First Apple W1 Wireless Chip Headphone: The Beats Solo3 Measurements

Measurements Wired Passive

Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Measurements Wireless

Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

The Beats Solo3 headphone response is near identical to that of the preceding Beats Solo2, as is the sound character. Raw frequency response plots show a bass emphasis of about 7dB that falls to bassline at about 400Hz. This emphasis is slightly higher than the roughly 5dB emphasis of the Harman target, but extends upward into the midrange beyond the recommended 150Hz, making the bass sound overly thick. The rise to the 3.5kHz peak is near neutral, and subsequent fall to about 5kHz is within the norm, giving this headphone a fairly balanced signature from the middle of the midrange up into the mid-treble. Levels above 5kHz are about 5dB too low making slightly laid back and not quite as lively as one might like. However, there are no glaring issues in the treble response, so this headphone is quite forgiving.

30Hz square wave has a linear top and the distortion figures in the bass are quite low, which indicate the nice, tight response heard in listening. Though I didn't notice it in listening tests, Bluetooth bass response in the 30Hz square wave indicates slightly poorer low bass response with a more swayback shape. Probably from capacitively coupled signals in the headphone's electronics.

300Hz square wave shows a good initial transient, but slightly excessive subsequent ringing, as does the impulse response. Subsequent strong upward slope of the 300Hz square wave shows these headphones lack some upper-treble response, which was heard.

Distortion plots are quite good with all results below 1%.

Impedance plots in wired mode show a nominally 37 Ohm headphone with a few moderate features around 3kHz, which is very common for a headphone of this type.

Isolation is about average at -15dB broadband.

Needing 46mVrms to achieve 90dBspl at the ear, these headphones will be driven to solid listening levels by portable devices.

Beats by Dre

tony's picture

Here's one for all y'all.

The Marketing people are calling their latest IEMs "ear buds".

I suppose, from now on, we'll be calling all our Ciem's, iem's and any & all sound devices designed for phones as : Buds!

We "audiophiles" won't stand for it but we're a tiny group.

Tony in Michigan

brause's picture

$300 USD? And such a cumbersome connection mess? No thanks! And after three years, you can bury the headphones because they built-in battery is kaputt. I use the excellent wired Rock Zircon for $15 CAD instead.

Sylanel's picture

Hi Tyll, I was curious if you could give more details with regards to sound quality of the Beats Solo 3 Wireless or maybe give a review of them as it is hard to get impartial opinions on these.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
They sound pretty much exactly like the Solo2 I reviewed.
Hockey3081's picture

Hey Tyll - any feedback on the Powerbeats3 or good alternatives in the wireless earbud category?

Rocko9999's picture

They use the exact same drivers as the 2's. Same sound.

damian's picture


I wonder after reading some other reviews how they compare to the new Sony MDR 1000X which has a similar price point and also adds NC which I'm disappointed these ones dont.

Seems the 1000X are superior to the QC35 already. I do have an apple ecosystem but if for the same price I get something much better in terms of NC and SQ.... makes me wonder why to get this Solo 3.

Inks's picture

More and more apple is improving the fidelity of beats. I'll say not only range/efficiency but the W1 chip also seems to keep the fidelity. Solo2 wireless loses to the wired version noticeably, showing the limits of Bluetooth. Solo 3s keep the sound of the wired version as shown in measurements, it's specially noticeable how it keeps distortion low.

SashaRomero's picture

Essentially AMAZING!!

Nice to read post at your blog i love to use this Earphones. In my university life i created a project on mobile application in 2009, our team sponsor was an IT company you can check them here They helped us a lot one of our important feature was attaching HD earphone with our app.On the off chance that the Solo3 was sustenance, the gourmet specialist would win a Nobel Prize, and I mean ... Respectable PRIZE. These beats are off the outlines. I don't realize what individuals say in regards to them being harmful to the ear. The pads are so delicate and the headsets so light, when I was working, I truly overlooked I had them on. Extraordinary esteem for cash. Other than that, I won't rehash all the positive surveys about the piece. On the off chance that no one but Apple could make a product redesign that could empower blending with other solo bluetooth headsets so that another person can listen in on what you need to impart to them, they aren't precisely similar to headphones that you can each have a side to listen to or the present day Y connectors. It would be advanced sort sh**. Until further notice, "they are the best earphones in the amusement." Still new, I cannot advise how powerless to scratches they are, yet they are particularly so to smircesh, I will transform them for Matte, yet I certainly prescribe 100.

I you need to consolidate Apple's 2016 down to a succinct statement of purpose, it's this: war on wires. Alongside the customary spec updates of iPhones and MacBooks, the Cupertino organization this year dumped the earphone jack from its lead cell phone and the similarly all inclusive USB port from its tablets. For any fringe gadgets to get by in this overcome new Apple world, they practically must be remote — which is the place the $299.95 Beats Solo 3 come in.

The new leader earphones from Apple-possessed Beats are fundamentally the old Solo 2s with the additional shine of Apple's W1 remote chip, as included on the AirPods, and huge guarantees about expanded battery life and quick reviving. You can't blame an organization for keeping something worth being thankful for going, yet the sound world hasn't stopped amid the years of Beats' prosperity, and the new Solos should experience their "remote remastered" slogan to approve their reality.

Rocko9999's picture

The Solo 3's actually will update firmware via the phone, not with usb/computer. This was pointed out to me from an Apple tech after I questioned why it wasn't updating via their updater program/usb cable.

Luigi's picture

I received my Marshall Mid yesterday and i can say it can easily beat the beats in almost every aspect. Aestetically very pleasant, sonically better balanced, automatically paired in less than 2 seconds... at half of the Solo's price. The unbeatable aspect of the beats is the endorsers very well payed to wear this glossy piece of plastic. When the bass bleed into mids in such a horrible way i lose the sense of realism of voices. A constant veil Surrounds my favourite music in an opposite way i use to critically listen to it through my wonderful srh940. For this price I'd prefer a kef m500 with his flaws, or even a overpriced Sennheise m2. I go to try headphones with my well balanced ve monk in my ears, and if i don't hear any improvement from it, i don't buy the new guy. I think that the cost of audio equipment must be related to many aspect, but the most important MUST be the SQ.

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senazuch's picture

I use different applications to improve my writing. Since I am a writer and I provide professional dissertation writing help, I should always be inspired by something and collected. I listen to classical music, read poetry and watch melodramas. It helps me to write.