Until a few years ago, you saw a striking amount of red, white and black Beats headphones on the street. They have not completely disappeared from the streets, but the market share of Dr.’s headphones Dre is now significantly lower. Nevertheless, Beats still makes various models, including the Studio³ Wireless, which is equipped with noise canceling.
The Studio³ is a striking appearance in the company. It is quite minimalist, which of course fits perfectly within the philosophy of parent company Apple. The Studio³ has only one barely visible button on the bottom of the right earcup. The headphones actually have four buttons, but the other three are invisibly incorporated in the left earcup. They are the buttons for higher and lower volume and for pausing the music. We are happy with the latter. They are easy to reach, nice and big buttons, which are pleasant to use. That is certainly not the case with all tested headphones. Especially with Sennheiser and Bowers & Wilkins, the buttons are very small and less pleasant to use. With the fourth button, the only thing that is visible, you turn the headphones on or off and switch on Bluetooth. The button is small and is in a somewhat clumsy place, which makes it easy to miss, but you get used to that over time.
What is also striking about the Studio³ is that the earcups cannot be tilted, which is the case with the other four models. The other four can therefore be laid flat and then further folded into a small package. At least that’s how it works at Bose, Sennheiser and Sony. With the Studio³, the ear cups cannot be tilted, but there is a hinge just above both ear cups, which means that the Studio³ can also be folded into a fairly compact package, which takes up little more volume than the three competitors. Beats also provides a pleasant and sturdy cover. Nevertheless, we miss the tilt, although that is mainly because of the wearing comfort. The position of the ear cups adapts less well to the shape of the head.
Yet that is not the most striking point in terms of comfort. The weight of the Studio³ falls in the middle, but the headphones exert the most pressure on your ears by a distance. You feel good. As a result, the Studio³ is sturdy, but it is not pleasant at all for longer listening sessions. Your ears are quite stuck in the Studio³. This has the advantage that the ear cups close well, but the unpleasant feeling is enhanced because the ear cups are on the small side, compared to the other four even the smallest.
Unfortunately, we are not happy with the sound of the Studio³ either. The headphones have a solid bass, as we are used to from Beats, but fall short in the high, which makes the whole have a dull sound. The sound of the Studio³ is not exactly sparkling, far from it. The measurements show that the Studio³’s frequency response curve is also significantly less flat than some of the better-sounding competitors. It also doesn’t help that Beats is not averse to supporting audio codecs. In addition to the mandatory SBC, the Studio³ can only handle aac and support for aptx or ldac is missing.
We also miss an app at the Studio³. Neither Beats nor Apple has bothered to develop a headphone app, not for iOS, let alone Android. While a separate telephone app is available for the other four models. Too bad, with the competition you can, for example, adjust the sound to your taste via an equalizer and even choose different sound profiles, which would also be desirable with the Studio³. Because of the somewhat unpleasant button on the right earcup, switching noise canceling on or off via an app would also have been nice, and we would have liked to be able to adjust it. With a number of competitors, you can choose from different levels of noise canceling via the app, which is not possible due to the lack of an app at the Studio³.
Speaking of noise canceling: the quality of this also leaves much to be desired with the Studio³. The Studio³ of the specimens tested here manages to keep the least sound in both the low and the mid tones.
The verdict is therefore quickly drawn. Beats has made headphones with the Studio³ that are strikingly different from the competition. Unfortunately, that’s not a plus here. The headphones fold into a nice little package and come with a nice sturdy cover, but the plus points stop a bit. The Studio³ is not comfortable, because it puts a lot of pressure on your head, by far the most of the models tested here. Unfortunately, there is little in return. The Studio³’s sound contains a lot of bass and little high, and the noise canceling keeps out the least sound of the five headphones in this test. In addition, an app is missing with which you could change some settings from a phone. The Studio³ does not live up to its price.