They say you should travel to the beat of your own drum, and that’s spot on – so when I get a pair of Beats headphones to review I always have an expectation of the sound style. The new Beats Solo Pro are different.
First off, They’re a collaboration with Pharrell Williams, and perhaps that’s just where the new sound comes in.
Open them up and they immediately power on, fold them in on themselves and they power off.
With your Apple iOS device open nearby, they will immediately signal a pairing request – this whole process has been a game-changer for headphone pairing, and I do hope Apple allow it from third party products down the track.
On the right ear, the disc that has the Beats logo on it is, in fact, a kind of paddle control. Tilting on its centre, you can press in for play and pause, and up and down for volume. It’s a decent size so there’s no fumbling around for those controls which I like, though it feels like a rather decent press to get the pause activated – different to touch-sensitive controls on headphones from Sony or Bose.
These have Active Noise Cancelling too – and there’s a small button on the underside of the left ear to activate transparency, Apple’s term for letting audio through so you can hear those around you and stay safe while walking the street listening to music.
The Noise Cancelling is excellent, again – not Bose or Sony levels, but amazing nonetheless.
They are an “on-ear” as distinct from over-ear – which means they push onto your actual ear, instead of the cup being around your ear and your ear being inside the headphone.
Personally, I’m not a fan of that, it’s ok for short bursts, but I use headphones for long periods so prefer an over-ear comfort. But that’s a very personal thing.
So – back to that sound quality.
It’s crisp, It’s clear, I absolutely love it.
You know why? Less Bass. I’m not into beat-heavy music, I’m not into the music that Dr Dre created and that’s where this brand started.
So perhaps this collaboration with Pharrell Williams actually opened their minds to a music style that didn’t rely on the bass so much.
These headphones are beautifully crafted, well packaged, are lovely to listen to, are packed with features – but are priced at the top end so won’t be for everyone.
It’s an alternative to the Bose or Sony option, probably because you want for an on-ear headphone, not over-ear – or, because you’d prefer not to be bland, and to choose one of the many colours these are available in.