1. AustinIllini's Avatar
    I posted this review on another site, but these thoughts are my own.

    After having the Solo3 for the better part of a month, I have a number of observations when comparing and contrasting.

    It all comes down to price
    This is kind of the reason why this is a viable comparison. Traditionally, the Studio line of Beats headphones is a "step above" the solo line, with a steeper price tag and additional added features. However, in typical Apple fashion, products that are longer in the tooth come down in price from third party retailers. With the announcement from Apple that there will not be a late 2016 edition of the Studio Wireless, the Apple store still has the Studio Wireless at a ridiculous $380 price tag. Best Buy, in comparison, has the Studio Wireless for nearly $100 less. For comparison's sake, theses are the price "environments" in which I will be making these comparisons.

    Solo2 Wireless: $212.99 (Best Buy)
    Solo3 Wireless: $299.99 (Everywhere)
    Studio Wireless: $264.99 (Best Buy)

    Based on these prices, it's pretty clear why this comparison is possible, especially with that great Studio Wireless price.

    Build Quality
    Compared to the original 2009 iteration "Monster-beats", the Beats line has made huge strides forward in build quality. All three of these products get a B for build quality. There are headphones out there with better build quality but a lot with a lot worse. The devices are all fairly durable. If I had to give an advantage, the buttons on the Solo series appear to work a little bit better on the whole. The Beats logo button on the Studios are really hit or miss in comparison.

    Verdict: Solo3 = Solo2 > Studio

    Bluetooth Connectivity
    There is absolutely no escaping that the Bluetooth experience for audio is generally pretty terrible. Both the Solo2 Wireless and Studio Wireless fall into this trap. Pairing to all your devices isn't necessarily hard, but connecting and disconnecting between devices is more of a hassle than I remembered previously. For example, if I come back from somewhere using the Studios paired to my iPhone and I want to switch them over to my Mac, the process is kind of a pain. I had a heck of a time getting my iPhone to let go of the Studio for transfer to my mac. The Solo2 behaves the same way.

    Enter the Solo3 Wireless. With the new W1 chip pairing technology, bluetooth connectivity becomes significantly more streamlined. Pairing is easier than ever with the device showing up immediately and the pairing process traverses your iCloud devices. At any time, on any device, you can choose the Solo3 in your bluetooth menu and the transition is seamless.

    Verdict: Solo3 > Solo2 = Studio

    Battery
    Battery life falls in the same pattern as Bluetooth connectivity. The W1 Chip provides the Solo3 with incredible battery increase over its predecessors. Both the Solo2 and Studio get about 12 hours of battery (I'm seeing that as well). By comparison, the Solo3 gets an insane 40 hours of battery life. We're talking about every day charging verses weekly charging. The Solo3 simply lasts forever.

    One more thing on battery. With the Solo lines, the included cables allow the end user to listen even when the battery is dead. Studio users are not so fortunate. The Studio Wireless do not run without battery even when connected directly to the audio source.

    Verdict: Solo3 > Solo2 > Studio

    Noise Isolation and Sound Quality
    To me, this is where the decision gets interesting. The Solo3 and Solo2 operate with "Sound Isolation". This basically means most nonsense noise will be filtered out by the music you play on the headphones. The end user gets little to no relief from plane noise (it's loud) and with no music there's really no benefit from these guys. On a plane, both the devices work. As far as sound quality goes, the Solo2 and Solo3 are good to very good with solid bass and an increased emphasis on treble (probably as a response to the muddy bass Beats of the past). The mids get away some, and it doesn't take a lot from rock music to get some level of distortion.

    The Studios are a different animal in this department. In general, the Studios have a similar sound profile to the other 2, but the sound just isn't as distorted at increased volume. The sound is almost good enough at sufficient volume to block out sound, which is pretty impressive. The Studios offer more, however, as they add active noise cancelling. All-around, the active noise cancelling Studios get a C. With the right volume, most droning noises are removed. Of the three devices compared here, the Studios are the airplane choice, with all but the loudest noises addressed by Active Noise cancelling and the rest covered by decent volume music.

    Verdict: Studio > Solo3 = Solo2

    Conclusion
    I understand Beats are attractive to only a certain subset of buyers. They tend to be bass heavy for the modern pop, hip-hop, and r&b genre. With the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, the number of options in this space is on the verge of an explosion. That being said, between these three devices the comparison isn't an easy one, and only after including the price in the equation does the picture become more clear. At the price tags I quoted earlier, the choice for me is the Studio Wireless. The improved sound quality push me in that direction. Between the other two, it's the Solo3's magnificent battery life that edges out the Solo2s even with the higher price tag.

    Final Verdict: Studio > Solo3 > Solo2
    11-01-2016 01:50 PM
  2. frrc21's Avatar
    I got to agree that the studios are a really nice pair of headphones, but I'm sad that Apple didn't update them with the W1 chip... I know they announced that they didn't update it cause they couldn't improve the battery life, but they could have ignored that and just make a more silent update instead of making lots of commercials like they have been doing with the Solo3... I tried them and even though they are nice I would prefer to spend the extra (or save since the price is way lower than the solo 3) and buy the Studios that I love way more. But well I'm hopeful they announce something next year
    AustinIllini likes this.
    11-02-2016 07:44 AM
  3. JSSmith83's Avatar
    I'm really struggle with some desire for the Solo3s right now. I have the wired solo2 and while I like them, they start to hurt my head after a while, and I only really use them when I travel. Right now, I don't have much travel planned. But I really want them!
    11-05-2016 10:15 AM
  4. AustinIllini's Avatar
    I'm really struggle with some desire for the Solo3s right now. I have the wired solo2 and while I like them, they start to hurt my head after a while, and I only really use them when I travel. Right now, I don't have much travel planned. But I really want them!
    They're pretty nice, but I'm not sure they're appreciably better than the Solo2s for that price. It's a matter of personal taste, but I would refrain from purchasing the Solo3s for the time being if you have Solo2s, especially if you don't use them a lot.

    For someone like me, who uses Solos at work, the Solo2 is a charge every day device whereas the Solo3 is a charge every fortnight device.
    11-05-2016 10:40 AM
  5. JSSmith83's Avatar
    thanks for the advice!
    AustinIllini likes this.
    11-16-2016 07:57 AM
  6. JoePa2624's Avatar
    What's the sound leak on the Solo 3s? I'm considering buying these for work, but I'm concerned about my coworkers being able to hear my music. I work in an office that stays relatively quiet, and I don't listen to music loud at all.

    What's the feedback from owners on sound bleed for the Solo 3s? I bought the power beats 3 but find them really uncomfortable and plan on returning them.
    11-17-2016 08:23 PM
  7. AustinIllini's Avatar
    What's the sound leak on the Solo 3s? I'm considering buying these for work, but I'm concerned about my coworkers being able to hear my music. I work in an office that stays relatively quiet, and I don't listen to music loud at all.

    What's the feedback from owners on sound bleed for the Solo 3s? I bought the power beats 3 but find them really uncomfortable and plan on returning them.
    Solo3 leakage is a real concern. Much over half volume and my wife knows what song I'm listening to
    11-19-2016 08:36 PM
  8. desilu860's Avatar
    does anyone know what's the impedance levels on the the Studio 2 Wireless? can't find thorough specs anywhere..
    11-21-2016 05:22 AM
  9. Ismael Torres2's Avatar
    I have studio wireless and solo 3's. I would say that if you're fine with the lack of comfort of on-ear, get the solo 3's. They went down to around $210 on amazon. The mom monster pros are at $180 in certain colors at Walmart. If you do a lot more traveling, or in highly noisy environments, I'd say go for the studio wireless.
    02-23-2017 09:28 AM
  10. Ismael Torres2's Avatar
    the studios are easier to swig devices just Mac OS has issues with it at times. The solo 2's and 3's are the same (if you don't count the W1) where you have to hold the power button for 5 seconds but it's a bit annoying.
    02-23-2017 09:49 AM
  11. CrzyP's Avatar
    Haven't tried the Studios but I have the Solo3's. I love them and don't find them uncomfortable at all unless I forgot to adjust the headband. The battery life and Bluetooth range are the standout features of the Solo3. Also, the Solo2/3 are more portable and fold up nicely to pack away in a backpack or carry on luggage.
    03-04-2017 04:20 PM

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