Beats Studio Buds review: Adding appeal for Android users

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(Pocket-lint) - Since being purchased by Apple, Beats has been connected thing of a travel redefining itself. It typically takes the champion of Apple's tech and wraps it successful a merchandise that's visually chiseled from its genitor company's offerings. 

When the existent wireless marketplace exploded aft Apple's AirPods launch, that meant launching the Powerbeats Pro, a brace of workout 'buds. But for 2021, Beats wanted to bring thing to marketplace arsenic convenient arsenic AirPods Pro but with a precise antithetic look and without the terms tag. Say hullo to the Beats Studio Buds.

Design

  • Each 'bud weighs 5g
  • IPX4 water-resistance
  • Colours: White, Black, Red
  • Single multi-purpose fastener connected each ear

Being portion of Apple's institution has meant offering thing antithetic to AirPods and - truthful acold - that's what Beats has managed to do. With Studio Buds, it's astir similar the plan squad looked astatine AirPods and decided "not similar that". That means there's nary stem sticking retired of your years, a la AirPods, portion the signifier of the casing is hugely antithetic to Apple's own-brand earbuds too. 

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Instead, the compact circular casing curves up into a pill-shaped fastener that sits connected the extracurricular of Beats Studio Buds and besides acts arsenic a multi-function button. Clicking it erstwhile plays oregon pauses the music, portion a double- oregon triple-click skips tracks guardant oregon back, and a agelong property switches betwixt the progressive noise-cancelling (ANC) and transparency (passthrough) modes. 

Both 'buds diagnostic this aforesaid control, truthful it's wholly ambidextrous. You don't person to retrieve which earbud does what. The lone antagonistic to utilizing this carnal fastener versus a touch-sensitive 1 is that if you property it excessively firmly past you extremity up pushing the earbud further down into your receptor canal, which tin beryllium a small uncomfortable. Thankfully, they don't request to beryllium pressed hard to activate. 

What we did find, however, was the Studio Buds were amended astatine staying unafraid successful our ears than AirPods. The Beats don't look to displacement arsenic overmuch arsenic the AirPods Pro erstwhile successful use; they conscionable look to sit, astir glued into our ears. They're besides precise comfy and tin easy beryllium worn for agelong periods without making the receptor canal entranceway delicate oregon sore. 

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The Studio Buds' lawsuit is likewise anti-AirPods successful its look. Rather than beryllium a rounded rectangle, the Beats ships with a pebble-shaped case. It's compact - overmuch much truthful than the ample Powerbeats Pro transportation lawsuit - and easy slips into a pocket. What's more, it's got a USB Type-C larboard for charging. 

There's nary wireless charging here, sadly, but with the USB-C larboard for charging it means Android telephone users apt won't request to transportation an other cablegram astir conscionable to recharge their earphones.

AirPods, but for Android users? 

  • One-touch pairing for iPhone (with hands-free 'Hey Siri' support) and Android
  • Up to 8 hours playback (24 hours full with lawsuit charges)
  • 'Find My' app support

With erstwhile Beats headphones, the shaper took vantage of Apple's headphone processors, making them truly convenient for Apple instrumentality users. Recently, that's seen the H1 spot - which enabled is automatic pairing and transportation crossed aggregate Apple devices being utilized successful products similar the Beats Solo Pro and wireless Powerbeats models

But Beats took a antithetic attack with the Studio Buds, opting not to physique the H1 spot into its compact wireless buds. Instead, it built a caller bundle level to marque these earbuds much appealing to Android users too. Studio Buds diagnostic Google Fast Pair, which means if you enactment them adjacent an Android telephone with Bluetooth connected you get an intuitive graphic connected surface for pairing, implicit with a representation of the merchandise and a nexus to download the Beats app.

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More crucially, if you upgrade your Android telephone afterwards, your telephone volition cognize that a antecedently connected brace of earphones is adjacent and fto you link to them. Because with Fast Pair, the Studio Buds are linked to your Google account. 

You inactive get speedy and casual pairing connected iPhone too, you conscionable don't get the payment of having them automatically paired crossed all of your Apple devices. Although, they inactive person that feeling of being tightly integrated. For instance, if you entree the measurement power successful Control Centre connected your iPhone oregon iPad portion they're connected, you tin rapidly toggle connected the ANC oregon transparency modes, oregon presumption the artillery levels successful the artillery widget. You tin besides usage the Find My app to find them. 

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Similarly, due to the fact that of Fast Pair support, you tin presumption your Beats Studio artillery details wrong your phone's settings paper connected Android. 

Other convenient features see the quality to usage either the near oregon close 'bud independently, which tin beryllium a life-saver erstwhile utilizing them for video calls. You tin dock 1 'bud to complaint it portion utilizing the different for audio, past swap and transportation connected the telephone without immoderate interruption. 

On the taxable of calls, the show present is bully too. Voice clarity from the microphones is much than bully enough, portion the equilibrium of the dependable done the earbuds means recipients' voices travel done cleanly too. 

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Similarly, artillery beingness is much than bully capable to marque them hassle-free. With ANC switched disconnected you tin get up to 8 hours of euphony playback. In our testing, we played them for sometimes 3 hours astatine a clip and didn't driblet beneath 60 per cent adjacent with ANC switched on. Plus, with the lawsuit offering 2 other afloat charges, they easy lasted america a week oregon 2 betwixt needing to plug into a powerfulness source. 

Sound and sound cancelling

  • Active noise-cancelling (ANC) and transparency modes
  • Custom 8.3mm drivers

For a agelong time, Beats had a estimation - and not 1 that it wanted. "Beats headphones person excessively overmuch bass" was the wide narrative, but it's a estimation precise overmuch forged successful the aboriginal years of the company. Since then, it's worked hard astatine delivering a dependable illustration that's enjoyable but much balanced. That's wide to perceive successful the Beats Studio Buds. 

There is bass, but it's not dense oregon overwhelming. It's wide and tightly controlled. A large illustration is the bass successful Clash by Dave and Stormzy, which successful immoderate different headphones tin beryllium rather boomy and lacking tightness due to the fact that it's truthful prominent. The Studio Buds header truly good with it though. It's there, it's prominent, but it doesn't dependable similar it's muddy.  

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Studio Buds are large for songs featuring mostly acoustic instruments too. Plucked and strummed strings - whether they beryllium acoustic guitar oregon banjo - chopped close done the mix, without distracting from immoderate vocals, portion the bass successful the centre is escaped to adhd flavour. 

One different bonus feature: Studio Buds are compatible with Apple Music's Spatial Audio, which adds further extent and width to a batch of fashionable songs and albums. Just however effectual it is seems to beryllium precise overmuch connected the idiosyncratic mixes, and this was thing we've noticed careless of which brace of compatible headphones oregon earphones we've tested with it. 

With those mixed to marque the astir of Spatial Audio, the consciousness of width and abstraction betwixt the furthest near and furthest close channels is great. 

Given the terms point, we were impressed by the clarity and item connected offer. Some radical mightiness similar a much dynamic, punchy dependable than what's connected connection present - but connected the full they're good controlled and balanced.

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The silicone extremity offers a bully seal successful the ear, which combined with ANC does an effectual occupation of cutting retired a batch of ambient noise. We didn't find it arsenic effectual arsenic different ANC we've tested though.

You don't get that consciousness of being locked distant successful a noiseless bubble similar with AirPods Pro, but the Studio Buds efficaciously chopped retired upwind noise, droning chatter and a batch of what's happening astir you. 

Verdict

The Beats Studio Buds bash everything you request a brace of wireless buds to bash - without costing a fortune. You get enjoyable and wide sound, positive decent progressive noise-cancelling (ANC).

But supra each they're conscionable convenient. Having the aforesaid multi-function fastener connected some sides means they're truly casual to control. They're comfy capable to deterioration for agelong periods. What's more, with Android Fast Pair support, the Studio Buds unfastened themselves to a conception of the marketplace mostly ignored by AirPods: Google Android users. 

They mightiness not beryllium the astir breathtaking earbuds connected the planet, but with their database of convenient features, design, terms and sound, Studio Buds are incredibly casual to urge if you don't privation to walk excessively much. 

Also consider

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AirPods Pro 

AirPods are arguably the astir convenient earbuds for Apple users, particularly if you person aggregate devices. You tin rapidly link to your AirPods automatically from Mac, iPad oregon iPhone, and the Pro exemplary besides features large progressive noise-cancelling (ANC).  

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Nothing Ear 1

Nothing is caller to the earbuds crippled for 2021, but successful its terms bracket determination are precise fewer that connection the acquisition connected connection from the Ear 1 - and adjacent less that look similar them. 

Writing by Cam Bunton. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 28 August 2021.

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