Beats Solo 3 vs Studio 3: Which is Better in 2024?

Odi Productions May 10, 2024
142 People Read
Beats Solo 3 vs Studio 3 headphones side by side

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. 

In this article, I'm going to share my HONEST experience with the Beats Solo 3 vs Studio 3 in detail, after personally owning both products for years. I have thoroughly tested each of these headphones, and aim to offer a critical opinion from the perspective of an audiophile and professional music producer.

I'll be comparing these two head to head on categories like price, comfort, features, battery life, noise cancelling, and sound quality.

I've also reviewed the newer Beats Studio Pro model released in 2023, and compared the Beats Studio 3 vs Studio Pro, for those interested.

Then at the end, I'll share which is the better overall value for the money, and my overall recommendation on which you should buy.


Beats Solo 3 vs Studio 3 Price Compared

At the time of this writing, the Beats Solo 3 are priced at $199.95 retail on Amazon.

(Want to save up to $90? Order the Renewed Version on Amazon below which is currently around $103.)

Surprisingly, although the Studio 3 is a more premium product in the Beats lineup, it can be found for cheaper than Solo 3 brand new at the moment. Possibly because of low available new inventory of the aging Solo 3.

The Beats Studio 3 retails for a whopping $349.95, but can be found on Amazon for as low as $159 brand new, about $40 cheaper than Solo 3.

(Want to save $14 on Beats Studio 3? Order the Renewed Version below for around $145 instead.)

Perhaps a more fair comparison is between the renewed versions of the Solo 3 and Studio 3, with the Solo 3 about $40 cheaper than Studio 3.


Order HERE for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE 

(Do NOT pay retail): 

Save up to $90 on the Beats Solo 3 with Renewed below:

Save up to $14 on Beats Studio 3 with Renewed below:

Disclosure: These links may provide a discount and in return, give us a commission in order to run the website 🙂


Comfort

Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones on scale weighing 261.8 grams

Let's start this head-to-head comparison with the comfort category.

The good news is that the Beats brand is historically strong when it comes to comfort, with both the Solo 3 and Studio 3 being some of the lightest headphones I have ever tested on my scale:

  • Beats Solo 3 Weight: 215 grams

  • Beats Studio 3 Weight: 261.8 grams

This is mighty impressive, considering the AirPods Max weighed in at a whopping 387.8 grams on my scale, 48% heavier than the comparable over-ear Studio 3.

Now you may be looking at these weight figures and notice the Solo 3 is about 21% lighter than the Studio 3.

But that is not necessarily a fair comparison.

The biggest difference between these headphones is that the Beats Solo 3 is an "on-ear" headphone, while the Studio 3 is a full-sized, "over-ear" headphone.

"On-ear" headphones like the Solo 3 don't cover your entire ear, and instead, press directly onto the ear itself.

"Over-ear" headphones like the Studio 3 encapsulate your entire ear and surround it, which is typically more comfortable and noise-isolating.

This distinction explains the weight discrepancy between the smaller Solo 3 and bigger Studio 3, but nonetheless, they are both very light headphones.

Which is more comfortable to wear all day?

Personally, I would always choose an over-ear headphone like the Beats Studio 3 over an on-ear headphone like the Solo 3 when it comes to comfort.

On-ear headphones like the Solo 3 that press directly onto the ear will leave them feeling sore after a long session, due to the pressure. Especially when you go to take them off.

Whereas the over-ear design of the Studio 3 is superior, since the ears themselves are not impacted and rather enveloped.

One point I want to mention here is that both headphones are very comfortable due to their incredibly light weight, but the Studio 3 edges out the Solo 3.

Is the Beats Solo 3 or Studio 3 more comfortable for working out?

I have tested both the Solo 3 and Studio 3 for working out, and I prefer the stability of the over-ear design in the Studio 3.

The Solo 3 is lighter but the on-ear design doesn't feel entirely secure when doing movements like running or jumping.

The Studio 3 covers the entire ear and feels more secure on the head for movements in the gym or out in the real world.

Also, the over-ear design and Active Noise Cancelling of the Studio 3 is better at blocking outside noise versus the Solo 3.

Beats Solo 3 Comfort: 3.0 out of 5

Beats Studio 3 Comfort: 4.0 out of 5

Winner: Beats Studio 3


Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling

Beats Solo 3 Wireless next to factory box packaging

Features

When it comes to number of features, the Beats Studio 3 edges out the Solo 3 due to having Active Noise Cancelling (ANC).

When it comes to wireless connectivity and battery life, they both have iterations of Apple's proprietary W1 chip which was quite revolutionary at its introduction.

Apple's W1 chip changed the wireless headphone game for Bluetooth connectivity and battery life.

Prior to this improvement, older wireless headphones would start to lose signal and deteriorate audio quality even from moving as little as 5 feet away from the source.

Looks

I personally find this generation of Beats headphones to be the most stylish and minimalist.

First, please excuse the gaudy Gold colorway I had picked for my Solo 3, it was more eye-catching for thumbnails.

Opting for something like the black colorway is much stealthier and incognito, if that's your preference.

On the other hand, the understated monochrome grey on the Studio 3 is more of my actual IRL preference, and I think this is one of the best-looking headphones even today.

Either way, between the stylish exterior design and plentitude of colorways for both the Solo 3 and Studio 3, you are bound to find something that fits your style and taste.

Beats Solo 3 vs Studio 3 Battery Life Comparison

Both the Solo 3 and Studio 3 features Apple's proprietary W1 chip, which boasted superior battery life at its introduction:

  • Beats Solo 3 Battery Life: Up to 40 hours

  • Beats Studio 3 Battery Life: Up to 22 hours

Even by today's standards, these battery life ratings are incredibly competitive.

If you're wondering why does the Solo 3 have 81% more battery life than the Studio 3, it's because the Studio 3 has Active Noise Cancellation that requires additional power.

Which brings us to our next point...

Beats Solo 3 vs Studio 3 Noise Cancelling: Which is Better?

The Beats Studio 3 has much better noise cancelling than the Solo 3 due to Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and the over-ear headphone design.

The Solo 3 does NOT have any noise cancelling features built-in.

They both can block out a decent amount of outside noise through passive noise isolation, but the Studio 3 covers the entire ear, while the Solo 3 doesn't.

Beats Solo 3 Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 3.5 out of 5

Beats Studio 3 Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 4.0 out of 5

Winner: Beats Studio 3


Beats Solo 3 vs Studio 3 Sound Quality Comparison

Beats Studio 3 wireless in grey on desk

When it comes to sound quality, the Studio 3 is technically the superior headphone to the Solo 3.

Makes sense, as the Studio 3 does sit at a higher level in the Beats product lineup compared to the Solo series.

But how much better is it, really?

So, in my in-depth Beats Studio 3 review, I wrote quite extensively about how the Studio 3 actually didn't sound bad at all.

Somewhat true to its name, the "Studio" portion actually translated into a much more balanced sound than we have come to expect of the Beats brand.

But there is a large flaw to this more "neutral" sound signature, and that is that the Studio 3 is kinda boring to listen to.

It has a rather peculiar sound signature, the upper bass is over-emphasized, muddying the lower-mids, and doesn't have enough sub-bass impact or extension to satisfy my tastes.

I will say the treble is great, surprising detail with little sibilance.

On the other hand, the Beats Solo 3 suffers from the on-ear design, already putting it at a disadvantage to the over-ear design and physics of the Studio 3.

The result is a smaller closed-in soundstage, boomier lows, and a rolled-off treble with much less detail and sparkle than the Studio 3.

If there's one redeeming quality of the Solo 3, I do find them to be a more "fun" sound signature than the Studio 3, but that veiled treble region leaves me dissatisfied.

I think the Studio 3 is in an entire tier above the Solo 3 for overall sound quality.

Beats Solo 3 Sound Quality: 5.8 out of 10

Beats Studio 3 Sound Quality: 7.0 out of 10

Winner: Beats Studio 3


Value

At the time of this writing, it's hard to find brand new inventory of the Solo 3, leaving the market price at $199.

On the other hand, the brand new Studio 3s seems to be widely available for around $159.

If we're comparing the new prices, the Studio 3 at roughly $40 cheaper than the inferior Solo 3 is a steal and not even a debate.

But the more interesting value comparison is between the renewed/refurbished versions of both, with the Solo 3 available for just over $100, and the Studio 3 at around $145.

Personally, I would pay the extra $45 for the renewed version of the Studio 3, and in return receive superior sound quality, better comfort, and Active Noise Cancelling.

Neither headphone is an incredible bang-for-the-buck value today since the competition has risen immensely since these were released back in 2016 and 2017.

Beats Solo 3 Value: 2.0 out of 5

Beats Studio 3 Value: 3.0 out of 5

Winner: Beats Studio 3


Beats Solo 3 Overall Rating: 5.7 / 10

  • Sound Quality: 5.8 / 10

  • Comfort: 3.0 / 5

  • Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 3.5 / 5

  • Value: 2.0 / 5

  • Total: 14.3 / 25


Beats Studio 3 Overall Rating: 7.2 / 10

  • Sound Quality: 7.0 / 10

  • Comfort: 4.0 / 5

  • Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 4.0 / 5

  • Value: 3.0 / 5

  • Total: 18.0 / 25


Overall Winner: Beats Studio 3

Holding Beats Studio 3 wireless headphones in hand

Talk about a clean sweep! The Beats Studio 3 beats out the Solo 3 in almost every single category: Comfort, Features, Noise Cancelling, Sound Quality, and Value.

The only superior advantage to the Solo 3 is the battery life at an incredible 40 hours vs 22 hours, but comes at the cost of not having any Active Noise Cancelling.

Also, the current market prices and lack of new inventory has the Solo 3 in a strange place where it is sometimes more expensive than the Studio 3, further bolstering the argument for the Studio 3.

Having owned both of these headphones, I'd always reach for the Studio 3 over the Solo 3, and would be willing to pay a premium because it is more worth it.

If you're open to wireless earbuds, my personal pick under $200 would be the Apple AirPods Pro 2 if you can get them on sale.


Order HERE for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE 

(Do NOT pay retail): 

Save up to $20 with Renewed below:

Save up to $30 with Renewed below:

Disclosure: These links may provide a discount and in return, give us a commission in order to run the website 🙂


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Beats Studio vs Solo series headphones?

The Beats Studio series is the more premium offering than the Solo series in the lineup and is an over-ear design with Active Noise cancelling, while the Solo series is a smaller on-ear design with no noise cancelling included.

Does Beats Solo 3 wireless have noise cancelling?

No, the Beats Solo 3 wireless does not include any Active Noise Cancelling feature like the Beats Studio 3 models.

What are the best version of Beats headphones?

The Beats Studio series of headphones, which includes the Studio 3 and Studio Pro, is the top offering in the entire Beats lineup and is typically the most expensive as well. Next is the Solo series of headphones. For earbuds, the Beats Fit Pro is the top offering and more expensive than the Beats Studio Buds.


How We Tested and Our Methodology

RecordingNOW.com is a 100% independent publisher with over 10 years of experience testing and reviewing consumer electronics and headphones.

We currently purchase the products we test with our own money, and are not paid by any company or manufacturer to influence our opinions or decisions.

After purchasing the product, we conduct up to hundreds of hours of detailed hands-on testing in a controlled, acoustically-treated environment.

ODi Productions is our resident expert and author of this article, with 10 years of experience as a professional music producer, tech journalist, and audiophile.


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Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase.