Image Credit: Beats
The new true wireless noise cancelling earbuds from Apple’s headphone brand Beats work seamlessly with both Apple and Android devices.
After leaks floated around the web and even LeBron James seemingly accidentally wore the at-the-time unannounced earbuds in a recent Instagram post, Beats have officially announced their new Studio Buds. From Apple’s own headphones company, Beats Studio Buds may be the perfect AirPods Pro competitor that work well with both Apple and Android devices, costing $100 less.
Gone are the days of Beats pumping the low-end to disgustingly high levels, Beats Studio Buds feature a customized acoustic platform, with a proprietary dual-element diaphragm driver within a two-chamber housing. The small, medium and large in-ear tips should ensure a comfort and stable fit, with an optimal acoustic seal. The advanced digital processor optimizes audio performance and provides clean active noise cancelling. ANC can be turned on to block unwanted noise, or when you need to be aware of your surrounds switch to Transparency mode to mix background sounds with your music, using the external-facing microphones.
Beats Studio Buds will run for 5 hours on a single charge with ANC or Transparency turned on. Turn these features off for 8 hours on a single charge. The charging case is good for two additional charges, giving you a total of 15 hours with ANC or Transparency on, 24 hours off. Fast Fuel will give you 1 hour of playback from just 5 minutes in the case. The compact case charges via USB-C. It’s a shame there’s no sign of wireless charging, but USB-C over Apple’s Lightning is a good move for sure.
The Beats Studio Buds are IPX4-rated to protect the buds from sweat and water. Dual beam-forming mics with wind reduction are great for clear calls and the voice assistant. Siri is available to answer your questions and provide hands-free control device settings and music playback. Alternatively use the multi-function button on each bud to control music and answer calls. Press and Hold function can be customised to either toggle ANC or activate the voice assistant. The button physically pushes in, rather than the usual touch control on most earbuds.
While Apple’s AirPods have always worked with Android devices, support was limited to say the least. AirPods were designed from the ground up to work with iOS devices first, with quick pairing, earbud settings, customisation options, device status and firmware updates, baked in to the mobile operating system, leaving non-Apple users out of luck. It’s still clear Beats Studio Buds have been built by Apple, but there is at least a consideration for Android users. Beats Studio Buds support the same one-touch Bluetooth pairing as AirPods and other Beats headphones on Apple devices, as well as Google’s Fast Pair for Android. Features such as control customisation, device status (battery level) and firmware updates can be found in the Bluetooth settings and Control Center on iPhones or using the Beats app on Android. If you lose your buds, use the Find My app on iOS or iCloud from a browser to locate them. You can ring the buds when within Bluetooth range or see their last known location on a map. Beats Studio Buds will also support Dolby Atmos spatial audio on Apple Music automatically.
Beats Studio Buds are available in Black, White and Beats Red. Pre-orders for $149.95 are open today, with Amazon shipping them on June 25. This is very competitive pricing, with other recent ANC true wireless earbuds such as the Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro and Sony’s WF-1000XM4, announced just last week, retailing for $200 and $280 respectively. $150 is cheaper than Apple’s own outdated AirPods without ANC. The biggest omissions on Beats Studio Buds to point out from Apple’s $250 AirPods Pro are Adaptive EQ, the wireless charging case, automatic pausing on removal, pairing syncing across all iCloud devices, multipoint pairing, automatic switching and audio sharing. Most of these features are due to the Beats Studio Buds lacking Apple’s H1 or W1 chip, the chips present on all AirPods and many Beats including the $50 Beats Flex. You’ll have to decide whether these features for you are worth the extra dollar for AirPods Pro.