Unannounced Beats Solo2 Wireless headphone revealed by FCC, features Bluetooth LE

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited November 2014
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday published testing results for the as-yet-unannounced Beats Solo2 Wireless headphone, a Bluetooth-enabled version of the Apple-owned company's mid-tier Solo2.


Source: FCC


As seen in the image above, an illustration of regulatory label positioning, the Solo2 Wireless will take on the same general teardrop shape as Beats' current wired Solo2 headphones.

The FCC's radiation testing documents show the Solo2 Wireless will use a variety of legacy Bluetooth protocols, as well as Bluetooth 4.0, the same low-energy technology used in Beats' high-end Studio Wireless headphones. An internal battery will be charged via Micro USB, though specifications and runtime were not evaluated.

In addition to device labeling, a packaging sample is marked with Apple's Cupertino, Calif., address. The company is also listed in FCC documents as the device's developer and contact for testing.

Apple purchased Beats for $3 billion, netting the firm's hardware and software arms as part of the deal. Beats by Dre has so far been kept a separate brand from Apple's own headphone products, as the company promised after inking the deal in May.

Pricing and availability is not yet known, but as part Beats' mid-tier lineup, the Solo2 Wireless is expected to cost between $199 and $379, respective current pricing for the wired Solo2 and Studio Wireless headphones.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31

    Looks good

  • Reply 2 of 31
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    sweet


    Depends on PRICE.

  • Reply 3 of 31
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    I didn't think BT had enough bandwidth to stream BT at 256kibps. And I was sure that BLE couldn't do it. I also assumed the ?Watch having WiFi was likely for using wireless headphones since I assumed BT wasn't good enough for their iTS content to be streamed. I guess I need to go look at the capabilities again.


    Application throughput is 0.7–2.1 Mbit/s for Classic Bluetooth technology and 0.27 Mbit/s for Bluetooth Smart technology. Classic BT is fine but that's pushing it for BT Smart. Would this include a buffer?
  • Reply 4 of 31
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,158member

    I sure hope Apple has plans to improve the sound quality in Beats headphones. As of now, all their models sound terrible. 

  • Reply 5 of 31
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,436member

    As long as Apple still continues to keep regular mini headphone jacks on their devices, so that I can hook up whichever headphones that I want to the device, then I'll be happy, and it won't really matter what I think of Beats headphones.

  • Reply 6 of 31
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    I didn't think BT had enough bandwidth to stream BT at 256kibps. And I was sure that BLE couldn't do it. I also assumed the ?Watch having WiFi was likely for using wireless headphones since I assumed BT wasn't good enough for their iTS content to be streamed. I guess I need to go look at the capabilities again.





    Application throughput is 0.7–2.1 Mbit/s for Classic Bluetooth technology and 0.27 Mbit/s for Bluetooth Smart technology. Classic BT is fine but that's pushing it for BT Smart. Would this include a buffer?



    Apple's AAC encoder is capable of producing very good quality audio at considerably less than 256 kbps. The latest hydrogen audio blind listening tests found AAC at ~ 105 kbps better than the most recent LAME mp3 encoder at 136 kbps. Up that data rate a little bit, and you're getting into quality levels that most people couldn't distinguish from the original even in ideal listening environments, much less those in which most people would be using wireless headphones.

  • Reply 7 of 31
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    solipsismy wrote: »
    I didn't think BT had enough bandwidth to stream BT at 256kibps. And I was sure that BLE couldn't do it. I also assumed the ?Watch having WiFi was likely for using wireless headphones since I assumed BT wasn't good enough for their iTS content to be streamed. I guess I need to go look at the capabilities again.

    Application throughput is 0.7–2.1 Mbit/s for Classic Bluetooth technology and 0.27 Mbit/s for Bluetooth Smart technology. Classic BT is fine but that's pushing it for BT Smart. Would this include a buffer?

    Bluetooth 4 has multiple modes up to 25Mbps but for music streaming to work in low energy mode, which is that low bandwidth you wrote, they'd have to do the decompression on the headphones so rather than decompress the audio on the music player, they'd send over an AAC sample at 256kpbs and then decompress that on the headphones.

    I don't like the size of the Beats headphones, I'm not into big cans (the headphone kind). My ears get all hot and they make my head itchy. I think a foldable Beats Solo mini would be nice but the same 40mm drivers and maybe have flat pads to distribute the pressure:

    1000

    It would perhaps be harder to fit a decent battery in but if they can get 20-40 hours of battery, that would be ok. If you were at a computer, all you'd have to do is plug into one of the USB ports to charge and that would be no worse than it being wired. If they made a Lightning to micro-USB, this could work as a backup if the battery in the headphones died. It wouldn't charge the headphones, it would just use enough to let them work.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    sessamoid wrote: »

    Apple's AAC encoder is capable of producing very good quality audio at considerably less than 256 kbps. The latest hydrogen audio blind listening tests found AAC at ~ 105 kbps better than the most recent LAME mp3 encoder at 136 kbps. Up that data rate a little bit, and you're getting into quality levels that most people couldn't distinguish from the original even in ideal listening environments, much less those in which most people would be using wireless headphones.

    Thanks.
    Marvin wrote: »
    Bluetooth 4 has multiple modes up to 25Mbps but for music streaming to work in low energy mode, which is that low bandwidth you wrote, they'd have to do the decompression on the headphones so rather than decompress the audio on the music player, they'd send over an AAC sample at 256kpbs and then decompress that on the headphones.

    Thanks.

    I don't like the size of the Beats headphones, I'm not into big cans (the headphone kind). My ears get all hot and they make my head itchy. I think a foldable Beats Solo mini would be nice but the same 40mm drivers and maybe have flat pads to distribute the pressure:

    [image]

    The larger headphones have been growing on me. I've preferred the in-ear phones but people still bother me even when I have them in. Perhaps I need to move to obnoxiously large headphones so I don't get bothered as much.

    (A bit ranty, but this happened today when I was studying. Even after he apologized for not seeing the in-ear phones I pulled out to hear what he was saying he asked me what I was studying. I don't get why anyone would interrupt what someone is studying or reading to ask them what they are focused on doing.)
    It would perhaps be harder to fit a decent battery in but if they can get 20-40 hours of battery, that would be ok. If you were at a computer, all you'd have to do is plug into one of the USB ports to charge and that would be no worse than it being wired. If they made a Lightning to micro-USB, this could work as a backup if the battery in the headphones died. It wouldn't charge the headphones, it would just use enough to let them work.

    With a small battery an inductive-magnetic charger, like the ?Watch would be great. If it had that I would probably drop the assumed $279 for them the day they came out.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    I'll have to check this out. I listen to music, but I take long walks in quiet settings to listen to language lessons. Frequency is not much of an issue, but I'm tired to deknotting corded headphones, and would also like a convenient way to "back up" 5 to 10 seconds when I've missed a piece of sentence.
  • Reply 10 of 31
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,116member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    Bluetooth 4 has multiple modes up to 25Mbps but for music streaming to work in low energy mode, which is that low bandwidth you wrote, they'd have to do the decompression on the headphones so rather than decompress the audio on the music player, they'd send over an AAC sample at 256kpbs and then decompress that on the headphones.



    I don't like the size of the Beats headphones, I'm not into big cans (the headphone kind). My ears get all hot and they make my head itchy. I think a foldable Beats Solo mini would be nice but the same 40mm drivers and maybe have flat pads to distribute the pressure:







    It would perhaps be harder to fit a decent battery in but if they can get 20-40 hours of battery, that would be ok. If you were at a computer, all you'd have to do is plug into one of the USB ports to charge and that would be no worse than it being wired. If they made a Lightning to micro-USB, this could work as a backup if the battery in the headphones died. It wouldn't charge the headphones, it would just use enough to let them work.

     

    What the hell happened to her ear? Clearly it got photoshopped out, because that tiny size would not even cover it. 

  • Reply 11 of 31

    I've been waiting for decent quality BT headphones to show up for a while now.

     

    Looks like this one may fit the bill.

  • Reply 12 of 31
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    I've been waiting for decent quality BT headphones to show up for a while now.

     

    Looks like this one may fit the bill.




    That remains to be seen, but I'm hopeful. Beats has not really had great sound quality prior to their acquisition, but that may change with the new ownership and the access to practically limitless resources.

  • Reply 13 of 31

         

  • Reply 14 of 31
    Are these noise-cancelling? If not, why not?
  • Reply 15 of 31
    apple ][ wrote: »
    As long as Apple still continues to keep regular mini headphone jacks on their devices, so that I can hook up whichever headphones that I want to the device, then I'll be happy, and it won't really matter what I think of Beats headphones.

    You can't be serious. Apple should eliminate the headphone jack entirely and use the lightning connector only.

    If you must use non-apple headphones you can buy an adapter.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    19831983 Posts: 1,158member
    I've been waiting for decent quality BT headphones to show up for a while now.

    Looks like this one may fit the bill.
    Philips already make an excellent Bluetooth headphone as part of their Fidelio line and its recently been upgraded too. It's won best Bluetooth headphone of the year, two years in a row at a respected British HiFi publication.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    slurpy wrote: »
    What the hell happened to her ear? Clearly it got photoshopped out, because that tiny size would not even cover it.

    The earlobe got photoshopped out but it's mostly hidden in the original. Here's one with an ear:

    1000
    solipsismy wrote:
    With a small battery an inductive-magnetic charger, like the ?Watch would be great. If it had that I would probably drop the assumed $279 for them the day they came out.

    I generally wouldn't want to pay more than ~$99 for headphones, some of these are just over:

    http://www.amazon.com/AKG-451-High-Performance-Foldable-Headset/dp/B005LBQ7BY
    http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-PX210BT-Collapsible-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B002WB0PUK
    http://www.amazon.com/Andoer-Foldable-Wireless-Bluetooth-Headphone/dp/B00J4J1156
    http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50S-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B004ZG9TMA

    There are good quality headphones in that price range. I might consider as much as $199 considering the wireless capability but there's durability to consider.

    If it had music playing capability on its own like an integrated iPod Shuffle so that I could just be wearing the headphones anywhere and listen to music, that would be worth $199. That would help it last longer on battery because it wouldn't be using the wireless antenna. An iPod Shuffle connected to wired headphones will last 15 hours and look how small that is. So just put it inside the headphones with a larger battery (it weighs 12.5 grams total so they can easily quadruple the battery to get 60 hours), put some capacitive controls on the side and it keeps the design clean. Tap to play/stop, swipe up/down for volume, tap front/back to skip tracks (swipe forward/back could pull the headphones off) etc.

    On-board Siri would be neat too for basic voice recognition of tracks, just tap-hold the side until the Siri noise starts and say the track name or artist and it can skip to it. Perhaps it can even be smarter and be able to mix a playlist on the fly e.g Siri, make a playlist with x,y,z artists plus songs a,b,c and randomize - that might need internet connectivity to understand but if it had key words to look for, it shouldn't. It knows what music you have and what the keywords are so it can assume that what you're saying is along those lines and make a suitable guess. It would have a list of all words, track names, artists and so on that it understands and every word would get weighed up against the list and listed by probability and it would assume that someone was saying a coherent sentence so it should never have to say it doesn't understand, it would just pick the closest match e.g:

    Ok Siri
    Playlist
    artist or song - Siri repeats name
    if ok, say next item, otherwise no and it ignores the last item
    then just tap to confirm and play

    Another way to do music selection would be to allow scrolling through music by scrolling the side so you can enter a mode that lets you skip between playlist, artist, songs like on the iPhone and then vertical scroll would read the names out but scroll-hold would skip through the letters and then just scroll slowly to get the right selection.
  • Reply 18 of 31
    1983 wrote: »
    Philips already make an excellent Bluetooth headphone as part of their Fidelio line and its recently been upgraded too. It's won best Bluetooth headphone of the year, two years in a row at a respected British HiFi publication.

    Thanks! I checked it out. Looks like it's both wired and BT. And the price ($130) is great. But not sure about the styling, though.

    Might have to try one out in person.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    Do people realize that there is an increased risk of getting a bald spot on the top of the head due to wearing these large headphones? At various ages I noticed I'd get either thinning or no hair in the area where the wide band on the top of the head touched. I try to avoid that type of headphones now.
  • Reply 20 of 31
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Marvin wrote: »
    I generally wouldn't want to pay more than ~$99 for headphones, some of these are just over:

    http://www.amazon.com/AKG-451-High-Performance-Foldable-Headset/dp/B005LBQ7BY
    http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-PX210BT-Collapsible-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B002WB0PUK
    http://www.amazon.com/Andoer-Foldable-Wireless-Bluetooth-Headphone/dp/B00J4J1156
    http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50S-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B004ZG9TMA

    There are good quality headphones in that price range. I might consider as much as $199 considering the wireless capability but there's durability to consider.

    Thanks for the list. I am surprised at how inexpensive they are. One was about $23. I'd definitely like something with BT 4.0 if I'm going that route. Ideally I'd like to be able to use plugged in, even over USB providing it charges whilst plugged in.

    I liked that they were foldable as I use a smaller case for my MBP these days, but does that affect the overall design when you're wearing it? Is it better to have a pair designed more for wearing or for storage?
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