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Beats Studio Buds + True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jun 30, 2023 at 09:07 am
Latest change: Writing modified Jun 30, 2023 at 09:07 am
Beats Studio Buds + True Wireless Picture
6.7
Neutral Sound
7.8
Commute/Travel
7.9
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.4
Wireless Gaming
5.2
Wired Gaming
6.4
Phone Calls

The Beats Studio Buds + True Wireless are the next generation of the Beats Studio Buds True Wireless. While they look similar to their predecessor, these sleek buds come in a retro transparent colorway in addition to opaque colors like black and ivory, for an eye-catching look. Their performance has also improved too. Their noise cancelling (ANC) system can block out a lot more background sound while their battery life is longer. Unlike the Beats Fit Pro True Wireless, they don't have an H1 chip for easy pairing with devices in your Apple ecosystem, though.

Our Verdict

6.7 Neutral Sound

The Beats Studio Buds Plus are fair for neutral sound. They have a somewhat neutral sound profile with a touch of extra treble and adequate bass. However, the overemphasis in the high-mid to treble makes vocals and instruments sound harsh. They don't have any sound customization features to help you adjust their sound to your liking either. Since they're in-ear headphones, they create a passive soundstage that doesn't feel very immersive.

Pros
  • Deliver audio consistently.
Cons
  • No sound customization features.
7.8 Commute/Travel

The Beats Studio Buds Plus are very good for commute and travel. These noise cancelling buds can block out a good amount of sound around you, from noisy passengers to the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. With their ANC on, they last 7.5 hours continuously, and their carrying case holds an extra three charges if needed. Thanks to their small and lightweight design, they're also easy to take with you on the go.

Pros
  • Good noise isolation performance.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • No volume controls by default.
7.9 Sports/Fitness

The Beats Studio Buds Plus are good for sports and fitness. These small and lightweight buds have a comfortable fit and are certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes. They lack stability fins and can fall out of your ear with intense movement, which isn't ideal if you're using them during a tough workout. You may need to readjust their fit during moderate movement to keep them from wiggling out of your ear.

Pros
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • No volume controls by default.
7.0 Office

The Beats Studio Buds + are decent for office use. Thanks to their ANC system, these comfortable buds can easily block out chatty coworkers. With their ANC on, they last 7.5 hours continuously, which may not be enough to get you through your whole day, but their carrying case holds an extra three charges if you need it. On the downside, these buds don't support multi-device pairing, so you can't stay connected to your PC and smartphone simultaneously.

Pros
  • Good noise isolation performance.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • No multi-device pairing.
  • No volume controls by default.
5.4 Wireless Gaming

The Beats Studio Buds Plus are Bluetooth-only headphones, and their latency on PCs is too high for gaming. However, they have lower latency on iOS and Android devices, which is good if you're into mobile gaming. They last over seven hours continuously and have a comfortable fit.

5.2 Wired Gaming

The Beats Studio Buds Plus are truly wireless earbuds; you can't use them wired.

6.4 Phone Calls

The Beats Studio Buds + are acceptable for phone calls. Their integrated mic does a decent job of capturing your voice, but it has difficulty separating speech from noise. That means if you need to take calls from places like a busy office, your voice can compete and even be drowned out by ambient noise. On the upside, these buds are equipped with an ANC system to help cut down a good amount of background sound.

Pros
  • Good noise isolation performance.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Disappointing noise handling.
  • No multi-device pairing.
  • 6.7 Neutral Sound
  • 7.8 Commute/Travel
  • 7.9 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.2 Wired Gaming
  • 6.4 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 30, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Jun 23, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Jun 20, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated May 23, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated May 18, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Beats Studio Buds Plus come in three color variants: 'Black/gold', 'Ivory', and 'Transparent'. We tested the 'Transparent' model; you can see their label here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the forums and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Beats Studio Buds Plus are the next generation of the Beats Studio Buds True Wireless. These buds significantly improve upon their predecessor's ANC system, and while they don't cut down as much noise as the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, they still do a good job in this regard. Battery life also received an upgrade, which is great if you're always on the go and don't want to worry about recharging them often. However, like their predecessor, they still don't have an H1 chip for seamless pairing with Apple devices, and lack sound customization features.

Check out our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the best noise cancelling earbuds, and best Beats headphones.

Beats Studio Buds True Wireless

The Beats Studio Buds + True Wireless are the next generation of the Beats Studio Buds True Wireless. The Plus model offer a couple of upgrades over their predecessor, including a significantly better noise isolation performance and a longer-lasting continuous battery life. The Plus model also has air vents, which improve their audio precision.

Beats Fit Pro True Wireless

The Beats Fit Pro True Wireless have a slight edge over the Beats Studio Buds + True Wireless. The Fit Pro have a more stable fit, support Apple's Spatial Audio feature for a more immersive audio experience, and have a better noise isolation performance. They also have an H1 chip for seamless pairing with your Apple devices. However, the Studio Buds + are more comfortable and have a better overall battery performance.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Beats Studio Buds + True Wireless. While both buds are equally comfortable, Apple's buds are better built, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their noise isolation performance is significantly better. They also have an H2 chip, so you can easily pair these buds with other devices in your Apple ecosystem.

Nothing Ear (2) Truly Wireless

The Nothing Ear (2) Truly Wireless have the edge over the Beats Studio Buds + True Wireless. While both buds have a comfortable fit, the Nothing are better-built, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you finetune their sound to your liking. They also support multi-device pairing. However, the Beats have a superior noise isolation performance and have a longer continuous battery life.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

You may prefer the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless if you want customizable buds. The Sony are better-built, have a virtual soundstage feature to help immerse you in your audio, and a better overall battery performance. You can also customize their sound to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets, and they support multi-device pairing. Conversely, if you're looking for buds with minimal fuss, the Beats Studio Buds + True Wireless are more comfortable and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type In-ear
Enclosure Semi-Open
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

The Beats Studio Buds Plus areย the next generation of the Beats Studio Buds True Wireless noise cancelling earbuds. They have a modest stem design with the manufacturer's logo. Unlike their predecessor, they have three acoustic vents, which help improve their audio precision. They come in several color variants, including a retro transparent design.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These buds have a comfortable fit. They come with four pairs of ear tips to help you get the best fit and don't put much pressure on your ears. Using the controls doesn't push the buds deeper into your ear, either. That said, the buds stick out a bit from your ear.

6.3
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

These buds have easy-to-use physical controls. You can push the manufacturer's logo on the stem of each bud to register commands. The button itself doesn't stick out as much as that of their predecessor, and there's a soft click to let you know when you've registered a command. There are also different tones to let you know when you're switching between ANC on, off, and transparency mode. However, there are no volume controls by default and you have to add this via the companion app. If you do this, you'll lose out on ANC controls.

On either bud:

  • Single press: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers and ends calls.
  • Double press: Skips the track forward.
  • Triple press: Skips the track backward.
  • Press and hold: By default, cycles between ANC, 'Transparency mode', which is intended to let you hear ambient sound while listening to audio, and both modes off. You can change this command via the companion app to activate voice assistant or volume controls.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.2" (3.0 cm)
W 1.2" (3.0 cm)
H 0.8" (2.0 cm)
Volume 1.28 inยณ (20.90 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

These buds are very portable. They have a small and lightweight design that makes it easy to fit them into most pockets or bags without an issue.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.0" (5.1 cm)
W 2.9" (7.3 cm)
H 1.0" (2.5 cm)
Volume 5.78 inยณ (94.70 cmยณ)

The carrying case is similar to their predecessor in design. There's a small light at the front of the case to let you know when it's charging and there's a pairing button inside the case.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Beats Studio Buds Plus have good build quality. They're made of plastic, and the color variant we tested is transparent, which allows you to see the inner circuitry. They're also certified IPX4 for resistance against splashes of water. However, the case lacks an IP rating and may get damaged if exposed to any amount of water.

7.0
Design
Stability

These buds have a decently stable fit. They lack stability fins, so as soon as you start to move, the buds can begin popping out of your ear. While they won't completely fall out if you're just moving your head side to side, you'll have to constantly readjust them to get a good fit. They'll fall out if you wear them during a tough workout.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Beats Studio Buds Plus headphones
  • 4x tip options
  • Carrying case
  • USB-C to USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals
  • Beats sticker

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-2.72 dB
Treble Amount
0.2 dB

The Beats Studio Buds Plus have a somewhat neutral sound profile. They deliver adequate bass, so mixes have thump, rumble, and boom, but a peak in the high-mid makes vocals and instruments sound harsh. On the downside, they don't have any sound customization features to help you adjust them to suit your preferences.

We had some trouble getting the right bud to stay in place and form a good seal in our test rig's ear. The movement of the bud shifting out of place causes the right driver to have a different measured response in the bass range than the left. However, this issue is unique to our test rig; in daily life, both drivers will match.

8.4
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.31 dB

Although we had trouble getting the right bud to form a good seal in our test rig's ears, causing deviations in the bass range, we don't expect you to encounter this issue. As a result, with human ears, you'll get consistent bass and treble delivery once you take the time to get a good fit.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.37 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
17.82 Hz
Low-Bass
0.74 dB
Mid-Bass
1.58 dB
High-Bass
0.6 dB

These buds have outstanding bass accuracy. Their response is fairly flat and neutral, ensuring mixes have solid thump, punch, and boom without overwhelming vocals and instruments.

7.2
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.68 dB
Low-Mid
0 dB
Mid-Mid
1.31 dB
High-Mid
6 dB

The Beats Studio Buds Plus's mid accuracy is decent. The low-mid is fairly flat, so vocals and instruments are present in mixes. However, there's a peak in the response from the mid-mid onwards, which pushes vocals and instruments forward, making them harsh. In songs like Africa by TOTO, vocals in the final chorus sound a little boxy and honky, especially compared to the guitar, which sounds further back in the mix.

7.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.32 dB
Low-Treble
3.22 dB
Mid-Treble
2.04 dB
High-Treble
-1.83 dB

The Beats Studio Buds Plus have good treble accuracy. There's some overemphasis coming from the mid range into the treble range. As a result, vocals and instruments sound harsh, while sibilants like cymbals are bright. In songs with a lot of hi-hat action, like Roxanne by The Police, sibilants sound present throughout the track but aren't piercing.

7.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.67 dB
Dips
0.82 dB

The peaks and dips performance is good. There are a couple of large peaks, but the rest of the response is fairly flat. A peak in the low-bass adds intense thump and boom, while a peak in the high-mid makes vocals and instruments sound harsh. A couple of small dips in the low-treble veil the detail of vocals and instruments. A peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals piercing.

3.4
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
58.42
Weighted Phase Mismatch
55.86
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
3.4
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.23

Beats generally have good quality control and ergonomics, which helps ensure that their products have well-matched drivers. This, in turn, is crucial for good imaging, as headphones can accurately place objects like instruments in the stereo image. However, imaging varies between units. Our unit's L/R drivers display some mismatch in group delay, phase, amplitude, and frequency response. While the peaks in the bass range are less audible than our graphs show due to the right bud popping out of our test rig's ear over time, they're still present, and audio skews towards the right. However, this can be hard to hear with real-life content. There's also a peak in the phase response's mic range, which is audible with real-life content and makes voices in songs sound improperly located within the stereo image.

0.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.4

The passive soundstage performance is bad, but that's to be expected by their design. They bypass your outer ear, which must be activated to create a more immersive sound. As a result, their soundstage seems small, closed-off, and as if audio is coming from inside your head, rather than as if sound is coming from speakers placed in the room around you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

These headphones support Apple's Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos via Apple Music, which can help create a more immersive audio experience. However, unlike the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, you can't access these features via the iOS interface. You can only use it with apps that provide compatible media, like Apple Music, but you may need to purchase a separate subscription to access these services.

8.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.168
WHD @ 100
0.080

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. The response falls within good limits, resulting in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
2A219
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.

Isolation
7.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-21.01 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
Bass
-14.99 dB
Mid
-23.79 dB
Treble
-25.24 dB

The Beats Studio Buds + True Wireless' noise isolation performance is good. Like their predecessor, they have noise cancelling (ANC). Still, they do a significantly better job of blocking out background noise than the Beats Studio Buds True Wireless. They can cut down the low rumble of bus engines, ambient chatter, and the hum of AC units.

8.8
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
28.49 dB

The leakage performance is excellent. Leakage is mostly concentrated in the treble range and sounds thin. If you listen to your favorite tunes at high volumes, others around you won't be bothered by it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
7.0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
253.98 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.78 dB
HFE
3,133.58 Hz
Weighted THD
0.066
Gain
3.04 dB

The integrated mic's recording quality is decent. Speech is clear but sounds dark and lacking in body.

5.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
9.78 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling performance is disappointing. If you're taking a call in a noisy environment, the background noise will be present and distracting when you're talking. Loud noises like a train passing will also overpower your voice, making it more difficult to understand what you're saying.

Active Features
6.5
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
7.5 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
30 hrs
Charge Time
0.9 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Beats Studio Buds Plus' battery performance is okay. The manufacturer advertises them to last six hours continuously with ANC on and volume at 50%. We measured well over seven hours with ANC on, but battery life varies depending on use and volume. If you turn the ANC off, the manufacturer advertises them to last up to nine hours, which is handy if you're trying to save every last drop of battery life. Their carrying case has three extra charges if you need it. You can also use one bud while the other charges.

6.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Beats
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The Beats app is passable. You can see a video of how it works on Android and iOS. It's a fairly limited app and doesn't have sound customization features like an EQ. That said, you can remap controls to change the ANC, transparency mode (which allows you to hear your surroundings without pausing your audio or taking the buds out of your ears), and normal mode to activate voice assistant. Keep in mind that you can't have both kinds of commands active at the same time. You can also rename your buds and register your buds for updates.

Connectivity
7.2
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
Unspecified
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
334.65 ft (102.00 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
245 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
15 ms
Android Latency
112 ms

The Beats Studio Buds Plus have decent Bluetooth connectivity. Like their predecessor, they don't have an H1 chip for seamless, quick pairing with iOS devices, which is disappointing if you want to simultaneously keep your buds connected to your iPad and iPhone. While they have an audio switch feature, which allows you to transition from one audio source to another, it isn't multi-device pairing as you won't stay connected to multiple devices at a time. Switching between devices is also very disruptive.

These buds have high latency on PCs, but their latency is much lower on Android and iOS devices, which ensures that your audio and visuals stay in sync while streaming video. Some apps and devices compensate for latency differently, though.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These buds come with a USB-C to USB-C cable for charging the carrying case.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

You can connect these headphones to Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full audio and mic compatibility, but that's it.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

These headphones come with a carrying case that holds three charges. It has a USB-C port for charging up the case but lacks wireless charging support.