Beats Solo 4 tipped for a big audio upgrade

The next generation of Apple's popular Beats on-ear headphones could be arriving imminently with improved audio features

Beats solo 3
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones are regular visitors to our headphone deals pages because they've been out for a very long time: they were launched in 2016, and other than a few colour updates they haven't changed since. They still sell because of their excellent battery life, which delivers up to 40 hours of listening time, and because of the big B on the side. But they've fallen far behind the best headphones in their price bracket. Which is why Apple appears ready to launch a new version at last.

There hasn't been an official announcement yet but MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris has found multiple references to and images of Beats Solo 4 headphones in the latest release candidate of iOS, which Apple issued yesterday. And they give some good indications of what's coming, including an important audio upgrade.

What to expect from the Beats Solo 4

According to the iOS code, the new version of the Beats Solo headphones will have Spatial Audio and should support the same gesture controls as the Beats Studio Pro, such as long-pressing to activate Siri, pressing the B button to play/pause music or answer calls, and double-tapping to skip. USB-C is a given this time around, and the improved processor that delivers the Spatial Audio should mean better sound quality too.

According to the images in the release candidate, the Beats Solo 4 will come in black, pink and blue, although it's possible that those are placeholder images. It's hard to make out much about the design but they do appear to look very much like the current versions.

As yet we don't know when these new headphones will actually launch, and given that it's been nearly eight years since the last ones Apple clearly isn't in a huge hurry. But the new versions appear to be part of a wider collection of headphone and earbuds updates that Apple is planning for 2024 including USB-C AirPods Max and AirPods 4, again with USB-C charging. We're not expecting an AirPods Pro update this year, however; multiple reports say that one is currently planned for 2025.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (