Beats has finally updated its Studio line with the Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones, with a familiar design and sophisticated noise-canceling technology built-in.
In terms of aesthetics, the Studio 3 pretty much looks similar to its predecessor, the now-discontinued over-ear Studio Wireless headphones. Internals, however, tell a different story. Available now at $350, the Studio 3 improves on its predecessor by featuring the Apple W1 chip, active noise control, and much-longer battery life.
There'll be six different color options, with two being "limited edition" variants. In terms of ergonomics, the company claims it has improved the ear cushions for a more comfortable fit.
Beats Studio 3: Active Noise Control
As with the Studio Wireless headphones, the Studio 3 features noise cancellation, but in a different, more improved way. It uses a technology called Pure ANC, which continuously monitors ambient noise and changes in the surroundings to adjust its noise cancellation accordingly.
Typically, conventional noise-canceling headphones use external microphones to pick up sound and block them out. Onboard software then converts it into something that ends up resembling ambient noise. When a jet engine zooms overhead, it'll sound far less intrusive, letting you enjoy your music.
But Beats president Luke Wood says that method isn't ideal, calling it the "enemy of good sound." Typical noise-canceling technology is applied like a blanket, according to Wired, good at blocking certain sounds but not midrange ones.
The Studio 3 has two microphones that pick up ambient sound. A software then continuously compares the converted sound with the original music file on the device. The two are overlaid in real time to see "where there are artifacts and anomalies in the two waveforms." As a result, you'll get to hear your music and nothing else.
Even with the software processing going on in the background, Beats says the Studio 3 will still last 22 hours on a single charge with ANC turned on. Turn it off you get 40 hours.
Is Beats Studio 3 Worth The High Price?
The higher price may rub some people the wrong way, surely, but Beats is emphasizing the Studio 3's upgraded internals, especially the proprietary Apple W1 chip. This is what's enabling all the fancy-schmancy Pure ANC magic, and, for those who don't know, the W1 chip is actually the same chip inside Apple AirPods, which enables hassle-free pairing with Apple's products. The Studio 3 will automatically connect to Apple products, no pairing needed.
As for the quality, it's too early to make judgments. But this is Beats, of course, and it's often been criticized for its emphasis on bass instead of a more balanced sound. We'll have to see if it performs as advertised.
Thoughts about the Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!