- The Beats Studio Pro are an affordable alternative to the AirPods Max, offering a lightweight and sporty design with high-quality leather earcups in multiple finishes.
- The sound quality of the Beats Studio Pro is impressive, with clear and balanced sound, featuring 40mm active drivers that bring out subtle details without distortion.
- The headphones offer active noise cancelation, a Transparency Mode, and support for Apple’s Spatial Audio. They are compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
The Beats Studio Pro noise-canceling headphones were released in July 2023, roughly six years after the Studio 3 Wireless were announced. In the interim, Beats launched a range of wireless earbuds and neckband-style earphones, including the Beats Studio Buds, Beats Fit Pro, and Beats Flex.
Apple introduced the AirPods Max in 2020, its top-of-the-line AirPods with a $550 price tag. It’s likely that Beats didn’t launch noise-canceling headphones to avoid competing with Apple. However, now that the AirPods Max have started to age and buyers are looking for better and more affordable options, it makes sense for the company to release the Beats Studio Pro at $350. Unlike AirPods, Beats headphones are compatible with both Apple and Android ecosystems, making them ideal for a wide range of users.
10 Lightweight, Sporty Design
The Beats Studio Pro feature a sporty design. While the headphones are made of plastic, the earcups are lined with high-quality leather for a comfortable fit. A notable change over the last generation of headphones is that the company has removed its branding from the top of the headband. Instead, there’s the letter ‘b’ on the side of each earcup. The headphones are available in four finishes: Black, Deep Brown, Navy, and Sandstone. The Beats Studio Pro are much lighter than the AirPods Max, weighing 260 grams. They can also be folded, making them easy to carry in a bag.
9 Improved Sound Quality
The Beats Studio Pro feature 40mm active drivers that bring out subtle details, producing clear sound with near-zero distortion, even at high volumes. Unlike other Beats headphones, the Studio Pro don’t feature Apple’s H1 chip. Despite the omission, they offer a balanced sound profile, unlike the Studio 3 Wireless which have a bass-heavy sound signature. The highs are crisp, with clean mids and punchy low-end frequencies. In fact, the Beats Studio Pro may be the best-sounding headphones from the company yet.
8 Better Noise Cancelation
The Beats Studio Pro can continuously monitor outside noise and create a filter that cancels noise at up to 48,000 times per second. That is the same figure Apple advertises for the AirPods Pro 2. Although this might not be as good as the noise cancelation on the Sony WH-1000XM5 or AirPods Max, it isn’t too bad at the $350 price point.
Buyers can switch between the ANC and Transparency modes at the touch of a button. The headphones have six microphones, three on each earcup. The microphones capture the ambient sound and the Beats Custom Acoustic Platform suppresses it. During voice calls, the headphones filter out background noise up to 27 percent better than the Studio 3 Wireless.
7 New Transparency Mode
Like the AirPods Max and AirPods Pro 2, the Beats Studio Pro feature a Transparency Mode that helps users stay present while listening to music. The mode uses the Studio Pro’s microphones to capture and play outside sound, letting users remain aware of their surroundings. It also allows users to converse with others while wearing the Studio Pro. While the Transparency Mode isn’t as good as what’s offered on the AirPods Max, it’s a big upgrade given that the Beats Studio 3 Wireless didn’t come with the feature.
6 Spatial Audio Support
The Beats Studio Pro are the only headphones to feature Apple’s Spatial Audio that aren’t powered by an H1 or H2 chipset. The only other Beats headphones with Spatial Audio are the Beats Fit Pro with the H1 chip. The Beats Studio Pro, with its custom Beats acoustic platform, supports both Spatial Audio and Dynamic Head Tracking. The headphones have a built-in gyroscope that works with the connected device to determine the relative position of the headphones with respect to the user’s head.
The headphones also support Personalized Spatial Audio. This feature utilizes the TrueDepth camera system on an iPhone calibrate the sound profile based on a user’s ears. Unfortunately, these features are only available when using headphones with Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and don’t work on other platforms.
5 Lossless Audio Via USB-C
The Beats Studio Pro are technically the first Apple headphones to feature Lossless Audio. This is thanks to the USB-C port, which, unlike the Lightning port on AirPods Max, provides a higher transfer bandwidth, enabling devices with a USB-C port to relay high-fidelity compressed audio at up to 24bit/48kHz (AAC and SBC).
Both Apple Music and Amazon Music provide lossless quality audio. Audiophiles can take advantage of this by using the USB-C to USB-C cable supplied in the box. Unfortunately, this won’t work with the iPhone, given that Apple is still using the Lightning port with the iPhone 14 series. It’s also worth noting that playing audio via USB-C will disable both ANC and Transparency modes.
4 On-Device Controls
In terms of on-device controls, the Studio Pro have many options. The Beats logo on the side of the left earcup doubles as a music control and voice assistant button. There are also buttons above and below the logo, which serve as volume up and volume down controls, respectively. The right earcup has a multi-function button below the Beats logo. This allows users to switch between ANC and Transparency modes, put the Studio Pro in pairing mode, and power the headphones on/off.
3 Good Battery Life
Beats claims that the Studio Pro provide up to 40 hours of listening time with ANC or Transparency Mode off, which is pretty good. With noise cancelation enabled, the headphones last up to 24 hours. The Studio Pro also support fast charging, providing up to four hours of playback with a 10-minute charge via the USB-C port.
Other headphones in the segment, like the AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM5, provide up to 20 hours and 30 hours of playtime with ANC or ambient noise modes, respectively. Given that the Beats Studio Pro are more affordable than these models, the battery life is pretty good.
2 Dual Wired Connectivity Options
In terms of wireless connectivity, the Studio Pro feature Class 1 Wireless Bluetooth with extended range. They also have a 3.5mm headphone jack to play audio over a wired connection. The USB-C port doubles as an audio input, and also functions as a charging port. This allows the Beats Studio Pro to be connected to a variety of devices.
While listening to music via the USB-C port, users can switch between three audio profiles: Beats Signature, Entertainment, and Conversation. Beats Signature is meant to be a balanced profile for all music genres, while Entertainment is meant to be used while watching movies or gaming. The Conversation profile, as the name suggests, is ideal for phone calls or listening to podcasts and audiobooks.
1 iOS & Android Compatibility
The best feature of the Beats Studio Pro is that they are designed to work with both iOS and Android devices. Not only are these headphones compatible with both operating systems, but they offer several platform-specific features too. For example, the Studio Pro support one-touch pairing, Siri, OTA updates, and Find My integration on iOS. Similarly, they also work with Google Fast Pair, Audio Switch, and Find My Device on Android. The Beats app for Android provides additional features, including the ability to customize controls, install software updates, and more.