Here at Major HiFi, I usually found myself avoiding Beats headphones. They always seemed overpriced and didn’t pay enough attention to detail in sound. However, I recently got a pair of Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones to try out, and my opinion may surprise you. Let’s get into it with this Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones with active noise cancellation review.
Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones with Noise Cancellation Review
In the Box
-Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones
-Detachable audio cable with 3.5mm connector and mic/remote
-Micro USB to USB charging cable
-Hard-shell carrying case
-Carabiner for carrying case
Look and Feel
As I placed the Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones on my head for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised with their fit. I have a pretty small head and I got the sense that these headphones could fit pretty much any head size, including folks whose heads are much larger than mine. Additionally, the earcups and earpads were a good size, fitting over my ears easily. They were soft and comfortable.
I was left wishing there was more comfortable padding on the underside of the headband, but was impressed that the actual fit of the headband was good. It wasn’t too loose, wasn’t too tight. The fit of it contributed to the overall noise isolation, so even before noise cancelling was turned on, the headphones helped cut out a lot of extra sound around me. In addition to the rough padding on the headband, I felt worried that it’s plastic design might be fragile.
I caution those who end up buying these headphones to take good care of them, particularly the headband, and always store them in the provided case.
Beats didn’t include any info on Bluetooth codec, which makes me think it’s probably the standard Bluetooth 4.1 connection. If you’re looking for high-resolution connection like aptX, you’re most likely out of luck.
The Bluetooth is conducted by an Apple W1 chip, the same chip used in Apple Airpods. After looking into the W1, I can confirm that the headphones connect via Bluetooth 4.1. Additionally, it is made to work seamlessly and simply with Apple products. When I connected the headphones to my phone for the first time, a picture of the headphones popped up, along with an icon of its battery life.
Additionally, the connection was strong and stayed coupled for over 30 feet, although worked best when there was a line of sight between my phone and the headphones.
Active Noise Cancellation
Beats calls their ANC Adaptive Noise Cancellation because they constantly update the ANC in response to changes in the environment and fit. The noise cancellation was actually pretty outstanding. It wasn’t as strong as the Sony WH-1000xM2 or Bose QuietComfort 35, but both of those headphones’ ANC tends to make me nauseous. This one was a great middle ground and cut out noise around me without the dizzying effect.
Fast Fuel Charging
While I didn’t test the limits of the battery life, Beats claims the battery will last for 22 hours with noise cancelling on and 40 hours with noise cancelling off. It also features a fast-charging system in which 10 minutes of charging yields 3 hours of playback!
Lastly, one of my favorite features on these headphones is the battery indicator LED light on the side of the headphone!
As you may have guessed, the sub-frequencies of the Beats Studio 3 Wireless are accented. They have a broad boost around 60 Hz. As a result, kick drums, bass guitars, and bass synths produce a “feeling” rather than just a sound. This accent doesn’t sound great with all genres but it works the best with hip-hop, pop, and EDM music.
The midrange is a little bit scooped, with frequency cuts from 700 Hz-1 kHz. Therefore, genres that depend heavily on midrange detail for emotional impact sound dull. That means classical, jazz, and heavy guitar music like rock, metal, or punk don’t quite hit hard enough. However, boosts at 3 kHz and 5.5 kHz support vocal detail, and as a result, vocals sit higher in the mix than they would otherwise.
Like the low frequencies, the high frequencies are accented from 9 kHz to 11 kHz. As a result, cymbals sound bright and vocals sound crisp. The high frequency boost makes some genres of music sound unnatural, but again, it works well for hip-hop and pop.
When ANC is turned on, the Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones have a narrow sound without any depth. That’s the case, as well, for most noise cancelling headphones so I wasn’t too surprised. The headphones also have a nice sense of height because of the sub and high frequency boosts, but doesn’t have a very broad sense of width.
Contrary to my own beliefs going into it, I was pleasantly surprised by the Beats Studio 3 Wireless. They aren’t an audiophile headphone by any means, but for a solid pair of noise cancelling headphones, they do the trick. They will work best for folks who listen to hip-hop, pop, EDM, and any other genre that benefits from a thick low end and a bright vocal. For all others, pivot your attention toward the Sony WH-1000xM2 or Kef Porsche Design Space One Wireless.
The Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones are available for the best price here: