Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Beats Solo 4 arrives with head-tracked spatial, plus price-friendly Solo Buds

Two new pairs of hearables are on the way, as Beats updates its long-running Solo headphones, while offering a new pair of truly wireless options.

Cutting the cords to a pair of earphones is easy enough these days, because everyone has a pair of something for you to listen and wear.

Truly wireless earphones and earbuds and cordless headphones can be found everywhere, and you clearly have choices. There are different designs, features, comfort levels, and so on, with plenty to consider.

One thing always worth a consideration is if there’s a particular brand you dig more than others. That sort of loyalty might just be the thing to help you buy something new, though it can admittedly take time before new gadgets appear.

Take the Apple-owned Beats, which can take its time between products. Last year’s release of the Studio Pro headphones updated the five year old Beats Studio 3 headphones, which has to be one of the longest update cycles we’ve heard of.

However, it mightn’t be the longest, with Beats set to update another similarly old pair.This week, Beats has announced an update to 2016’s Solo 3 headphones, as the Solo 4 make their way out.

In the Solo 4, Beats is keeping the design from last time, providing a pair of supra-aural on-ear headphones, but switching things up slightly on the inside.

Under the hood, Beats is upgrading the microphones and including a noise-learning algorithm, while also building a custom 40mm transducer. There’s also support for head-tracked spatial audio, handy if you listen to Apple Music on an iPhone, much like the Beats Fit Pro earbuds.

Like the Studio Pro, expect support for USB-C audio if you need to plug in a cord, supporting high-res audio this way, but the Solo 4 can also take a 3.5mm cable in case you need that, too.

They’ll support as much as 50 hours of battery life, too, but miss out on noise cancellation. Beats has previously offered a Solo model with noise cancellation in 2019’s Solo Pro, but these have since been withdrawn, making the headphone choices either the ANC-less Solo and the ANC-ready Studio headphones.

Priced at $329.95 in Australia, the Beats Solo 4 are a little pricey for a pair of headphones without active noise cancellation, but they do have design going for them, not to mention portability, since they fold up very easily. They’ll even play nicely with Android, supporting an app on Android phones while including native controls on iPhones.

Beats is also offering another pair in the process, announcing a pair of compact truly wireless earbuds in the Beats Solo Buds. Different again, the Solo Buds are earbuds made for a lower price point, specifically that of under $150 in Australia.

In fact, the Solo Buds will cost $129.95 when they launch later this year, bringing with them sound engineered by Beats, a custom microphone with a noise limiting algorithm, and support for up to 18 hours of playback with a way to recharge from your phone or tablet.

Designed to be small, the Solo Buds will come in a few colours — black, grey, and purple — but there will also be a transparent red option with a see-through case coated in red. It’s a little like the transparent Studio Buds+, but as if they were dipped in red paint.

“Our newly expanded Solo line delivers remarkable value, offering exceptional sound quality, battery life and comfort in our most portable designs,” said Oliver Schusser, Vice President of Apple Music, Apple TV+, Sports, and Beats for Apple.

“Beats Solo 4 takes our bestselling headphone to the next level with outstanding performance upgrades, and the all-new Beats Solo Buds pack impressive power in our smallest product yet,” he said.

Availability differs for each model, but the Beats Solo 4 is expected in Australia this month priced at $329.95, while the Beats Solo Buds won’t likely arrive until June, priced at $129.95 locally.

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