The brand new Beats Solo Buds are all set for their launch in June and the main attraction is that they will be available at a modestly priced $79.99 USD. The Beats Solo Buds’ price does come as a little bit of a shocker since the company’s owner, Apple, isn’t renowned for doing anything affordable no matter what the tech category. After losing out on a large chunk of the market segment by overcharging for their devices, it must have been natural for the company to launch the Apple Beats Solo Buds minus the explicit Apple tag attached to it. There’s a new set of Beats Solo 4 headphones also in the mix so it’ll be interesting to see how these are received on launch.

Apple Beats Solo Buds

Image: The Beats Solo Buds in blue, grey, translucent red, and black

Black, Red, Purple, Grey—The New Beats Solo Buds Are On Their Way

With the familiar “b” emblazoned on its side, the new Beats Solo Buds are the company’s first true wireless earbuds to be priced below $100 USD. They have an in-ear design, with passive noise cancellation features and a custom chip that can enable one-touch pairing with iOS and Android devices. “Designed for music first,” the Beats Solo Buds’ features are quite attractive at first glance. With custom dual-layer axial-aligned drivers that address micro-distortions and laser-cut vents for improved audio performance, the earbuds promise high-fidelity sound to their users. It is also compatible with the Find My or Find My Device feature available on modern-day smartphones, making it easy to locate your tech quickly. 

The new extra small ear tip size in addition to the regular three that we’ve come to expect with earphones is a useful detail for those who struggle to find earphones that fit comfortably. The Apple Beats Solo Buds have customizable on-ear functions as well as the usual music control and call features. The ‘b’ button can be used to activate your voice assistant, but you can alternatively configure it to act as a volume control button through the Beats app. If you’re an iPhone user, the iOS settings should allow you to configure it too.

“Each earbud has its own advanced microphone powered by a noise-learning algorithm for crystal clarity,” which means that they can effectively filter out background noise to allow your conversation to shine during a call using the device. The buds come in a case so compact it’s apparently their “smallest case ever.” From the looks of it, it does look quite easy to carry around even without a purse, handy enough to slip into the tiniest pockets that are sewn into women’s clothing. The new Beats Solo Buds are to be available in four colors—Storm Grey, Matte Black, Arctic Purple, and Transparent Red. 

Limitations of the Beats Solo Buds’ Features

The new Beats Solo Buds do not have active noise cancellation, nor do they provide spatial audio with head tracking features from what we can tell. A transparency mode and auto play/pause integrations are also missing from the device. We’ve left in-box adaptors far behind but these earbuds don’t come with a charging cable either so if you want one specifically to use with your Beats Solo earbuds, you’ll have to purchase them separately.

Perhaps the most disappointing factor is that the charging case doesn’t have a battery reserve of its own, so you won’t be able to slip the earbuds back into the case to revive them when you’re on the go. That was likely inevitable with all the cost-cutting and reduction in case size, but it is still a useful feature we’ve come to expect from the most basic earphones. 

An Hour of Power With Just a Five-Minute Charge

To make up for the lack of a battery backup, Apple’s Beats Solo Buds promise an 18-hour battery life, so if you require it to keep up with you through the day, it should be just enough to survive until your walk back home ends after a long workday. The case also supports reverse charging capabilities so if you have an iPhone 15 or any of the newer Android smartphones that offer to charge your external devices, you should be able to plug your earbuds in and have them running pretty quickly.

Beats also states that the new Solo Buds are built with Fast Fuel technology which allows them to rack up an hour’s worth of power within five minutes. In case your earbuds do die on you, compatible smartphones should have them revived easily.

Overall, the Beats Solo Buds’ features are perhaps a little limited but it comes with the promise of Beats’ quality so at $79.99 USD, you could consider it to be money well spent. With a free 6-month subscription to Apple Music’s digital library, you’ll have a great way to test out the Earbuds immediately. 

Beats Solo 4 Headphones

Adding to their existing collection of on-ear wireless headphones, the Beats Solo 4 Headphones have a 50-hour battery life and come with analog input so you can use them like wired headphones if it dies. The lightweight 217g device has custom-built 40mm transducers and is compatible with both iOS and Android. The device has support for spatial audio with head-tracking and the beam-forming microphones paired with an intelligent noise-learning algorithm guarantee high quality calls every time. 

Additionally, its Fast Fuel technology can provide 5 hours of power with 10 minutes of charging. The Beats Solo 4 Headphones are available for order at $199.99 a pair and you can select from three colors—Matte Black, Slate Blue, and Cloud Pink. If you’re confused about whether headphones or earbuds are right for you, we have a guide to help with that, but if you’re just looking for value for money, then the new Beats Solo Buds stand out. The Beats Solo 4 headphones don’t necessarily do anything dramatically different from competitors on the market available at the same price, so we’re not too impressed with its functionality just yet.

The Beats Solo Buds’ price is a little more reasonable and they seem like a good way to test the quality of Beats’ products if you’ve never tried them before. With another month to go before these earbuds officially launch, we’re interested to see if Apple does truly bring its own $100 USD AirPods to the market parallelly.