Below, we are going to compare two Apple-supported wireless headsets that are equipped with the W1 chip, which are Beats Solo 3 vs AirPods. Of course, the two are very different. Beats Solo 3 is a pair of on-ear headphones, whereas AirPods are in-ear earphones. So, which one does offer the best sound quality and value for the money?
Continue reading to find out more information about:
– The functions and benefits of the W1 chip
– The design and comfortability of each headset here
– The comparison of their features and wireless performance
– The sound quality of v vs AirPods
– Which headset that is generally more recommended for the money
What is the W1 Chip?
Before we proceed into the comparison between Beats Solo 3 and AirPods, it is a wise idea to learn first about the W1 chip that is used in both headsets. This is also the same chip found in Beats Studio 3 (you can read the comparison between Beats Solo 3 vs Studio 3 here). The W1 chip is produced by Apple for several wireless headsets in the market to allow easy connectivity with Apple devices.
The W1 chip is actually a proprietary Bluetooth chip designed by Apple to make the wireless experience of their headsets easier. If you have ever used a pair of basic Bluetooth headphones, you probably already know that the pairing process can be extremely annoying due to the device failing to pair repeatedly. With the W1 chip, the pairing process with your iPhone will be totally easy and fuss-free.
When you want to pair your Beats Solo 3 or AirPods with your iPhone for the first time, you only need to activate the headset near the iPhone. Afterwards, the device will automatically detect the headset and an interface will come up asking whether you want to pair it. Just tap on the affirmative button, and the headset will be immediately ready for use. This process is very quick, consistent, and reliable. The process simply never fails.
But there is more to it. If your iPhone is signed to an iCloud account, the headset will be automatically paired with the other Apple devices that are signed to the account as well. So, the next time you want to use the headset on a different Apple device, you only need to turn on the headset near the device, and they will be connected immediately.
Another benefit of the W1 chip is the superbly efficient power consumption. Bluetooth headphones typically have very limited battery life. However, since the W1 chip is very efficient, the headset can have a significantly improved battery life. For example, Beats Solo 3 can last for 40 hours per charge, and AirPods has a relatively longer battery life than most other earphones which is 5 hours per charge. Plus, the W1 chip also makes the recharging process extremely fast.
Beats Solo 3: Design and Features
Now, let’s get into the comparison of Beats Solo 3 vs AirPods. We’ll start with the design and features of Beats Solo 3. Of course, the very first difference is the fact that Beats Solo 3 is a pair of on-ear headphones. Is it truly comfortable?
Design-wise, it is quite a good-looking headset that can fit the style of any person. It looks quite mature, modern, and stylish. The build quality is fairly good despite the plastic construction. There is actually a metallic internal frame inside the plastic. So, it is quite solid and durable, and it is quite lightweight. The headset is foldable to allow easy storage and transport.
On the headband, you can find a padding made from a squidgy rubber. By using this material instead of foam, Beats Solo 3 can provide a more secure fit. The headband can remain on the top of your head regardless of your movement. Yet, it is still comfortable. The ear pads are soft and comfy. However, since the fit is noticeably tighter than most other headphones, it won’t be able to accommodate a large-sized head.
Overall, the headset is comfortable to wear. It won’t put heavy pressure on your ears. Also, the ear cups will allow some breathability, so your ears will not get hot too quickly. However, you will still need to take the headset off after an hour or two due to the tight fit.
Beats Solo 3 has a play/pause button and a volume control on the right ear cup. There is also a built-in microphone in the said ear cup. Meanwhile, the 3.5mm audio input for wired listening is on the left ear cup. You will be able to use an audio cable to listen to music without battery.
Beats Solo 3 has an extremely long wireless range. It is able to remain connected to your iPhone device even when separated by 328 feet. This is definitely an impressive feat. You will have total freedom of movement, as you won’t need to worry about going out of the range.
Beats Solo 3: Sound Quality
How is the sound quality of Beats Solo 3 vs AirPods? There are some notable differences here. Being a Beats headset, it is expected that Beats Solo 3 comes with plenty of bass. It also offers a degree of noise isolation.
Beats Solo 3 will not completely block all outside noise because it does not have active noise cancellation (ANC). Also, the ear cups don’t completely surround the ears, so they won’t provide a complete seal. It won’t attenuate low-frequency noise like engine or machinery sounds. That said, the headset still performs a decent job in reducing low-volume noise. You won’t be disturbed by conversations and distant traffic sounds.
The sound quality is good. Beats Solo 3 provides plenty of bass, yet without being overly boomy or sluggish. The bass has just enough power to be solid and pleasantly hard-hitting. The midrange and treble are relatively smooth. Sometimes, the bass may cloud the mids and highs. So, although vocals and lead instruments are quite accurate, the emphasis is still on the bass.
AirPods: Design and Features
In terms of design, AirPods is not exactly the most stylish thing in the market. It is almost like a pair of EarPods whose cord has been accidentally cut, leaving only the ear buds. The stems are a bit elongated in order to accommodate the built-in microphones.
The AirPods are still quite small and easy to camouflage. You can hide them with some hair, so that you won’t be too self-conscious when wearing them. The ear buds are fairly comfortable. However, the fit is not for everyone. Some people can have an excellent fit with these ear buds, but some others will find the ear buds falling off easily.
Nevertheless, the system is quite smart. Your device will know when you put the AirPods on your ears, and it will start the music. When you remove one of the AirPods, it will automatically pause the music. However, you can leave one of the AirPods in the case, and the device will route all audio through the ear bud that you wear.
For control, Beats Solo 3 vs AirPods work with Siri. When you tap on the center, Siri will come up. Then, you can use voice commands to control the volume level, skip tracks, or interact with your device. Unfortunately, using voice commands for trivial things like volume adjustment and skipping tracks is not really convenient. Using actual buttons is much faster.
The wireless range is decent. It can pair quickly and easily with your Apple devices, thanks to the W1 chip, and it will remain connected to the device even from 180 feet away. The audio will never drop. You can also use AirPods on an Android device, and you will still benefit from the solid connection and battery life, but you won’t be able to use the quick pairing process or the Siri integration.
AirPods: Sound Quality
If you are planning to buy AirPods for the sound quality, don’t bother. Compared to its predecessor, EarPods, it is noticeably better. But it is still far from being great-sounding earphones. Audiophiles will find it very disappointing.
There vocals and instruments suffer from a serious lack of crispness. That said, the AirPods do deliver some bass. Perhaps the nice thing about this headset is that the bass is not too harsh. The bass will not overshadow the other frequencies. As the effect, music with engineered sound will sound fairly good. Electronic beats will have some clarity and power. But these positive perks disappear at high volume levels.
Unsurprisingly, there is no reliable sound isolation. Ambient noises will easily get into your ears. You will still hear people talking around you even after you push the ear buds deep into your ears. So, these ear buds are only good if you are not specifically looking for serious noise cancellation.
Beats Solo 3 vs AirPods
- With up to 40 hours of battery life, Beats Solo3 Wireless is your perfect everyday headphone
- Premium playback and fine-tuned acoustics maximize clarity, breadth, and balance
- Adjustable fit with comfort-cushioned ear cups made for everyday use
- Amazingly easy to use, AirPods combine intelligent design with breakthrough technology and crystal clear sound
- Get up to 5 hours of listening time on one charge
- Or up to 3 hours with just a 15-minute charge in the charging case
In general, Beats Solo 3 is more recommended. It generally has a better and more comfortable fit. It is also superior in terms of wireless range and battery life. The sound quality is generally better.