Beats Solo3 vs. B&O BeoPlay H8: Which should you buy?

The breakdown

The major differences between the Beats Solo3 and B&O BeoPlay H8 come down to build quality, sound quality, and the coveted active noise cancellation that the Solo3 lacks and the BeoPlay H8i does quite well. Plus, the BeoPlay H8i have some super cool features that instantly make them a buy over the Solo3.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Beats Solo3B&O BeoPlay H8i
Battery life40 hours30 hours Bluetooth and ANC, 45 hours Bluetooth only
Active noise cancellationNoYes
Charging cableMicro-USBUSB-C
Charge time5 minutes for 3 hours3.5 hours to full
# of color options102
Proximity sensorNoYes

For all intents and purposes, the B&O BeoPlay H8i are just better headphones all the way around. The Beats Solo3 have been criticized for their brittle plastic construction, overemphasis on bass, and lack of comfort. While they do sound quite good, they don't sound $300 worth of great.

The BeoPlay H8i have an aluminum frame, which won't randomly snap after months of use, and the earcups are made from sheepskin, which is not only comfortable but durable as well. Transparency Mode, which lets ambient noise in, is easily activated at the touch of a button on the earcup. Playback controls are on there as well, making for an overall excellent design. The only issue we have is that the band is heavy, meaning it can fall off your head easily.

For $10 more than the Beats Solo3, the B&O BeoPlay H8i are a no-brainer.

Though regularly $400, you can get the BeoPlay H8i on Amazon for $310. At that price ($10 more than the Solo3), they're a no-brainer. You get better sound, more features, more comfort, and simply better headphones. Active noise cancellation is a dream, especially if you commute by train, bus, or fly a lot — removing that annoying room/fan noise in the office is also wonderful.

The BeoPlay H8i also have proximity sensors, which are one of the coolest headphone features around. The headphones recognize when you take them off and your music automatically pauses, then plays again when you put them back on. It's something we didn't realize we needed.

Without a doubt, if you're going to be spending upwards of $300 on on-ear headphones, buy the BeoPlay H8i. Beats may have the brand recognition, but it doesn't measure up in quality to Bang and Olufsen.

Mick Symons

Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.