BEATS has had a second crack at a pair of wireless earbuds – and they cost £100 less than the AirPods Pro.
As well as a price tag that won’t give your wallet nightmares, the Studio Buds offer a sleek design and great sound. But are they worth your cash?
The Beats Studio Buds offer great sound and a sleek designCredit: Beats
Beats Studio Buds – what are they?
The Studio Buds are the latest true wireless ear buds from audio firm Beats, which is owned by Apple.
The company, which is better-know for its bass-heavy headphones and speakers, says they’re it’s “tiniest” gadget to date.
Unlike 2019’s Powerbeats Pro – Beats’ first pair of buds – the Studio Buds are not designed explicitly around fitness.
Instead, they’re targeted at a wider audience, and are a lot smaller (and cheaper) than their predecessor. They’re out now in the US and UK.
Beats said: “Studio Buds are our tiniest, most subtle form factor to date, yet keep Beats’ promise of delivering an immersive sound experience in a beautiful design.”
Design and features
The minimal, slick design of Beats’ audio products is one of their biggest selling points – and the Studio Buds are no different.
Unlike AirPods, which have a stem protruding from the bottom, the earphones follow a bean-shaped design that fits neatly into the ear.
It’s a form factor pioneered by earphones from the likes of Amazon and Google in years past.
And Beats have perfected it with the Studio Buds, with a compact set of earphones that you can wear comfortably for hours.
They come in three colours: Red, white and black.
Beats often offers a larger range of colours for its products, and it’s a bit of a shame they’ve chosen to limit people’s options this time around.
The Studio Buds also come with some nifty features – including Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which blocks out unwanted background noise.
You can switch it off with the tap of a button if you need to listen in to a conversation, or an announcement on the bus or train.
The inclusion of ANC at the buds’ low price point is a surprise, though it’s noticeably worse than the ANC in, say, the AirPods Pro.
The Studio Buds are also the first Beats earphones to support both FindMy in iOS and Find My Device on Android.
It allows you to quickly locate your lost earbuds using their last known location or by playing a sound when they are nearby – very handy.
The Studio Buds offer eight hours of listening time, with two additional charges provided by their pocket-sized carrying case.
That takes your total to 24 hours – about as much as you’d expect to get from a pair of earbuds over £100, without being particularly impressive, either.
For the price, the Studio Buds offer excellent sound quality.
They handle bass and treble-heavy tracks well without losing too much of the mix – though I still think the Powerbeats Pro sound punchier.
That makes the older earphones better for bass-heavy tracks to work out to, while the Studio Buds are more jack-of-all-trades.
One advantage Beats’ newer buds have is that they are better balanced, to my ear, with improved separation across the fequency range.
Which one you prefer is a matter of opinion, but I think for general consumers, the Studio Buds edge it.
As far as the downsides go, the Buds Pro suffer the same issues I’ve found with other Beats products.
Generally, they tend to push the bass and treble up a little more than pricier earphones.
One of the Studio Buds’ biggest selling points is the price tag.
They’re priced at £129.99 in the UK, and $150 in the US.
That’s astoundingly cheap considering the sound quality, and the fact that you get ANC with them, too.
They’re £120 cheaper than the £250 AirPods Pro, and a fair whack less than the £220 Powerbeats Pro.
If you’re looking for a snazzy pair of earphones in the £100 to £150 price range, you could do a lot worse than the Studio Buds.
They have an eye-catching design and great sound for their price tag, easily matching other earphones in their price range.
However, if you’re looking for something that sounds and looks better than the AirPods Pro, keep looking.
The Studio Buds’ sound quality is noticeably lower, and its ANC simply can’t compare to that offered by Apple’s excellent iconic earphones.
That doesn’t come as a huge surprise, considering the AirPods cost about £120 more.
All in all, the Studio Buds are a great option for anyone looking for affordable earphones that look and sound the business.
The earphones come in three colours: Black, red and whiteCredit: Beats
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