The Beats Studio Wireless are decent mixed usage headphones with a well-crafted, and stylish over-ear design. They deliver an above-average sound and don't leak much. They're comfortable, stable enough to jog with, and have a sturdy, durable design. Unfortunately, their noise canceling is weak and doesn't fare as well as some of the other noise-canceling headphones we've tested.
- Comfortable and stable fit.
- Slick and sturdy wireless design.
- Low leakage.
- Poor noise isolation.
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
The Beats Studio Wireless are well-built and eye-catching. They're sturdy, comfortable, and not too bulky for an over-ear model. They feel stable enough to use at the gym, and the wireless design, and great control scheme makes them slightly better for physical activity, as your not limited or hindered by an audio cable. They also come with a good and compact hard case. However, the headband is a little thin and lightly padded, and the ear cups are a bit small for larger ears.
The Beats Studio Wireless have a sleek, polished look that's not too cluttered and gives off a high-end vibe. The buttons seamlessly blend with the design of the ear cups. They don't feel bulky although they're full sized over-ear headphones. The headband is thin, and the ear cups do not protrude much when you have them on. They're eye-catching, and they're available in a variety of color schemes to suit your taste.
The Beats Studio Wireless are comfortable headphones that feel a bit tight on the head. The ear cups are very well-padded and relatively large enough to fit most ears. However, the headband is not as well-cushioned and feels slightly rigid. This makes the headphones a little too firm and tight at first, although, with the decent padding on the ear cups, the pressure is less noticeable during long listening sessions.
The headphones have a good control scheme that's simple and efficient to use. They provide call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The buttons deliver good tactile feedback although they're completely flat on the ear cup.
The Beats Studio Wireless are not the most breathable headphones. Like most closed-back over-ears with a decent seal, they trap a lot of heat which will make you sweat after 30 to 40 minutes of vigorous exercise. They should be okay casual use, but they won't be ideal for more intense workout routines.
The Beats Studio Wireless have a sleek mid-sized over-ear design that's somewhat portable. They fold into a more compact format that's easier to transport with the provided hard case. They will fit into purses and smaller bags or can be hooked on your person provided they're in the case. However, they're still a bit too cumbersome to comfortably carry around hassle-free.
The Beats Studio Wireless are well-built sturdy-looking headphones. The plastic used for the ear cups feels dense and able to withstand a few falls without getting damaged. The headband has a metal frame that's tough yet flexible. They're a bit thinner and less robust than the Beats Executive, but their build quality feels high-end and well made.
Although these headphones are not designed for sports, they're sufficiently tight to stay in place during mild physical activity. They're wireless and won't accidently be pulled off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something. They're also not too heavy and won't sway much while running.
The Beats Studio Wireless are a decent sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a deep, consistent, and punchy bass, a neutral and well-balanced mid-range, and a very good and even treble. This makes them decently versatile and suitable for most genres from EDM to rock/pop and podcasts. However, their bass is slightly overemphasized and cluttered, and their mid-range is a little thin on vocals and lead instruments. Also, their treble lacks a bit of detail on vocals and leads and could sound sharp on S and Ts on certain tracks. Additionally, their imaging is very good, but like most other headphones they don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.
The Beats Studio Wireless have a great bass. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 22Hz, which is very good. Accordingly, their low-bass is within 0.2dB of our target. This indicates a deep bass with just the right amount of thump and rumble, which is important for bass-heavy genres like EDM, Hip-hop and film scores. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and punch of kick drums is overemphasized by about 3dB. Also, high-bass is over our target by about 2dB, adding a bit of boominess and clutter to the sound.
The Beats Studio Wireless have a very good mid-range performance. The 5dB dip around 300Hz in low-mid thins out vocals and lead instruments a bit, but it also leaves more room for the punch of the bass range to come out. Mid-mid and high-mid are within 1.5dB of our neutral target, indicating an overall well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.
The treble performance is very good. The response is relatively even throughout the range, but a tad south of neutral. Low-treble is under our target by 1.5dB, and mid-treble is underemphasized by 2dB. This reduces the detail and brightness in vocals and lead instruments slightly. The peak at 10KHz could make S and T sounds (sibilances) a bit sharp and piercing on certain tracks.
The frequency response consistency is very good. In the bass range, the maximum deviation across our five human subjects was about 3dB, which is barely noticeable. In the treble range, the maximum deviation below 10KHz is about 6dB, but only in a narrow range. This indicates a consistent delivery of bass and treble across multiple users and re-seats.
The imaging is very good. The weighted group delay is at 0.51 which is decent. The GD graph shows that the group delay crosses the audibility threshold significantly below 40Hz. This suggest that the sub-bass of the Studio Wireless may be a bit loose, but the rest of the bass is tight and the treble is transparent. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched, ensuring accurate placement and localization of objects (instruments, voices, footsteps) in the stereo image.
The soundstage is poor. The PRTF graph shows no pinna interaction/activation until 5KHz, and there is no "10KHz notch" present either. Since creating a speaker-like soundstage is dependent on an accurate and adequate pinna interaction, Studio Wireless' soundstage that will perceived to be relatively small and located inside the listener's head, as opposed to in-front.
The harmonic distortion performance is decent. The overall level of harmonic distortion is rather elevated throughout the mid and treble ranges, but the bass range shows above-average THD performance. This suggests that the Beats Studio Wireless may be able to take some EQ bass boost, before getting distorted.
The Beats Studio Wireless have a subpar noise isolation performance. The active noise canceling is oddly ineffective at reducing mid-range frequencies. This means they will block some of the low-frequency, rumbling noise of the engine on a bus, but the ambient chatter will seep right through. Luckily, they have a decent seal that doesn't leak much, so at sufficiently high volumes the audio your playing could mask some the ambient noise.
The isolation performance is mediocre. In the bass range, where the rumble of bus and airplane engines sit, they reduce outside sounds by about 8dB, which is about average. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, the Beats Studio Wireless achieved an isolation of 7dB, which is below-average. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they reduce noise by more than 36dB, which is good.
The leakage performance is quite good. The significant portion of their leakage is between 1KHz and 5KHz, which is a relatively narrow range. This shows that most of the sounds leaking out will be vocals and lead instruments, and not much bass or lower instruments. The overall level of the leakage is not loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage of the headphones will peak at 60dB SPL at foot away, which is just above the noise floor of most offices.
The Beats Studio Wireless have an average microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound noticeably thin, as well as muffled and lacking in detail. However, it'll still be relatively easy to understand. In noisy environments, they tend to do well in moderately loud places like a busy street or office, but they will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in very loud situations, like a busy street or gaming competition.
The recording quality of the microphone is mediocre. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 391 suggests a speech that is noticeably thin sounding. Also, the HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.5KHz, indicates a recorded/transmitted speech that is muffled and lacking in detail. However, it'll still be decently intelligible, since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4KHz range.
- 100% SpNR
The integrated microphone is decent at noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 19dB, meaning they should be able to handle moderately loud environments. But they will struggle to separate speech from background noise in very loud places.
The Beats Studio Wireless have a decent battery life of 11.4 and don't take too long to charge. They should be good enough to last you throughout the day but they won't be as good the new Studio3 Wireless for more heavy users. Unfortunately, they have no app support so they won't be as customizable as some of the other wireless noise-canceling headphones like the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. On the upside, they have passive playback when the battery dies which the newer model does not.
The Beats Studio Wireless have an average at best battery life that delivers only 12 hours of continuous playback. They don't take too long to charge via USB and can continue streaming audio while charging. However, they won't be the ideal headphones to take on a long road trip or particularly lengthy flights. They also don't have any battery saving features, like an auto-off timer, so they will quickly run out of power if you forget to turn them off.
These headphones have no compatible app and unlike the newer Studio3 Wireless, they do no have the W1 chip and do not benefit from the added features optimized for iOS.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
The Beats Studio Wireless are Bluetooth headphones that do not support simultaneous multi-device pairing and NFC but come with an iOS-optimized audio cable. The cable offers a secondary connection option in case you do not want to use Bluetooth or the headphone runs out of battery. It also has an inline mic that is compatible with the PS4 but not the Xbox One. Unfortunately, like most Bluetooth headphones, the Studio Wireless have a bit too much latency to for watching movies or gaming.
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
These headphones connect wirelessly via Bluetooth but cannot pair simultaneously with multiple devices. They also do not have NFC support and their hold to pair procedure can be a bit confusing and unintuitive at times.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
They come with an iOS-specific cable with an in-line remote microphone that's compatible with the PS4 but not the Xbox One. This gives them a secondary connection option, which is better for watching videos due to the almost negligible latency when using an audio cable.
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
They do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7.
The Beats Studio Wireless have an above-average wireless range that's suitable for indoor and outdoor use. The obstructed range is a convenient 40ft that allows listeners to move about in their homes without much audio drop however they won't be the farthest reaching headphones in large offices.
The studio wireless have a bit too much latency for watching a lot of video content. It's not much worse than most Bluetooth headphones at 180ms but it won't be ideal for gaming and you may notice the slight sync issues when watching movies.
In the box
- Beats Studio Wireless Headphones
- Carrying case
- Audio cable
- USB cable
Compared to other Headphones
The Beats Studio are well-designed and comfortable over wireless headphones. They have a slick build quality that feels decently durable and is stable enough for running but won't be ideal for more intense sports. They also have an above average frequency response that delivers a good amount of bass without being overpowering like some of the older Beats models. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation is fairly weak compared to some of the more recent headphones available on the marker and they have no app support for added customization options.
The Studio3 Wireless are the updated version of the Studio Wireless design. They have better isolation thanks to their adaptive noise canceling. They have an above-average sound quality and a comfortable over-ear fit. However, their dynamic audio reproduction tends to sound a bit inconsistent at times. The Studio3 are better overall than the original Studio Wireless, especially for their active features. They have better noise canceling and almost twice the range and battery life of the originals but do not have passive playback which is slightly disappointing. If you have the budget, get the Studio3 instead, but the Studio Wireless are still a decent and cheaper alternative.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are the most up-to-date version of the wireless on-ear design by Beats. They deliver a better-balanced sound quality than the Studio Wireless. They also have more than twice the wireless range and battery life of the Studios thanks to the W1 chip. They're more portable but also less comfortable since they have a tight-fitting on-ear design. If you want a more portable option and like the Studio Wireless's look and style, then the Solo3 are a good longer-lasting alternative to the Studio Wireless.
The Bose QuietComfort 25 have excellent noise canceling which makes them better-commuting headphones than the Studio Wireless. They're lightweight, super comfortable and deliver an above-average sound quality. However, they are not wireless which makes them a bit less convenient for everyday casual use when compared to the Beats. Their design is also a bit less stable for running and to use at the gym. If noise cancellation is your top priority, then the Bose are the better alternative but if you need a wireless design, the Studio are good, decent sounding options with a comfortable and stylish looking design.
The Sony MDR-1000X are the older model of the WH-1000xm2. They have the same design and a similar performance but do not benefit from the customizable app of the newer model. On the upside, they have a much better noise cancellation performance than the Studio Wireless which makes them more suitable for commuting and loud environments. They have a better sound quality and look a bit more premium but are also a lot bulkier and more unstable for physical activities. If you need a lot of isolation, the Sony MDR-1000X are a better option than the Studio Wireless but the slick design of the Beats and slightly lower price point may be more appealing for some.