Beats Studio Wireless Review
$264.29 on Amazon
Beats Studio Wireless
• Improved audio performance from earlier models
• Range of colour options
• Looks great
• Hard shell case
• Expensive for what you get
• No wired use when battery runs out
• They can be prone to breakage
• Noise cancellation is OK but not great
The Beats Studio Wireless is an over-ear design with active noise cancellation. At $264.29 it’s the second most expensive headphone in the Beats line-up. Only the Beats Pro, which Beats markets as a product for audio professionals *cough*, is more expensive at $269.99. The Studio Wireless features an integrated mic, optional three-button RemoteTalk cable and a hard shell carrying case. The headphones have a sleek design and boast updated audio performance from the earlier, and often criticised, Studio model. The earpieces fold up for easy storage and the model weighs in at 260g.
Beats offer sharp looks
Beats have a knack for presenting stylish products. The Studio Wireless certainly looks great. There are eight colour options available: Black, blue, matte black, red, titanium, white, gold and metallic sky (ie silver and white). Many of the colour options are quite bold and flashy. Matte black is more understated though so you don’t have to feel like a walking advertisement for Beats. The design overall has been streamlined and looks better than the Monster’s Studio design. The original Studio was also heavier, less comfortable and had a plastic build prone to breakage.
Revamped audio performance
Beats, under the umbrella of Apple, has had a revamp in sound compared to the Monster days. The reputation of the Monster models still mars Beats’ name to this day, despite the recent changes in design. The Monster Studio had overpowering, muddy bass. In contrast, the Studio Wireless offers greater clarity in the low end, as well as throughout the whole spectrum. The bass is still prominent but is more controlled. The highs are accented, while the upper mids have slight push. The cans don’t necessarily sound better while in wired use, as wireless use can roll off some of the forward highs. They offer a ‘fun’ sound, and suits average listeners who aren’t in the market for an audiophile product.
Beats are known for being designed for rap, but the Studio Wireless would be suitable also for a range of contemporary styles such as rock, pop and electronic music. The response is not so strongly tailored as to only be suitable for hip hop and other bass-heavy styles. The frequency response is 20Hz – 20kHz. Overall, the headphones offer respectable audio performance. However at this price range, you can definitely get better performing models from competing brands.
Comfortable over-ear design
The over-ear design of the Beats Studio Wireless means they are best suited to use at home or on transport. They aren’t suitable for sports uses, as they would quickly overheat you and lack sweat resistance. For more active uses the on-ear Beats Solo 2 Wireless would be a better bet. The Studio Wireless have a comfortable, adjustable headband. The earcups are soft and have a generous area to accommodate the ears. In terms of comfort for their intended use, they perform quite well.
The headband is made of metal, yet remains flexible. The majority of the Studio Wireless is plastic though. Despite the high asking price they are not particularly sturdy. Common issues include the earcup padding falling apart and earpiece failure. Apple can also be very stingy with their interpretation of the warranty conditions. $264.29 is a lot of money to gamble on a product that has questionable build quality.
The Beats Studio Wireless boasts a 30 feet Bluetooth range, which is fairly accurate. Range aside, Bluetooth drop-outs can be an issue with this model. The headphones offer 12 hours of battery life, and approximately 20 while using the cable. Unfortunately, once the integrated battery runs out, the headphones don’t function at all, even with the cable attached. It’s pretty disappointing to get a brick once the battery goes. There’s a five-light battery indicator on the right earpiece. Pressing the battery indicator turns the headphones on and off, while removing the cable also shuts them off automatically.
The built in mic does the job although it’s not particularly impressive. You can control calls and music via integrated controls on the left earpiece. Pressing the Beats logo controls play/pause, skip track (double tap) and previous track (triple tap). The volume buttons are seamlessly integrated above and below the logo button. This minimalist design prevents the headphones from being cluttered and maintains the classy look. It’s very similar to the control scheme used on the Solo 2 Wireless.
Studio Wireless accessories
Extras include the USB 2.0 charging cable, hard shell carrying case and RemoteTalk cable. The hard shell carrying case is a much-appreciated inclusion. As discussed above the durability isn’t the finest, so unlike the Solo 2 Wireless, you at least have a solid case for protecting your cans. Unfortunately the case doesn’t have a pouch, so the other extras will just be left to rattle around. The three-button RemoteTalk cable is similar to the remote used on other Beats headphones and earphones. It terminates in an angled 3.5mm jack which leaves plenty of room for a phone case. The remote is designed for use with iOS devices and there is no corresponding Android version.
Fair noise cancellation
The noise cancellation for the Beats Studio Wireless is effective, although it does not stand-out. The Beats are not going to knock the Bose Quiet Comfort 25 off its perch. While noise cancellation is active, some hiss is audible while music is not playing, although that issue is not specific to the Studio Wireless. There are two cancellation modes, one which can be used to play music simultaneously and a second mode which offers stronger cancellation, yet does not allow music playback. That might seem a little limiting but presumably the second mode is intended for purposes such as sleeping on a plane journey.
Are the Beats Studio Wireless worth it?
The Studio Wireless offer respectable audio performance. It’s certainly better than the earlier generation of Beats headphones.The headphones are trumped in the noise cancellation department by major competitors but they still offer fair performance in this area. The wireless functionality is convenient although the lack of wired use after battery depletion is disappointing. The cans are comfortable and the included hard case keep them protected in between sessions. As with many Beats products, the build quality isn’t particularly impressive. At this price range, it’s a bit hard to recommend the Studio Wireless. If you want the distinct looks and don’t mind the price tag, then they are a reasonable proposition.
United Kingdom: JohnLewis, Argos
International: Ebay, bhphotovideo
The headphones are light and very comfortable for long amounts of listening.
I find myself reaching for these over better sounding wired pairs I have just because of the convenience of the wireless.
I am very disappointed by customer service and the way they constructed. After 1 month of careful usage, I saw two tiny cracks. During next month they became bigger and bigger, until it just broke.
The sound quality isn't perfect but it, along with the build quality, are improved over the previous generation of Beats.
- In the Box:
- Beats by Dr. Dre Studio Wireless over-ear headphones
- RemoteTalk cable
- USB 2.0 cable (USB-A to USB Micro-B)
- Hard-shell carrying case
- Beats by Dr. Dre cleaning cloth
- Tech specs:
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Other Features: Active Noise Cancelling, With Remote and Mic, Wireless
- Form Factor: Over Ear
- Connections: Wireless