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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 | $211.49 at Amazon
Pros:  Good sound quality
Cons:  Expensive, not super comfortable
Manufacturer:   Beats by Dre
By Steven Tata, Max Mutter  ⋅  Jan 18, 2022
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Sound Quality - 30% 7.0
  • Noise Isolation - 25% 7.0
  • Comfort - 25% 5.0
  • User Friendliness - 10% 6.0
  • Portability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

While Beats did create a good pair of wireless 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.

Editor's Note: This review was updated on January 18, 2022 to include more details on what we would choose and why.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Beats Studio3
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Price $350 List
$211.49 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, comfortableInexpensive, powerful bass, effective active noise cancellation, comfortableGreat sound quality, good active noise canellation, intuitive interface
Cons Expensive, not super comfortableExpensiveExpensiveLacks some brightness in mid and vocal ranges, headband may be to large for smaller headsExpensive, uncomfortable to wear for long periods
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 deviceImpressively inexpensive given the sound quality, active noise-canceling performance, and comfortThis on-ear model is a more compact option, making them excellent for city commutes and other short periods of wear
Rating Categories Beats Studio3 Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise Cancelli... Soundcore Life Q20 Beats Solo Pro
Sound Quality (30%)
7.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Noise Isolation (25%)
7.0
10.0
10.0
6.0
7.0
Comfort (25%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
User Friendliness (10%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Portability (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Beats Studio3 Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise Cancelli... Soundcore Life Q20 Beats Solo Pro
Type Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear On-ear
Noise cancelling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manufacturer reported battery life (hours) 22 30 20 40 40
Measured weight (ounces) 9.1 8.8 9.2 9.3 9.5
Included case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Semi-hard case Lined drawstring pouch Soft case, no padding
App Yes Yes Yes No No
Earcup padding cover material Leatherette Foamed urethane/leatherette Leather Leatherette Leatherette
Charging cable length (inches) N/A 7.9" 42" 40" N/A
Microphone for voice? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth version 4.2 5.0 5.0 5.0 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, multifunction, power, NC Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline calls, toggle between sound modes

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


Beats Studio3 wireless headphones - 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.

Beats Studio3 wireless headphones - 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 isolation level, most low to medium volume noise is blocked out, but some muffled speaking sounds and loud noises can 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.

Beats Studio3 wireless headphones - 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 also skip tracks forward and back. 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 second-generation H1 chip has now replaced the W1.

Beats Studio3 wireless headphones - 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.

Beats Studio3 wireless headphones - the beats case, the most rugged of them all.
The Beats case, the most rugged of them all.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Should You Buy the Studio 3?


In terms of performance, the Studio3 is a poor value. The Beats Studio3 is a good pair of wireless headphones, but it does not live up to its high-end and high-priced pedigree it sports, making it an option we don't recommend.

What Other Wireless Headphones Should You Consider?


If the price range of the Studio3 is your budget, you're in luck because the top-performing headphones are in your wheelhouse. The Sony WH-1000XM4 is a high-performing, high-quality option with excellent performance in all test metrics and is superior to the Studio3 in just about every way. We think you'll love the sound quality, noise cancellation, and comfort of the Sony of the similarly priced Studio3s.

Steven Tata, Max Mutter

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