Beats announces Solo Buds, $80 wireless earbuds with 18-hour battery life

When it comes to wireless headphones, Beats has a solid track record. The company continuously offers good audio performance with comfortable fit and a great list of features for both Android and iOS users. In fact, the Beats Fit Pro is our top pick best workout headphones. One thing the company doesn’t have is a budget-friendly option, but that’s about to change. Today, Beats unveiled the Solo Buds: an $80 set of wireless headphones that offer 18 hours of use on a single charge. There are some caveats on the spec sheet, but you might be willing to overlook the battery life at this price.

The Solo Buds have the longest battery life in the Beats headphone lineup. 18 hours is probably way more than you’ll use in one go, but there’s a catch. There’s no battery in the Solo Buds box, so the earbuds won’t charge when you’re not using them. The case is essentially a dock and will only charge the buds when connected via a USB-C cable. However, you’ll be able to charge it with your phone, laptop or tablet, and Beats’ Quick Fuel feature gives you an hour of use in five minutes. The advantage of a non-rechargeable case is that the accessory is much smaller since it does not hold a battery.

Beats designed the Solo Buds for long-lasting use. More specifically, ergonomic acoustic nozzles and vents help reduce pressure and improve sound performance. The box includes four sizes of ear tips so you can find the best fit for your ears in terms of both comfort and passive noise isolation. There’s no active noise cancellation (ANC), so a secure fit will be your only defense against environmental distractions.

According to Beats, the dual-layer transducers inside are designed to reduce distortion across the frequency curve, which should lead to “uncompromised clarity and detail.” The company describes the call quality as “exceptional” thanks to the combination of a specially designed microphone and a noise learning algorithm. On-board controls can be customized, with one or more presses to remove music, calls and voice assistant functions. Beats also includes a volume control option on the Solo Buds with an optional press-and-hold action.

Native compatibility on Android and iOS offers one-touch pairing, automatic setup, and support for Find My and Find My Device. Everything you need on an iPhone is built into iOS, while Beats offers a standalone app on Android for things like on-board control customization.

The Solo Buds will be available in June for $80 in black, gray, purple, and translucent red color options.

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