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Beats Solo 4: Release date, price, rumors, and features we want to see

Can the Beats Solo 4 stay competitive?
September 2, 2023
Beats Solo 4: Release date, price, rumors, and features we want to see

Beats has released a range of earbuds over the last few years, including its most recent and popular Studio Buds Plus in 2023. However, it has been seven years since the Solo 3 came to shelves, leaving Beats’ on-ear headphone fans waiting a long time. With that in mind, it seems appropriate that we can expect the next-gen upgrade and a list of improved features in the near future. Read on for everything we have gathered and what we want to see in the Beats Solo 4.

Beats Solo 4: At a glance

  • When is it coming out? Beats waited two years between the Solo 2 and Solo 3 series and three years between the Solo 3 and Solo Pro. Given that Beats favors fall releases for its on-ear headphones, we expect the Solo 4 will come to shelves in the Autumn of 2023, though it could be even later than that.
  • What's new? While the design will likely mimic that of the Solo 3, we expect the next-gen upgrade will boast ANC, USB-C charging, button controls, SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs, Apple's proprietary H1 chip, automatic device switching, Siri voice assistant support, and Spatial Audio with head tracking.
  • How much will it cost? The Solo 3 debuted for $199, while Beats' most recent Solo Pro cost $299 at launch. We expect the Solo 4 will price somewhere in the middle at $249. This is expensive, and we may see the Solo 4 release for less. For example, the Solo 3 cost $30 more than the Solo 2 at launch. If Beats keeps this trend, we could see the Solo 4 retail for $239. Alternatively, the 13% markup between the Studio Buds and Studio Buds Plus could mean we see the Solo 4 priced at $229 instead.

Will there be a Beats Solo 4?

While there has been no official announcement from either Beats or Apple — Beats’ parent company — we fully expect Beats to deliver an update to its flagship on-ear headphone brand. Over the last few years, Beats has focused mainly on its wireless earbuds — namely the Beats Studio Buds Plus. However, its Solo 3 series ($129 at Amazon) remains available to purchase from its website and we recently saw the Beats Studio Pro debut, so the next-gen Beats Solo vanilla headphones should be in the pipeline.

What is the Beats Solo 4 release date?

Beats Solo 3
Battery level LED indicators rest below the right ear cup.
  • Beats Solo 2 — June 1, 2014
  • Beats Solo 3 — September 7, 2016
  • Beats EP — September 7, 2016
  • Beats Solo Pro — October 30, 2019

It is clear from previous releases that Beats prefers to launch its on-ear headphones in the Autumn. We expect the Beats Solo 4 to follow suit, dropping sometime in the fall of 2023, though it could be even later.

The time between each headphone release has steadily increased over recent years. For example, there was a two-year wait between the Solo 2 and Solo 3 series headphones. Furthermore, Beats left their users waiting three years after the Solo 3 launched to get their hands on the updated Solo Pro. While these most recent Beats headphones were discontinued on November 1, 2021 — only two years after their release — we expect the company did this to focus on the development of the Beats Solo 4. If the stars align, we may see the Solo 4, Beats Studio 4, and Fit Pro 2 all come to shelves this Autumn.

What specs and features will the Beats Solo 4 have?

Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones
Dirac is launching with ~150 compatible headset calibrations.
With available Beats headphones falling behind more up-to-date competitors, we have gathered everything we can about the Beats Solo 4 from market trends and expectations.


The Beats Solo 4 will likely retain the same aesthetic and build quality we have come to expect of the Solo series on-ear headphones. For example, the earcups are almost guaranteed to adorn Beats’ trademark “b” logo. The headphones are likely to host a collapsable headband for more convenient transport. If the Solo 4 follow in the same rumored footsteps as the Beats Studio Pro, we may even see the adoption of button controls for easier phone calls and song skipping.

While Beats’ most recent Solo Pro have a Lightning port, the legislation passed by the EU to introduce USB-C charging across most small electrical devices may force Beats to adopt USB-C charging for its flagship headphones. We expect the Solo 4 will launch before the legislation kicks in on December 28, 2024, but Beats will want to ensure its newest headphones have a long shelf life. This expectation has even more weight, given that Beats has adopted USB-C charging in all its recent wireless earbud cases.

Specs and features

Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones and micro-USB charging port
Beats omitted a 3.5mm input. Your only option for connecting the headset is to go wireless.
The expectation nowadays is that flagship headphones come fully fitted with noise canceling. However, until the launch of the Beats Solo Pro, Beats’ Solo branded headphones lacked any form of ANC functionality. We expect this to change with the release of the Beats Solo 4. If this holds, we could see Beats’ next-gen headphones reducing the overly bassy sound profile we have come to expect of Beats’ on-ear headphones. That is because ANC-capable headphones require less bass to mask intrusive environmental drones. This could also make the Beats Solo 4 more comfortable to wear for long periods without suffering ear fatigue.

Audiophiles looking for wired connectivity may be left wanting with the Beats Solo 4. Apple essentially implemented the headphone jack demise, and although the Solo 3 enjoyed wired connectivity, this may not be guaranteed. That means users will likely be left with Apple’s two preferred Bluetooth audio codecs — SBC and AAC. While it would be good news for the Android community if Beats adopted Qualcomm’s aptX Bluetooth codec, it is unlikely the Beats Solo 4 will.

Apple may have a history of sealing itself behind a walled garden, but recent years have shown that Apple is willing to extend an olive branch to Android phone users. For example, the Studio Buds Plus enjoy control customization that can be found within both the iOS and Android versions of the Beats app. With the Beats Solo 4, you may even be able to cycle through listening mods, provided that the Solo 4 adopts ANC functionality. Moreover, Beats teamed up with Google to give the Beats Studio Buds Plus access to Google Fast Pair and Find My Devices features. With that in mind, we may see broader Android support on the Beats Solo 4.

Finally, it is almost certain that the new Beats Solo 4 will house Apple’s proprietary H1 chip. The Solo 3 use the older W1 chip, while the Solo Pro enjoy using the H1 chip. The latter allows access to Apple-exclusive features such as automatic switching between iCloud devices, “Hey Siri” voice assistant, and more. If the Beats Solo 4 adopts the H1 chip and sensors in the earcups, we could see spatial audio with head tracking, like with the AirPods Max.

What will the Beats Solo 4 price be?

A picture of the Beats Solo3 Wirless headphones folded atop a bed of flowers with a candle and multitool.
The plastic headband doesn't seem able to withstand excessive bending before breaking.
  • Beats Solo 2 — $169
  • Beats Solo 3 — $199
  • Beats Solo Pro — $299

Beats has been consistently increasing its prices with each release. The Beats Solo 2 debuted for $169, while the updated Beats Solo 3 launched at $199. The Beats Solo Pro were priced at $299 on release, markedly higher than many competitors and previous Solo models.

The additional $30 increase upon the Solo 2 meant that the Solo 3 headphones cost nearly 18% more at launch than their predecessor. If Beats sticks to this trend, we could see the Beats Solo 4 launch for around $239. However, if the Solo 4 follows the price increase of Studio Buds to the Studio Buds Plus — roughly 13% — then we could see the Solo 4 debut for approximately $229.

We like to think that Beats has learned from its previous mistake of launching the Solo Pro at $299, which is far too expensive compared to other headphones on the market. If the Beat Solo 4 hits shelves with the same price tag, we expect they will not land well.

Should you wait for the Beats Solo 4?

The Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones
The on-ear fit of the Solo3 Wireless is fashionable but uncomfortable.
Given that you can still purchase a pair of Beats Solo 3 ($129 at Amazon), it is fair to question whether the next-gen upgrade is worth waiting for. Additionally, many alternatives on the market may deliver on the promises of the Beats Solo 4 for a fraction of the price.

To this day, the Beats Solo 3 remain popular among many iOS users. As well as their appealing aesthetic and variety of available colors, the Solo 3 boast over 45 hours of audio playback, while their Fast Fuel technology supplies roughly 180 minutes of music listening from just five minutes of charging.

The Solo 3 also host a headphone jack — a must for those who enjoy listening to high-quality lossless music with a reliable connection. That said, the headphones are pretty uncomfortable to wear. The headband is tight, which may pose a problem for those who suffer from tension headaches. The isolation is also mediocre, with low drones from engines easily able to penetrate through the earcups. The under-emphasis of treble frequencies means listeners likely hear dampened melodic cacophonies and less clear voices. However, spatial audio works provided the content is mixed for Dolby Atmos or other spatialization software, which runs best for users that subscribe to Apple Music.

The most obvious alternative to the Beats Solo 3 are the Beats Studio Pro ($349.99 at Amazon). While these cans share the same design, the Studio Pro are over-ears headphones that benefit from ANC and Apple’s H1 chip.

The Beats Solo Pro ($89 at Amazon) live as an updated version of the Solo 3 headphones with improved build quality, ANC, and Bluetooth 5.0. However, as these headphones were discontinued back in 2021, they are much harder to get your hands on. They also rely on a Bluetooth connection to your chosen device, which may dissuade audiophiles.

Those with a larger budget may wish to take a closer look at the Apple AirPods Max ($424.99 at Amazon). Priced at $549 at launch, these headphones provide much better ANC than all of Beats’ Solo series headphones. Users also gain access to a range of Apple-specific features, including seamless device switching and spatial audio with head tracking. The sound quality is also an improvement upon the Beats Solo 3, in addition to better build quality and excellent noise canceling.

Beats Solo 4: What we want to see

A picture of the Beats Solo 3 in front of a mechanical keyboard.
The Beats Solo3 are wireless headphones that are easily recognized by passersby.
If the Beats Solo 4 wants to compete with the current big dogs on the headphone market, there are a few features the company needs to improve upon before its anticipated release this year.

Active Noise Canceling

Users expect ANC capabilities nowadays when forking out on expensive headphones. The Beats Solo 3 did not have noise canceling, but the Beats Solo Pro did. If the company can add ANC to the Beats Solo 4, it would add to their competitiveness and help them stand out as part of a select few on-ear headphones that boast noise canceling.

The addition of noise canceling technology could help the Beats Solo 4 stand out as an attractive on-ear headphone where many in the same category fall short.

It is worth remembering that ANC is helping commuters to enjoy their music safely while on the move. By reducing the amount of environmental noise that leaks into the audio feed, users no longer have to increase the volume of their music player to potentially harmful levels. Considering almost all new headphones host ANC capabilities, we expect the Beat Solo 4 will adopt it.

Custom EQ in the Beats app

Whether running Android or iOS, there is always room for greater audio customization. Beats headphones have historically boasted bass-heavy mixes, which means having the ability to make adjustments to the audio band is even more paramount. It is also fair to expect some audio customization options when spending upwards of $200.

No Apple product currently has a custom EQ in the iOS settings app. Including this would make the product feel a lot more premium. It is also a feature that more users, not just audiophiles, use daily. It can make podcasts easier to listen to by accentuating voices or can bring more bass to a trebly classical music mix. At the very least, we would like to see the Beats app host a variety of EQ presets for Android users.

Better sound quality

As stated above, Beats headphones are known for their accentuated bass response. While this may be welcome for those who listen to a lot of hip-hop and pop, it does make it harder to hear instrumental details in your tracks. The company does not need to completely reinvent its trademark sound, seeing as having more bass is good when working out or creating an atmosphere at parties. It is more that if Beats can tame the lower frequencies for the Solo 4, it may work well across a broader range of musical genres.

Improved comfort and durability

By design, on-ear headphones clamp down against the outer ear to secure better isolation from intrusive environmental sounds. The problem is that this causes a lot of undue pressure on the ear, which makes the headphones uncomfortable to wear. This is an even bigger problem for those who wear glasses. We would recommend you skip on-ear headphones altogether if this is the case, perhaps opting for a pair of earbuds instead.

Previous Beats on-ear headphones, such as the Solo 3, are uncomfortable. However, the Beats Solo Pro are the most difficult to wear, gripping tightly enough that it can feel as though your head is stuck in a vice. Thankfully, Beats have the opportunity to change the tide with the release of the Beats Solo 4. By reducing the clamping force and including ANC, the Solo 4 could sit more loosely on the ear while protecting your audio from intrusive external noises. They could also use more comfortable material for the ear pads, such as genuine leather, to make the headphones easier to wear for long periods. This could even persuade glasses-wearers to take a look.

The Solo 4 could also make the hinges and flexible headband more durable. While the Solo 3 enjoy a robust plastic build, the hinges feel weak, the flexibility of the headband appears unreliable, and the protective case is not waterproof. We expect the Beats Solo 4 to host a sleeker design, reliable build factor, and hardshell case.

Headphone jack

Angled view of the Sony WH-1000XM5 power and noise canceling buttons
Power, Bluetooth, and noise cancellation can be controlled using hardware buttons underneath the left ear cup.

Given that Apple initiated the headphone jack demise, it was no surprise that Beats excluded it when the Solo Pro launched on October 30, 2019. Although it may seem wishful thinking, we hope Beats bring back the headphone jack when it releases the Solo 4. This would allow the next-gen upgrade to compete with its competitors, such as Sony’s WH-1000XM5, to provide uninterrupted lossless music streaming. It would also give users an alternative connection, should they wish to avoid fumbling around with Bluetooth connectivity settings.

Improved microphone quality

Let us face it — our lives are more fast-paced than ever before. We have less time to sit around and take phone calls and are more precious about how we spend our time. With so many of us hybrid working or fully remote, taking calls with headphones has become commonplace. Considering it is now an integral purchasing factor for so many, Beats will need to up its game if it wants modern-day remote workers to take them seriously.

With both the Solo 3 and Solo Pro, voices sound muffled and unclear. The Solo 3 suppresses voices harshly, while the Solo Pro accentuates voices too much. We hope the Solo 4 finds a middle ground, including effective noise suppression so users can take calls in noisier environments.

Frequently asked questions about the Beats Solo 4

Beats favors Autumn releases for its on-ear headphones. While there has been no official announcement yet from either Beats or Apple — Beats’ parent company — we expect the Beats Solo 4 to be released sometime in the fall of 2023.

Details of the Beats Solo 4 are sparse, so if you are eager to get your hands on a pair of Beats on-ear headphones, it may be worth grabbing a pair of Beats Solo 3 now ($129 at Amazon.) However, the Beats Solo Pro ($89 at Amazon) come with noise canceling, making them a more compelling choice, provided you can make peace with the tighter headband.