Get Them Here
The Beats Studio 3 were first announced at apple’s 2017 iPhone keynote where they also announced their iPhone 8 and iPhone X. But that was almost 2 years ago… and over the last 2 years the premium ANC headphone market has gotten extremely competitive with brand new features, tech spec improvements, and even brand new competitors. Now to save you some time, if you’re looking for a pair of premium ANC headphones then I highly recommend the Sony 1000XM3’s and if you’re looking for a pair of mid tier ANC headphones then I highly recommend the Sony XB900N’s. Which they’ll be linked down below.
Now the purpose of this video is that I want to show case how the Beats Studio 3’s stack up to some of 2019’s newer ANC headphones. Now obviously the Beats Studio 3’s have a lot of branding behind them, but besides some key features… it is kind of hard to recommend the Studio 3’s in today’s highly competitive market. And personally I do think that we’ll see the Beats Studio 4’s or a new pair of Apple branded Headphones at Apple’s next iPhone keynote, cause they really have a lot of catching up to do. And if the iPhone 11 does pan out to be as boring at it seems, they are going to need an extra something to spice up their keynote.
Now obviously the first thing you want to take into consideration when ever you’re picking up a pair headphones is their build quality and more importantly their fit. Now for starters the Beats Studio 3’s are mostly made out of plastic and that’s perfectly fine cause so are Sony’s headphones. But the silicon underneath the headband feels very rough and the leatherette on their ear pads feels very corse. Where as if we were to take the Bose NC 700’s into consideration they easily have the best feeling leatherette here and the silicon found underneath their headband feels much finer, much smoother.
But more importantly the Beats Studio 3’s are not the best fitting headphones here for a few important reasons. Now first off, the ear cup on the Studio 3’s don’t have nearly as much range of motion as any of the other headphones here and that’s because of their integrated headband and ear cup design. So this lack of range of motion means that these headphones do apply an uneven amount of pressure around your ears which personally I find very annoying. And in general the Studio 3’s do have a lot of camping force making them not big approved. But the ear cups on the Studio 3’s are also very cramped compared to all of the other headphones here. Now the Bose NC 700’s have these super spacious ear cups that are going to have no problem accommodating most ear types, where as the Sony 1000XM3’s… their ear cups are significantly more spacious than what’s found on the Studio 3’s but their ear cups are better suited for people who have medium sized ear like me. Personally I hope that if the Sony 1000XM4’s are released in the near they’ll have similar ear cups to the Sony XB900N’s cause they are slightly more spacious. But in general, I do feel its time to the Beats Studio 3’s go though a design over haul. We need better build quality, better feeling materials, less clamping force in the headband, ear cups that have significantly more range of motion and more spacious ear pads if Apple really wants to compete in todays headphones market.
But something the Studio 3’s really does excel at here is their bluetooth connectivity. If you’re heavily invested into apple’s eco system you can easily switch between your iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro and iMac thanks to their W1 chip. Now this is a big deal cause simultaneous multi-device connectivity still isn’t a standard feature on all headphones. Bose’s headphones allow you to connect to up 2 devices at the same time, and Sony’s headphones are notorious for only being able to connect to one device at a time even though they have bluetooth 4.2. So definitely as a power user I really do appreciate the Beats Studio 3’s W1 chip.
And when it comes to battery life the Beats Studio 3’s have an advertised battery life of 22 hours with ANC turned on. And for 2017 headphones that’s ok. But now that its mid 2019, premium ANC headphones are shooting for 30 hour battery lives like both of Sony’s headphones. But the Beats Studio 3’s are still out performing the Bose NC 700’s cause they only have a 20 hour battery life and even the Surface headphones cause they only have a 15 hour battery life.
But something on the Studio 3’s that defiantly has got to go is their micro USB charging port. Now if the Beats Studio 4’s or a new pair of apple headphones are announced I do think its highly likely that we’ll see USB C charging on them cause apple is slowly but surely embracing USB C. The question is, will apple be the first company to get rid of the Headphone jack on their headphones. Honestly it wouldn’t be surprised if they did… but I really hope they don’t cause it would suck for constant flyers.
And plainly said, if you’re a constant flyer or a constant commuter looking for a pair of Noise Canceling Headphones just stay away from Beats at all costs. Even though the Beats Studio 3’s are marketed as these premium $350 noise canceling headphones, in actuality their Active Noise Cancellation can’t even keep up with Mid tire ANC Headphones. But so that you can see for yourself we’re going to jump into an ANC test.
Like you may have just seen, the active noise cancelation on the Studio 3’s was a little worse than the XB900N’s which are Sony’s $250 mid tier ANC headphones. And then when we dive into Premium ANC headphones like the Bose NC 700’s and Sony 1000XM3’s the difference in performance is staggering. If Apple has any hope in competing in this highly competitive ANC Headphone market they really need to improve on their Active Noise Cancelling Tech.
But active noise cancellation isn’t the only thing Apple needs to focus on, they also need to introduce some crucial features that are standard on most other mid tier and premium ANC headphones these days. For starters apple need to introduce an ambient mode to their headphones so that you can still be aware of your surroundings when you’re wearing your headphones. Now this isn’t one of those gimmicky features that you’ll never end up using an ambient mode is extremely useful for like when you’re walking around the city with your headphones on or you can do what do and have ambient mode turned on when I’m watching Netflix at home so that if someone calls my name I can still hear them.
But also the Beats Studio 4’s or what ever apple comes out with should also have a conversation mode where if you activate it, your headphones will automatically pause your music and pump in all the ambient sound so you can talk to someone without having to take your headphones off like this.
Then there’s voice assistant integration. Now a lot of ANC headphones these days let you choose whether you want to use google assistant or Alexa on their headphones. And you interact with them by pressing a dedicated voice assistant button on your headphones like this.
Now obviously Apple has Siri, so they’re going to want you to use Siri. But I think its pretty obvious apple is going to want to one up their voice assistant experience on their headphones by having always listening Siri like the new AirPods 2 and Powerbeats Pro have like this.
So I think its pretty safe to assume that apple’s new headphones will have always listening Siri. And personally I don’t think that’s a bad thing cause you’re going to be able to interact with your voice assistant even easier.
I also think apple needs to introduce on their new headphones is an adjustable EQ. Now the Beats Studio 3’s sound decent enough but their instrument separation and sound stage isn’t going to blow you away and I do feel the treble is a little too high on these guys which make the highs a little piercing. But Beats have always been notorious for having a bass heavy sound signature. And that’s ok cause some people prefer a bass heavy sound signature. And when it comes to bass on these headphones its front and center and it doesn’t bottom out which is what really matters. But having this non adjust EQ approach to your headphones isn’t always the best cause its ones on the things holding back Bose’s headphones which have a neutral sound signature. I think the Beats Studio 4’s should just have a full customizable EQ like Sony’s headphones cause this way you can have a different EQ for different listening situations like I do.
But I also want to quickly point out that if apple does redesign their Headphones, I would like them to move their control buttons from the left ear cup to the right ear cup. Personally as a righty its always a little weird pressing buttons on the left ear cup. But who knows, maybe apple will do away with the physical buttons and move over to a touch pad. Personally I don’t mind it, but I do know someone still prefer buttons. But at the very least have a large touch pad instead of a tiny one like on the Bose NC 700’s.
And finally there’s the microphone on these headphones. Personally I jut wouldn’t take phone calls with these headphones cause it sounds very choppy.
And its definitely nowhere near as good as the Bose NC 700’s.
And its even lacking behind the microphone found on the Sony XB900N’s which is actually a little better than the microphone found on the 1000XM3’s
And even though the microphone on the 1000XM3’s is a muffled mess… I think it still sounds better than the Beats Studio 3’s
So definitely the microphone on the Beats Studio 3’s needs some major improvements.
So over all, like I mentioned at the beginning of the video, its very hard for me to recommend the Beats Studio 3 in 2019 cause they’re simply over priced for premium $350 headphones and they’re still over priced for Mid tier $250 headphones. But I do know that its back to school season and some of you will be getting free beats with your new MacBook Pro for school. And by all means use your free headphones. Im just making this video for people who are actually planning on spending several hundred dollars on a pair headphones… and it just pains me to see people getting beats when they’re much better off getting the Sony 1000XM3’s of XB900N’s. Beats just manage to stay relevant cause they’re constantly coming out with new colors. But I also think that its highly likely that we’ll see new Headphones at Apple’s next iPhone Keynote cause the Beats Studio 3’s haven’t been refreshed in 2 years and they simply just can’t compete in today’s highly competitive ANC headphone market.