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Beats urBeats3 Earphones Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated May 14, 2019 at 10:50 am
Beats urBeats3 Earphones Picture
Test Methodology v1.4
6.4
Mixed Usage
7.2
Neutral Sound
6.1
Commute/Travel
6.9
Sports/Fitness
6.1
Office
5.1
Wireless Gaming
7.1
Wired Gaming
7.1
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Beats urBeats3 are straightforward in-ear headphones that have a decent sound and pretty good microphone recording quality. However, they don’t necessarily stand out from other in-ears as they have a similar fit to most, which isn’t comfortable for everyone. They are stable and breathable for sports and are quite versatile for commuting as well, since they block a good amount of ambient noise. However, the in-line remote volume controls don't work on Android devices, which could be a deal-breaker for some. On the upside, they come with fins for even more stability. Their buds are magnetic, which is convenient to wear around your neck and keep the cable untangled.

Our Verdict

6.4 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. These in-ears can be used for a variety of use cases since they are portable, isolate against noise well, and have decent sound quality. They can block low-end noise during your commute as well as stay in your ears for physical activity. Unfortunately, their microphone doesn’t seem to fare well when connected to gaming consoles, and their short cable won’t be ideal for watching TV. On the upside, their wired connection offers no latency and they are easy to carry around.

7.2 Neutral Sound

Decent for neutral listening. The Beats urBeats3 have a powerful, extended, and consistent bass, a fairly well-balanced mid-range, and a very good treble. However, their bass is slightly thumpy, which some may prefer. Also, there’s a small recess in the mid-range which could push the vocals and leads back in the mix. Additionally, there’s a bit of unevenness in higher frequencies, meaning some S and T sounds will lack detail and some will be too bright. Overall, these headphones are fairly versatile but will be better suited for bass-heavy music. They won’t be the ideal choice for vocal-centric genres.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
6.1 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. Their in-ear fit creates an airtight seal that blocks a good amount of low-end noise like the rumble of a plane or bus engine. They are also very portable and easy to carry around. You can also watch video content during your commute without any delay, which can be convenient for some. Unfortunately, they won’t be comfortable for everyone and might not be ideal for the longest rides and flights.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.9 Sports/Fitness

Good for sports. These headphones are very portable and easy to carry around to the gym. You can also easily run with these, especially if using the stability fins. They shouldn’t pop out of your ears during sports, and since their bud design is very small you shouldn’t feel a big difference in temperature. These headphones are very lightweight, but they won’t offer the freedom of a wireless design, so you might find the cable to be in your way.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.1 Office

Passable for the office. These headphones won’t offer the freedom of a wireless design, but they still have a decent audio reproduction for you to enjoy your favorite tracks while working. Also, the in-ear design doesn’t leak much, so you shouldn’t bother people surrounding you by listening at higher volumes. While you won’t have to worry about a battery life, these headphones won’t be ideal since their fit isn’t the most comfortable to wear during a full work day.

See our Office recommendations
5.1 Wireless Gaming

Okay for gaming. These wired headphones will offer a latency-free gaming experience, which is great. However, they won’t be the most comfortable headphones for long gaming sessions. Also, their microphone doesn’t work properly with consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One, which is unfortunate considering its good recording quality. They also won’t be customizable like some gaming headsets we’ve reviewed so far.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
7.1 Wired Gaming
7.1 Phone Calls
  • 6.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 6.1 Commute/Travel
  • 6.9 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.1 Office
  • 5.1 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.1 Wired Gaming
  • 7.1 Phone Calls
Pros
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Good microphone recording quality.
  • Great passive isolation performance.
Cons
  • Typical in-ear fit might not be comfortable for everyone.
  • Limited control scheme on Android.
  1. Update 3/24/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The urBeats3 are in-ears that don’t particularly stand-out. They have a flat cable and the bud is very small, similar to the design of the Beats BeatsX but without the neckband design. They come in a few color schemes, but you seem to get more options if you go for models with a lightning cable connector.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.04 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These headphones have a typical in-ear fit that isn’t for everyone. If you don’t find in-ears comfortable, you might have the same issues with these. They enter your ear canal, but on the upside, the bud design is very small and lightweight. You get different tip options, and their fin options can help you find a more stable fit that feels comfortable.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
iOS
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The control scheme of the urBeats3 is good. On iOS devices, you get full support for call/music management, volume control, and track skipping. You can also trigger your device’s voice assistant easily. However, on Android devices, the volume buttons don’t work and you can only use the middle button to play/pause and skip tracks. You’ll have to hold the middle button to trigger your device’s voice assistant to use voice enabled commands for volume control. Additionally, we tested this on multiple Android devices, and the voice assistant wouldn’t always trigger and would instead continuously rewind/skip backward on your playlist. Your experience may vary according to your device.

9.1
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.9 C

Like most in-ears, the urBeats3 don’t trap much heat and will be suitable for sports. You won’t notice a big difference in temperature when wearing these and you shouldn’t sweat more than usual.

9.0
Design
Portability
L 2.0 "
W 2.0 "
H 1.0 "
Volume 4 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

These wired headphones can easily fit inside pockets or a bag. They are very portable and easy to carry with you at all times. Their earbuds are also magnetic, which makes cable management easier when wearing them around your neck. They also come with a small rubber pouch.

6.5
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

The Beats urBeats3 come with a similar rubber pouch/soft case as that of the Beats BeatsX. It's flexible and portable and should protect your headphones from scratches and minor water exposure, but it will not shield them well against physical damage from drops.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The urBeats3 are practically built the same way the BeatsX are. They have a nice rubberized design and a flat cable which gives them a fairly durable feel. The buds themselves seem fairly solid and should survive a few accidental drops without too much damage.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Beats urBeats3 are stable earbuds, even more so with the included stability fins. You should be able to jog and exercise with these if you can find a good fit with the different tip and fin sizes. The small buds enter deeply in the ear canal, which is stable. Since they are wired headphones, their cable could get hooked on something, which would yank the buds out of your ears.

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

  • Beats urBeats3 headphones
  • 4x tip sizes
  • 2x stability fin sizes
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
3.56 db
Treble Amount
-0.96 db
9.4
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.13 dB

The frequency response consistency is excellent. If the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, then they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.5 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
4.83 dB
Mid-Bass
3.72 dB
High-Bass
3.3 dB

The bass performance of the urBeats3 is very good. LFE (low-frequency extension) is down to 10Hz, which is excellent. The low-bass is also over our target curve by more than 3dB, which will add an excess thump and rumble, which fans of bass-heavy music may prefer. However, the rest of the range is fairly flat and follows our target curve well. Overall, the bass is really good, but might be a bit too thumpy for some.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.74 dB
Low-Mid
0.65 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.53 dB
High-Mid
-0.05 dB

The urBeats3 have a good mid-range performance. The overall response is fairly even and well-balanced, which is important for the clear and well-balanced reproduction of vocals and instruments. However, it shows a 5dB recess centered around 800Hz. This pushes vocals and leads to the back of the mix by giving more emphasis to bass and treble frequencies.

8.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.91 dB
Low-Treble
0.53 dB
Mid-Treble
-0.74 dB
High-Treble
-4.34 dB

The treble of these headphones is also very good. The response is even and well-balanced up to 7kHz, but there’s a small dip centered around 8kHz and a high peak at 10kHz. This will make sibilants (S and T sounds) in these frequencies a bit uneven, as some may lack detail and brightness while others will feel sharp and piercing. However, not everyone hears treble frequencies the same way, so your listening experience may vary.

8.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
0.9 db
Dips
1.08 db
9.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.12
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.66
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.51
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.18

The stereo imaging is great. Their weighted group delay is at 0.12, which is great. The group delay graph also shows that the entire response is well below our audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

0.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.3

The soundstage is poor. This is because creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). The design of in-ears and earbuds is in such a way that fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it. Also, because these headphones have a closed-back enclosure, their soundstage won't be perceived to be as open as that of open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods 2 2019, Google Pixel Buds, or the Bose SoundSport Free.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
8.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.118
WHD @ 100
0.065
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
In-line
Isolation
7.9
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-22.55 dB
Bass
-10.7 dB
Mid
-21.69 dB
Treble
-36.31 dB

The isolation performance of the urBeats3 is great. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplanes and bus engines sit, they achieved about 11dB of isolation, which is decent and quite good for passive in-ears. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they reduce outside noise by more than 22dB, which is very good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds and air conditioning noises, they isolate by more than 36dB, which is also very good.

8.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
27.89 dB

The leakage performance is excellent. These in-ears basically do not leak, so there's no need to worry about disturbing the people around you unless you are blasting your music in a very quiet place. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 28dB SPL and peaks at 44dB SPL, which is below the noise floor of an average office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
8.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
269.09 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.67 dB
HFE
14905.89 Hz
Weighted THD
0.54
Gain
26.29 dB

The microphone of the urBeats3 has a very good recording quality. The LFE of 269Hz indicates a recorded/transmitted speech that is slightly thin. However, this won't have a significant effect on the comprehensibility of the speech. Additionally, the HFE (high-frequency extension) of 15kHz and the relatively flat response between LFE and HFE mean that speech will sound relatively present and natural.

6.1
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
13.58 dB

The noise handling of this in-line microphone is mediocre. In our noise handling test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 14dB, which means they will have difficulty separating speech from ambient noise in moderately loud environments.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None

The Beats urBeats3 don’t have a battery.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The Beats urBeats3 don’t have a companion app for controls and customization options.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

These wired in-ears headphones are not Bluetooth compatible.

Thanks to their wired connection, these headphones won’t have any latency issues, which is great for watching video content and playing games.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 3.8 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

Update 05/17/2019: We've adjusted the review to show that the urBeats3 are intended to be used with an iOS device as you don't get full controls on other devices.

While their 1/8” TRRS connector is compatible for audio and mic support on PC and PS4, the mic won’t work on Xbox One. Also, we don’t recommend using the microphone on PS4 as there is a loud hissing noise that can be heard, which affects the intelligibility of speech, making it practically unusable.

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

The Beats urBeats3 don’t have a dock.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Beats urBeats3 are fairly versatile in-ear headphones that set themselves apart by their great in-line microphone, but they won’t necessarily stand out for their sound quality or any interesting features. They are overall decent for most use cases and should still satisfy most people. See our recommendations for best in-ears and earbuds, the best earphones with a mic, and the best headphones for running.

Apple EarPods
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Beats urBeats3 are better mixed usage headphones than the Apple EarPods thanks to their great passive isolation. Their closed-back design blocks noticeably more ambient noise than the open EarPods, which makes them the better option for commuting, and offers more bass. On the other hand, the EarPods' one-size-fits-all design is fairly more comfortable. The stability fins of the urBeats3 could help you find a better fit for sports activities.

Beats BeatsX Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Beats urBeats3 and the Beats BeatsX Wireless are very similar, but the BeatsX are wireless while the urBeats3 are wired in-ears. They have a very similar sound signature and they have a near-identical fit. However, you get stability fins with the urBeats3. The microphone is noticeably better on the urBeats3 which is better for calls, but some may still prefer the freedom of a wireless design. The BeatsX have an around-the-neck wireless design while the wired urBeats are pretty typical in-ears.

Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear
Unavailable
B&H

The Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear might be a slightly better option over the Beats urBeats3, thanks to their very comfortable earbud-like tips that doesn’t enter the ear canal as deeply. They also have a slightly more accurate audio reproduction. On the other hand, the urBeats3 have a noticeably better microphone and their in-ear fit isolates more noise than the SoundTrue Ultra, making them a better option to use in public transit.

TIN Audio T3
Unavailable
B&H

The Beats urBeats3 are better wired in-ears than the TIN Audio T3. They don’t sound as sharp as the T3, and they have an in-line remote with controls and a microphone, which the T3 is lacking. The stability fins of the urBeats3 could be helpful for a more secure fit inside the ear for sports activities. On the other hand, the TIN Audio headphones are better-built and their detachable cable is a nice feature since it's easy to replace if broken.

Beats urBeats3 Earphones Price

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