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Beats Solo 4 rumors: Everything we know so far and what we want to see

The Beats Solo 4 should support spatial audio with head tracking and arrive in Black, Blue, and Pink colorways.
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Published onApril 12, 2024

Hadlee Simons / SoundGuys

Beats continues to bring some of the best wireless earbuds to market. For example, the company made waves with its translucent Studio Buds Plus in 2023. Unfortunately, Beats tends to be much slower at renewing its headphone brand. Except for the company’s most recent Beats Studio Pro, it has been over seven years since the popular Solo 3 Wireless came to shelves. This has left Beats’ on-ear headphone fans waiting an unbelievably long time. With that in mind, it is high time we saw a feature-rich upgrade to the Solo headphone series.

The Beats Solo 4 will need a drastically updated feature set to compete with big dogs like Sony and Bose. Read ahead for all the rumors and upgrades I want to see in the Beats Solo 4.

Beats Solo 4: At a glance

  • When are they expected to come out? There is no set release date yet. However, the fact that leaked images of the headphones and specific code references appear in iOS 17.4 suggests a launch is imminent. Furthermore, an official public registration by Apple of the Beats Solo 4 to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) indicates the headphones will launch very soon.
  • What new features could there be? The headphones may support Apple's spatial audio feature and will come in Black, Blue, and Pink colorways. There are also reports that the Beats Solo 4 will support USB-C charging and wired listening via a 3.5mm aux port. Users may also receive up to 50 hours of battery life and the ability to fast charge five hours of playback time from a 10-minute top-up.
  • How much might they cost? There has been no confirmation of the Beats Solo 4 retail price. However, Beats' next-gen headphones are expected to retain their predecessors' $199 price tag.

Will there be a Beats Solo 4?

Hadlee Simons / SoundGuys

While there has been no official announcement from either Beats or Apple — Beats’ parent company — recent leaks suggest an updated Beats Solo 4 headphone is imminent. On February 27, 2024, a MacRumors contributor discovered references to Beats Solo 4 headphones in the latest version of iOS 17.4. Furthermore, trusted industry analyst Arpit of MySmartPrice revealed leaked images of Beats’ next-gen headphones. These supplement an official public registration by Apple of the Beats Solo 4 to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). However, no official release date is mentioned in the report.

What is the expected Beats Solo 4 release date?

The Beats Solo 4 looks set to come packaged with USB-C and 3.5mm cables.
MySmartPrice
The Beats Solo 4 look set to come packaged with a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm aux cable.

It is clear from Beats’ previous releases that the company prefers to launch its on-ear headphones in the Autumn. Now that we have officially entered spring, we are gearing up for the company’s preferred release window. This makes a 2024 summer or autumn launch likely.

  • Beats Solo 2 — May 6, 2014
  • Beats Solo 3 — September 7, 2016
  • Beats Solo Pro — October 30, 2019

The time between each Beats headphone release has steadily increased over the years. For example, two years and four months passed between the Solo 2 and Solo 3 series headphones. Furthermore, Beats left its fans waiting three years and one month after the Solo 3 launched to get their hands on the updated Solo Pro. These headphones were discontinued on November 1, 2021 — only two years after their release. This was likely due to the company wanting to develop 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 year.

What rumored specs and features could the Beats Solo 4 have?

The Beats Solo 4 look remarkably similar to their predecessor.
MySmartPrice
The Beats Solo 4 appear to wear a remarkably similar design to their predecessor.

While information remains sparse, several rumors indicate the Beats Solo 4 will bring important updates to their predecessor.

Design

According to leaked images, the Beats Solo 4 look set to arrive in three unique colorways including Black, Blue, and Pink. Arpit of MySmartPrice also reveals that the next-gen headphones will come equipped with custom-built 40mm drivers. These match the size of the current Beats Solo 3 and Beats Studio Pro respectively.

Like their predecessor, the Beats Solo 4 should feature a foldable design. Similarly, the new headphones are rumored to weigh just 2g more than the Solo 3 at 217g. The headphones should also support the same gestures as the Studio Pro. For example, a press on the “b” button should play/pause and answer calls, while a double press will likely skip songs. Like the Studio Pro, long presses should activate the Siri voice assistant. One notable difference is that Beats appears to have swapped the micro-USB charging port for USB-C. Based on the leaked images, this port will reside under the right earcup, while the underside of the left earcup will house a 3.5mm aux port. It is rumored that the headphones will come packaged with a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm aux cable. Otherwise, the exterior of the headphones look remarkably similar to their predecessor.

Software features

MacRumors contributor notes that Apple’s spatial audio feature is listed among the code for the latest version of iOS 17.4. Like the Apple AirPods Pro 2, this should support head tracking and personalization capabilities. We may also see improved sound quality out of the box. However, like previous Beats headphones, the Beats Solo 4 will likely own a bass-heavy frequency curve.

According to MySmartPrices’ Arpit, the Beats Solo 4 could offer up to 50 hours of battery life on a single charge. This is 25% longer than the official 40 hours of battery life profited by the Beats Solo 3. Those who enjoy boosting up on the fly may be relieved to hear that the Beat Solo 4 are expected to receive fast charging. This is reported to yield five hours of playtime from a 10-minute charge. Unfortunately, few other rumors are available at the moment. It is also possible that Beats’ new headphones will boast a different feature set when they come to fruition.

What might the Beats Solo 4 price be?

The Beats Solo 4 should support USB-C charging and wired connectivity via a 3.5mm aux port.
MySmartPrice
The Beats Solo 4 should support USB-C charging and wired connectivity via a 3.5mm aux port.

There has been no official price confirmation of the Beats Solo 4 headphones yet. However, we can surmise a realistic expectation from previous Beats headphone releases.

  • Beats Solo 2 — $99
  • Beats Solo 3 — $199
  • Beats Solo Pro — $169

For example, the Beats Solo 2 came to market for $99 on May 6, 2014. Over two years later, the company hiked its prices and released the Solo 3 model for $199. While the newer headphones made some much-needed improvements upon their predecessor, the 100% markup was a bitter pill for many Beats fans. Nevertheless, the company released its Beats Solo Pro headphones for $30 less than their predecessor at launch. These cans came to market for $169, bucking previous expectations of a further price increase.

Arpit of MySmartPrice predicts that the Beats Solo 4 will retain the price tag of their predecessor. If so, fans can expect the company’s next-gen headphones to launch for $199. However, without an official announcement from Apple or Beats, fans must wait for more details.

Should you wait for the Beats Solo 4?

Best headphones under $200: 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.

Given you can still purchase a pair of the Beats Solo 3 from most major retailers, 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.

However, the Beats Solo 3 ($129 at Amazon) 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. They also support the company’s Fast Fuel feature, supplying roughly 180 minutes of playback time from just five minutes of charge. Contrary to many modern wireless headphones, the Solo 3 adorn a 3.5mm aux input. This reproduces high-quality lossless audio and maintains a reliable connection. Unfortunately, the headphones are uncomfortable to wear for long periods. In particular, the tight headband may pose a problem for those who suffer from tension headaches. The isolation is also mediocre, with low drones easily permeating the earcups. Regardless, Apple’s sought-after spatial audio feature is supported. This reproduces surround sound, provided the content is mixed for Dolby Atmos or other spatialization software.

The most obvious alternative to the Beats Solo 3 are the Beats Studio Pro ($349.99 at Amazon). While these cans share a similar design, the Studio Pro are over-ear headphones that benefit from ANC and improved sound quality. Apple fans can also utilize spatial audio with head-tracking, Find My, fast-pairing, and Transparency mode features. Using the included USB DAC mode on the headphones provides three EQ presets. Unfortunately, some design hiccups are hard to ignore. For example, you cannot change between EQ presets unless your computer is actively playing audio. It is also difficult to gauge which EQ preset has been selected, given there is no audio prompt. Finally, you can’t use ANC or Transparency mode while listening over USB unless there is no audio playing. With no H1 chip in sight, many will find the Beats Studio Pro a missed opportunity.

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. Noise canceling is surprisingly effective for on-ear headphones, and the bassy sound profile is excellent for gym enthusiasts. The headphones also benefit from hands-free Siri voice assistant and Apple’s H1 chip. 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. The AirPods Max have some of the best noise canceling on the market, outperforming the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort 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 up to 21 hours of battery life.

Beats Solo 4: What we want to see

The Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones standing on a couch against a warm-tinted wall.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The on-ear fit of the Solo3 Wireless is fashionable but uncomfortable.

While some rumors exist about supposed software features, many desirable functions are yet to surface. Here is a list of all of the features I want to see included in the Beats Solo 4.

Active Noise Canceling

Most modern flagship headphones boast noise canceling capabilities. While the original Beats Solo 3 do not have ANC, the company’s recent Beats Solo Pro do. Adding ANC to the Beats Solo 4 would help the headphones remain unique in an oversaturated audio market. In particular, it would help them to stand out as part of a select few on-ear headphones that boast noise canceling.

Noise canceling would help the Beats Solo 4 stand out by offering a feature that most on-ear headphones do not.

It is worth remembering that ANC is a genuinely useful piece of technology. Firstly, it makes your listening experience more enjoyable by blocking unwanted environmental noise from entering your music stream. Secondly, it lessens the need to increase the volume of your music to potentially harmful levels to compensate for listening in noisy places. This means you are less likely to suffer noise-induced hearing loss over long periods. I expect the Beat Solo 4 to host ANC capabilities when they come to fruition.

A custom EQ in the Beats app

A picture of the Dirac mobile app on a Google Pixel 3
Dirac is launching with ~150 compatible headset calibrations.

Whether you are a casual listener or an audiophile, there is always room for greater audio customization. Custom EQ’s are useful for accentuating voices while listening to podcasts or adding bass to bring out movie explosions. To that end, Beats’ headphones have historically boasted bass-heavy mixes. Providing a custom EQ to cut some of this would greatly improve the user experience. It is also fair to expect some audio customization options when spending upwards of $200.

Unfortunately, no Apple product has a custom EQ in the iOS settings app. While it may seem wishful, adding a custom EQ would make the Beats Solo 4 feel more premium. At the very least, I would like to see the Beats’ Android app host a list of EQ presets.

Better sound quality

As stated above, Beats headphones are known for their accentuated bass response. While this is likely welcome for bass-heads and gym enthusiasts, it does make instrumental detail much harder to hear. In particular, fundamentals between 500Hz and 1.2kHz sound comparatively quiet compared to the bass. That means vocals may sound more subdued in your mix than punching kick drums and bass guitars. That’s not to say the company needs to reinvent its trademark sound. If the Beats Solo 4 can tame their lower frequencies slightly, they would likely sound better for a broader list of genres.

Improved comfort and durability

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.

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, making the headphones uncomfortable to wear over long periods. 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. These grip far too tightly, potentially causing tension headaches. 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 materials 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 headband is also remarkably flimsy and the protective case is not waterproof. I hope the Beats Solo 4 will wear a sleeker design, reliable build factor, and hardshell case.

What would you like to see Beats bring to the Beats Solo 4?

43 votes

Frequently asked questions about the Beats Solo 4

There has been no official announcement from Beats or Apple yet. However, leaks from a MacRumors contributor indicate the Beats Solo 4 are imminent. Additionally, Apple has submitted a public registration of the Beats Solo 4 to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Therefore, it looks likely that Beats’ next-gen headphones will come to market soon.

If we are lucky, 2024 could be the year we see the Beats Solo 4, Beats Studio 4, and Fit Pro 2 release. A MacRumors contributor and trusted industry analyst Arpit of MySmartPrice leaked images of the Beats Solo 4. With Apple having made a public registration of the Beats Solo 4 headphones to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it looks likely that a pair of feature-rich Beats headphones are imminent.

The Beats Solo 3 own a frequency curve with quieter treble reproduction than many of their competitors. While this can cause the illusion of a quieter overall volume, it has positives. For example, users are less likely to suffer from ear fatigue due to loud and high-pitched frequencies.

The Beats Solo 4 have not been released yet. Regardless, it is unlikely that they will be waterproof, given most on-ear headphones do not have an IP rating.

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, with leaks emerging of the Beats Solo 4, it may be worth hanging on a little longer for a feature-rich upgrade.