My buying tips for the cheapest wireless headphones Apple currently sells (and they aren’t AirPods)

Beats Solo Buds purple

Nina Raemont/ZDNET

Key points of ZDNET

  • New one Beats Solo Buds are budget earbuds priced at $80 and available to buy now.
  • Their compact size, fun colors, and 18-hour battery life make them attractive headphones for Beats fanatics.
  • Other earbuds offer features this one lacks — like active noise cancellation and multipoint Bluetooth — for less money.

Today, you can buy earbuds with updated features for under $100, thanks to advances and increased accessibility in audio technology, like noise cancellation and sound quality. bar. As a result, headphones and earbuds keep getting better — and you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good pair, which makes the budget earbuds market competitive. more competitive than ever.

Also: Best cheap earbuds: Tested and reviewed by experts

So when Beats sent me Beats Solo Buds, the company’s newest budget headphone, I was excited to give it a listen. Solo Buds are Beats’ latest venture into affordable audio equipment, following the launch of mid-range on-ear headphones, Solo Beats 4.

There are plenty of great earbuds for under $100 (some are less than $60), so how do the Solo Buds perform in a crowded market with so many prominent competitors? Read on as I try to answer that question.

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What are the best features of the Beats Solo Buds?

Right out of the box, you’ll get a tiny case shaped for maximum pocketability, four ear tips to ensure a snug fit, and earbuds. The Solo Buds come in matte black, gray, purple, and transparent red. I like the soft purple color option and the convenient carrying case to take them anywhere.

Beats Solo Buds purple

Nina Raemont/ZDNET

The Solo Buds are comfortable to wear without pressure build-up after hours of continuous listening, and I appreciate the four ear tips for XS, S, M, and L ears.

Also: Beats just refreshed its most popular line of headphones, and they sound great

The headphones get very loud, and audio playback from the microphone sounded clear when I recorded voice notes. At 18 hours, the headphones should definitely provide at least a week of battery life if you use them to work out at the gym or listen to music at your desk for a few days when you work at the office. .

These headphones will satisfy those who want long battery life and some iOS-specific features for under $100. The Solo Buds will best serve those who don’t require extra features or excellent sound from earbuds but want a simple solution that’s suitable for general use.

What I want to see in the next model

I’d like to see Beats include more valuable features in this pair of $80 headphones that competitors include in their products, like active noise cancellation, lighter touch controls, and less discomfort, IP rating, in-ear detection and multipoint Bluetooth.

The Solo Buds’ sound sometimes felt flat and harsh, especially at low to medium volumes. These are headphones for people who don’t require impressive sound quality and want to spend less money on branded headphones. Beats removed active noise cancellation from the Solo Buds, and I heard everything in my environment when listening to music. Noise cancellation technology and higher quality sound would make these headphones much more competitive.

Beats Solo Buds purple

Nina Raemont/ZDNET

Most people use headphones for exercise, and most headphones have an official IP rating to inform consumers how much sweat and water their headphones can handle before it occurs. irreparable damage. Unfortunately, Beats chose not to officially test the IP of the Solo Buds. I asked Beats whether the Solo Buds have any protection against water or sweat damage, and a Beats spokesperson confirmed that they do have some protection against water intrusion. liquid. I concluded that Beats may have tested these headphones for waterproofness but excluded an official rating to keep the retail price at $80.

Also: Best earbuds: Tested and reviewed by experts

Beats can improve the comfort of the Solo Buds through touch controls. Unlike other earbuds that use a tap to pause, play, or skip music, these headphones have buttons that you have to press and click. While pausing and resuming, I had to press hard to get the registration button, which forced the earbuds uncomfortably deeper into my ears.

My final gripe with the Solo Buds is that the packaging doesn’t include a USB-C charging cord. I think it’s because these headphones came out at the right time iPhone 15USB-C-ification of; People can use the USB-C cord they already own to charge these buds. By eliminating wires, Beats can ensure environmental friendliness while cutting production costs. However, I can imagine some non-USB-C smartphone owners feeling frustrated as they have to hunt for old USB-C cords around the house to charge their new headphones.

ZDNET Buying Tips

After a few days of testing and listening, I noticed that Beats Solo Buds can’t compete with other budget earbuds I’ve tested and loved. You’re better off looking elsewhere for a pair of earbuds that have all the features that Beats neglected to add to the Solo Buds. There are some notable features that I really like, but ultimately, I’m looking forward to the improvements and advancements that Beats will make in the next model of this product.

When they first launched, the Solo Buds were priced too high; If they’re on sale this holiday season for $40 to $50, get them if you want a pair of wireless headphones. These headphones are for people who want comfortable, affordable headphones with long battery life. If that’s you, you’ll love these headphones.

However, if you want headphones with charging, noise cancellation, and an IP55 waterproof rating for less money, consider JLab JBuds ANC 3. For stylish headphones with upgraded software features, consider it You’re welcome Ears (a) earbuds.


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