REVIEW | Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones


Beats headphones have long been the chosen accessory for the cool set. Beats Audio has now released their latest in their line of Studio headphones the series 3.

The look has not changed much, and the addition of Apple-specific features along with enhanced noise cancelling and performance make these the best Beats Studios yet.

Beats Audio has a long history of top quality stylish headphones and from the first Beats Studios, they have offered high performance with a specific style that favoured a bass-heavy driving sound with punch and clarity. The Beats Studio 3’s are unmistakably Beats, with a little Apple polish and some Apple-specific features.

The Hardware

The new Beats Studio 3 provides a clean, simple look, in a range of colours. The Beats Studio 3 is fitted with the superb Apple W1 chip which gives simple, slick pairing and enhanced audio functionality.

Pairing with non-apple gear is the same as before, but with Apple devices, it’s as fast and as painless as it can be. Switch on the Beats Studios and hold down the power button until the LEDs flash and a picture of the Beats pops up on the Apple phone and one touch, and away you go.

As simple and easy the Bluetooth pairing is with Apple devices, the pairing with an Android-based phone is a little hit and miss. Standard Bluetooth pairing mode sometimes does not find the headphones, and it often took a few tries before they paired. Once successfully paired the Beats worked as per usual

The Noise cancelling system is upgraded, and battery life is a solid 20 hours from a single charge. The Beats Studio 3 folds up into an included pouch for storage and travel. A wired cable with controls is also included for those times that wires are needed, such as on a plane.

The ear cups sit around the ear and offer some of the softest most comfortable foam. Build quality is excellent with a metal core to the headband and matt quality looking plastics for the rest. The Beats Studio 3 should last well even with extended use.

The fit is snug and close to the ear for most people, but there are no pressure points to bother you after extended listening. One benefit of the snug fit is good physical noise attenuation in addition to the active noise cancelling

The left earpiece has a central pause button, and the outer ring allows volume level adjustment, simple and straightforward. On Apple devices, you can switch off the noise cancelling mode from the Bluetooth menu, and this can extend the battery life to up to 40 hours with little effect on the sound quality.

Sound Quality

These are Beats headphone so expect a bass-heavy sound. Overall the music was robust and tonally accurate. The high end was a little muted, and the bass emphasis made the mids a little subdued. Pop, rock, electronic, and hip-hop sounded punchy and impressive. Acoustic and classical were not so lucky, the balance of the Beats leads to a slightly muted and muffled sound that lacked definition and clarity.

The sound is good without being great and electronic music with bass is preferred. The noise cancelling is good, better than the older studios, but not in the league of the Bose and Sony competitors. There is a slight low-level hiss all the time which is absent from the Sony and Bose headphones. The hiss was only noticeable when no music is playing and is far better than the older Beats Studios.

The Beats Studios do make the music sound punchy and pacy for the most part. I found music was always engaging and exciting, something the Bose does not get right. It was always fun to listen to the Beats Studio 3.


The Beats Studio 3 is a step up on older Beats Studios, both in sound quality and construction. If you are a member of the Apple ecosystem, the Beats will work seamlessly. The Beats Studio 3 are comfortable to use and well made, but for the price, the Sony 1000XM2 and the Bose Q35’s are better headphones overall.

The Beats Studio 3 sounds the most exciting of all the noise cancelling headphone I have tried. This is limited somewhat to the types of heavy bass music which flatter the Studios capabilities. If sound accuracy, comfort and the ultimate noise cancelling are what you are looking for, then the Sonys or Bose are better choices. For seamless connectivity to Apple devices and an engaging sound with a punch, the Beats Studio 3’s will not disappoint.

Steven Ambrose | | @ambio | mail me |

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