphones. The dark grey Beats logo is printed across the headband features soft leather padding underneath.
The right side features a glossy “Solo” word print and the right ear cup houses the power button. From underneath, you can also see some glossy plastic trim and also the ports with a 3.5 millimeter headphone Jack and also the micro USB charging ports.
Both ear cups feature soft black leather padding, which works excellently well for both comfort and also for creating a great seal against your ear to minimize sound leakage.
On the inside of the headband, we also have the left and right side indicators. Since, the headphones features symmetrical ear cups, it’s really up to you, which way round you want to wear these and on which side you prefer your music controls.
If you need to resize the headphones and simply pull gently downwards on the ear cups whilst holding your headband to extend them. Then you can slide them back into place and fold the ear cups inwards for storage or to fit these inside the carry case. One thing I should mention is that it is a little bit fiddly to get these headphones inside the case. The fit is very snug, whereas we had a lot more space inside the carry case featured with Solo 2s.
Beats Studio 3 Carry Case & Headphones Built
Beats Studio 3 wireless headphones have redesigned hard shell carry case. This case will offer more protection because we have resistance to impact as well as from water and dust. So you don’t have to worry about Beats Studio 3 headphones being crushed when you put these in your bags.
These are consequently little bit more awkward to look around with you. But I have to say that I definitely liked the security of knowing my headphones are completely protected, especially when I’m paying a premium price for them. Opening up the case, we have inside folded Studio 3, and design-wise, you’ll see many similarities with Solo 3, including the matte black finish.
You will notice that the headboard is slightly wider, featuring the grey Beats logo. Beats Studio 3 headphones are overall slightly larger and heavier. On the left ear cup, we have the clickable buttons to control volume, music, phone calls and Siri. Under the bottom, we have the 3.5 millimeter headphone Jack to connect up and use the remote talk cable.
Something really important I want to flag up at this point is that only the Solo 3 headphones are able to be used with this cable whilst the headphones are turned off. A useful feature if your Beats run out of battery and you want to keep using them. With the Studio 3, however, you cannot use these headphones whilst they’re turned off even with the cable plugged in. In fact, plugging in the cable will wait the headphones if they were turned off. Definitely, watch out for that before you buy, if this is something you’re going to want to be doing. Personally, I don’t think this situation will ever affect me because Beats offer a huge battery life.
I rarely if at all use headphones while charging anymore. At the right ear cup, we have the power button and below it is the micro USB connector for charging the headphones. The Studio 3 ear cups are significantly larger than the Solo 3’s to accommodate the fact that these are an over ear design as opposed to on ear, but they do feature the same soft leather padding.
You may have also spotted that we don’t have the same glossy trim around the ear cups in Studio 3 headphones. Instead, we have an all matte finish. With the Studio 3, it does matter which way around you wear these headphones because the ear cup’s ergonomic design has them tilted, ever so slightly off center to make them more comfortably contour to your ear shape.
It is possible to wear them the other way around, but to optimize comfort, it is recommended to wear them as they were designed. In doing so, the Studio 3 creates an excellent seal around your head to minimize sound leakage and optimize the sound output to your ears.
ANC – Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3 For Gym
With the new active noise canceling feature turned on, you’re going to hear almost no external sound at all.
A simple double press of the power button whilst the headphones are powered on, can activate and deactivate pure ANC. It takes a couple of seconds for the Beats to analyze the environment and then adapt the noise canceling feature to optimize the listening experience. This feature is also easily toggled on and off using your iPhone.
I have to admit that I was a little bit skeptical about ANC before trying it, but I was amazed at just how well the noise canceling feature worked. With ANC turned on, my Beats headphones were able to block out virtually all of the sounds surrounding me whilst accentuating the wonderfully rich and bassy sound, but it’s traditional of a pair of Beats headphones.
The Studio 3 can continuously adapt to the changes in external noise. They give a seamless and ever present effect of noise canceling. Since, a lot of environments, the noise is already reduced from the seal form by the cups around your head, these headphones deliver a fully immersive experience.
I actually found that in quiet environments, it wasn’t necessary to use ANC. Therefore, I was able to use the so-called low power mode by disabling it, but for moderate allowed environments and with ANC turned on, the Studio 3’s really come into their element and outperformed my expectations.
Fast Charging Feature – Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3
Looking at a feature shared by both Solo and Studio 3, the fast charge feature certainly lived up to Beats performance claims. After charging Solo 3 for five minutes, I was able to achieve just over three hours of wireless playback at 50% volume level. As with the Studio 3, 10 minutes of charging gave over three hours of wireless playback at 50% volume and with active noise canceling turned on.
Fast charging is an excellent feature and to deliver such a lengthy battery life after such a short amount of time charging was definitely very impressive feature.
USP – Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3
The final feature I wanted to check out is the USP of Beats headphones that W1 chip. To pair either of Beats Solo 3 or Studio 3 headphones, you simply have to press and hold the power button for two seconds. The LED indicators will start to blink. With your iOS or Mac device close by, you can see how it takes just a few seconds to locate your device. Then a simple tap to pair the headphones.
Doing so, we’ll actually pair the headphones across all of your devices associated with that Apple ID, rather than having to pair the headphones each time. There’s no longer a need to go into settings in order to pair a device and switching between devices is now a wonderfully simple and fast process. A simple tap or click will automatically disconnect from one device and pair to another.
This works extremely quickly and the overall pairing and connecting process enabled by the W1 chip is easily. The definitely is the best feature of the headphones.
Additionally, the chip also grants enhanced Bluetooth connectivity. The range I was able to achieve using these headphones was seriously impressed. I was able to leave my phone upstairs in a closed bedroom, walk across my entire house through multiple rooms, including outdoors over 20 meters away. I’d experienced no dropouts whatsoever.
Non-Apple users will of course not be able to take advantage of the instant pairing or instant connect feature, but are still able to connect to the Beats headphones. Pressing and holding the power button for five seconds would allow you to enter the traditional pairing mode and the device can then be selected from the settings menu.
The internal upgrades are certainly quite substantial and which perhaps even justify upgrading from the previous generation Solo or Studio wireless headphones. Externally though, we aren’t really seeing any differences from the previous generations, aside from the new color options available. Design-wise however, I don’t really think any changes were necessary and both the Studio and Solo 3 wireless are beautiful and stylish pairs of headphones.
Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3: Which You Should Buy?
Overall, both headphones are built to a very high quality, have a very attractive design and offer a rich and immersive sound experience. Characteristically, from Beats the headphones excel in the low end, offering deep booming bass that will balance mids, high and low sound profile. If you’re an iPhone user, then I would definitely say that Beats Solo 3 and Beats Studio 3 are the best wireless headphones you could buy solely for the fantastic additional features that are enabled by the W1 chip.
W1 chip is probably the only reason to justify the high price tag. Non-iPhone users who won’t benefit from this, I’d perhaps suggest to look elsewhere because there are cheaper alternatives such as from Bose and Sony that will offer a similar sound quality and battery life.
As for deciding between the Beats Solo 3 VS Studio 3, there are three main points to consider.
- Do I want an on ear or over ear experience? This is of course, down to personal preference. But for me, I do prefer the extra comfort offered with the over ear headphones.
It inevitably sets in with any pair of headphones, because I did find that discomfort began to set in a little earlier with Solo 3, a common drawback of on-ear headphones because they press against your ear cartilage. Conversely, some may argue that your ears can overheat using over ear headphones.
My ears did start a warmer listen after an extended listening period, but not to the point of discomfort. I didn’t find this as much of a problem with the Studio 3. I did find with the pressing against my ears from the Solo 3.
- Do I want noise canceling whilst listening to my Beats? The Studio 3’s pure active noise canceling feature worked surprisingly well and definitely enhanced my listening experience. But does that really justify a $90 price increase over Solo 3s?
- The price. It’s down to personal choice, whether or not you want to pay the extra cost to purchase the over ear and noise canceling Studio 3.
For high end headphones like these Beats. I actually think this is a fair price increase in today’s market and over ear Beats Studio 3 would be my choice of headphones of these two options. Did you like our detailed Beats Solo 3 Vs Studio 3 headphones comparison? Comment below!