We've currently tested 18 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 an on-ear design we've tested are the Beats Solo Pro Wireless. These Bluetooth on-ear headphones have a fairly comfortable fit and great build quality, with a premium look and a metal alloy headband. They have a long continuous battery life of roughly 24 hours, so they should easily last through a few 9-5 workdays or a long flight without recharging. Their ANC feature has a good overall performance and can block out more background noise than the Beats Studio3 Wireless. It's especially effective at cutting down office-type noise like ambient chatter and humming A/C units. Their well-balanced, somewhat excited sound profile brings a bit of extra thump and rumble to mixes, while instruments and lead vocals are bright.
Unfortunately, their app doesn't offer sound customization features, like an EQ or presets. They also don't have the most comfortable fit since their headband may not expand enough for larger heads, and they clamp onto your ears quite tightly. Like many on-ear headphones, their bulky size makes them inconvenient to carry; however, they fold into a more compact format and come with a soft carrying case. These very well-built headphones offer good active noise cancelling and are even among the best on-ear headphones we've tested.
The Beats Fit Pro True Wireless are the best Beats earbuds we've tested. These buds are the sportier sibling of the Beats Studio Buds True Wireless and have more features to please iOS users. They have an H1 chip so that you can seamlessly pair them with your iPhone or MacBook. They also have an adaptive EQ feature that helps adjust the buds' sound to the shape of your ear, and they support Apple's Spatial Audio, which can help give you a more immersive audio experience. Using the adaptive EQ, they have a fairly neutral sound profile that's well-suited for most audio genres. They also have over five hours of continuous battery life, and their carrying case holds roughly three additional charges, which is handy in a pinch.
Their bud design is a little bulky and may not be comfortable for users with small ears. Also, they lack more robust sound customization features like an EQ or presets. Even though they have ANC, it offers a marginally better noise isolation performance than their passive capabilities. They can still help cut down ambient noise, like the low rumble of bus engines and background chatter.
The Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless are the best Beats headphones for sports that we've tested. These in-ears have an ear-hook design that keeps them in place while you're moving, and overall, they feel more comfortable than the Beats Fit Pro True Wireless. They also have a well-built design rated IPX4 for resistance against water splashes. Unlike most older Beats headphones, their sound profile is fairly neutral instead of bass-heavy, making them more versatile. Their battery delivers over 11 hours of continuous playback time, and their carrying case supplies an additional charge if you need it. Thanks to their H1 chip, you can seamlessly pair them with your Apple devices.
That said, their companion interface doesn't offer any sound customization features, so you can't adjust their sound to suit your tastes. They also struggle to passively block out ambient noise. However, you may still prefer this low level of noise isolation if you're running outdoors, as you can more easily monitor your environment without taking the earbuds out.
If you're looking for more affordable headphones, the Beats Flex Wireless are the best budget Beats headphones that we've tested. These headphones have a colorful neck cable design that's flexible, lightweight, and well-built. They also have a comfortable and stable in-ear fit. Their bass-heavy sound profile adds extra thump, rumble, and boom to your audio, which is great if you enjoy genres like EDM and hip-hop. Their roughly 11 hours of continuous battery life should last through long days at the office or on the go. Thanks to their W1 chip, you can seamlessly pair them to Apple devices like your iPhone.
While they have a companion app, it lacks sound customization features like an EQ or presets, so you can't adjust their sound to match your preferences. Their microphone struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise, meaning your voice can be drowned out if you're taking a call from a busy street. However, though they have a somewhat basic design, their solid performance is worth considering if you're looking for something more wallet-friendly.
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 retaining their powerful bass. However, their headphones are expensive for what they offer, especially since the more feature-packed models aren't 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.
May 16, 2022: We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Mar 30, 2022: We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Jan 28, 2022: Renamed the 'Best Wireless Beats Headphones' to 'Best On-Ear Beats Headphones'. Moved the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless to 'Best Beats Headphones For Sports' and added the Beats Fit Pro True Wireless to 'Best Beats Earbuds'.
Dec 03, 2021: We've checked our picks for product availability and accuracy. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Oct 04, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock. There were no changes to recommendations.
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. 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.