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Beats Studiobuds: Should You Pay An Additional $100?

Posted by Dmitrios Predas on November 29, 2022 Dmitrios Predas


Apple's AirPods Pro 2 offers many improvements over the original, but is it worth spending more than the Beats Studio Buds for less?

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 come with new and improved features and the same $249 price tag as the previous generation, but are they worth buying over the cheaper Beats Studio Buds? Apple sells earbuds under the Beats line as well as the AirPods line, and while the latter is more popular, some Beats-branded earbuds are equally good, and sometimes even better than their AirPods counterparts.

The Beats Studio Buds were announced over a year ago, offering features similar to the first-generation AirPods Pro for a lower price tag. While Apple didn't announce a successor to the Studio Buds this year, it did release more color options and a special edition in partnership with Amsterdam-based fashion house, Daily Paper.

The AirPods Pro 2 and the Beats Studio Buds look nothing alike save for the fact that they both have a closed-fit design. The former is available in white and has protruding stems that are slightly angled, while the Beats Studio Buds have a stemless design and can be purchased in six different colors including blue, red, black, and pink. Both earbuds are rated IPX4 for sweat and water resistance, but that protection also extends to the case of the AirPods Pro 2. In terms of weight, the Beats Studio Buds are lighter at 5 grams per earbud while the AirPods Pro 2 weigh 5.3 grams per earbud.

The AirPods Pro 2 and the Beats Studio Buds both have active noise cancelation and a transparency mode, but Apple claims the AirPods Pro 2's ANC is twice as good as the original AirPods Pro. Adaptive Transparency is also more advanced, with the ability to reduce the intensity of loud noises such as sirens and construction sounds. The new features are enabled thanks to the new H2 chip, an upgrade over the H1 chip in the first-gen AirPods Pro. Both earbuds support hands-free Siri and have on-device controls for playback and switching between noise cancelation and transparency modes. However, only the AirPods Pro 2 feature volume controls on the stem.

While both earbuds support Spatial Audio, the AirPods Pro 2 offer a more personalized experience that is created based on a user's unique ear shape. The Beats Studio Buds boast a battery life of up to eight hours on a single charge with ANC and Transparency mode turned off. Users will also be able to get two additional full charges from the charging case for a total of 24 hours of usage. On the other hand, the AirPods Pro 2 will last up to six hours on a single charge, and this goes up to 30 hours in total with the charging case. The Beats Studio Buds charge via USB-C whereas the AirPods Pro 2 has a Lightning port. They also support MagSafe and Qi wireless charging. Both earbuds support fast charging, with a five-minute charge providing up to an hour of listening time.

The two earbuds connect via Bluetooth, and with respect to compatibility, the Beats Studio Buds are clearly stated to be compatible with Android and iOS. Although the AirPods Pro 2 is designed to work with Apple devices, they will connect to non-Apple devices like a regular Bluetooth device. However, certain features will not be available such as one-touch pairing, Spatial Audio, and Find My. In the case of the Beats Studio Buds, Android users have to download the Beats companion app which provides features such as built-in controls, battery level indicators, and firmware updates. iOS users don't need an app as these features are already built into the operating system.

The AirPods Pro 2 justifies its higher price tag with more refined features such as improved noise cancelation and spatial audio, longer battery life, and the ability to precisely locate the case thanks to the same U1 chip as the AirTag. However, Android users as well as buyers on a budget will find the Beats Studio Buds to be a better option. The earbuds have ANC, spatial audio, a transparency mode, and USB-C charging. The fact that they come in multiple color variants is also a plus for those who don't like the boring white color of the AirPods Pro 2.

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