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Reviewed on Mar 29, 2018

Beats Studio Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.8
Mixed Usage
7.3
Critical Listening
6.6
Commute/Travel
7.0
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.9
TV
5.6
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

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.

Test Results
Design 7.3
Sound 7.2
Isolation 5.9
Microphone 6.5
Active Features 6.5
Connectivity 5.9
Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
  • Slick and sturdy wireless design.
  • Low leakage.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  1. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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Test Results

Style

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.

8.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.58 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1.09 lbs

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.

6.5 Controls
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : No
Talk-Through
:
Yes
Additional Buttons : No

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.

7.5 Stability

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.

6.1 Portability
L : 4.63 "
W : 6.5 "
H : 3 "
Volume : 90.29 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

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.

8.0 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 4.8 "
W : 6.7 "
H : 3.2 "
Volume : 103 Cu. Inches

These headphones come with a sturdy and compact hard case that will protect the headphones from scratches, mild water damage and falls.

7.5 Build Quality

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.

6.5 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.5 C

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.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.29 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

These headphones come with a 1/8" TRRS audio cable with an inline remote and USB charging cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
8.6 Bass
Std. Err.
:
2.1 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
21.81 Hz
Low-Bass
:
0.2 dB
Mid-Bass
:
2.64 dB
High-Bass
:
2.34 dB

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.

7.8 Mid
Std. Err.
:
2.9 dB
Low-Mid
:
-3.7 dB
Mid-Mid
:
0.87 dB
High-Mid
:
1.56 dB

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.

8.0 Treble
Std. Err.
:
3.49 dB
Low-Treble
:
-1.51 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-2.08 dB
High-Treble
:
-0.04 dB

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.

7.9 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.41 dB

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.

3.9 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.94 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
0.75 dB
PRTF Distance
:
4.63 dB
Openness
:
5.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
2.5
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.01 dB

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.

8.3 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.51
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.75
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.56
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
6.19

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.

7.0 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
1.914
Weighted THD @ 100
:
11.698

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.

5.0 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-16.54 dB
Bass
:
-8.18 dB
Mid
:
-5.44 dB
Treble
:
-35.21 dB
Self-Noise
:
23.98 dB

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.

7.8 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
35.07 dB

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.

6.2 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
391.7 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
2.25 dB
HFE
:
3466.89 Hz
Weighted THD
:
9.048
Gain
:
43.27 dB

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.

6.8 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
19.07 dB

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.

8.2 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
41 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
125 ft

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.

3.0 Latency
Default Latency
:
180 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

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.

7.2 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
11.4 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.5 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No

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.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

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.

6.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.0
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No

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.

8.5 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
iOS
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone

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.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

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.

In the box

  • Beats Studio Wireless Headphones
  • Carrying case
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual

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. See our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones for working out, the best wireless headphones, and the best noise cancelling headphones.

Beats Studio 3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Studio3 Wireless are somewhat better headphones than the Beats Studio Wireless. They have the same stylish and polished design, but the Studio3 Wireless have a better control scheme and improved noise cancellation. They sound quite similar, but the Studio3 Wireless sound slightly better overall. The Studio3 Wireless also have a much better battery than the Studio Wireless and feature the W1 chip for improved ease-of-use with Apple devices. The Studio Wireless have better latency and microphone noise handling performance, though. They’re both decent headphones for most uses, but the more intuitive pairing process and control scheme of the Beats Studio3 Wireless gives them an edge.

Skullcandy Crusher Wireless 2016
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Studio Wireless are a slightly better headset than the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless. The Beats have a sleeker, more comfortable design that most will prefer over the Skullcandy. The Beats are also noise-canceling headphones that are a bit more suitable for commuting, and they leak a lot less so you can use them in quieter environments too. Lastly, they have a more balanced sound and a longer wireless range than the Skullcandy. On the other hand, the Crusher Wireless have an adjustable sound even without EQ. They also have longer battery life and a slightly better latency performance with non-iOS devices.

Plantronics Backbeat Pro Wireless 2014
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro are slightly better headphones than the Beats Studio Wireless. The Backbeat Pro have a better control scheme than the Beats. They also have a longer battery life and a better wireless range. On the other hand, the Beats have a more balanced sound quality but do not pack as much bass. They also have a more comfortable and sleek-looking design, and that's a bit more stable for physical activity.

6.8 Mixed Usage

The Beats Studio Wireless are an above-average pair of mixed usage headphones. They're sleek yet durable. They're comfortable and relatively compact for an over-ear model. They make decent sports headphones, and their sound is also good enough for recording and casual listening. However, they don't isolate enough for noisy commutes and loud environments.

7.3 Critical Listening

Above-average for critical listening. They have a good audio reproduction that's balanced and punchy enough for most listeners. However, they lack a little soundstage due to their comparatively small and closed ear cups.

6.6 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. They have a sleek wireless design that's not too cumbersome to use or carry around. However, the weak noise canceling alone is not sufficient for the ambient noise of a bus or train ride.

7.0 Sports/Fitness

Above-average for sports use. The Beats Studio Wireless have comfortable and stable wireless design with a decent control scheme. However, although relatively compact for an over-ear model, they're still full-sized headphones that will sway and get steamy during intense workouts.

7.0 Office

Suitable for office use. They will let some of the chatter, seep into your audio, but they don't leak much. So you can listen at higher volumes and mask some of the ambient noise.

5.9 TV

Mediocre-at-best for home theater use. They're comfortable enough to wear for hours and have a good wireless range. Unfortunately, they also have fairly high latency which won't be ideal for watching movies but on the upside, they have an audio cable so you can use them wired with your PC or tablet but may need an extension cord for a home theater setup.

5.6 Gaming

Below-average for gaming. The Beats Studio Wireless are comfortable, have a great range, and easy to use controls but the latency will be a deal breaker for most. They also have no customizable options and a mediocre at best microphone.

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