New $80 Beats Solo Buds Are Coming on June 18

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Last month, Apple unveiled a new set of affordable earbuds under its Beats brand that promise to be an affordable alternative to AirPods with unprecedented battery life.

The Beats Solo Buds are somewhat unique among true wireless earbuds. They come in a remarkably small case yet still deliver 18 hours of battery life. While that might not sound impressive at first glance, the catch is that those 18 hours don’t come from recharges in the case because the case has no battery.

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You read that right. The earbuds themselves pack in 18 hours of listening time without the need to pop them back in the case to top them up at any point. This allows the case to be smaller than ever for ultimate portability, and while the buds themselves are a bit bulkier than AirPods, they still fit comfortably in the ears without protruding too much.

Of course, delivering that kind of battery life requires a few compromises, especially for an $80 price tag. There’s no active noise cancellation, just the usual passive noise isolation common to most in-ear headphones. Four sets of eartips are included so you can get a comfortable fit that helps mute the din of the outside world.

The lack of a battery in the case means you’ll have to turn to an external power source when it does come time to juice them up, but that can just as easily be an iPhone 15 as a power brick or battery pack, and you can get an hour of extra listening time from a five-minute charge.

You probably shouldn’t expect these to offer the same sound quality as flagship earbuds like the AirPods Pro, but they should punch above their weight class, thanks to dual custom-tuned dual-layer drivers that the company has dubbed “Axial Align Drivers” that channel sound directly into your ears with minimal distortion. Laser-cut micro vents help improve the bass while relieving enough air pressure to keep them comfortable to wear. In short, these won’t have any problem delivering your favorite pump mixes to keep you motivated.

Beats has also worked to ensure the Solo Buds deliver top-notch call quality, something rarely seen on true wireless earbuds in this price range. Each earbud has its own custom mic backed up by an advanced noise-learning algorithm to cut out as much background noise as possible.

The Beats Solo Buds also feature the same custom Beats chip as the company’s more expensive headphones, offering unique cross-platform integration that allows them to pair just as well with an Android phone as they can with a smartphone. This includes support for Google’s Fast Pair automatic setup and Apple’s quick AirPods-style pairing, plus Find My support on both the Apple and Android networks.

Beats Solo Buds will be available for preorder on Tuesday, June 18 at 7 a.m. PT (10 a.m. ET) and should arrive in stores on Thursday, June 20, including the Apple Store and the other usual retailers. They’re expected to come in Matte Black, Storm Gray, Transparent Red, and Arctic Purple, the last of which will be exclusively available from Apple and Target in the US.

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