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Beats Solo 4 headphones are finally on the way, according to reports

One of the most popular headphone products ever hasn't been updated in 8 years. But that's about to change. Here's what we know so far.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Beats Studio Pro headphones in Deep Brown against a wooden table
Jada Jones/ZDNET

After Apple acquired headphone maker Beats in 2014, the company didn't release a new pair of headphones until last year's Beats Studio Pro over-ear headphones. Recent reports show that Apple isn't taking its foot off the gas with the Beats brand, as a new pair of Beats headphones could be on the way soon.

Also: The best headphones: Expert tested and reviewed

Beats is revamping its popular line of Solo on-ear headphones, and the upcoming Beats Solo 4 could include a list of new features and an upgraded design.

The report was uncovered by 9to5Mac, which found images of the Beats Solo 4 within a beta version of iOS 17.4. The Solo 4 will feature a USB-C port instead of a Micro-USB port. Hopefully, a USB-C port will allow for simultaneous wired listening, charging, and lossless audio, features that Apple's high-end AirPods Max don't have.

The Solo 4 will also introduce Dolby Atmos spatial audio, and if a new audio chip is introduced, we could expect improved audio and call quality. I don't expect the new Beats headphones to include Apple's latest H2 audio chip since the Studio Pro model has a custom Beats audio chip. 

Also: Beats Studio Pro: So close to being my dream headphones

Additionally, Apple is expected to release the AirPods Max 2 sometime in the future, and implementing an audio chip with the latest Apple tech into Beats headphones could hurt AirPods Max 2 sales. 

However, Apple has made it clear that the Beats brand is geared towards both Apple and Android users, so an upgraded custom Beats chip could bring more features to accommodate both device ecosystems. 

According to 9to5Mac, the Solo 4 have a similar design and build to last year's Studio Pro. The upgraded design could mean plushier ear cups, muted matte finishes, and less Beats branding on the headband and hinges. The Solo 4 will be available in black, blue, and pink colorways. 

Also: The best sleep headphones: Expert tested and reviewed

Beats hasn't refreshed the Solo headphones since 2016, but they've remained a popular pair of headphones. Much has changed in the consumer headphones space since then, and hopefully, the new headphones will live up to consumer expectations. 

No official release date or retail price is currently available, but you can find the Solo 3 and Studio Pro for discounted prices right now. But with this news, you should wait for a newer model.

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