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Apple gives Beats Solo3 a fresh paint job, but no new features

It’s been about three years since Apple unveiled the Beats Solo3 wireless headphones, an update to the previous Beats Solo2. Given that length of time, and given that Beats just added the highly anticipated PowerBeats Pro truly wireless earbuds, it seemed pretty reasonable that we would see a revamp of the Solo headphones, too. Alas, it was not to be. Instead of updating the Solo3 with new tech — Apple now uses the new H1 wireless chip in the PowerBeats Pro and the second-generation AirPods — it has given us four new colors to consider while we wait for something more noteworthy.

The new colors belong to the Beats Club collection: Club yellow, Club red, Club navy, and Club white. If you preferred the previous color options on the Solo3, you’ll have to act quickly as Beats no longer offers them on its site, which could mean retailers won’t have them in stock for much longer.

Despite not offering up anything new but a paint job on the Solo3, these are still decent wireless headphones. The older — but still capable — W1 chip gives these on-ear cans quick and easy pairing with iOS devices, and it’s also the secret sauce behind the Solo3’s superb 40-hour battery life. It’s got a fast-charging option which Beats calls “Fast Fuel,” which can deliver three hours of playtime on just a five-minute charge when the juice is running low, plus the option of using an analog cable for when you’re simply out of time.

Still, if Apple had seen fit to update the Solo3 with the new H1 chip, we might see even better battery life, plus the ability to summon Siri just by calling her name, both of which are features of the new AirPods and the PowerBeats Pro. We can only guess that such an update is on Apple’s to-do list, but the timing is now unclear. With the launch of these new Club colors, it’s a safe bet a new model is at least six months away, with a holiday, 2019 timeframe being the earliest window that’s likely.

We’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the announcements and let you know as soon as we see anything.

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Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
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