Apple's first new Beats Solo headphones in ages will come out soon with USB-C and a great price

Apple's first new Beats Solo headphones in ages will come out soon with USB-C and a great price
Can you remember when the last on-ear Beats Solo headphones saw daylight? Don't worry, we're having a hard time with that too, and it's kind of our job to know these types of things. What's odd is that Apple reaffirmed its commitment to the Dr. Dre-created brand it acquired in 2014 multiple times over the last few years in the form of AirPods-rivaling product launches like the Studio Buds, Studio Buds+, and Fit Pro.

For some reason, the Cupertino-based tech giant essentially left the AirPods Max all alone in the battle for high-end Bluetooth wireless headphones supremacy for quite some time before unveiling the over-ear Beats Studio Pro in 2023. Cheaper than the $550 AirPods Max, the premium Pro-branded cans were still a bit steep for the masses, at a recommended price of $350.

The wait is (almost) over

That's where the Beats Solo 4 are expected to come in after an insanely long wait of, get this, nearly eight years. Believe it or not, the Solo 3 made their commercial debut all the way back in the fall of 2016 at $199.99, and that's precisely how much this year's long overdue sequel is likely to cost starting May 2.

That's a pretty competitive price point for an upper mid-range product tipped to accommodate many of the AirPods Max's most sophisticated technologies and capabilities. We're talking spatial audio with dynamic head tracking support, high-res lossless audio, Find My functionality, and because this is 2024, modern USB-C charging as well.

Most impressively, Apple's Beats Solo 4 will purportedly be able to keep your favorite tunes going for up to 50 hours between charges, absolutely destroying the AirPods Max's 20-hour battery life rating while also improving what the Solo 3 offer in this department by a cool 10 hours or so.

Of course, the most important thing (even for mid-range headphones) is the sound quality, which may also prove to be virtually unrivaled (at least at $200) thanks to massive custom-built 40mm transducers and "rebalanced acoustics." 

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Despite all these key upgrades, the Solo 4 are somehow expected to tip the scales at 217 grams, exceeding the Solo 3's weight by only 2 grams. The AirPods Max weigh in at a whopping 384 grams, mind you, so there's every chance these bad boys will feel a lot more comfortable during extended listening sessions as well.

But wait, there's more

Other somewhat predictable but definitely welcomed features will apparently include Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, one-touch pairing support for Android handsets in addition to iPhones, fast charging capabilities, and a good old fashioned 3.5mm jack. Basically, the Beats Solo 4 look like they have everything it takes (at least on paper) to make the first-gen AirPods Max feel even more obsolete than they already do... before the AirPods Max 2 finally enter the stage sometime during the second half of 2024.

Based on a couple of images leaked back in February, the color options of Apple's newest on-ear headphones will include black, blue, and pink at launch, and if history is any indication, more shades could be released further down the line.

One of the key details we don't yet know is whether the Beats Solo 4 will retain the Solo 3's Apple W1 chip (which seems unlikely) or embrace the newer and faster H1 processor inside the AirPods Max. The even newer and faster Apple H2 chip powering the AirPods Pro 2 is also a possibility, as is the introduction of an entirely new silicon. 

But that latter theory is far more likely to pan out with the second-gen AirPods Max in the fall. Either way, it's definitely nice to see the Beats brand alive, well, and cranking out excellent AirPods alternatives at reasonable prices.

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