Main menu


Beats Studio Pro review: the same stylish design but not exceptional

Beats Studio Pro review: the same stylish design but not exceptional

Beats Studio Pro review: Two-minute review

Ever really wanted to adore something but it just hasn't quite worked? That's the Beats Studio Pro to a tee. In typical Apple-owned style, they're immediately accessible and appealing. They look great as you'd expect from Beats headphones, they come in a sleek fabric case, and they take moments to set up. 

Many people are going to love them but those wanting all the finer details you'd expect from a $349 / £349 pair of cans will soon notice that they're missing out on some key features, especially if they're using Apple products. 

The best headphones market is an incredibly competitive one so that's likely to be where the Beats Studio Pro runs into some issues. To stand out in this price range, the main competition is the Sony WH-1000XM5, while spending more would glean you the Apple AirPods Max. The Beats Studio Pro defeat the latter but when it comes to the behemoth of Sony? Not so much but that's not to say you shouldn't consider them.

You see, the Beats Studio Pro sound pretty good. In typical Beats style, bass is strong and they're perfect for listening to while you're keen to stomp the sidewalk on your run or while making some gains at the gym. There's ANC too which works well but we found not quite as effective as the Sony WH-1000XM4 along the same daily route. It's never hard to do though with the entire setup of the Beats Studio Pro geared towards those that don't want to poke around in settings, even if you're keen to listen to lossless audio via USB-C (more on that later)

However, such simplicity comes at a cost. The Beats Studio Pro suffers from some unusual omissions for the price. There's no multipoint support for Apple users although Android can take advantage of connecting to two devices at once. Also, there's no auto-pause feature. Like something from the past, take the cans off and you'll need to manually pause your music. Weirdly, despite being an Apple product, there's no H1 or H2 chip inside either. Oh, and the on-device controls are tetchy.

And yet, you really want to love the Beats Studio Pro. They're fun, look great, sound meaty, and are effortless to use. Perfectly giving with one hand and taking the other, we'll still be sorry to say goodbye to them despite our better judgement knowing there are better options out there. A confusing set of emotions indeed.

Beats Studio Pro review: price and release date

Beats Studio Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Released in July 2023
  • Officially priced at $349 / £349 / AU$530

The Beats Studio Pro was released in July 2023 for $349 / £349 in the US and UK with an Australian release following in August 2023. 

In typical Beats style, the Beats Studio Pro can be purchased in a few different colors. There's black, deep brown, navy, and sandstone. Place your bets now on which model will see the first discount. We're banking on it either being black or sandstone.

At $349/£349, the Beats Studio Pro's main rival is the Sony WH-1000XM5 looming over pretty much all headphones in this price range. Predictably, the Beats Studio Pro offer some better features than the Sony option but also lacks some potentially crucial things too. 

Beats Studio Pro review: Specs

Beats Studio Pro review: Features

Beats Studio Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Very easy to use
  • No wear detection 

Using the Beats Studio Pro is a plethora of 'hey, this is cool' followed by 'oh, it doesn't do this?'. As mentioned, the cans truly take moments to set up. For Apple users, pairing them is as easy as pairing AirPods even if the Beats Studio Pro lack the H1 or H2 chip you might have expected to see. On your iPhone or Mac, there are easy to access options under Settings for choosing between noise cancellation modes. If you hate to adjust much on your headphones, you'll appreciate the simplicity that means you can get straight to listening to your music. 

Stick them on and you're all good but extended use means you start noticing what the Beats Studio Pro lack. At this price, we usually see multipoint connectivity so you can have your headphones paired to your phone and your PC at the same time, allowing you to hear both. Here, that's only possible through Android devices which is a weird omission for stylish headphones that are sure to appeal to iOS users a lot. While we're thinking of Android owners, you'll need to download the Beats app to do everything that automatically pops up in iOS's settings so neither phone OS has the perfect experience nor the weakest.

A more annoying gripe is the lack of wear detection. It's really nice to take your headphones off and have them automatically pause and vice versa. It's the kind of feature you soon get used to meaning switching to the Beats Studio Pro involves a lot of forgetting to switch them off manually. 

Better news, there's lossless audio via USB-C. We'll get into that more below but it's good to see for purists, although you can't use ANC or transparency mode at the same time. Also, USB-C connectivity gives you EQ options but Bluetooth doesn't. It really is give with one hand and take with the other at times here. 

  • Features score: 3.5/5

Beats Studio Pro: Battery life

Beats Studio Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Average battery life 
  • Fast Fuel is useful 

Battery life is fairly typical for the price with the Beats Studio Pro. The quoted maximum is 40 hours with ANC switched off, while there's 24 hours with ANC enabled. More is possible with other headphones but this isn't exactly a low amount. It'll still last you the week in most cases, while Fast Fuel gives back four hours in just 10 minutes.

  • Battery life score: 3.5/5

Beats Studio Pro review: Sound quality

Beats Studio Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Middling ANC 
  • Powerful bass 
  • Lossless audio via USB-C

The Beats Studio Pro sound pretty good during usual use. As always with Beats, there's some powerful bass here with no subtlety and that's no bad thing at all. Relaxing and listening to Foo Fighters' greatest hits works perfectly here with All My Life thumping away to our delight. 

Listen to a podcast and the bass lowers but the crispness and decent detail remains the same. For Apple users, support for personalized spatial audio and Dolby Atmos provides a noticeable boost, alongside head tracking. Android users get standard spatial audio without head tracking. 

The Beats Studio Pro know how to provide good sound. That's handy as there's no adjustable EQ and you can only use the presets when listening via USB-C. Of course, USB-C is the ultimate way given it's the only way to hear lossless audio so it's worth trying out but it's unlikely to be something you do all the time. iPhone users will need to pick up another cable too as there's no USB-C to Lightning cable included.

When you do get set up for lossless, hi-res audio, you can choose between Beats Signature, Entertainment mode, and Conversation mode. We're not convinced anyone will use Conversation much but Entertainment is handy for watching movies or playing games.

ANC is pretty good depending on the situation. At home, blocking out environmental noises or the neighbours doing DIY is easily canceled out here. Where performance is weaker is during our daily walk near a busy road. Having previously used the Sony WH-1000XM4 along the same route, the Beats Studio Pro don't block out sound quite as well. It's still good but not as precise as the Sony model. This could be down to them not fitting quite as well alongside glasses.

  • Sound quality score: 4/5

Beats Studio Pro review: Design

Beats Studio Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Plasticky but sleek 
  • Tight fit for many heads
  • Tetchy controls 

The Beats Studio Pro are classically styled. If you've seen Beats before, you know what to expect here. This reviewer's a fan of that look. It's lightweight at only 270g and it simply looks delightful in comparison to the bulkier looking headphones also out there. 

For storage, the Beats Studio Pro fold inwards. There's a crunch noise that's mildly unsettling but it works just fine making them easy to toss into your bag as needed. The carry case comes with cables, albeit no USB-C to Lightning cable which feels like a nod towards iPhones solely sticking with USB-C soon. 

Controls are clicky buttons on the Beats logo. There's also a button on the right ear cup for power, pairing, and toggling ANC. The concept is generally more effective than using gestures, but pressing down on your head won't feel right. I mostly stuck with using controls on my phone or smartwatch (and Siri!) for better ease. 

More of a concern is how tightly the Beats Studio Pro. It's clearly designed for a small head. While you can extend it a bit through the headband, even my small head felt bigger than ideal here. Worse, these cans be uncomfy for extended periods of time. There's not a lot of padding on the headband and you feel it, even if like me, you have a lot of thick hair. It's possible to move it around to find somewhere more comfortable but it's never quite as premium level of comfort as one would want. 

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Beats Studio Pro review: Value

Beats Studio Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Sleek premium design
  • Features aren't on par with same-priced competitors 

At this price, the Beats Studio Pro offers a lot while not offering quite as much as the competition. There's the glooming spectre of the Sony WH-1000XM5 or 1000XM4 hanging around but neither is as stylish as the Beats Studio Pro. 

The Beats Studio Pro may also lack some features but it has the basics lined up perfectly. It's only really the fit that's going to be a dealbreaker for anyone with a vaguely bigger head. 

  • Value score: 3.5/5

Should I buy the Beats Studio Pro?

Buy them if...

Don't buy them if...

Beats Studio Pro review: Also consider

How I tested the Beats Studio Pro

Beats Studio Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Tested for one week 
  • While both at home and outside 
  • 10 years of audio reviewing experience 

Tested for one week, listened against the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Apple AirPods Pro 2. Used at home (in the bedroom and living room) and outside when walking and running, in both countryside and suburban areas

Listened to Apple Music, Apple Music lossless tracks, and Spotify on an iPhone 14 Pro, and MacBook Pro. Also listened to podcasts and watched Twitch streams and played Nintendo Switch games.

To see how well the Beats Studio Pro work for every scenario, I used it in as many different situations as possible. I couldn't test them on a plane but I made sure to go on my usual daily walk near some very busy traffic that really needs good ANC to cope with. 

As well as that, I went on other walks in more scenic areas where the wind blows hard and fast to see how the Beats Studio Pro coped there. I also used them while running to see how lightweight they felt. 

Outside of more active fare, I spent my evenings listening to my laptop through the Beats Studio Pro. That meant some YouTube videos, podcasts, Twitch streams, and then playing my Nintendo Switch through them. I also tried out lossless audio via the USB-C cable sticking primarily with Apple Music lossless music. 

I've been reviewing audio products for over 10 years and have been a big fan of great sounds for longer than that. I appreciate the importance of crisp and detailed audio when listening to music as well as movies and games because it really makes the experience better.

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed: August 2023