Beats Solo Pro WL Noise Cancelling HP--Light Blue


Price:
69.50 KWD

Description

Available in black, dark blue, gray, ivory, light blue, or red, the Solo Pro are on-ear (supra-aural) headphones with ample memory foam cushioning in the earpads and headband. They're bulky, but comfortable over long listening sessions. The headband can exert a little more pressure up top than is necessary, but most users will be able to adjust the band to a more comfortable level. Those who wear glasses, like me, might notice the pressure a little more, as it can press your glasses into your temples a bit. The design itself is stylish and minimal, with a Beats logo on each earcup, but the matter surfaces otherwise lack much ornamentation.


Beats Solo Pro inline

The right earcup's side panel houses a Lightning port, next to which is a status LED. (A USB A-to-Lightning charging cable is included.) Ironically, it will not plug into most new Macs (I say ironically because Beats is owned by Apple), and since there's no plug adapter included, you'll need to have your own USB power source in order to charge the headphones. It's a surprise to see there isn't a USB-C charging cable.

The outer panel of the right earcup houses the clickable control panel. The central Beats logo is a multifunction button, controlling playback, call management, or summoning Siri when held in. Clicking above the central button raises the volume, and clicking below lowers it. Surprisingly, there's no track navigation control, even though there's plenty of real estate for it, which is a strange omission for the price.

The left earcup's outer panel houses a single button, for the ANC. A single press switches between ANC or Transparency modes, and a double press disables both modes.

The headphones have Apple's H1 chip, the replacement for its original W1 chip. Like the W1, it allows for quick pairing with iOS devices, and among other things, "Hey Siri" support for hands-free Siri communication. It also supports newer Bluetooth technology and provides lower latency as a result. If you're connecting to an iOS device, turning the headphones on will trigger an on-screen prompt—press a button and you're paired. And turning the headphones on or off is as simple as folding the headband hinge in or out. The headphones are also capable of using the Apple Audio Sharing feature—if you're near another person with compatible headphones, you can share audio wirelessly. That said, only a handful of headphones currently support this iOS 13 feature.


Beats Solo Pro

A handsome zip-up soft-shell case houses the headphones when they're folded up, and Beats includes a carabiner that can attach to a loop on the exterior. Other than the included charging cable, these are the only accessories. An audio cable would have been nice, but since Beats is owned by Apple, and Apple has disowned the 3.5mm headphone jack, this exclusion should come as no surprise.

The headphones could also benefit from an app. It would be nice to have software that allows you to adjust ANC or EQ levels. Most headphones in this price tier tend to have something along these lines.

Beats estimates the battery life to be up to 22 hours (when using ANC or Transparency modes), or 40 hours listening to audio without those features enabled. Your results will vary with your volume levels, as well as your mix of modes.

Performance

The headphones deliver solid noise cancellation. The first thing you notice is how well the earpads passively block out plenty of surrounding noise on their own. Even with ANC off, the surrounding noise feels somewhat lessened just from wearing the headphones.


Turning the ANC on, the first thing we notice is some slight hiss, akin to faint white noise. Interestingly, the hiss seems to be less obvious when you're in a quiet room, versus, say, in a loud, low-frequency rumble scenario like a train. The hiss isn't a deal breaker, and the ANC here is effective—it does a good job with office chatter, keyboard clicks, and louder low-frequencies sounds. Even if the earpads aid in the overall result, there's no denying this is an above-average ANC experience. Turning the ANC on can sometimes change the sound signature. Here, there's the slightest change in bass response, but it's not at all obvious, so there are no issues on that front.

Transparency mode, which uses built-in mics to let you hear your surroundings, is quite effective. And switching between the two modes is as easy as a button tap, so there's no need to remove the headphones in order to hear someone speaking.

The mic offers solid intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 8, we could understand every word we recorded. The audio is crisp, though it still has some typical Bluetooth fuzziness around the edges. The mic's signal is also strong, avoiding the common pitfall of faint signals from Bluetooth headphone mics.

Beats Solo Pro

For audio, on tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife's "Silent Shout," the headphones deliver an impressive low-frequency response. The lows are powerful, and they don't distort at top, unwise listening levels. At moderate levels, they still pack a punch, and the highs are quite sculpted as well, so things are balanced out.

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