Whether you love them or hate them, the Beats Studio Wireless headphone is undeniably a huge player in the premium headphone category.
Because of their popularity (I tend to root for the underdog) and the previous retail price of $380, I'd resisted the urge to pick up a pair.
But despite being frowned upon by audiophiles, I've always loved the streamlined styling of the Beats product line and thought they sounded pretty good in the store.
So when I noticed them on Amazon with a sale price of $250 due to the release of the 3rd version, I decided to take the plunge. I had to find out if these were the over-ear gym headphone I've been looking for.
Beats Studio Wireless Review
It's been around 4 months since I've purchased the Beats Studio Wireless and I've worn them around the house, during 12 hour travel days, and in the gym.
I love these headphones, but there are, of course, pros and cons to every product.
Read on for a detailed review of all the things I love and hate about the Beats Studio Wireless.
NOTE: I'm reviewing these from an average consumer's perspective.
Beats Studio Wireless – Sound Quality
In just a few words, they sound punchy, dynamic, and exciting, which I'm sure is exactly what Beats By Dre. wanted.
Every single time I let someone listen to my stereo or headphones or we talk about a piece of audio equipment, they steer the conversation to bass…every single time.
And the Beats Studio does bass very well.
But contrary to what audio purists say, the bass doesn't come off as muddy or overpowering, at least to the average listener.
Since I mainly use these in the gym, I actually find myself wanting a little more bass from time to time.
Some songs actually sound a little underwhelming but when a bass heavy track comes up on my playlist, I realize that it's entirely up to the individual song. I think the Beats Studio Wireless just makes me more aware of the “bass discrepancy” between songs.
The highs and mids are well balanced and I doubt an average listener would be able to find anything to complain about.
Beats Studio Wireless – Fit and Comfort
My first attempt at finding an over-ear gym headphone was the Bludio T4 and I liked everything about them…except when they slid off my head every time I looked down.
The Beats Studio Wireless also checks all of the other boxes on my wishlist with the addition of a very secure fit.
I can do deadlifts, presses, crunches, and back extensions without them sliding around.
The underside of the headband is a grippy rubber, the earcups hug my ears, and the clamping force is sufficient to keep them essentially glued to my head while in the gym.
The Beats Studio Wireless even stay in place while running.
While these qualities make them excellent in the gym, they do cause some discomfort with extended wear, making the bony area behind my ears feel a little tender.
I recently took a trip from Chicago to Portland, Maine which was plagued by delays, and after about 10 hours of on and off wear, I found myself wincing a little when I would put them on.
But with an hour or two of wear at a time, this isn't an issue, so they work very well for me at the gym.
For sitting at a desk, my Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 wired over-ear headphones are much more comfortable (I'm actually wearing them while I type this).
They feel much lighter even though the weight difference is only a little over an ounce, the earcups are more comfortable, and the clamping force is just enough to keep them steady.
With this comparison in mind, my recommendation would be to go with the Beats Studio Wireless if you need a gym headphone or the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 if you want to wear them for extended periods of time.
Beats Studio Wireless – Features and Functionality
With sound quality on most headphones being at least satisfactory, it's features and functionality that sell a product, so let's see how the Beats Studio Wireless Stack up.
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
After 5 minutes of listening to the Beats Studio Wireless, I was ready to throw them back in the box and return them.
I felt nauseous, dizzy, and like I had low blood sugar. I took them off and felt better within minutes. I put them back on and felt like shit again.
So I hit the internet to see what was going on and it turns out that ANC can cause feelings of motion sickness in some people.
So I thought, “No problem, I'll just turn off the ANC.” But…the Beats Studio 2.0 don't allow you to turn this feature off!
I liked every other aspect of the headphones, so I decided to stick it out and eventually got used to it.
Now I don't notice any dizziness at all in loud environments and only very slightly in quiet spaces.
Keep in mind, I must be the exception because not many people complain about this. It's just something I thought you should be aware of.
On the upside, the noise cancellation actually works pretty well at blocking out gym noises like music and talking, only letting the clanking and dropping of weight through. Luckily, those sounds add to my motivation.
Pairing is as straight forward as any other device and is a really nice feature to have while traveling.
I like to pack a duffle bag versus a suitcase to keep my hands free and it's nice not to have to worry about ripping off my headphones when I sling a bag over my shoulder.
Beats claims a 30-foot range but I've found that it'll go at least double that.
I leave my phone at the front desk at my gym and find that I can go nearly anywhere without losing the signal.
I've even gone into another room of my gym that's about 30 feet away separated from my phone by a cinder block wall and it only skipped twice within a few minutes.
Buttons and indicators
The Beats Studio Wireless has all the usual bluetooth headphone features including battery power indicator lights, ports for a charging and aux cables, as well as buttons to control your music when away from your phone.
The multi-function controls are actually really cool and streamlined as they're built into one of the logos on the side of the earcup.
The buttons are a little tricky at first but work very well once you have them memorized.
Pressing the outer circle up or down adjusts the volume accordingly. Pressing the “b” a single time pauses and plays, pressing twice skips to the next song, and three times goes back to the previous.
The “b” also answers and ends calls.
Beats claim a 12-hour batter life and I can say that I get around that. I typically wear these for between 3-5 hours per week and charge them every two or three weeks.
You can extend the battery life up to 20 hours by using the included cable, but I doubt most will do this since you paid extra for wireless headphones.
Normally, wireless headphone users will employ the aux cable only when their batteries die.
But, unfortunately with the Beats Studio Wireless 2.0, there's no option to use these headphones with a dead battery. I think this has something to do with ANC requiring a battery and the inability to turn this feature off.
I contacted customer service to see if the Beats Studio3 had fixed this problem, but they were unable to answer that question.
At the very least, I haven't had a single problem with any of the features or functions not doing exactly what they were designed to do.
Included with the Beats Studio Wireless is a carrying case and Carabiner.
The softshell case does a good job of protecting the headphones from light bumps and bruises but won't stop them from being crushed if they get stepped on or if they wind up at the bottom of a stack of luggage.
This is ok with me because I wear them around my neck while traveling and mainly use the carrying case for storage and transporting in my gym bag.
I don't use the carabiner for its intended purpose of securing the carrying case to a backpack or other bag because I think that's just tempting thieves.
I do, however, use the carabiner daily as my main keychain and the paint is actually holding up much better than the camping supply brand I had before.
Beats Studio Wireless – Build Quality and Aesthetics
I love the way the Beats Studio Wireless looks!
And not just because they're Beats, or because they're popular, or because they make me look rich or any of that nonsense.
I like the streamline silhouette, muted color palette, and hidden technology.
Most over-ear headphones are so big they make you look like a helicopter pilot…the Beats Studio Wireless do not.
A lot of modern headphones either look painfully futuristic, like they belong in the world of Halo, or so dated that you would expect to see them in an episode of Seinfeld.
The Beats Studio Wireless are aesthetic progress in the right direction. They're technologically advanced, but don't advertise the fact with neon signs.
As far as build quality goes, they feel solid in the hand. The headband adjust with precise clicks and I never feel like I'm going to break anything.
The matte black finish on the plastics is scratch and fingerprint resistant. I've been using mine almost daily for 4 months and if I give them a quick wipe they look brand new.
Are Beats Worth The Money?
The short answer is: Yes.
The long answer is, at full retail, I would probably skip the Beats Studio Wireless in favor of something in the audiophile category. If you find a pair on sale (at least 30% off), they're an easy yes.
The fit is a little tight and the ANC took some getting used to, but with the combination of great sound quality, good looks, and flawless functionality, I think they're absolutely worth the sale price of $260 (or less) and wouldn't hesitate to make the purchase again.
All the best,