- Strong noise-cancelling
- Neutral, clear presentation
- Excellent wireless performance
- Physical controls
- USB-C audio
- ANC suffers with wind noise
- No room for higher quality Bluetooth codecs
- Design better suited for smaller ears
The Studio Pro are the first flagship over-ears we’ve heard from Beats in several years, and they command a flagship price at £349 / $349.
We found them to be a largely successful reboot of Beats full-sized headphone range. The design is slightly more minimalist than before, and feels better constructed, with physical buttons provided for playback, noise-cancellation and volume control which we rather liked to interact with. There’s no wear sensor so the headphones won’t automatically pause audio when taken off.
They’re comfortable enough to wear with their soft, pliable earpads, though we would say they’re best suited for those with smaller ears. The space inside the earcups is a little compact and can pinch around the ears.
Like the other Beats headphones on this list, they support features on both Android and iOS with the ‘Find My’ functionality to search for the last known location: one-touch pairing on iOS and Android (Google Fast Pair), and the ability to switch between devices within their respective ecosystems.
The Bluetooth performance is vastly better than the Studio Buds Plus and among some of the best headphones we’ve tested recently – there’s barely any disruption in terms of the signal. The call quality is solid but it’s an area we feel could be improved. Background noise is effectively muzzled, but in busy areas we were told our voices sounded a little robotic and fuzzy.
The noise-cancelling is very strong, though it comes with a few caveats. One is that they’re susceptible to some wind noise, the second is that some noise can leak through when we turned our head. Otherwise the Studio Pro put the kibosh on the most noises we came across, including crying children. They’re an excellent choice for commuter journeys.
The transparency mode is very natural sounding and pipes in lots of clarity to our ears. Our only other issue is that there’s no room to customise the performance of the noise-cancellation to hear what we want to hear.
Battery life is claimed to be 24 hours but we found these headphones can go even longer when streaming audio at about 50%. The headphones don’t sound as good at that volume level but we reckon you can certainly get more than 24 hours from each charge.
The sound quality is much like the rest of the current Beats range. Neutral, flat-sounding with lots of detail and character. Some may feel that the Beats’ sound lacks character, but in our minds it serves to present music as is without much tweaking. Bass is weighty, varied, and punchy; midrange clarity is excellent, and while the treble is as bright as we’d like, it is clear and detailed. Plug them into a wired USB-C connection and they sound even better, able to support 24-bit/96kHz files. In this mode the Studio Pro sound more energetic, lively, and dynamic.