When Beats released updates to its headphone line in 2016, its flagship Studio Wireless over-ear headphone was noticeably missing from the lineup. Almost a year later, the new Studio3 Wireless is finally here (the “3” – sometimes styled as Studio 3.0 Wireless – stands for third generation). It’s $350 available now.
On the outside anyway, the headphone is virtually identical to the one released four years ago – although this new model comes in new colors.
The big changes are all on the inside. Apple completely redesigned the hardware inside of the new Beats headphone. The headphones include new drivers and new circuitry that includes Apple’s W1 chip found in other Beats wireless headphones – the PowerBeats3 Wireless, the Solo3 Wireless, the BeatsX, as well as in Apple’s AirPods.
That W1 chip makes connecting the headphone to Apple devices simple and also helps deliver better battery life. The battery life of the new Studio3 Wireless is now up to 22 hours with wireless and noise cancelling on, which is double the battery life of the previous model. Turn off noise cancelling and that number goes up to 40 hours. Meanwhile, the Beats Fast Fuel feature gives you three hours of playback from just 10 minutes of charging.
Aside from battery life, the two big upgrades to the Studio3 Wireless are to the noise cancelling and sound quality. We briefly compared this new Studio Wireless to the second-generation Studio Wireless and this model sounds cleaner with better bass definition and slightly more natural sound.
The upgrade in noise cancelling is even more pronounced. Beats’ new noise cancelling technology, Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling or Pure ANC, is constantly monitoring your environment and calibrates the noise cancelling to the sound around you.
Similar to Sony’s MDR-1000X and new WH-1000XM2, the headphone also has a microphone on the inside of each ear cup to calibrate the noise cancelling to the fit of the headphone, adjusting for leakage caused by hair, glasses, different ear shapes and movement of your head as you go about the day. The Beats W1 chip is what allows the adaptive noise cancelling to always monitor the world without draining the battery.
It seems like Apple could have upgraded the exterior of the Beats headphone. However, Beats claims it was very pleased with the headphone’s acoustic design and ergonomics and wanted to unlock their full potential with new components.
This was and still is a comfortable, durable headphone, and with some stitching tweaks, Beats has made the earpads a touch softer than the previous generation.
Bottom line: Beats has taken a very good wireless noise-cancelling headphone and significantly increased its performance beyond its predecessor, the Beats Studio 2.0 Over-Ear Headphones.
Studio3 Wireless Key Specifications:
- Redesigned acoustic components and an upgraded manufacturing process as compared to the Beats Studio 2.0 Over-Ear Headphones.
- Integrated Apple W1 chip that enables one-step Bluetooth connection to iPhone via proximity pairing. Additionally, iPhone users can switch between devices logged into the same iCloud account to easily move from an iPhone conversation to watching a movie on your MacBook. The headphone also works with Android and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
- Nearly double the battery life of the Beats Studio3’s predecessor, totaling 22 hours of wireless playback with Pure ANC turned on.
- If you turn Pure ANC off you get up to 40 hours of nonstop playback in low power mode without sacrificing audio quality.
- Fast Fuel feature gives you up to three hours of playback after just 10 minutes of charging with the Micro-USB cable.
- Class 1 Bluetooth provides optimal connectivity for fewer drop-outs and extended range from your iOS or Android devices.
- The built-in controls and microphone allow you to make calls, skip songs, control your volume and activate Siri.
- Pure ANC uses advanced algorithms to continuously monitor your listening environment, so that it can best block out ambient noise whether you are on an airplane, in a noisy café, or mowing the lawn.
- Pure ANC adjusts fit for leakage caused by hair, glasses, different ear shapes and movement of your head.
- Additionally, Pure ANC simultaneously checks what you’re hearing while noise canceling is applied against the original music content to adjust and ensure optimal audio fidelity.
- The headphone comes in four base colors: white, red, blue and matte black. In addition, it has two special-edition colors: Shadow Gray and Porcelain Rose.
- The Beats Studio3 Wireless is available to purchase for $350.