When Apple stopped using headphone jacks, they introduced several wireless headsets that are equipped with the Apple W1 chip to allow easy, quick pairing with their devices. Two of the said products are Beats Solo 3 and Powerbeats 3. In this article, we will discuss the comparison between Beats Solo 3 vs Powerbeats 3. Which one is better for you?
Continue reading below to find out about:
– The design and comfortability of each headset
– The connectivity and features on each headset
– The comparison of their sound quality and performance
– The battery life of Beats Solo 3 vs Powerbeats 3
– The available color choices on each model
– Which wireless headset that is more recommended for the money
Perhaps the very first thing that you need to consider when choosing between these two models is the design. Beats Solo 3 and Powerbeats 3 have totally different shapes. Beats Solo 3 is a pair of on-ear headphones, whereas Powerbeats 3 is a pair of earphones which you plug to your ears. Depending on your need and purpose, either Beats Solo 3 or Powerbeats 3 will be more suitable and comfortable. See also: Beats Solo 3 vs Studio 3.
Beats Solo 3, design-wise, looks very similar to its predecessor, Beats Solo 2. There is just one minor tweak on the “b” logo on each ear cup, which now has the same color as the rest of the headset, hence making the headset appear more mature. It has a nice glossy finish, but there is also a matte version available. The overall appearance is modern and stylish; yet, it can suit just about any person.
The build quality is good, although the plastic construction is very obvious. Beats Solo 3 actually has a metallic internal framewhich is covered with plastic. One nice thing about the design is that it is foldable for easy storage and transport.
The headband is padded with a squidgy rubber which provides a decent amount of friction to keep the headset in place, even when you are actively moving or running. The ear pads are actually very soft and comfortable, but the fit is quite firmer and tighter than other models.
Powerbeats 3, on the other hand, is a pair of earphones designed for workout and gym activities. In terms of appearance, it does not look bad, but it also does not have any striking feature to make it stand out – though it does have a small “b” logo on the side of each earphone. It looks simple and straightforward with two rubberized hooks and a cable to connect the left and right earphones.
The earphones are housed in long plastic oblongs. The box includes a variety of tips, including flanged buds which can provide a degree of noise isolation. In order to get a snug, comfortable fit, you can adjust the angle of each ear hook. However, they still tend to get loose when worn during an intense physical activity. The buds are pretty comfortable, but your ears may get sore after a prolonged wearing session.
The company says that Powerbeats 3 is resistant to sweat and water, but it doesn’t have any official IPX rating. Some users have complained that their Powerbeats 3 earphones got destroyed because of sweat and humidity. Since the Micro USB charging port does not have any sort of protection and is completely exposed, this is not surprising.
In terms of features, there are several things that set Beats Solo 3 vs Powerbeats 3 apart. The most notable difference is the ability of Beats Solo 3 to work with an audio cable. Both models come with the W1 chip.
Beats Solo 3 has some hidden controls on its right ear cup. The “b” logo here is actually a play/pause button, whereas the surrounding ring is the volume control. The right ear cup also houses a built-in microphone, which has decent quality and allows clear communication. Meanwhile, on the left ear cup, there is a 3.5mm jack which will allow you to connect the headset to your device using an audio cable.
Having the option to use an audio cable is great. It means that you can use the headset on any non-Bluetooth device that has a 3.5mm audio output. More importantly, it allows you to continue listening to your music even when the battery is empty.
Pairing the Beats Solo 3 to iOS and macOS devices is incredibly easy and quick, thanks to the W1 chip. You only need to press one button, and the headset will automatically connect to the nearest device that is registered to your Apple account. This pairing process is consistent and reliable. However, when connecting to an Android device (or any other platform), the headset resorts to the basic Bluetooth, which is actually quite reliable, but takes several steps to complete.
Powerbeats 3 has a power button that is located on the top of the oblong housing. However, it is quite flat, so it is sometimes difficult to find with your finger. If you are wearing gloves, you can only guess whether you have pressed the button properly or not.
Fortunately, the in-line remote has pronounced buttons that are much easier to press. Through the in-line remote, you can adjust the volume, skip tracks, and answer calls. The in-line remote also houses a microphone which has decent quality.
Since it comes with the W1 chip, pairing Powerbeats 3 to your iOS and macOS devices is incredibly easy and quick. You just need to press a single button, and the headset will automatically connect to the nearest device that is registered to your Apple account. Unfortunately, the pairing process with non-Apple devices is much worse – it often fails to connect, hence requiring several repeats to pair properly.
Note that this headset is exclusively wireless. When the battery is empty, you can’t use an audio cable to continue listening to your music. It only has a Micro USB charging port; the charging cable is included. Fortunately, Powerbeats 3 also benefits from the W1 chip’s fast-charging ability, so recharging the unit won’t take long.
So, how is the performance of Beats Solo 3 vs Powerbeats 3? Know that these headsets don’t have active noise cancelation (ANC). They simply attenuate outside noises with their ear pads or flanged buds. However, Beats Solo 3 is generally better than Powerbeats 3, both in noise isolation and in sound quality.
Beats Solo 3 does a decent job in reducing conversational banters and some traffic noise. Thanks to the thick ear pads, most sounds from the outside can be blocked. It will allow you to focus on whatever you are doing without getting disturbed by the environment. However, without ANC, it won’t be effective for blocking low-frequency sounds such as engine and machinery noises.
The sound quality is good. Just like what you expect from a Beats headset, it has plenty of bass. It is not super-boomy or sluggish, but the bass is definitely powerful and hard-hitting. Beats Solo 3 has relatively smooth midrange and treble. As the effect, the bass will sometimes cloud the mids and highs. Although the vocals and instruments are quite accurate, they won’t be able to cut through the mix of strong basslines and exuberant kick drums.
Powerbeats 3 seems to provide a degree of noise isolation, but not by much. It simply reduces the volume of the things outside. The sound quality is pretty good, yet it is nothing impressive. The bass is quite solid and strong, giving a sense of fullness to the music. Sometimes, the bass will overwhelm the mids and highs. The sound is quite detailed, but it won’t give you the clarity and liveliness that you expect from a premium headset.
The next thing to consider when choosing between Beats Solo 3 vs Powerbeats 3 is the battery life. Both models recharge very quickly. But Beats Solo 3 can last much longer than Powerbeats 3.
Beats Solo 3 has a maximum battery life of 40 hours, which is awesome. If you only use the headset for about three or four hours a day, it will be able to last for at least ten days before it needs to be recharged. It takes only 5 minutes of recharging to get enough power for 3 hours of music, and a full recharge only takes about an hour.
Powerbeats3 has a maximum battery life of 12 hours. If you use it for three hours a day, it will last for slightly more than three days. Nevertheless, it takes 5 minutes of recharging to get enough power for 1 hour of music, and a full recharge takes less than an hour.
Available Color Choices
Beats Solo 3 is available in nine color choices:
– Gloss black
– Matte black
– Gloss white
– Matte silver
– Matte gold
– Rose gold
Powerbeats 3 is available in six color choices:
– Defiant black-red
– Siren red
– Flash blue
– Shock yellow
Beats Solo 3 vs Powerbeats 3
- 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. 5 minutes of charging gives you 3 hours of playback when battery is low
- Take calls, control your music and activate Siri with the multifunction on-ear controls
- Comes with Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones, carrying case, 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable, Universal USB charging cable (USB-A to USB Micro-B), Quick Start Guide and Warranty Card
- Connectivity Technology: Wireless Connect via Class 1 Bluetooth with your device for wireless workout freedom
- Up to 12 hours of battery life to power through multiple workouts
- With Fast Fuel, a 5-minute charge gives you 1 hour of playback when battery is low
- Sweat and water resistance to handle tough training. Flexible, secure-fit earhooks maximize comfort and stability
- What's in the box: Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones, eartips with four (4) size options, carrying case, universal USB charging cable (USB-A to USB Micro-B, Quick Start Guide, warranty card
Between these two models, Beats Solo 3 is much more recommended. It is generally more comfortable and more durable. It has much better sound quality and longer battery life. In addition, it can be used with an audio cable when the battery is empty or when you need to connect to a non-Bluetooth device.