Apple’s Beats Solo Buds and Beats Solo 4 come with great prices, lots of power, and pretty colors

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Are you eagerly awaiting Apple’s long-rumored AirPods Lite launch or the long overdue second-gen AirPods Max? Unfortunately, we cannot help you with any (official or unofficial) updates on those two fronts today, but the tech giant’s Beats by Dr. Dre daughter company does have a pair of very exciting new products for you to consider.

The Solo Buds are the star of the new duo

Despite escaping everyone’s radar until just a few days ago, the freshly unveiled Beats Solo Buds are arguably more interesting than the equally new and hot Beats Solo 4. That’s mainly due to the $79.99 recommended US price of Apple’s latest Beats-branded earbuds, which makes these bad boys more affordable than the (oft-discounted) Studio Buds, Studio Buds Plus, and even the objectively outdated AirPods 2 with a Lightning charging case included.
Far from a shocking omission, the absence of active noise cancellation puts the Beats Solo Buds at a major disadvantage compared to something like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds FE and other top candidates for the title of best budget earbuds available today.
But the Beats brand and Apple’s stewardship over it tend to give any product a hard-to-quantify added value, and then you have a simply unrivaled (at any price point) 18-hour battery life rating. That’s 18 hours of absolutely uninterrupted listening time with no need to place the earbuds in their case, which destroys the numbers touted by the much costlier AirPods Pro 2 or Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Unfortunately, the tiny case that accompanies the Solo Buds does not provide any extra juice, merely facilitating the USB-C charging operation. That’s definitely extremely unusual, and it could well limit the appeal of an undeniably stylish pair of earbuds coated in Matte Black, Storm Gray, Arctic Purple, and Transparent Red colors.

The budget-friendly Solo Buds promise to offer “big Beats sound” with the help of a “custom-built acoustic architecture” and dual-layer transducers, as well as “exceptional” call quality thanks to a “custom-designed” microphone powered by an “advanced noise-learning algorithm” baked into each bud. 

If those bombastic marketing claims are enough to seal the deal for you, get ready to pull the trigger at some point in June. If not, maybe it’s a good idea to wait for the reviews to tell you what the real-world sound performance situation is without ANC or other fancy technologies like Spatial Audio.

The Beats Solo 4 look very promising on paper too

Priced at $199.99 and scheduled for a commercial US debut as early as May 2, the on-ear sequel to 2016’s Beats Solo 3 brings phenomenal battery life to the table and many other key improvements over its archaic predecessor.

Because this is 2024, the Beats Solo 4 unsurprisingly come with both Class 1 Bluetooth connectivity and USB-C support (for charging and lossless audio) while still keeping the good old fashioned 3.5mm analog input alive.

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Given that very reasonable price point, you may not expect much on the sound quality front, but believe it or not, the mid-range Solo 4 pack the same Personalized Spatial Audio technology with dynamic head tracking as the high-end AirPods Max. Alas, active noise cancellation is missing here too, but the up to 50 hours of uninterrupted listening time, Fast Fuel capabilities, and UltraPlush cushions for “exceptional durability” and great all-day comfort make this value equation pretty darn hard to beat. 
At 217 grams, the Beats Solo 4 are not exceptionally bulky (especially considering their stellar battery life rating), and those Matte Black, Slate Blue, and Cloud Pink colorways look ideal from both a diversity and attractiveness standpoint. Still, the Solo 4’s main problem might be the noise-cancelling Beats Studio Pro, which are normally priced at $350 but very frequently available for $250 and even $200 a pair.


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