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Beats Studio3 Review

Only worth the price if you like the design style
Beats Studio3
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Price:   $350 List | $219.55 at Amazon
Pros:  Good sound quality
Cons:  Expensive, not super comfortable
Manufacturer:   Beats by Dre
By Steven Tata, Max Mutter  ⋅  Jan 8, 2018
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 19
  • Sound Quality - 30% 7
  • Noise Isolation - 25% 7
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • User Friendliness - 10% 6
  • Portability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

While Beats did create a good pair of headphones in the Studio3, they pale in comparison to their main competitors from Bose and Sony. Of course, Beats offers a much different style than Bose. The Beats headphones have a bit more flair in their design, while the more austere look of the Bose headphones almost lends an air of formality. If you really prefer the Beats styling we doubt you'll be disappointed by how the headphones perform, just know that the same amount of money could fetch significantly better sound quality, noise isolation, and comfort from other models.

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Price $350 List
$219.55 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good sound qualitySuperb active noise cancellation and overall sound quality, multipoint Bluetooth pairing, auto-pause, relatively comfortable for most peopleExcellent sound quality, field-leading noise cancellation, comfortableGreat sound quality, good noise cancellation, comfortable, built-in Google AssistantGreat sound quality, great noise cancellation, comfortable, user friendly features
Cons Expensive, not super comfortableExpensiveExpensiveExpensiveExpensive, both sound quality and noise cancellation fall just short of being the best in the field
Bottom Line Only worth the price if you like the design styleTop-notch in terms of both noise cancellation and sound quality, it's hard to find a better listening experiencePillowy comfort and one of the best personal listening experiences we've enjoyed from any deviceTop of the line headphones that offer everything you could wantPremium cans that offer unique features on top of great sound quality and noise cancellation
Rating Categories Beats Studio3 Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise... Bose QuietComfort... Jabra Elite 85h
Sound Quality (30%)
7
10
9
9
8
Noise Isolation (25%)
7
10
10
8
8
Comfort (25%)
5
9
9
9
8
User Friendliness (10%)
6
9
9
8
9
Portability (10%)
8
8
8
8
8
Specs Beats Studio3 Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise... Bose QuietComfort... Jabra Elite 85h
Noise Cancelling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manufacturer Reported Battery Life (hours) 22 30 20 40 wired, 20 BT 36
Weight (ounces) 9.1 8.8 9.2 10.9 10.5

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Beats Studio3 are priced to be the best headphones on the market. Unfortunately, though they are quite good, they fall well short of this mark. I

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison


The Beats Studio3 punched a bit below their weight class in our testing, delivering a performance that was just a bit above average. We used five different tests to determine this, which you can read more about below.

Sound Quality


The Beats Studio3 sounds good but not great, which garnered a score of 7 out of 10 in our sound quality testing. This was well behind the best models. The Studio3's clarity is quite good, with even complicated melodies sound crisp and defined. However, the Bose is able to lend just a bit more crispness to those same melodies. Somewhat surprisingly, the Studio3 is noticeably lacking in the bass department. The power and definition of its low end is on par with that of the $70 TaoTronics TT-BH060, and noticeably weaker than that of the Bose. Overall the Studio3 sounds good, but falls well short of the exceptional sound of the Bose.

While the Beats Studio3 sounds good, we don't really feel it lives...
While the Beats Studio3 sounds good, we don't really feel it lives up to the hype.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Noise Isolation


The Studio3 earned a score of 7 out of 10 in our noise isolation testing. This was the lowest score we awarded to any model with active noise cancellation, and is on par with the performance of the $70 TaoTronics TT-BH060. With this level of isolation most low to medium volume nose are blocked out, but some muffled speaking sounds and loud noises are able to make their way through. This again falls well short of the Bose, which can block out all but the loudest sounds.

Comfort


Here again the Studio3 struggles a bit when compared to the Bose, picking up just a 5 out of 10 compared to the Bose's 9. The Studio3 has round ear cups and slightly less padding than the Bose. This means that even average sized ears will likely experience a bit of scrunching when wearing these headphones. The Bose has a lot more padding and a more anatomical shape that accepts even large ears.

The Studio3 folds up into a fairly small package.
The Studio3 folds up into a fairly small package.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

User Friendliness


The Studio3's user experience is fairly average, earning it a score of 6 out of 10 in this metric. It has standard value and play/pause buttons. Pressing the play/pause button twice or thrice can skip tracks forward and back as well. The controls of the Bose are very similar, but it also includes a dedicated button to summon Google Assistant.

The Studio3 also contains an Apple W1 chip, which means it will recognize all of your Apple devices once you pair it with just one of them.

The Studio3's controls are fairly standard.
The Studio3's controls are fairly standard.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Portability


The Beats Studio3 comes with the sturdiest case of all the models we tested, and fold down quite small. The headphones are slightly on the heavy side at 9.1 ounces, but overall they are very portable, earning a score of 8 out of 10.

The Beats case, the most rugged of them all.
The Beats case, the most rugged of them all.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


In terms of performance, the Beats Stuido3 is a very poor value. For a list price of $350 you get performance on par with the $70 TaoTronics TT-BH060, and well short of the performance of simialrly priced models from Bose and Sony

Conclusion


The Beats Studio3 is a good pair of headphones, but it does not live up to its high end pedigree.

Steven Tata, Max Mutter