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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 | $199.95 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
#11 of 15
  • 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. 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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Beats Studio3
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Price $350 List
$199.95 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, relatively small and portableInexpensive, powerful bass, effective active noise cancellation, comfortable
Cons Expensive, not super comfortableExpensiveExpensiveCan be uncomfortable if you have larger ears, noise cancellation lags slightly behind that of comparable modelsLacks some brightness in mid and vocal ranges, headband may be to large for smaller heads
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 deviceA great choice for those that place a premium on sound quality over active noise cancellationImpressively inexpensive given the sound quality, active noise-canceling performance, and comfort
Rating Categories Beats Studio3 Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise Cancelli... beyerdynamic Lagoon... Soundcore Life Q20
Sound Quality (30%)
7.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Noise Isolation (25%)
7.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
6.0
Comfort (25%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
User Friendliness (10%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Portability (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Beats Studio3 Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise Cancelli... beyerdynamic Lagoon... Soundcore Life Q20
Type Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear
Noise cancelling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manufacturer reported battery life (hours) 22 30 20 45 40
Measured weight (ounces) 9.1 8.8 9.2 9.9 9.3
Included case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Lined drawstring pouch
App Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Earcup padding cover material Leatherette Foamed urethane/leatherette Leather Protein synthetic leather Leatherette
Charging cable length (inches) N/A 7.9" 42" 27.5" 40"
Microphone for voice? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth version 4.2 5.0 5.0 4.2 5.0
Onboard buttons Volume, play/pause, forward/back Volume, change track, take/make calls Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls Volume, play/pause, forward/back, fast forward/rewind, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls Volume, multifunction, power, NC

Our Analysis and Test Results

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

Performance Comparison


Stylish and solid, the Studio3 is a great option for an urban setting.
Stylish and solid, the Studio3 is a great option for an urban setting.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Sound Quality


The Studio3 sounds good but not great in our sound quality testing. The Studio3's clarity is quite good, with even complicated melodies sound crisp and defined. Somewhat surprisingly, the Studio3 is noticeably lacking in the bass department.

While the Beats Studio3 sounds good, it is a little soft in the bass...
While the Beats Studio3 sounds good, it is a little soft in the bass end.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Noise Isolation


The Studio3 earned one of the lowest scores we awarded to any model with active noise cancellation. With this level of isolation, most low to medium volume noise is blocked out, but some muffled speaking sounds and loud noises are able to make their way through. This again falls well short of the top ANC models.

Comfort


Here again, the Studio3 struggles a bit. The Studio3 has round ear cups and slightly less padding than the overly comfortable Bose models. 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. 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 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 W1 has now been replaced by the second-generation H1 chip.

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

Portability


The Studio3 comes with the sturdiest case of all the models we tested, and folds down quite small. The headphones are slightly on the heavy side at 9.1 ounces, but overall they are very portable.

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 Studio3 is a poor value.

Conclusion


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

Steven Tata, Max Mutter