Apple’s Beats acquisition has allowed the audiophile headphone maker to take advantage of Cupertino’s advanced technology. The new Beats Solo Pro headphones offer noise cancellation and the ability to invoke Siri by saying “Hey Siri”.
By Chand Bellur
October 20, 2019 at 2:45 p.m. PDT
Apple Acquires Beats in 2014
Apple took over Beats back in 2014, adding Dr. Dre as a full time employee. The deal enabled Apple to take control of both the Beats Music subscription service as well as Beats Electronics, the division responsible for high-end headphones. Both companies were acquired for only $3 billion, which is a small investment for Apple.
The acquisition gave Apple two business units that fit in quite well. Beats Music was gradually transformed into Apple Music. Although Beats Electronics still designs and manufactures Beats branded headphones, some of their expertise spilled into the AirPods design. Conversely, some of Apple’s technology is now a fixture in Beats headphones.
Apple’s Beats acquisition was not surprising for those who follow the industry. Jimmy Iovine, Beats co-founder, has long worked with Apple on iTunes and other projects. It was kismet for both parties:
“Iovine has been at the forefront of innovation in the music industry for decades, and he has been an instrumental partner for Apple and iTunes® for more than a decade. He has produced or collaborated with some of the most successful artists in the history of the iTunes Store®, helping make it the world’s number one music retailer. Iovine and Dr. Dre are sound pioneers, artists and entrepreneurs.”
New Beats Solo Pro Headphones Benefit from Apple Acquisition
The new Beats Solo Pro headphones are designed for people who want quality sound. Although Apple’s AirPods are remarkably popular, at best, they sound as good as wired earbuds. This type of headphone offers poor bass reproduction and tends to sound heavy in mid-range frequencies. AirPods are great for phone calls, which offer a limited frequency range, however, they leave audiophiles much to be desired.
This may be why Apple has kept the Beats brand alive. Although critics contend that Beats headphones are overpriced, most agree that they sound great. Beats Solo Pro headphones offer many of the advantages of AirPods, yet with bigger drivers, offer better bass reproduction and a richer, more detailed sound. This all comes at the cost of form factor. Beats Solo headphones are much bigger than AirPods. For those who desire the best sound, this is a small sacrifice.
In addition to better sound quality, Beats Solo headphones offer many of the capabilities of AirPods. Both devices feature Apple’s H1 chip, which enables effortless pairing with an iPad or iPhone. The new Beats Solo headphones also offer noise cancellation, which is expected to be available in upcoming AirPods Pro models. If that’s not enough, Beats Solo Pro headphones can handle Siri requests using the simple “Hey Siri” invocation.
Another amazing feature is “transparency mode”, which is essential for pedestrians and bikers. This technology allows Beats Solo Pro headphones to introduce outside sounds into the headphones, enhancing safety. Headphone users can hear nearby cars, sirens and other auditory cues, improving safety.
Like any other Apple product, the new Beats Solo headphones are not cheap. At $299.95 a pair, they’re more expensive than AirPods, but offer better sound. If music is important to you, the Beats Solo Pro headphones are the better choice. If you intend to use headphones primarily for phone calls, AirPods may be a better option.
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