Let's get this out of the way: Beats (now owned by Apple) isn't going to win any awards when it comes to sound quality. That's not to say that these are bad but they definitely provide a sculpted, bass boosted sound signature that purists will frown upon. Personally, I enjoy the sound quality but wish there was a little more detail in the highs. The lows and mids come through quite nicely but the highs need a little work. They don't sound nearly as muddy as the older generation of Beats products. They do sound the same as the Solo 2 wireless headphones that preceded them. So, if you liked those, you'll like these. Rap, hip-hop, EDM, radio rock, dance, electronics, and pop music all benefit from the sculpted sound signature that these provide. Metal sounds OK but it would benefit from having the mids set back a little while turning up the highs. Some of the drums (mainly the cymbals and hi-hats) lose their detail with these. It's still very listenable but would benefit from more detail in the highs.
I purchased the rose gold Solo3's for myself. I was initially worried that the color would be too pink but, in reality, it's actually more of a copper-brown color. I'm really enjoying the rose gold, these are some of the most stylish headphones I have ever used. I just hope that the white portions can keep their color and don't become dirty over time.
The Solo3's have controls built into the left ear cup so that you can play/pause music, skip tracks or go back, fast forward and rewind, and bring up Siri or the Google assistant. The controls work nicely and I didn't have any issues with my iPhone 7 Plus or my Surface Pro 4. I do wish that the center button would bring up Cortana in Windows 10. I do like that the controls are sleek and hidden, you wouldn't even know they were built into the left earcup. I think it's a better option than what Sony, Sennheiser, V-Moda, Bose, and pretty much everyone else does (they normally have physical buttons on the sides of the earcups).
Pairing with my iPhone 7 Plus was simple and easy. I simply turned the headphones on near my iPhone and they were automatically detected. I was able to pair them with my Surface Pro 4 but I had to follow the standard procedure. The W1 Bluetooth chip that Apple uses in the Solo3's provides a very solid experience. The range that it provides is unmatched by any other wireless headphone that I've used (I've probably gone through 25 different ones). I can have music playing on either my iPhone 7 Plus or my Surface Pro 4 and the headphones will work, flawlessly, all over my house and even outdoors. I was able to mow my lawn while listening to music on my Surface without the connection dropping out. That is really impressive and I have never experienced a pair of Bluetooth headphones with this kind of signal strength. My Apple Watch doesn't interfere with my iPhone either. I have used a couple of headphones where my Apple Watch would cause issues but not these. Apple really hit it out of the park when it comes to wireless connectivity.
The Solo3's also have stellar battery life. I routinely get over 40 hours per charge out of mine. I normally listen to music 2 hours a day during the weekdays and I can easily get 5 weeks of use before I have to plug them in. That's not a big deal either. Normally, with wireless headphones, you would have to plug them in for a good 30-60 minutes before you would fill them enough to get you through a couple of hours. Not anymore. A 5-minute charge will get you a good 3 hours of playback, a 2 hour charge will completely fill these. That is truly impressive and beats every other wireless headphone on the market. Granted, these don't have noise cancellation and are on-ear instead of over-the-ear headphones. Still, it's rather impressive to go a whole month without worrying about recharging my headphones.
Lastly, there's the comfort. A lot of people complain about these headphones saying that they aren't very comfortable and I guess they're right. At the same time, I haven't found any on-ear pair of headphones that are actually comfortable. Either they grip your ears tight and stay on or they are too loose and fall off, you can't have both. I had a pair of Bose SoundLink II on-ear headphones and they could never stay on. They were light but never gripped my head enough so the slightest of motions would send them off my head.
The Solo3 headphones are the complete opposite. These securely stay on my head without issues. To me, this is fine and I would rather have on-ear headphones like this that stay put instead of adjusting my headphones every few minutes because they're slipping off. There's ample padding around the earcups and, honestly, I don't have any comfort issues. I am able to wear these for hours on end without taking a break. I'm not sure if my ears are just not physically sensitive, if I have a higher threshold for pain, or if reviewers are just being picky. These definitely don't clamp down on my ears like the Sol-Republic wireless headphones did, those would get uncomfortable to the point where I had to take them off every couple of hours. My only real complaint regarding the comfort is that my ears hurt while wearing these with sunglasses. That's the norm, for me, with on-ear headphones and one reason why I prefer earbuds.
The Solo3's represent the first Apple-influenced headphones from Beats. Apple didn't change the design or the sound, both of which I was already a fan of with the Solo 2 wireless headphones. Instead they upgraded the internals of these headphones by using Apple's own W1 Bluetooth chip, which drastically increases efficiency and wireless range, and a slightly larger battery. I am surprised that Apple didn't switch these over to Lightning from micro-USB but I'm sure Android smartphone users are fine with that. These have a class-leading wireless range along with truly excellent battery life. The sound signature isn't for purists but these are fun to listen to. Bass is definitely boosted while the detail in the highs takes a backseat.
I'm not sure if these are worth the $299 retail. At that price, I feel like you're only paying for the solid wireless technology along with the battery life. However, at Best Buy's sale price ($250), I think these are well worth it. My favorite color is the rose gold. It feels a little awkward listening to a band like Lamb of God through rose gold headphones but it works, the color doesn't affect the sound quality. My wife likes her standard gold pair of Solo3 headphones.