Short review of Beats Studio Buds: wireless compromise

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With the Studio Buds, Beats has introduced its first wireless in-ears with active noise cancellation (ANC) – thus rivaling the more expensive AirPods Pro from parent company Apple. The Studio Buds are hardly bigger than the AirPods Pro, but they don’t have a bridge. They have interchangeable adapters made of silicone with which they fit into ears of different sizes. Our testers found the seat firm but comfortable – they didn’t fall out during exercise.

The in-ears come, a novelty, without Apple chips such as H1 or W1. The earphones automatically pair with an iPhone via Bluetooth when you take them out of the charging case. However, they are not synchronized with different devices that are registered with the same Apple ID and do not support quick device changes: If they are connected to the Mac and you want to listen to music on the iPhone, you have to use the iOS settings of the other device associate. They also do not support the “Share audio” function for listening with a second person.

The button on the left or right handset controls the ANC and playback. The voice assistant is activated by pressing a button or by saying “Hey Siri”. There is no ear sensor that stops playback when you take a receiver out.

Studio Buds (Kabellose In-Ears)

Manufacturer:

Beats

Dimensions:

15.6 × 21.6 × 19.8 mm (handset) / 51.5 × 73 × 25.6 mm (case)

Weight:

5.1 g (per earpiece) / 48 g (case)

Scope of delivery:

USB-C cable, battery case, ear tips

System requirements:

iOS from 14, Android from 6, macOS from 10.14, Bluetooth

Price (manufacturer):

150 €

The Studio Buds (from 108.90 €) sound good. Both highs and low frequencies are present without appearing excessive. There is room for improvement in the mids, voices seem quite weak. The Studio Buds cannot keep up with the current Apple earphones. They cannot handle 3D audio with head tracking. Telephone calls made via the microphone sounded slightly tinny, but understandable. The noise cancellation effectively filtered out steady noises like the rattling of the tram, but more noise got through than the Apple listeners.

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More from Mac & i

More from Mac & i

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When playing music, the Studio Buds lasted 8 hours and 8 minutes without ANC. With active noise cancellation, the battery life decreased to 5 hours and 18 minutes. In the battery case you fill up twice, it charges via USB-C instead of via Lightning like the AirPods. The Studio Buds last a long time, suppress noise and don’t sound bad. Unfortunately, Beats saved too much comfort. The more expensive AirPods Pro outperform the Buds in terms of sound and offer more functions.


(lbe)

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