Beats Studio Pro review headphones

Beats Studio Pro review: great for the aesthetic, not the sound

There was once a time when Beats headphones were inescapable. Every vaguely cool person in the entertainment industry was spotted wearing a pair at some point. Even for me, a pair of Beats Studios was the first expensive pair of headphones I bought.

But while Beats By Dre had the look down, they didn’t sound great. The bass was overwhelming and the mid-tones just barely existed. They were headphones you wore to look cool, rather than experience the details of songs the way the artists intended (despite the advertising). Then, Apple bought Beats and the company released some genuinely good headphones. The Beats Solo Pro are still the best on-ear headphones I’ve heard under $600, and definitely the best on-ear noise cancelling.

So, going in, I had really high hopes for these new Beats Studio Pros. Alas, despite their promise, they under-deliver in key ways. In many ways, they’re a devolution from the highs of the Solo Pros. However, they do still look pretty good.

Beats Studio Pro first impressions

I really liked the packing for the Beats Studio Pro. They have that “industrial-yet-eco-friendly” look that’s so in style now. It was nice and easy to open, revealing the Studio Pro headphones in a nice, simple, fabric black case.

Setting up with my iPhone 14 Pro Max was easy – I turned them on and then held them close to each other and the phone picked them up, kind of like AirPods. However, oddly, some of the Studio features are reserved for Android only (we’ll get to that in a minute).

Beats Studio Pro headphones

Picking up the headphones themselves, I was surprised by how cheap they felt. For $529.95, I would expect them to feel and look premium, but they feel more like $350 headphones. Lots of plastic with little metal accents. They also look more boring and understated like the Beats of old. I miss the little red logo on the black background. Comparing them to other headphones in the same price range from Sony and Sennheiser, the Studio Pro just feels like a step down.


DimensionsHeight: 18.1 cm / 7.125 in.
Length: 17.8 cm / 7 in.
Width: 7.8 cm / 3.1 in.
Weight: 260 g / 9.17 oz.
Form factorOver-ear
ConnectivityClass 1 Wireless Bluetooth 5.3
USB-C audio
3.5mm analogue input for wired audio sources
BatteryBeats Studio Pro (single charge): up to 40 hours of listening time
Fast Fuel: a 10-minute charge provides up to 4 hours of playback
Price (RRP)$529.95
WarrantyOne year
Official websiteBeats Australia

The most interesting thing about the Beats Studio Pro is that if you plug them into an Android phone, you can unlock new customisations and get higher definition audio. This is an Apple product designed to be friendlier with Android, and yet Apple Music doesn’t offer lossless on Android. It’s fascinating.

There are also a lot of really good features in there. I love the physical controls – they’re easy to use, easy to remember, and don’t interfere with the way you listen like some others do. This is the model for how all controls on headphones should be done.

The fast charging feature of 10 minutes charge to get 4 hours of listening has saved me a couple of times when I’ve accidentally left them on in my bag and run down the battery. The 40 hours of battery life with ANC off is also extremely good. On paper, these headphones are fantastic.


There are really two things that matter most for performance on headphones like this: audio quality and noise cancelling.

Audio quality

These aren’t headphones that will excite any audio snob. But they’re also not headphones that will disappoint anyone who likes Beats headphones. Long-time Beats Studio fans will see them as a step up, but Beats Solo Pro users will be unimpressed.

Going through my usual headphone testing songs, “Paralyzed” by Conquer Divide sounds distorted. A song with thus much bass should be easy pickings for Beat Studio Pro, but the mid-tones are missing so much that the bass sounds unsupported, and so the song sounds empty.

“Simmer” by Hayley Williams really benefits from the Spatial Audio features. It sounds like the drums are travelling around my head. But the details I normally look for are gone. I have to strain to hear the qualities of the snare, and the cymbals sound generic. The little details in the background of the verses that give it that magic just aren’t there.

“Full Heart Fancy” by Lucky Chops almost sounds like it was made with a drum machine, whereas there are other headphones where I could guess which kinds of sticks he’s using to play and on which size cymbals. The trumpets soar, and the saxophone sounds great, but there’s a flatness to it. Like a square with the corners filed off.

Beats Studio Pro side on

“That’s Where I Am” by Maggie Rogers sounds a bit better, possibly because I don’t know it as well (I’ve only heard it around 20 or so times), so I’m not as aware of what could be missing. But the shift from the verse to the pre-chorus sounds fantastic, like the world falls away.

Other songs where I’m not so critical in looking for the little details that make them special on other headphones also sound good. “One That Got Away” by MUNA sounds like it was made for the Beats Studio Pro. It sounds impactful, her voice cuts through clearly, and the electronic drums sound good, even if they’re missing a bit of punch on the chorus.

If I didn’t spend most of my time listening to better headphones in the same price range, I’d probably be pretty happy with the audio quality here but, unfortunately, I do, and I really can’t wait to be able to stop listening to the Beats Studio Pro all the time and go back to the better ones. I still like the Beats Studio Pro because they fold up small, they have great controls, and plugging them into my Samsung Z Fold sounds much better. They’re not the worst I’ve heard. They’re just kinda “fine”. If they were $300 or maybe even $350, their sins would be more forgivable. But at $529.95, there are just too many other better options.

Noise cancelling

Apple and Beats have a great track record for noise cancelling. As a company, they have plenty of people who know what they’re doing with noise cancelling. I don’t know why none of them worked on the Beats Studio Pro.

On a plane, I could hear the conversations around me. The Studio Pro cut out a lot of the noise, but not as much as a pair of Sony XM5s or Apple AirPod Pros.

It’s not the worst noise-cancelling around, but it’s also not the best. It’s just “fine”.

Who is Beats Studio Pro for?

Beats Studio Pros are for people who like the Beats aesthetic. These are a fashion accessory more than they are a pair of $530 headphones. I have a jumper they go with very nicely and will likely wear them together when I want to look nice. I probably won’t want to listen to any albums by my favourite bands for the first time on them. They’re also not my first pick for long-haul flights.

Beats Studio Pro – Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones – Personalised Spatial Audio, USB-C Lossless Audio, Apple & Android Compatibility, Up to 40 Hours Battery Life – Black
  • Beats’ custom acoustic platform delivers rich, immersive sound whether you’re listening to music or taking calls.
  • Lossless Audio via USB-C plus three distinct built-in sound profiles to enhance your listening experience
  • Hear What You Want with two distinct listening modes: fully-adaptive Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and Transparency mode
  • Enhanced compatibility with one-touch pairing and a robust set of native Apple and Android features
  • Personalised spatial audio with dynamic head tracking place you at the centre of an immersive 360-degree listening experience

I am a strong believer in a pair of headphones for every occasion and purpose, and while I don’t recommend these as anyone’s main pair of listening headphones, they are great for nostalgia and they don’t sound terrible.

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Beats Studio Pro
Value for money
Ease of use
Long battery life
Best on ear controls I’ve seen in a long time
Lots of customisation options on Android
A lot of the features are locked to Android
They sound merely “fine”
The noise cancelling is merely “fine”