I tested the $79 Beats Solo Buds — biggest pros and cons

What to expect for $79

Beats Solo Buds
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The Beats Solo Buds are basic, budget-friendly earbuds that look promising based on first impressions; however, you'll want to be conscious of the trade-offs.


  • +

    Convenient, compact design

  • +

    Promising performance

  • +

    Spatial Audio support

  • +

    Compatible with iPhone and Android


  • -

    No charging case

  • -

    No charging cable included

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The Beats Solo Buds are officially the smallest, most affordable earbuds you can score from Apple's subsidiary audio brand. There are some trade-offs compared to pricier models in the Beats collection, but overall, there are a lot of perks packed into an adorably tiny package.

Though they're not quite as compact as, say, the JLab JBuds Mini, the $79.99 Beats Solo Buds manage to deliver 18 hours of battery life and punchy performance. Custom-built acoustic architecture pays off based on my first impressions, while the passive noise isolation is quite effective. I appreciate that these earbuds are well-suited for both iPhone and Android users, too.

You'll definitely want to consider a different pair of the best wireless earbuds like the Beats Studio Buds+ and Beats Fit Pro for exercise or active noise cancelation purposes. But if you're a Beats fan on a budget, and are in the market for basic earbuds that are great to take on-the-go, the Solo Buds are promising. 

I'm spending more time testing the Beats Solo Buds before handing out an official review rating, so in the meantime, check out everything you need to know about them below. 

Beats Solo Buds: Cheat sheet

  • What are the Beats Solo Buds? The Beats Solo Buds are the smallest and most affordable earbuds in the Beats lineup. 
  • How much do the Beats Solo Buds cost? $79.99 / £79.99
  • What is the Beats Solo Buds release date? June 18, 2024.
  • Who are the Beats Solo Buds for? Budget-conscious shoppers looking for a basic pair of earbuds for work, commuting, and more.
  • What is the Beats Solo Buds battery life? 18 hours of playback, with no additional charge provided by the case.

Beats Solo Buds

(Image credit: Future)

Beats Solo Buds: Specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Beats Solo Buds
Price$79.99 / £79.99
ColorsMatte black, storm grey, arctic purple, transparent red
Size18.9 x 18.5 x 16.7 mm
Weight11.4 g (5.7 per earbud)
Battery life18 hours
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.3

Beats Solo Buds: Features

The Beats Solo Buds come in a case that looks, to me, like a miniature Beats Pill. The pair of buds inside are respectively compact. They look similar design-wise to the Beats Solo Buds+, but they actually feature a bespoke ergonomic design that prioritizes comfort and stability. 

Beats Solo Buds

(Image credit: Future)

The acoustic architecture is also bespoke, powered by a two-layer dynamic diaphragm transducer as well as laser-cut micro-venting holes that help with bass response and passive noise isolation. Plus they have Spatial Audio for making playback sound more immersive. Meanwhile, digital microphones in each bud work with a "noise-learning" algorithm trained with over 7,000 hours of simulated environmental sounds for clear call quality.

As with other Beats headphones and earbuds, the Solo Buds have several native features when paired with an iPhone. One-touch setup, Audio Sharing, Find My, and automatic handoff between iPhone and Apple Watch are the important ones. But Android users also get Google Fast Pair, Google Find My Device, and Audio Switch for source handoff. The key difference between the two systems is that you'll use Settings in iOS and the Beats app in Android to configure the touch controls.

Beats Solo Buds

(Image credit: Future)

You'll miss out on a few features, though. The earbuds don't have "Hey Siri" functionality — you have to physically trigger the voice assistant by touching the earbuds. You also don't get any kind of IP rating for sweat and water resistance. While they'd probably be OK for light activity, I wouldn't recommend wearing them where excess moisture might be involved. Check out our guide to the best workout headphones instead.

Beats Solo Buds: Battery life

The Beats Solo Buds last for up to 18 hours of playback per the official Beats estimate. I haven't yet gauged whether the Solo Buds meet this claim, but will do so as part of this official review scoring. 

Beats Solo Buds

It's giving miniature Beats Pill. (Image credit: Future)

It's important to note that the Solos Buds case doesn't hold additional charge, so when the buds are low on power you'll need to replace them in the case and plug the case into a USB-C power source to charge. This seems like an odd trade-off, considering many cheap wireless earbuds like the $40 JLab JBuds Mini even have a charging case. That said, the JBuds Mini only last up to 20 hours total with the charging case, so there's not a major benefit. But on the other hand, there are the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC which cost $75 and have up to 50 hours of battery life with the charging case. 

The Beats Solo Buds do have a fast charging feature where 5 minutes of charge gets you up to 1 hour of playback. They should be fully charged in 1 hour and 20 minutes; however, you'll need to provide your own charging cable as Beats doesn't include one in the box.   

Beats Solo Buds: Outlook

Beats Solo Buds

(Image credit: Future)

The Beats Solo Buds come at a time when you can get a very capable pair of wireless earbuds for very little money. With so many options to choose from, it's hard to say whether the Beats Solo Buds are the best earbuds for the price. But the Beats brand has a lot of name recognition, and I'm certain these Solo Buds will be a popular pick on Apple Store shelves. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.