Have a complicated relationship apple And Beats: The former actually owns the latter. Both make unique brands of headphones and earplugs, but they are different enough to cause some pause when deciding which to buy. Beats earbuds tend to be more sporty, while Apple’s AirPods are more casual. Both are excellent, but these latest Beats Studio Buds complicate purchase options due to their healthy features and are packed in a small shell.
Beats Studio Buds is more like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds than AirPods. The lack of drooping stems makes them feel much smaller than anything the all-encompassing Apple has introduced before. Add active noise reduction, transparency mode, and the listed 8 hours of listening time for $149.99, and you will immediately make a tough decision.
Are Beats Studio Buds true wireless earbuds? Are they flexible enough for exercise and flying? Will you lose these tiny ear capsules immediately? All these questions and more are answered below.
Compared with AirPods, Beats Studio Buds
In terms of price alone, it makes sense to buy Studio Buds or through AirPods 2. The basic AirPods 2 does not include a wireless charging box, and these Beats earplugs are not included. However, the ANC function included in Studio Buds is enough to curb the enthusiasm of AirPods.
In practice, the noise cancellation function of Studio Buds is weaker than AirPods Pro, or blocks less noise. It’s there, and you can tell the difference between it and the transparent mode, but there are many other brands that do better with this particular feature.
The comfort level between the two earplugs will depend on the shape of your ears. Studio Buds do have removable rubber heads, and there are three sizes in the box to help improve overall fit and comfort. (The tightness of the ear tip will also affect the sound quality.)
Pros and cons of Studio Buds
After using Studio Buds for a while, I have had a very positive reaction to them, but there are still many shortcomings worth mentioning. In this case, they are a strange product. For every great thing, there are some peculiar things to accompany it.
An example is the gorgeous button controls on the outside of the earbuds. There is a physical click and movement, so it is not only touch sensitive, which makes it very satisfying and easy to use. The interesting exclusion here is that when you press and hold the control button to switch between active noise reduction mode and transparency, you also need to cycle between the three options, and off is the third. On AirPods, you can choose which of the three modes in the settings, but not on Studio Buds.
Overall, the sound quality is good, but not amazing. I recently tested the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds and it turned out that they are not as vibrant as I originally thought. 1000XM4 makes these Studio Buds sound a bit hollow. There is no doubt that Sony’s bass is the winner. Of course, these Beats earplugs are not sad, but the Sony WF-1000XM4 is much better.
From a diplomatic point of view, these do not mean head-on confrontation with more advanced options. Therefore, in their weight (price) class, they sound respectable. Part of the overall sound is related to a looser, more casual fit. I really like the fit of Studio Buds, it can be inserted and will not cause too much ear fatigue after long listening.
These small earplugs perform well. Going to the grocery store? mowing the lawn? Shopping around? Earplugs are very suitable for all these types of use. However, since Beats is known for its sports brand image, I want to see how these stalkless, compact earplugs perform in sports.
I took Beats Studio Buds to run outdoors to understand how they handle this kind of exercise. I like the small, minimalist appearance of these earplugs, but it also means that if they fall or need to be adjusted, there is a smaller surface area that can be grasped. Unfortunately, sweat and pushing during running caused these small earplugs to loosen and need to be carefully readjusted during running. The idea of losing one during strenuous exercise or needing to constantly move it is daunting. Also, most importantly, when running transparent mode, there is more wind noise than I want. I ran outside while driving the ANC and couldn’t hear everything around me, which made me very nervous.
The housing with these earplugs is great-mainly. Its size is slim and easy to manage, and its magnets pull the earbuds to hold them firmly in place. There is a USB-C port for charging, which is also great. But the lack of wireless charging is disappointing. The advantages and disadvantages of Studio Buds are constantly changing.
Should you buy Beats Studio Buds?
When describing these earplugs, a word that keeps coming to my mind is: eye-catching. The audio is good, but not as complete or rich as AirPods Pro or Sony’s WF-1000XM4. The same thing applies to their ANC function.
Nevertheless, Studio Buds is still a compact, light and comfortable listening option, providing enough versatility for daily use. They may not be suitable for exercise or noise reduction, but at $149, they are certainly enough to attract people to buy — or, at least, to complicate your buying decision.
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