We've currently tested 11 pairs of Beats headphones. They're a popular brand that makes stylish and comfortable headphones. While they used to be known for their excessively bass-heavy sound signature, their newer models tend to sound surprisingly well-balanced.
The best Beats headphones with a wireless connection that we've tested are the Beats Solo Pro. These noise cancelling wireless on-ears are very well-built, have an easy-to-use and fairly comprehensive touch-sensitive control scheme, and have a chic design that's available in a broad range of colors to suit your sense of style. They also yield roughly 24 hours of continuous playback with ANC turned on, which should be enough to get you through a couple of days at work. Their ANC system is quite effective overall, as it does a great job of helping block out ambient chatter and the high-pitched hum of nearby AC units. They also offer a fairly well-balanced sound profile with just a hint of extra bass, so they're a good fit for a wide variety of musical genres.
Unfortunately, they lack any sort of audio presets or an EQ to adjust their sound profile to your liking. Their on-ear fit isn't for everyone, and they may feel a little too tight if you have a large head. Their integrated mic also delivers sub-par recording quality, so your voice may be heard as muffled and lacking in detail to those on the other end of the line. That said, these sleek and stylish headphones offer a versatile performance that should please most users.
The best Beats earbuds we've tested are the Beats Powerbeats Pro. These truly wireless in-ears are great for sports and fitness due to their stable fit and solid build quality. They're also among the best wireless earbuds for iPhone that we've tested. Their intuitive control scheme is easy-to-use when you're on the move while their 11-hour-plus continuous battery life should be more than sufficient to last you throughout the day. While their sub-par noise isolation performance means they let in a lot of ambient noise, that may be preferable if you're an outdoor runner who wants to stay aware of your surroundings. They also have a fairly well-balanced sound profile, making them well-suited for everything from podcasts to EDM.
Unfortunately, their IPX4 water resistance rating isn't especially impressive for high-end sports-oriented headphones, though it should be noted that we don't test this feature. They also don't have an EQ or audio presets to adjust their sound profile to your liking, which may be disappointing if you're the type who likes to dial in a little more bass to stay motivated on a run. However, these earbuds deliver a well-balanced sound right out-of-the-box and are especially suitable for those who like to wear earbuds while they work out.
The Beats EP are the best Beats headphones with a wired connection that we've tested. These well-built on-ears have a decently comfortable fit that's stable enough for low-impact activities like jogging. They have a slightly warm and boomy sound profile with an outstandingly neutral and flat mid-range, which helps keep vocals and lead instruments present, detailed, and clear. That said, they're still well-suited for a variety of audio content. Thanks to their in-line microphone, your voice sounds clear and natural to whoever is on the other line. They also have a simple control scheme, so you're able to manage calls or music on-the-fly.
However, their on-ear fit may not be the most comfortable for all users and can be fatiguing when worn for long listening sessions. They also really struggle to isolate noise around you as they don't block out the thump or rumble of bus engines. They also have a hard time cutting down noise like ambient chatter, so they're not the best choice if you're commuting or wearing them at work. Still, if you don't like worrying about battery life, these lightweight wired on-ears offer a balanced sound profile, and they're even among the best headphones for DJs that we've tested.
Overall, Beats make sleek and modern-looking headphones that feel like fashion accessories. Although older models have a mediocre-at-best sound quality, more recent releases have improved their audio reproduction to better suit neutral listeners while still retaining their powerful bass. However, their headphones are a bit expensive for what they have to offer, especially since the more feature-packed models aren't quite on par with their competitors.
Beats has a slightly unorthodox naming convention for their headphones, but they do offer a decent variety of models for different uses.
Beats have made great improvements to their lineup. They're still a fashion-forward brand that focuses on bold color schemes and sleek modern designs, but their recent models sound a lot better-balanced than what they’ve put out in the past. That said, their products are still a bit pricey for what they have to offer, especially their noise cancelling headphones that don’t deliver the same level of noise isolation that models from competing brands provide.