The idea of ​​Beats wireless earbuds for under $100 is certainly compelling. So far, the company has operated in a range between $150 and $200, with the exception of $70 Beats Flex, which offers an impressive range of features with good sound quality and a comfortable fit. However, many competitors have been keen to offer buds at much cheaper prices, by limiting functionality to the basics. With the Single buds ($80), Beats has the cheapest true wireless earbuds yet and has managed to retain much of its product’s DNA. However, the company had to shake things up to lower the price, so don’t expect these earbuds to wow you with performance.


The Solo Buds cover the basics, but that’s about it. Sound quality is consistent unless you’re listening to Dolby Atmos content in Apple Music, but at least the earbuds are comfortable with long battery life.


  • And very affordable
  • Long battery life
  • Powerful audio performance with spatial audio content
  • Comfortable fit

  • The sound is flat sometimes
  • There is no ANC or wear detection
  • Unclassified IP
  • Call quality is subpar

$80 at Verizon

The Solo Buds carry the same general earbud design that Beats has favored for some time. The main difference between these and Studio shoots +However, the Solo Buds are slightly larger to accommodate their larger batteries. The new model still offers controls on the flat, angled panel, complete with the company’s trademark ‘b’. The good news is that the shape of this earphone has always been comfortable to wear for long periods of time and that hasn’t changed here. Despite the closed acoustic structure of the Solo Buds, the added micro-perforations alleviate the feeling of congestion that can affect earbud wearers after several minutes of use.

This is where the Solo Buds deviate from previous Beats models. This thing is small. In fact, according to the company, it’s 40 percent smaller than the Studio Buds+ case, which wasn’t bulky by any means. This is because Beats removed the battery from the box. The company claims that doing this makes the Solo Buds more environmentally friendly, and it also reduces the battery’s worry about deteriorating over time.

If you’re a fan of the clear version of the Studio Buds+, you’re in luck. There is a transparent red option for the Solo Buds. But there’s also some bad news: only the case is transparent; The buds themselves are opaque

As with other recent Beats products, all software for iPhone owners is built into the iOS operating system. On Android, you’ll need the Beats app to customize touch controls or download software updates. On both systems, you’ll get one-touch pairing, quick pairing, and location tracking assistance for lost earbuds. iOS users get iCloud pairing with other devices, Apple Watch hand-offs, as well as audio sharing with AirPods and Beats products. On Android, you’ll be able to automatically pair with any device on your Google account and take advantage of multipoint Bluetooth pairing.

Since the Solo Buds only have the basic features, there’s not much to list. However, the company allows you to reconfigure the press-and-hold control to adjust the volume. By default, this action calls up your device’s voice assistant on both earbuds. That’s really the extent of things. There’s no hands-free Siri, no Transparency Mode, no active noise cancellation (ANC), no wear detection, and no support for Apple’s adaptive equalizer.

The Studio Buds+ vs. Solo Buds.The Studio Buds+ vs. Solo Buds.

The Studio Buds+ vs. Solo Buds. (Billy Steele for Engadget)

For an $80 set of earbuds, the best sound quality you can expect is slightly above average. Most of the time, you’re getting something serviceable, but not necessarily the tuning you’d use to hear the finer details of the album. Beats does well with the sound quality on the Studio Buds and Beats Fit Pro, but it was understandable that it would cut corners in some places to lower the price of the Solo Buds. It turns out that vocal performance is one of those areas.

The Solo Buds still retain some good detail in the sound profile, but overall, the tuning doesn’t deliver the dynamics of the Studio Buds+. The vocals are flat and the mix is ​​subdued, lacking highs or booming bass at times. For example, Belmory’s “Emptyhanded” has some loud, distorted guitars that provide the rhythm of the track. These typically get louder and have a lot of texture on more expensive earbuds, but here they lack dimension and stand out less from the rest of the mix than usual. These are not the earbuds in the company’s lineup that you’ll want to choose if sound quality is paramount. Instead, the Solo Buds get the job done in a worker-like way, without a lot of flash or excitement.

One of the advanced audio features that Beats includes is spatial audio. It’s automatic and works with songs from Apple Music available in Dolby Atmos. Albums like Justice’s Excessive drama And White Flores half life It has more punchy bass and clarity, and sounds less compressed than some of the other “regular” albums on the Solo Buds. Audio performance still isn’t at flagship level, but it’s noticeably improved compared to non-Atmos content.

When it comes to calls, Beats only uses one microphone on each side on the Solo Buds. This definitely affects the sound quality and you’ll sound more like you’re using a phone speaker than more expensive earbuds. The company does a great job of blocking out background noise, but during my tests in noisy environments, this battle against distractions further degraded call performance. In a room with a loud fan, my voice was choppy compared to a quieter setting with minimal environmental roar.

The Solo Buds carry a similar overall design to other recent Beats earbuds. The Solo Buds carry a similar overall design to other recent Beats earbuds.

Billy Steele for Engadget

Beats claims the Solo Buds will last up to 18 hours on a charge, which is double or in some cases triple what most competitors offer. The company opted for larger batteries in the earbuds and removed the battery from the box, so there’s not much time to be gained from docking the buds. When they die, you have to put them on the case And Connect the case to an outlet using a USB-C cable.

During my tests, it fell an hour behind Beats’ advertised number. This isn’t too disappointing as I still have 17 hours left, which is likely due to setting the volume to 75 percent and leaving the Solo Buds unused for over 24 hours. If you find yourself in a pinch, you can get an hour of playback from five minutes of charging. What’s more, you can use your phone to play tunes again by charging via a USB-C connection on both iPhones (15 and up) and Android devices.

Since there’s no battery in the box, there’s no LED indicator to show you the charging status of the Solo Buds. You can get this information on your phone by tapping the on-pad controls while the earbuds are in and near the case. It’s inconvenient, but you get an accurate number instead of just a green or red light.

Beats has entered an increasingly crowded market for sub-$100 earbuds. Not only do big names like Bose or Sony drop new flagship models every year, but the likes of Anker, JLab, and Jaybird also showcase more affordable options on a regular basis. Some cost less than $50. Present Best budget earbudsaccording to my colleague Jeff Dunn, is Anker Soundcore Space A40. Currently available for $50, the A40 offers solid ANC, multipoint Bluetooth, and respectable sound quality. Battery life is 10 hours and the buds are rated IPX4 for water resistance, but there’s no wear detection and the A40 isn’t great for calls either.

the Single buds It’s a smart play for Beats, and I have no doubt the company will sell a lot of them. It’s good enough for most people, even without features like active noise cancellation, greater transparency, and wear detection. There’s some solid audio performance with songs in Apple Music, but the overall sound quality is flat and lacks the oomph found in the Studio Buds+ or Beats Fit Pro. However, the long battery life and comfortable fit means you can wear these headphones all day, and those two things alone may be enough to make up for the Solo Buds’ audio shortcomings — especially for $80.

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