Beats Studio Pro headphones
The overall fit of the Beats Fit Pro is secure, with a soft rubberized under-band to help ensure this

Beats Studio Pro review: Headphones better than Airpods Max?

Beats Studio Pro aren’t just Android friendly – they’re also the best sounding Beats yet

Beats Studio Pro headphones
Beats Studio Pro review
Bottom Line
Apple's long-awaited Beats Studio Pro headphones are here to rival Bose and Sony's over-ear options. With exceptional sound quality, immersive spatial audio support, and powerful adaptive noise cancellation, they promise to revolutionize your music experience on both Android and iOS. However, they do have some notable design quirks and are limited when it comes to customization.
Pros
Portability
Personalized spatial audio sounds fantastic
Competitive ANC
Good microphone quality
Android support
The included Auxiliary and USB-C cables can both be used for listening
Good battery life + Fast charging
Cons
Tight fit gets uncomfortable
Buttons are stiff
No wear sensor for auto-playing, No equalizer for custom tuning
Included app is very basic with minimal customization
ANC picks up light wind
No official IP water resistance rating

It has been a while since Apple-owned Beats (by Dr. Dre) released a pair of over-ear headphones, but they recently released an update to their Beats Studio Pro headphones.

The revamped Beats Studio Pro headphones offer an immersive audio experience, adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, improved connectivity features, and more. Beats Studio Pro certainly has the potential to give Sony, Bose, and even Apple’s AirPods Pros a run for their money. Moreover, the iconic Beats design looks better than ever.

Beats Studio Pro: Design

The 2023 Beats Studio Pro headphones are true to the brand’s iconic design, with a sleek and recognizable look that is undeniably Beats. The headphones have a premium feel with a more streamlined design and subtle branding.

The matte finish of the deep brown model and the plush ear cups are particularly nice. The finish can attract fingerprints and smudges, but this is tolerable. The headphones have a collapsible design for easy portability, and Beats has included a protective soft case for further convenience.

The ear cups do not swivel, but they do pivot slightly. The overall fit is secure, with a soft rubberized under-band to help ensure this. The snug fit becomes a little tight after half an hour of use. The smaller-than-average size for over-ear headphones is good for portability but can be uncomfortable for those with large ears.

These headphones do not offer the all-day comfort of headphones like Sony’s WH-1000XM5s. However, they are great for the gym when you need a tighter fit. The headphones have a few control buttons that work but are not up to the standard of this premium product. One of the Beats logos is a stiff multi-function button. There are volume buttons located above and below the Beats control buttons.

We appreciate the dedicated volume buttons, but we don’t like the stiffness and clickiness of the controls. Perhaps we’re just used to touch buttons or softer buttons. The other Beats logo is not a button. A small power button controls pairing and toggles sound mode – this can be difficult to find while wearing the headphones.

We are also not fans of press-and-hold controls for something as basic as turning on and off these headphones. We wish these would turn off when you collapse the headphones, like with the Beats Solo Pros.

Beats Studio Pro: Features, app, and connectivity

Beats Studio Pro: App and connectivity
Thanks to fast pairing, you can pair your Beats Studio Pro headphones on iPhone or Android with just a tap.

Beats Studio Pro offers a range of connectivity options, making it a versatile choice for both iOS and Android users. Thanks to fast pairing, you can pair your headphones on iOS or Android with just a tap.

On iPhones, the noise-canceling headphones automatically pair with your iCloud account for seamless pairing on all iOS devices. The package includes a USB-C cable and a 3.5mm headphone jack; you can use both instead of Bluetooth. USB-C even supports uncompressed, lossless audio, but not ANC. The headphones have a built-in DAC too.

The most significant difference between the two operating systems is that only iOS supports spatial audio. Aside from that, they both have the same simple app and basic settings with a “find my” feature in case your Beats go missing. iOS also offers touchless voice activation with “Hey Siri.”

Unfortunately, the Beats app has no equalizer or presets for adjusting audio tuning. There is also no wear sensor for auto-play and pause. These are both surprising omissions, as they are common among premium headphones these days.

Beats Studio Pro: Battery life and charging

Beats Studio Pro: charging
Fast Fuel technology allows for a quick 10-minute charge, providing approx. four hours of listening time

The Beats Studio Pro has a long battery life, lasting up to 40 hours on a single charge and up to 24 hours with Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency mode turned on. Fast Fuel technology allows for a quick 10-minute charge to provide approximately four hours of additional listening time.

You can use your headphones while they are charging using a USB-C cable. There is a small 5-LED battery indicator located near the power button.

Beats Studio Pro: Noise-canceling

The Beats Studio Pro’s Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is excellent. It significantly reduces ambient noise, including constant and inconsistent noise like voices. We find that it works better than Sony’s ANC on everyday noise, especially on our train commute.

It also works just as well when wearing glasses, which is not always the case with ANC headphones. Unfortunately, the ANC does not perform as well outdoors in windy conditions. It amplifies the wind, so we usually turn off ANC when we’re outside.

There is no way to adjust the intensity of the ANC, so you may need to turn it on and off. The included “transparency” mode works well in quieter environments but is too noisy to use in loud environments.

Beats Studio Pro: Sound quality

Beats Studio Pro: Sound quality
The Studio Pros are powered by two large 40mm drivers, which offer an 80% improvement in reduced distortion over the Beats Studio Wireless.

Out of the box, the sound quality is quite good and mostly what we’d expect from this Beats offering in 2023. They’re punchy, vibrant, and of course, bassy. The listening experience is elevated to the next level when paired with Apple’s personalized spatial audio.

However, this feature is only available on iOS devices. The personalized spatial audio images your head and ears with a quick one-time setup. It’s able to offer a much more three-dimensional and immersive experience. While it works best on multi-channel audio like DTS tunes in Apple Music, we enjoyed keeping it on for all stereo content, like in Spotify.

You can enable head tracking too, but we find this a little more gimmicky. Beats headphones have a well-known reputation for emphasizing bass and low frequencies, which the listener can feel. Fortunately, the bass does not overpower the detailed mids and highs.

The Studio Pros are powered by two large 40mm drivers, which offer an 80% improvement in reduced distortion over the Beats Studio Wireless. However, they lack a custom EQ, and the only sound profiles Beats offers are three options when listening via USB-C port, without ANC.

We enjoyed the out-of-the-box sound profile (especially with spatial audio), but some people might not like it without a user-defined equalizer.

The built-in microphone is quite good, much better than average. It can cut out a lot of background noise while keeping voices loud and natural. It is due in part to the 6 MEMS-type microphones. Apple also has a lot of practice in perfecting microphones.

Beats Studio Pro review: Final thoughts

Beats Studio Pro Review
Beats Studio Pro is a feature-rich over-ear headphones contender with room for comfort improvements.

We love Beats Studio Pro’s sound quality, active noise cancellation, portability, and solid connectivity. We also dig the refined and evolved Beats aesthetic. That said, Beats could have taken more risks with the design to make it more comfortable and user-friendly. To that effect, the lack of a wear sensor for auto-playing/pausing was most surprising.

In any case, Beats Studio Pros compete nicely with Bose, Sony, and even Apple headphones like the AirPods Max. If you’re an Apple user, there’s a little more in store for you, like personalized spatial audio, but Beats has done an excellent job supporting Android too here.

Android users get a lossless listening option with the included USB-C cable. The $349.99 price tag is cheaper than the key competitors but is the same price as Sony’s previous generation WH-1000XM4s (which have been our go-to headphones).

the Beats Studio Pros are currently available from Amazon.com in a choice of sandstone, navy, deep brown, and black.

Beats Studio Pro Review: FAQ

How does the Beats Studio Pro compare to other headphones?

Beats Studio Pro competes against popular headphones like the AirPods Max and the previous Beats model, the Beats Studio 3 wireless headphones. While it shares some similarities with these models, such as ANC and long battery life, it provides a lighter design and a more comfortable fit.

How long does the battery last on the Beats Studio Pro?

The Beats Studio Pro offers 40 hours of battery life on a single charge. Additionally, it supports fast charging, allowing you to get hours of playback with just a few minutes of charging.

Can I use the Beats Studio Pro with Android devices?

Yes, the Beats Studio Pro is compatible with Android devices. You can pair the headphones via Bluetooth and enjoy their features seamlessly. Additionally, you can download the Beats app on your Android device to access additional settings and customization options.

What sets the Beats Studio Pro apart from other Beats headphones?

The Beats Studio Pro offers several improvements compared to past Beats headphones. It features a new design with enhanced ergonomics and a USB-C port for charging. Additionally, it supports personalized spatial audio on iOS, allowing for a more immersive listening experience, and comes with an adjustable headband and ear cups.

Does the Beats Studio Pro come with a carrying case?

Beats Studio Pro: Carrying case
The Beats Studio Pro comes with a protective carrying case

Yes, the Beats Studio Pro comes with a premium carrying case. This case protects the headphones from scratches and damage during transport. It also provides a convenient way to store the headphones when not in use.

What is the difference between Beats Studio Pro and AirPods Pro?

Beats Studio Pro is a pair of over-ear headphones, while the Airpods Pro is an in-ear earbuds model.

Beats Studio Pro headphones
$349.99

Beats Studio Pro is a feature-rich pair of headphones that offers impressive sound quality, spatial audio, great call quality, and powerful ANC.

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08/01/2023 06:05 pm GMT
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