While Beats by Dre's Powerbeats Pro buds snapped up the T3 Award for best true wireless buds on the market this year, the brand's popular on-ear offerings, the Solo3, never quite managed to see off rivals with integrated noise-cancelling tech. Until now, that is…
The Beats Solo Pro is the latest entry in Beats' Solo range, and is designed to sit alongside the previous model, the Solo 3 Wireless.
The on-ear cushions have been redesigned for increased comfort and better sound delivery, while exposed metal sliders and a hinge-less headband ensure the look is as sleek as ever. The power button is gone – simply fold the headphones in to power off, and unfold them again to switch the set back on.
Promising an impressive 40 hours of battery life, the headphones' new Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling technology uses 'advanced algorithms' to actively monitor, detect and block out ambient noise by adjusting the environment inside the Solo Pro depending on what's going on outside of it.
Alternatively, if you need sound to filter through – for example, when crossing the street or chatting – you can activate Transparency mode, which allows ambient noise through while 'blending the outside world with your listening experience'. However, with both modes active, that long battery life is slashed to around just 22 hours.
After its 2016 buy-out by Apple, Beats has also taken great pains to ensure the headphones work seamlessly with iPhones and other devices. Like the Solo 3, the Solo Pro uses Apple's lightning cable rather than the universal micro-USB, while audio sharing allows other Apple users to tap in and listen to the same song or movie.
Voice call technology has also been updated, with a 'speech-detecting accelerometer' incorporated to pick up voices with better clarity. It's also fully compatible with Siri, which can be used to operate the headphones hands-free via voice command. However, it remains to be seen whether users on Android or other devices will be able to get the same level of functionality out of the headphones as Apple users.
Beats Solo Pro are set to drop October 30, priced at £269.95. It comes in new matte colours of Dark Blue, Light Blue and Red (co-designed by Pharrell Williams, in case the headphones were struggling to get any cooler) alongside the standard Black, Ivory and Grey models.