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Beats Solo 4 review: Beats headphones made right

Published Apr 30th, 2024 11:41AM EDT
Beats Solo 4 review
José Adorno for BGR

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Solo 4

Rating: 4 Stars

The most popular Beats headphones got a long-deserved updated.


  • Great sound quality
  • Impressive battery life
  • Spatial Audio and Lossless support


  • Might be uncomfortable after some time
  • Lacks ANC and Transparency Mode
Buy FromList PriceSale Price
Beats By Dre$199.99$199.99See It
Apple$199.99$199.99See It

Beats Solo 4 offers a homage to the Beats Solo brand the same way it did with last year’s release of the Beats Studio Pro. After some issues with the 2019 Beats Solo Pro, the company is back on its roots, but with an Apple identity that seems to finally bring Beats to its full potential to date.

Over the past few days, BGR has tirelessly tested Beats Solo 4 before its May 2nd release. In this review, we’re talking about all the good, the bad, and in-between with Beats’ most affordable headphones. However, we already have to say that Beats put a lot of effort into these headphones, and there’s no question why the Solo lineup has ever been its most popular product.

Beats Solo 4 specs

SoundCustom acoustic architecture with upgraded drivers to deliver powerful, balanced Beats sound
Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking immerses you in your music, movies, and games, tracking the motion of your head for an interactive surround-sound experience
High-resolution lossless audio via USB-C cable or 3.5 mm audio cable
DesignForm factor: on-ear
Ultralight ergonomic design for all-day comfort
Flex-grip headband and ergonomically angled, adjustable ear cups for a stable fit
UltraPlush on-ear cushions provide lasting comfort and durability, with exceptional passive noise isolation to block external sound
Size and WeightLength: 17.7 cm / 6.9 in
Width: 15.8 cm / 6.2 in
Height: 6.8 cm / 2.7 in
Weight: 217 g / 7.65 oz
ConnectivityIndustry-leading Class 1 Bluetooth for extended range and fewer dropouts
Bluetooth compatibility: Bluetooth 5.3
USB-C input for wired audio playback, including high-fidelity lossless audio
3.5 mm analog input for wired audio sources
Exceptional call quality thanks to multiple digital beam-forming microphones powered by an advanced voice-targeting algorithm
Dual compatibility for both iOS and Android enables seamless one-touch pairing, automatic pre-pairing across your devices, and Find My or Find My Device
PowerUp to 50 hours of listening time on a single chargefootnote3
With Fast Fuel, a quick 10-minute charge gives up to 5 hours of playbackfootnote5
Zero battery power is required when listening via a 3.5 mm audio cable
USB-C universal charging
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Controls“b” button for music and call controls
Volume up/down rocker
Multi-function button for power and pairing
PackagingBeats Solo 4 packaging is made from 100% fiber, sourced from sustainably managed forests
In the boxBeats Solo 4 headphones
Carrying case
USB-C to USB-C cable for charging and audio
3.5 mm analog audio cable
Quick Start Guide
Warranty card
(USB-C power adaptor sold separately)

The Beats you know and love is back, but it brings some of the old issues as well

Image source: José Adorno for BGR

With an ultrathin design and only 217 grams, Beats Solo 4 is the lightest headphones ever made by Beats. Comparatively, Beats Studio Pro weighs 260 grams, and AirPods Max weighs 384 grams. Its design is similar to everything the company has offered over the years but with several improvements.

It offers a flex-grip headband, customizable sliders, and ergonomically angled ear cups. These headphones can be folded and packed into a well-made case, just like all other Beats headphones. Available in Matte Black, Slate Blue, and Cloud Pink, BGR reviewed the Matte Black Beats Solo 4, which can get some fingerprints.

The main difference from the previous iteration is the new UltraPlush on-ear cushion, which debuted with Beats Studio Pro. Compared to the premium model, I think the UltraPlus cushion works better with the Solo 4, as it sits exactly on my ears and not around it.

While I was able to use these headphones for several hours at no pause – imagine me listening to the first part of Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department for half of my working hours, I still find an issue that keeps haunting me with Beats headphones: Eventually, the rubber on the headband starts to warm the top of my head, and it starts to bother me. While it happens after the first 30 minutes of usage, I felt it usually got better with time.

Beats Solo 4 review with Taylor Swift's albumImage source: José Adorno for BGR

In addition, I feel the headband is way better than the one on the Solo Pro, which really used to press my ears, but I can’t ignore it. It still has a tight grip in addition to the very present rubber. That said, the best way for me to use these headphones is by taking the slider all the way to its limit.

Besides that, it’s worth noting that the left side of the headphones offers built-in controls and a 3.5 mm headphone jack, while the right side brings a USB-C port and a power button.

Beats Solo 4 sounds just like Beats Studio Pro – and it’s a compliment

Beats Studio Pro and Beats Solo 4 headphonesImage source: José Adorno for BGR

Beats always had its signature sound with heavy bass. Although I might not have taken advantage of the full potential of these speakers, I always felt that the heavy bass was so present that it lacked some balance, and the sound wouldn’t be so clear.

Dolby Atmos songs would usually be terrible to listen to, which always made me prefer wearing any AirPods, from the most budget to the Max options, instead of a Beats headphone. But after reviewing and enjoying Beats Studio Buds+ and seeing a change with Beats Studio Pro, I feel I have been honestly coming back to Beats Solo 4, even when I’m not reviewing these headphones just because I like how they sound.

They have custom-built 40mm transducers that minimize electronic artifacts, latency, and distortion. With personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking, songs feel more immersive than ever, and there’s a great surround-sound experience.

Even though these budget headphones lack Active Noise Cancelling or Transparency Mode, the ear cushions fit so perfectly above my ears that they can isolate most sounds even without music playing. In addition, thanks to the USB-C to USB-C cable, I can enjoy Lossless songs on my iPhone, Mac, and iPad.

I’m finally listening to Lossless songs the right way, and Beats Solo 4 helped me with that

Image source: José Adorno for BGR

When Apple Music announced Lossless playback, the community went wild. A lot of misinformation was around, and people still think they can listen to Lossless songs with their AirPods – they can’t.

The first headphones with this technology were Beats Studio Pro, and now Beats Solo 4. I won’t get too specific about why you can’t take advantage of Lossless with AirPods Max, but I have always been curious whether this large format was worth using over Apple’s great AAC. I finally have the answer.

I don’t think my ears are good enough to notice the difference between the two formats, but I finally understood what sets them apart. While trying a wired connection between Beats Solo 4 and my Mac Studio during this review, I understood that I could perceive some arrangements, instruments, and voice tweaks more easily.

The thing is, they’re present in Apple’s AAC format, which I listen to wirelessly, but it was harder to spot them without knowing they were there. With Beats Solo 4, these headphones help me notice them more easily, and that’s the best part of them.

Impressive battery life with a hack

Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Beats Solo 4 offers up to 50 hours of battery life. Fast Fuel gives up to five hours of playback from a 10-minute charge. But if you manage to drain the entire battery of these headphones, you can plug in the 3.5mm cable to get endless playback, even without power.

Even overtesting these headphones, I couldn’t drain their battery – especially because I was using them wired. Still, I think people will love how they can forget about charging this device for weeks.

I also like how Beats is generous enough to offer great 3.5mm and USB-C to USB-C cables, while Apple struggles to offer additional options at no cost.

Price and final thoughts

Beats Solo 4 reviewImage source: José Adorno for BGR

For $199.99, Beats is making a statement as to why Beats Solo 4 will continue to carry the popularity of the Beats Solo brand. The headphones are great to use, have an endless battery, and sound like their premium offering, the Beats Studio Pro.

Even without ANC and lacking some connectivity magic, such as not being able to fast-switch between Apple devices, you still get fast-pair, Find My capabilities, and the ability to connect two headphones with the same Apple device.

I think these headphones are the best way to experience the Apple ecosystem on a budget while looking cool at school – and I remember trying to do that as a kid in school with my original Solo headphones – but unlike that time, the Beats Solo brand evolved, got more premium with several new perks and still offers a great price point.

If you want something more premium, you can try Beats Studio Pro with some extra benefits or AirPods Max for ultimate comfort. However, I enjoyed what Beats accomplished with this device; they’re over-the-top for casual listeners.

And with the upcoming Beats Solo Buds, I think Beats is building its strongest lineup of audio products ever.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.