Beats has announced a refreshed version of its Studio headphones after a three-year hiatus with the Studio 3 Wireless. The headphones ship with a classic Beats form factor in which they nearly look identical to each and every one of its predecessors. However, in relatively the same body, the company was able to upgrade the accessory’s specifications.
Specifically, the Studio 3 Wireless now sport Apple’s W1 chip originally debuted in the AirPods, Beats X, and Beats Solo 3s last year. Essentially, this chip allows users to connect the headphones to their iOS or macOS device simply by turning the headphones on and selecting “Pair” on a prompt. Once finished, the headphones will be paired to all of the user’s Apple devices, including their iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. It’s a stupidly easy way to pair something like headphones to your devices, so it’s nice to see Beats integrated the technology into their flagship product.
Using the W1 chip also lets Beats offer 22 hours of use with the Studio 3 Wireless. This works by not solely relying on Bluetooth to connect to your device which helps balance out the energy use. A new, proprietary technology called Pure ANC (Adaptive Noise Canceling) aims to block out noise in various different surroundings and adjusts itself based on where you are (e.g. a coffee shop, airplane, train) and, while on, still gets you 22 hours of use. By turning this particular feature off, Beats says users can expect up to 40 hours of use while in low power mode. A ten-minute charge of the headphones can also result in an extra three hours of use which is pretty impressive.
I do have to mention, however, that the way these headphones charge isn’t very convenient for those who are adopting new technologies or for whoever buys a phone in 2017. For whatever reason, Beats decided to opt for a microUSB port on the Studio 3 Wireless. While all of Beats’ other products use Lightning connectors, the most expensive pair uses a connector we haven’t seen on a flagship smartphone since 2015. They could’ve even included a USB-C connector, anything to make charging these things a bit more future-proof. Hey, maybe Beats will update the headphones again next year and include a connector more modern? Who knows? All I can say, for now, is no one should really buy headphones with a microUSB connector on them in 2017, especially from a brand such as Beats.
As some final tidbits, the new Studio 3 Wireless feature Class 1 Bluetooth to provide “optimal connectivity so you get fewer drop-outs and extended range from your iOS or Android device,” there’s multiple controls for changing the track or turning up or down the volume, a dedicated button for activating Siri sits on one of the earcups, and Pure ANC is activatable by double tapping the power button. Beats will ship the new headphones in Matte Black, White, Blue, and Red alongside two special edition colors: Porcelain Rose and Shadow Gray. The headphones cost $349.95 and are available from Apple.com.