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The 3 Best Beats Headphones of 2020
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Best Beats Headphones

We have currently reviewed 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.

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Best Beats Headphones


  1. Best Wireless Beats Headphones

    6.9
    Mixed Usage
    7.3
    Neutral Sound
    7.4
    Commute/Travel
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    6.9
    Office
    5.5
    Wireless Gaming
    5.3
    Wired Gaming
    6.2
    Phone Calls
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best wireless Beats headphones we've tested so far are the Beats Solo Pro Wireless. These wireless on-ear headphones have a great build quality and simple, easy-to-use controls. Their outstanding 24-hour battery life, meanwhile, should get you through several long days at the office. Unfortunately, some may also find their fit to be a little too tight on the head, so they could be uncomfortable if you're using them for multi-hour listening sessions.

    They're versatile enough for most genres of music as they have a well-balanced sound profile but their extra touch of bass and treble can make your favorite tunes pop. While their active noise cancelling system does a better job of cutting down ambient chatter in an office setting, these headphones struggle to reduce low-frequency sounds like plane or bus engines, which might be a little annoying if you want to use them in your daily commute.

    See our review

  2. Best Beats Earbuds

    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    7.3
    Neutral Sound
    7.0
    Commute/Travel
    8.3
    Sports/Fitness
    6.5
    Office
    5.9
    Wireless Gaming
    5.7
    Wired Gaming
    6.3
    Phone Calls
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best Beats earbuds we've tested so far are the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless. These truly wireless earbuds are great for listening at the gym or on a run, as their ear hook design provides a comfortable, breathable, and stable fit. Meanwhile, their very good 11-hour continuous battery life should last you a day or two without needing a charge. In terms of audio reproduction, they have a very well-balanced sound profile overall, making them a good fit for a variety of musical genres.

    Unfortunately, they're only rated IPX4 for water protection, which is disappointing at this price point, although that isn't a feature we test for. They also don’t block out much in the way of background noise, so expect to hear a lot of engine rumble and background chatter if you intend to use them on your daily commute.

    See our review

  3. Best Wired Beats Headphones

    5.7
    Mixed Usage
    7.2
    Neutral Sound
    5.0
    Commute/Travel
    6.0
    Sports/Fitness
    5.4
    Office
    5.1
    Wireless Gaming
    7.1
    Wired Gaming
    6.5
    Phone Calls
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless No
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best wired Beats headphones are the Beats EP. While they lack a detachable audio cable and aren’t as solid-feeling as other Beats headphones, they’re quite a bit cheaper and still feel decently well-built, with dense plastic ear cups and flexible headband. They also have an in-line mic with an intuitive physical control scheme. It only works with iOS devices, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using them to make calls with an iPhone.

    Fans of EDM and hip-hop will be pleased with their punchy bass delivery, which delivers a good level of thump and kick without being overpowering, so they’re well suited to a variety of content. That well-balanced sound profile, combined with their compact, lightweight design, means they're among the best headphones for DJs that we've tested so far. Unfortunately, they let in quite a bit of background noise, so they’re not a great choice if you’re looking to block out the rumble and chatter of the daily grind.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Comfortable designs. Most Beats headphones are comfortable to wear and are suitable for use over long periods. While their over-ear designs are the most comfortable, their on-ear and in-ear headphones tend to also be more comfortable than similarly designed models.
  • Decently well-balanced sound. While older Beats headphones tend to have a bass-heavy sound that lacks detail, recent models are better balanced but still deliver the rumbly and punchy bass that fans come to expect.
  • Stylish and sturdy designs. Beats tend to shine compared to other headphone brands when it comes to design. They have sleek, premium-looking headphones that stand out with bold color schemes. While they may not all feel as durable as other brands on the market, their more recent models have a sturdy build quality that further emphasizes their premium price range.
  • Expensive. Beats headphones tend to be rather pricey, especially compared to other brands. The quality of their more recent models we’ve reviewed better matches their premium price point, but they still feel a bit expensive for what they have to offer.
  • Noise cancelling not on par with the competition. Beats have a couple of models with active noise cancelling now, and although some of the newer ones perform quite well, they're still not quite on par with similarly priced noise cancelling headphones from Sony or Bose.
  • No customization options. While most Beats have an extremely limited interface for Android and iOS, this interface doesn't offer any customization features.

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 critical 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.

Lineup

Beats has a slightly unorthodox naming convention for their headphones, but they do offer a decent variety of models for different uses.

  • Pro = Usually the highest-end product of the lineup.
  • Beats Studio = Over-ear models.
  • Beats Solo = On-ear models.
  • Beats Earbuds/In-Ear = The names vary, but Beats offers a wide set of in-ear headphones that are ideal for casual use or sports.

Conclusion

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.

Discover our recommendations for the best commuting headphones and the best headphones for running.

Test results

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