Since the Beats by Dre company was bought by Apple in 2014, the company’s release cycle has been slow to say the least. But when new products are released, it is usually the only Apple-owned ones that attract both iOS and Android users.
Since the release of the Beats Studio 3 in 2017, a lot has changed in the design of the Beats Studio range. The Studio Pro are devoid of the flashy chrome metal coating and with the clearly visible logo that was present on the old Beats headphones. Instead, the helmet sports a more discreet and more mature matte finish.
I tested the latest model of the Beats Studio Pro, and its deep brown color, its minimalist design, make it the most aesthetically successful headset I’ve ever seen. But the question is: how does it sound? Otherwise, is it worth its price of €400? Here’s what I think about it.
This year’s Studio Pro benefits from softer hinges, more subtle colors and improved materials for the pads. Significant changes have also been made to the interior of the helmet.
First of all, the headphones now offer noise reduction and transparency modes, the latter being a first among Beats’ over-ear headphones.
The Studio Pro is compatible with spatial audio for iOS via Bluetooth and allows lossless audio playback when connected to a device via its USB-C port. You can even enjoy lossless playback while charging the Studio Pro via an Android phone.
Note: There is no multipoint connection for Apple devices, although the Studio Pro can intelligently switch between an Android device and a Chromebook.
Listening connected via USB-C also unlocks the Audio Entertainment and Conversation modes, which improve the listening experience for watching movies and voice calls, respectively.
The unique Deep Brown finish!
However, lossless audio playback, headphone charging, and Entertainment and Conversation modes via USB-C are incompatible with an iPhone (even with a USB-C to Lightning adapter, according to my unsuccessful attempts). To access these features, you will therefore have to connect the Studio Pro to your iPad or Mac instead.
The active noise reduction (ANC) of the Studio Pro is fantastic, but I would compare it to an over-ear headset that costs at least about € 100 less. Without music, the ANC does a great job blocking “soft noises”, such as a lawn mower or a fan, but it is not as effective at blocking higher-pitched noises, such as the clicking of a pen or typing a text on a keyboard.
After connecting the Studio Pro to my MacBook Air, I listened to “Can You Hear The Music”, from the soundtrack of “Oppenheimer”, and the sound was as captivating as when I watched the movie in the cinema.
To be clear, whether you consider yourself an audiophile or not, the difference between lossless audio and traditional high-quality formats is not as dramatic as it seems. You will also need to use a music streaming platform that supports the high-quality audio format, which for most services implies joining higher-level subscriptions.
The sound of the Studio Pro headphones is very good. It produces bass in a controlled way and increasing the volume does not cause distortion. When I listened You Rock My World from Michael Jackson, the bass line and harmonies in the background were discernible and pleasant.
That said, the Beats Studio Pro’s 40mm speakers produce a sound so balanced that it might sound dull to some. With this latest version of the Studio Pro, you will not get the same level of power and bass as the old Beats headphones.
The fact that there are no direct ways to adjust the Studio Pro’s EQ settings, if at all, doesn’t really help. The headset is not compatible with Apple’s native audio level settings, which is partly explained by the fact that the Beats is not equipped with Apple’s H1 chip. Your only option will therefore be to adjust the EQ settings through your music streaming application.
The phone calls are very clear on the Pro Studio, and I had no problem hearing or being heard by the person on the other end of the line.
The Beats Solo 3 headset that I have owned for about four years has a synthetic leather material that, after all this time, has begun to tear and detach from the metal part of the shells. That’s why I was happy to see that the Studio Pro benefits from a new material for its cushion that Beats calls UltraPlush, which is a memory foam covered with leatherette.
The Beats Studio Pro is equipped with UltraPlush pads.
The UltraPlush provides more comfort, but the pads are slightly smaller than those of other over-the-ear headphones that I have tried. I would say that the Studio Pro is located between over-ear headphones and over-ear headphones, which encourages me to take a break earlier than with other over-ear headphones.
With the transparency mode or the noise reduction system activated, you can listen to the Studio Pro for about 24 hours, or 40 hours if neither mode is activated. Apple claims that the Fast Fuel charge can give you four hours of juice with a 10-minute charge, which is consistent with what I have found.
This is an excellent over-ear headset that offers luxury features to Apple and Android users. It is difficult to find such qualifications when buying audio products in the Apple Store.
For € 400, I would have just liked the headset to support multipoint connection and autoplay, two functions that are usually found in the high-end. But if you are looking for a cool, great-sounding, comfortable and inclusive headset (Android and iOS), the Beats Studio Pro is the candidate.
Source: “ZDNet.com “