Two years ago, the Apple-owned Beats brand delivered an affordable alternative to the AirPods Pro that swapped the stem design for a smaller earbud that many users found more comfortable. It also boasted support for Android devices at a price point that was $100 cheaper. The new Beats Studio Buds + are an answer to the AirPods Pro 2 that arrived late last year, bringing improved ANC and battery life to a more affordable set of wireless earbuds that continue to deliver a compelling reason to save yourself $79.
Although many assumed the Beats brand would go away once Apple started making its own wireless headphones back in 2016, it didn’t. So far, that’s been a good thing, because the Beats lineup now seems like the best way to get your hands on Apple’s excellent audio hardware without the so-called ‘Apple Tax’ premium pricing. Do the new Beats Studio Buds + outperform the AirPods Pro 2? No, and there are some premium features on the Pro 2 that are sorely missing here. But for $170, they’re a solid alternative to AirPods Pro if you’re looking to save some money, and an excellent upgrade to base AirPods for just $1 more.
Earbuds with th Transparent Case Fad
One of the many weird obsessions of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s was electronic devices housed in transparent plastic cases that exposed all of the electronics and mechanisms inside. As a gadget-obsessed teen, I was into these fascinating peeks behind the curtains of my favorite devices—from Walkmans to Game Boys. As one of the three colorways available for the new Beats Studio Buds + (which also include black/gold and ivory), the transparent option was an obvious choice for me.
In addition to black/gold and ivory colorways, the Beats Studio Buds + also come in a transparent housing with a frosted white finish.
Would I say that being able to peer inside the Beats Studio Buds + charging case and wireless earbuds through a frosted plastic housing is a good reason to upgrade to them? No, but I’d also be lying if I said it would be easy for me to walk past them in an Apple Store and not be tempted. They remind me of the candy-colored see-through iMacs of yesteryear, but with a more subtle finish.
The Beats Studio Buds + charging case with its transparent housing might give airport FAA agents the wrong idea about what it is.
As much as I love the new transparent finish, I also realize that, despite clearly being a set of wireless earbuds, I can see an over-zealous FAA agent at airport security flagging them as being suspicious and a security risk. If you travel a lot, I’m not sure I’d recommend going with the Beats Studio Buds + transparent option, unless you’re okay with rolling the dice on a $170 pair of wireless earbuds being confiscated before a flight.
No Wireless Charging in the Case
Beats has taken the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach to its new Studio Buds +, which are almost impossible to differentiate from the previous model.
The charging case is nearly identical to the regular Beats Studio Buds, carrying forward the same very rounded design that’s easy to pocket.
The Beats Studio Buds + charging case (left) is a bit chunkier than the AirPods Pro 2 charging case (right).
The Beats Studio Buds + charging case still feels quite a bit chunkier than what Apple delivered with the AirPods Pro 2, but that’s to be expected when Apple’s premium wireless earbuds cost $249, while the new Beats launch at $170.
No wireless charging on $170 wireless earbuds is a harder sell these days, but the Beats Studio Buds + only charge through a USB-C cable.
One premium feature still missing from the new Beats Studio Buds + that you can even find on the 2nd generation, $129 Apple AirPods is wireless charging. To charge the new Beats, you’ll still need to reach for a USB-C cable, and that’s a little disappointing.
The Beats Studio Buds + are also still missing the H1 chip that powers more recent AirPods, so pairing them to multiple Apple devices and easily switching between them isn’t an option. The new Beats Buds also can’t detect when they’re being worn, so your music will just keep playing when you remove them. Apple’s continuously hyped Spatial Audio is supported here, so you feel more immersed in a mix, but you won’t get the head tracking that changes where the sounds seem to come from as you move your head around.
Siri, however, is always at your beck and call without having to press any buttons to activate the voice assistant, which is a feature near the top of my wireless earbuds wish list these days. Being able to simply ask a voice assistant to skip a track, or adjust the volume, without having to reach for a device or the buds themselves, is a huge convenience.
What Is New on the Beats Studio Buds +?
The Beats Studio Buds + come with a $20 price bump over their predecessors, which isn’t a result of inflation or supply chain woes. So there’s got to be something that justifies the added ‘+’ to the name besides a transparent case?
The Beats Studio Buds + (left) feature a more traditional in-ear earbud design, compared to the Apple AirPods Pro 2 (right) which house some of the electronics in a protruding stem.
When people ask me to suggest an AirPods Pro-like pair of wireless earbuds without the stem and its finicky squeeze controls, I will usually direct them towards the Beats Studio Buds, which feature a large clickable button that’s easy to find and easier to operate. I definitely prefer it over the AirPods Pro’s stem, but I also often find it very easy to accidentally press when inserting or removing the Beats buds from my ear, as the button is usually where I’m trying to grab them.
Users of the original Beats Studio Buds (right) will appreciate the upgraded design of the shortcut button on the Beats Studio Buds + (left), which is harder to accidentally press while handing the earbuds.
On the Beats Studio Buds +, the shortcut button has been slightly redesigned so it’s harder to accidentally press when handling the buds. It now sits inside a shallow recess on the end of the bud, so when you’re holding them to stick in your ear, or adjusting the fit while wearing them, you’re not accidentally touching and activating the button, resolving one of my biggest pain points with using the originals.
Additional vents on each earbud promise to better alleviate pressure build up in the ear, making the Beats Studio Buds + more comfortable to wear for longer periods.
You’ll also find additional venting on the Beats Studio Buds + which not only makes it easier for the transducer inside to move and push sound waves into your ear, but should also make the earbuds more comfortable to wear for longer periods as the added vents provide an escape route for air to help minimize pressure build up inside the ear.
And while the size of the charging case or the buds themselves hasn’t changed, Beats is also promising a significant boost in overall battery life. With ANC turned off, the earbuds alone will run for up to nine hours, which is an hour more than their predecessor, while total battery life has been boosted from 24 hours to 36 hours when paired with the charging case.
Some of the Best Active Noise Cancelling
Although Beats originally made a name for itself with headphones that were aggressively bass-heavy, the brand has dialed that back a bit since coming into the Apple fold years ago, and now provide a more balanced approach to audio, at least when it comes to wireless earbuds.
Beats is really emphasizing the improvements it made to the Beats Studio Buds + sound performance. Said improvements “efficiently deliver sound to the ear canal via an axial-aligned driver architecture, set in parallel to the acoustic nozzle. The remaining acoustic and electrical components are meticulously arranged to optimize the ergonomic space and updated venting design. This facilitates a condensed, yet powerful acoustic architecture that better leverages increased airflow throughout the acoustic chamber...” That makes it sounds like the Studio Buds + are using stolen 22nd century audio technology, but in reality, I struggled to hear a difference between them and their predecessor.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the original Beats Studio Buds sounded really good, even compared to the AirPods Pro. But there is now a noticeable difference between the Beats Studio Buds + and the AirPods Pro 2. Apple’s top-of-the-line wireless earbuds deliver a wider soundstage with clearer highs and more distinct bass hits, even if the Beats Studio Buds + do stay true to their pedigree with a little more thump on the lower end. Would I be happy if I accidentally grabbed the Beats Studio Buds + instead of the AirPods Pro 2 when leaving the house? Absolutely. I wouldn’t say the Pro 2's sound $79 better.
Where the Beats Studio Buds + really deliver improvements is with their active noise cancellation. Listening to audio recordings of various noisy environments pumped through my sound system at home, they come very close to matching the AirPods Pro 2's ability to cut out lower-end frequencies like the roar of a plane inside the cabin, or the engine of a bus. Earbuds aren’t anywhere as good as over-the-ear headphones when it comes to eliminating higher frequencies, like the chattering voices in a coffee shop, but the Beats Studio Buds + do as good a job as the AirPods Pro 2 do, so if that’s a priority for you, you may have just saved yourself $79.
Not an AirPods Pro 2 Replacement, But a Better Choice Than the 3rd Generation AirPods
For $170, the Beats Studio Buds + are an excellent set of wireless earbuds that bring some of the polish of Apple’s well refined hardware to Android users, too. They’re just not as excellent as the AirPods Pro 2. They sound great, and their ANC easily goes toe-to-toe with Apple’s premium wireless earbuds, but the lack of wireless charging now feels like an odd omission given it’s a feature you’ll find on much cheaper wireless buds. The added level of polish and usability that Apple’s H1 chip brings—particularly when it comes to tracking down a lost earbud—is also definitely missed here.
Where the Beats Studio Buds + really stand out is as a better alternative to spending $169 on Apple’s 3rd generation AirPods. They offer a more secure fit, an easier way to access shortcuts through a simple button on the the buds, better battery life, and ANC that performs as well as it does on Apple’s $249 wireless earbuds.
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Audio performance really comes down to personal preference, as both earbuds sound great. Both the Apple AirPods Pro 2 and the Beats Fit Pro perform well during calls, with the users voice being broadcast clearly. If anything, the AirPods are a bit better, likely thanks to the processing capabilities of the H2 chip.Do Beats Studio Buds work well with iphones? ›
If you pair your Beats Studio Buds or your Beats Studio Buds + with your iPhone, your earphones pair automatically with any iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV that you're signed in to with your Apple ID.Are the Beats AirPods as good as Apple? ›
The 2nd-gen AirPods Pro are arguably better sounding than the Beats, and that's thanks to the enhanced dynamic drivers within each bud, capable of producing a more complete sound stage while keeping mid-to-high frequencies loud and clear.Are Beats Buds owned by Apple? ›
Beats was acquired by Apple Inc. in July 2014.What headphones are better than Beats? ›
- 7506. Sony MDR-7506. ...
- Sennheiser HD 350BT Wireless Headphones. ...
- Anker Soundcore Space A40. ...
- JLab Epic Air Sport ANC. ...
- Monoprice BT 600 ANC. ...
- Anker Soundcore Life Q35. ...
- Linsoul KZ ZSN Pro X. ...
- Anker Soundcore Life A1.
Your Beats Studio Buds + earbuds each provide up to nine hours of playback. With the charging case, you can get up to 36 hours of playback. And with Fast Fuel, you can get up to one hour of playback after you charge for five minutes.Do Beats Studio Buds read text messages on iPhone? ›
When you're wearing your AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, Siri can announce incoming notifications from apps such as Messages and Reminders, and from supported third-party apps. Then you can reply instantly, hands-free.Do you get free Apple Music with Beats Studio Buds? ›
Get 6 months of Apple Music free with eligible AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or Beats headphones.How old are Beats Studio Buds? ›
The Studio Buds were released on June 24, 2021. Despite the small size of the earphones, the Apple H1 wireless chips allow up to 5 hours of playback time with active noise cancellation or transparency mode turned on. The charging case can extend playback time up to 15 hours.Did Apple make Beats better? ›
Overall, Beats products have improved over the past five years, and Apple can take most of the credit.
Each Powerbeats Pro earbud offers nine hours of listening time, which is a full four hours longer than the AirPods promise. AirPods offer five hours of battery life, but the battery life of both the AirPods and the Powerbeats Pro is extended to over 24 hours with their respective charging cases.Has Apple stopped selling Beats? ›
With the discontinuation of the Powerbeats, Beats Solo Pro, and Beats EP, Apple's beats lineup now includes the Beats Studio Buds, Powerbeats Pro, Beats Pro Over-Ear Headphones, Beats Flex, Beats Studio3, Beats Solo3, Beats Fit Pro, and Beats Pill+, all of which can be purchased from Apple's website.Which is better AirPods or earbuds? ›
The implementation of both the EarPods and AirPods audio drivers is the same and thus the overall audio quality and Apple earpods sound and Apple AirPods sound is similar but in terms of bass, the AirPods deliver a better one. So, if you love rock, hip-hop and other such music the AirPods will be a better choice.What is the range of Beats Studio Buds? ›
The Studio Buds also use Class 1 Bluetooth, allowing up to 100 meters (328 feet) of range.Do Beats earbuds have good quality? ›
The Beats Fit Pro place at No. 3 in our Best Noise-Canceling Earbuds of 2023 rating and tie for No. 4 in our Best Wireless Earbuds of 2023 rating.Are Beats really worth it? ›
Yes, the headphones are packed with features and come in several colors to please you aesthetically. Other than that, there isn't anything that is setting Beats apart from other brand-name headphones. You could find a pair of headphones that put out the same sound quality for a lower price.Why are Beats better than other headphones? ›
Comfortable designs. Most Beats headphones are comfortable to wear and are suitable for use over long periods. While their over-ear designs are the most comfortable, their on-ear and in-ear headphones tend to be more comfortable than similarly designed models. Decently well-balanced sound.Can I shower with Beats Studio Buds? ›
Don't swim or bathe with your Beats wireless earphones. Don't expose your Beats wireless earphones to pressurized water or high velocity water, such as when showering, water skiing, wake boarding, surfing, or jet skiing. Don't use your Beats wireless earphones in a sauna or steam room.Can you track stolen Beats Studio Buds? ›
If you lose your Powerbeats Pro, Beats Studio Buds, Beats Studio Buds +, or Beats Fit Pro, you can use Find My to locate them. If your Powerbeats Pro, Beats Studio Buds, Beats Studio Buds +, or Beats Fit Pro earbuds or charging case are lost or damaged, you can find your serial number, then contact Apple Support.Can you control volume on Beats Studio Buds? ›
Users can change the volume level of the Beats Studio Buds by pressing the side buttons. The feature will work with iOS, macOS, and Android devices.
While wearing your Beats Studio Buds or Beats Fit Pro, touch and hold the volume slider until you see the additional controls. Tap the Noise Control button in the lower-left corner. Tap Noise Cancellation, Transparency, or Off.Do Beats connect to iPhone like AirPods? ›
With the latest version of iOS or iPadOS, you and a friend can both listen with AirPods or Beats wireless headphones to audio from your iPhone or iPad.Can Beats use Siri? ›
When you're wearing your AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, Siri can announce incoming notifications from apps such as Messages and Reminders, and from supported third-party apps. Then you can reply instantly, hands-free.Can Beats be tracked by iPhone? ›
With the Find My app1, you can locate compatible Beats headphones from your iOS device or use iCloud from your browser. Locate your Beats from an iOS device: Open the Find My app. Tap the Devices tab, then select the headphones you want to locate.Is Apple giving away free Beats? ›
You will only become eligible for the free Beats Flex earphones upon making your first monthly payment for your Apple Music student subscription (i.e., you will not become eligible during your free trial). If you cancel your subscription during your free offer period, you will not be eligible for this offer.How do I get 6 months free Apple Music with Beats? ›
- Open the Apple Music app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Make sure you're signed in with your Apple ID.
- Go to the Listen Now tab select "Get 6 months free."
This might be due to the listening mode you're using. Try changing between modes using the guidance from Beats Studio Buds and Beats Fit Pro Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode to see if that helps.Can you replace 1 Beats Studio Buds? ›
If your product needs replacement because of physical damage, you can replace each damaged item for a fee.Do Beats Studio Buds stay in ear while running? ›
The Beats Studio Buds are a risk when running. They're not designed for working out and have no hooks, so they might fall out of your ears and get scratched. If you're running hard or long distances, they might not stay in comfortably.Is Beats more expensive than Apple? ›
The Beats Studio Buds are $100 cheaper than the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation). With the sound quality being nearly on par, and the design and battery life being only a little bit behind, the Beats Studio Buds are an appealing choice.
Beats had the highest market share of "premium" consumer headphones and had the marketing locked down through athletes and celebrities. Apple is concerned with market share and keeping its users within their ecosystem. Acquiring Beats aided both of those goals.Which Beats are made by Apple? ›
The Beats Solo Pro is an on-the-ear style headphone. Along with the Powerbeats Pro true-wireless earphones, they are part of a new generation of Beats products made from the ground up with Apple. They are the first on-ear headphones made by Beats to feature active noise canceling.Is Bose better than Beats? ›
The Bose QC 35 II headphones have superior sound quality (especially in the mid-range), better noise cancelling, and are more comfortable to wear. On the flip side, the Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones are certainly the more stylish headphones, and they offer better battery life to boot.Do Beats have good sound quality? ›
Beats Studio Buds
There's even a transparency mode for those who want to hear outside audio, like on the Beats Fit Pro and AirPods Pro.. The Studio Buds stand out amongst the Beats family with their ability to fast-pair to both Apple and Android devices, and we found their sound quality to be strong overall.
The best alternative to AirPods we've tested are the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. These in-ears rival the premium Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, with better active noise cancellation (ANC) to block out more background noise across the entire range.How much did Beats cost Apple? ›
Dre even teased the move in a premature Instagram video. On May 28, 2014, the deal was made official. The mega Beats buyout included $2.6 billion in cash and about $400 million in stock, making Dre the wealthiest hip-hop artist in the world. Dre and Iovine also joined the Apple executive team as part of the deal.How successful is Beats today? ›
Beats controls some 70 percent of the headphones market, thanks to lightning-fast marketing and a smart grasp of pop culture. In six years, Interscope records mogul Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop icon Dr. Dre have turned Beats By Dr. Dre headphones into a $1 billion-plus business.Are new Beats coming out? ›
Apple's new Beats Studio Buds+ are coming, and they'll be available in an entirely new, transparent colorway. We know because the new earbuds, a successor to the Beats Studio Buds which launched in 2021, showed up in an Amazon listing (via 9to5Mac(opens in a new tab)).Are there earbuds better than Apple? ›
Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 Pro wireless earbuds are the best AirPods Pro alternative for Android, offering a stylish and durable design, impeccable comfort, top-tier audio performance, reliable touch controls, and a wireless charging-compatible case.Which is best earbuds or headphones? ›
Headphones provide better sound quality than earbuds, they also offer better noise cancellation, so you can focus on the game. Furthermore, headphones usually have better microphones than earbuds.
Both earbuds and earphones both have a few of the same advantages. They're portable, lightweight, and ideal for the gym. Durability is another advantage, as long as you clean them periodically by removing the buildup of earwax and oils. But when it comes to sound quality and comfort, earphones take the cake.What is the lowest price of Beats Studio Buds? ›
Beats Studio Buds True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Earphones price in India starts from ₹ 10,999. The lowest price of Beats Studio Buds True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Earphones is ₹ 10,999 at Amazon on 20th May 2023.Are the Beats Studio Buds bass heavy? ›
The Beats Studio Buds are sleek noise cancelling, truly wireless headphones. These in-ears stand out from other Beats products as they have a more neutral sound profile rather than one that's thumpy and bass-heavy, making them more versatile for different kinds of audio genres.Are Beats headphones good for iPhone? ›
In the budget price range, the Beats Flex Wireless are the best earphones for iPhone we've tested. They don't have as many features as other picks on this list, but they still offer solid performance for their budget price.Do Beats Studio Buds work with all phones? ›
If you have a device running Android 6.0 or later, you can use one-step pairing with the Beats Studio Buds. To do this follow these steps: Ensure Bluetooth and Location are enabled on your Android device. Place the case near your device, open the case's lid, and keep the buds inside.Why are Beats Studio Buds so quiet? ›
There are a few reasons why your Beats headphones might be quieter than usual. One reason could be that the volume on your device is turned down low. Another possibility is that your Beats headphones are connected to an older model iPhone that doesn't support high audio quality.Why wont my Beats Studio Buds stay in my ear? ›
If you can't get a good seal, try adjusting the Beats Fit Pro or switch to a larger ear tip. If the ear tip feels too large in your ear or is uncomfortable, try a smaller ear tip. You can buy a new set of ear tips from the Apple Online Store, Apple Store, or other authorized retailer."Can Beats Studio Buds be tracked? ›
Each time you connect or disconnect your Beats headphones, earphones, or Pill+ speakers to your Android device, the Beats app records the location of your Android device.Do Beats Studio Buds have noise Cancelling? ›
Beats Studio Buds, Beats Studio Buds +, and Beats Fit Pro have three listening modes: Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode and Off. You can switch between them to choose how much of your surroundings you want to hear.Are Beats good for phone calls? ›
Beyond music, the Beats Solo 3 provides exceptional call quality thanks to their beamforming microphones.
While there is no multipoint Bluetooth pairing that would allow you to have these simultaneously connected to two devices, such as a PC and phone, you can pair them with multiple devices and manually switch between them using the Bluetooth menu.