Reviewed on Mar 29, 2018

Beats Studio Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.8
Mixed Usage
7.1
Neutral Listening
6.9
Commute/Travel
7.2
Sports/Fitness
6.8
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
7.2
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Call
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
Isolation 6.3
Microphone 6.6
Active Features 6.1
Connectivity 6.6
Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
  • Slick and sturdy wireless design.
  • Low leakage.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  3. Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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7.3

Design

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.

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
OS Compatibility
:
iOS
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.

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.

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.

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.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

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.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
8.8
Bass-Heavy
:
5.7
Warm
:
5.6
Bright
:
7.2
6.6 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
2.2 db
Dips
:
1.96 db
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.

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.

3.6 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.94 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
0.75 dB
PRTF Distance
:
4.63 dB
Openness
:
4.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
2.6

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.

7.4 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.290
WHD @ 100
:
0.194
6.3

Isolation

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. 

5.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-16.54 dB
Bass
:
-8.18 dB
Mid
:
-5.44 dB
Treble
:
-35.21 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.

6.6

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
Yes
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

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.

6.4 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.

6.1

Active Features

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.

6.7 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
11.4 hrs
Additional Charges
:
0
Total Battery Life
:
11.4 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.5 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

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.

6.6

Connectivity

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.

7.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.0
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
125 ft
Default Latency
:
180 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

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.

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.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.5 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.29 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms

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.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
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.

7.1 Neutral Listening

Above-average for neutral 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.

6.9 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.

7.2 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.

6.8 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.

5.5 Wireless 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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