Apple’s successful subsidiary Beats now releases its third iteration of its successful headphone Beats Studio with an eye to broaden its following even further. The result is a pair of headphones that strive to convince with its sound as much as its functionality, without skimping on style. Let’s delve a little deeper into the specifics.
We opted for the ‘Asphalt Grey’ option when picking out a model for this test, but the rather uninspiring name is not reflective of this premier product itself. The Studio3 makes a fantastic first impression, with a tasteful palette and slick design, quality materials and first-rate workmanship. Even the packaging of the product impresses. There really isn’t anything to complain about here.
Music lovers will find plenty to enjoy with the premier material mix of these Studio3 headphones. Suede leather, memory foam cushioning, soft-touch plastics and first-rate hinges and hardware can all be found here.
In addition to the headphones themselves, the stylish outer packaging includes a USB charging cable, as well as an additional audio cable that allows the Beats Studio3 to be operated via mains power. This cable also features an integrated remote control.
The Studio3 boasts the Apple W1 along side its other internal workings, just like the latest AirPods. This ensures these headphones seem right at home alongside other Apple tech. When the Beats Studio3 makes contact with an iPhone and asks for acceptance, a quick swipe is all it takes to connect the two via Bluetooth.
Pairing has even more perks here. All Apple devices with the same iCloud account are seamlessly connected to the Beats3 headphones. Those users who utilise all Apple devices can therefore switch between phone, watch and computer without any music interruption. In theory, this sounds fantastic. However, it does require you to become familiar with the specifics first. When it comes to pairing, however, the whole experience is child’s play.
Listen in Peace
Development in noise cancellation is going well, with the Beats Studio3 offering the latest technology in this area. The adaptive Active Noise Cancelling (Pure ANC) downscales audio from the outside world to ensure you enjoy as much dampening as you need.
That all worked very well in practice. Sounds from the city outside of the window and beyond were effectively dampened as though the window had been closed. Noise and clatter produced when carrying out daily chores is also dampened effectively when wearing the headphones, with this external noise sounding as though it might be coming from another room.
In quiet environments, it’s suggested you deactivate the noise cancelling function by pressing the main switch on the right-hand side of the headphones twice. This not only grants you an extended battery life that extends operational time by almost four times, it also removes that subtle sound present when noise cancelling is active. Sound is a little more open without ANC, but this is largely due to psycho-acoustic phenomena.
Ready to Start…
Now it’s time to talk about what’s really important. First up, we’ll look into the fit and feel of these headphones. Just to note, my head is a hat size 60, which spreads the headband quite wide with the result being a certain amount of pressure on each side of my head. That being said, any pressure is compensated for by impressive adjustment possibilities. You can pull the earpieces out by 2.8 mm, while quality padding on the earpieces and headband ensures you can wear these for long periods of time without worrying about things getting uncomfortable.
As with the AirPods, control of functions is done via the trackpad found on the left side of the headphones. This also works in wireless mode. The top and bottom areas control volume, while the middle section sporting the Apple logo serves to stop music. Two clicks within the playlist will skip music selections, while pressing three times will backtrack. Call acceptance and rejection, as well as Siri virtual assistant control is activated by touching the logo.
Now it’s time to delve into the sound capabilities of the Beats Studio3 Wireless. We’ll use our headphonecheck.com-Spotify-Playlist for the purpose of this test. The first track is the 2012 Mix/Master of Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Symphony”. Here, the bass groove makes a real impression in the ear.
The Chemical Brothers also deliver a fine electro-groove with their track, “Go”. The synth bass is a real delight, while the virtual reverberation ensues an authentic artificial sound stage. Of particular note here is that the bass pushes, when compared to earlier beats, are extremely pleasant without suffering from any overemphasis.
Next up was a music classic, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. A clearly positioned choir, well-balanced electric bass and finely-tuned upper mids are all clearly audible. The remastered version of the classic when played on the Beats Studio3 sounds pretty close to what it must have sounded like during the original recording.
The latest generation of Beats headphones really convinces when playing productions from years past, delivering superior sound that’s more akin to a setup consisting of a higher tier hi-fi device with soft woofer surround, wide frequency-separated mid-ranges and high-end tweeters. What’s more, all of this is available for a relatively competitive price. It’s amazing this enviable reproduction of sound is available in the convenient form of a pair of headphones. A quick play of “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin once again convinces, with a clean stereo image and wide stage.
On the other hand, there’s a pleasant punch and thrust when bass-heavy productions are played on the Beats Studio3, without the annoyances that plagued earlier Beats models.
Acoustic and orchestral music is consistently reproduced authentically, with sound enhancements that distinguishes these headphones as a class above many of their competitors
I’m revising my earlier prejudgements about Beats headphones. At least with the Studio3 Wireless, I find the product not only visually appealing, but have to applaud it from a sound perspective as well. There’s a modern sound texture, playful listening experience through the playlist, plus sophisticated wireless communication that ensures these Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones will deliver in spades in all situations.
There’s a choice of materials and chic design to enjoy here, which both underline the overall quality of the product. With the Studio3 Wireless, Beats joins top-tier competitors from the likes of B&O Play, Bowers & Wilkins and Sennheiser. For those with a penchant for Apple devices, the Studio3 is particularly recommended, with smooth connection to iOS and MacOS devices ensuring a user-friendly experience.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Impedance135,9 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)105,37 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head658,5 g
- Weight with cable282 g
- Weight without cable263 g
- Cable length130 cm
What's in the box
- Cable with RemoteTalk (mini jack)
- USB charging cable
- Travel case
- available in different colours and designs
- Realtime audio calibration
- Fast Fuel charging