Beats Solo 4 Review: Minimal Features, Maximized Sound

There’s not a lot to the brand new Beats Solo 4 headphones at first look. Starkly lacking on this $200 bundle is any type of noise canceling or transparency mode. There’s no auto pause characteristic or water-resistance score—one thing you would possibly count on from headphones proven as jogging companions in advertising movies.

Beats appears pleased with the Solo 4’s stark minimalism, pointing as an alternative to their slimline design, upgraded sound, and versatile core options. Highlights embrace as much as 50 hours of playback per cost, the power to plug in with both 3.5-mm or USB-C for lossless audio, and most handy, in-house options for each Android and Apple telephones like one-touch pairing and a headphones tracker.

I used to be admittedly dismissive of the Solo 4 for his or her lack of firepower at first, however over a number of days of testing, the sound saved calling me again. Their heat, clear, and buttery efficiency stems from a redesigned acoustic structure that proves Apple’s sonic affect on the Beats model runs deep. You can get much more tech from different choices, however there’s sufficient right here to make the Solo 4 value contemplating for some—particularly as soon as the value inevitably drops.

Slick and Simple

The Solo 4’s aesthetic hasn’t strayed removed from its roots. You’ll get all the trimmings of a contemporary Beats gadget right here, like matte plastic casing in flamboyant colours and the signature Beats emblem on every earcup. The headphones fold down for journey, becoming right into a nifty compact case with pockets inside for the included 3.5-mm and USB-C cables.

Blue headphones folded inward sitting on a wooden surface

Photograph: Ryan Waniata

On-ear headphones just like the Solo 4 are a rarity lately, and I typically discover over-ear headphones extra comfy since they press in opposition to your head, not your ears. The Solo 4’s clamping drive could cause some discomfort over time, however I used to be in a position to put on them for a number of hours with out main complaints, and had no hassle throwing on some sun shades.

The agency grip retains the headphones in place and supplies some strong passive noise isolation— factor contemplating the Solo 4 eschew any type of ambient audio. It’s undeniably odd in 2024 for such sporty-looking headphones to forgo transparency mode so you possibly can hear the world round you when figuring out. A very good water-resistance score, one thing most flagship headphones don’t supply, would have been a pleasant inclusion as an alternative.

I do just like the Solo 4’s simplified management system, providing intuitive quantity and playback keys centered across the left-side Beats emblem. Like the Studio Pro, the plastic key feels a bit clanky, nevertheless it’s much less of a priority at this worth. The Solo 4’s different main omission that vexed me over a number of days is the shortage of auto pause sensors or auto power-down. Once once more, it’s not an enormous deal given the large 50-hour battery life, nevertheless it’s one thing I’d count on at this stage.


That’s to not say the Solo 4 are with out superior options. They supply an intriguing double dip of tips for each Android and Apple units courtesy of the Beats Proprietary Platform. The system, which additionally drives the Studio Pro (7/10, WIRED Recommends) and lots of the newest Beats earbuds, permits for handy one-touch pairing and Find My options for both gadget sort, whereas catering to every in just a few key methods.

Android-friendly options embrace auto pairing and audio switching between Google-connected tablets and telephones, in addition to a Beats app for some fundamental customization and firmware updates. On the Apple aspect, you’ll get “Hey Siri” hands-free voice management, fundamental in-phone customization choices, message playback, and audio sharing. They’ll additionally auto handoff to your Apple Eatch, however don’t enable for automated switching between iCloud units like AirPods.

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