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Beats By Dr. Dre Studio review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £270
inc VAT

Strong bass and decent sound quality, but active noise-cancelling is too aggressive

Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones range is both widely imitated and remarkably divisive among audio enthusiasts. The design of the Beats Studio Wireless headphones is heavy on glossy plastic and looks a little cheap at first glance. However, we liked the comfortable and secure fit of the headphone cups, which are sized somewhere between on-ear and over-ear.

The headband also feels sturdy, and adjusts to a reasonable range of sizes. The headphones are remarkably small when folded down, and fit easily into the supplied hard shell case. We were pleased to find that the headphones didn’t become uncomfortable, even after hours of wear, and are easily light enough to wear out and about. The headphone cable is equipped with a microphone and mute button, and the standard 3.5mm headset connector is compatible with most phones.

As well as providing a solid physical seal between you and the rest of the world, the headphones have built-in active noise cancelling, as well as the integrated Beats Acoustic Engine DSP that gives the headphone range its signature sound. There’s no way of turning off either of these features, but if you’re a fan of the Beats sound, there’s no reason why you’d want to.

Beats Studio

The integrated rechargeable battery lasts for around 20 hours, but if it’s not charged, the headphones don’t work at all. You can’t really listen to them when they’re charging, either, as there was a lot of audible interference when we plugged a micro USB cable into our mains charger.

The headphones’ active noise cancelling makes a surprisingly loud hissing sound when there’s no music playing through them. Unfortunately, even maximum noise cancelling did little to mute the sound of our train, or even our PC. The hiss was very audible on quiet tracks, and clear enough to interfere with our listening pleasure on some of them. It became inaudible when we listened to louder, busier music, though.

Beats Studio

The distinctive audio profile of the Beats DSP is well known for its solid bass reproduction, and the Studio headphones’ bass is tight and responsive. It doesn’t lend itself to all tracks, though, making the low bass line of Ulver’s version of Solitude sound too dominant in the mix and over-emphasising the bass drum in King Crimson’s Epitaph. However, treble and mid-tones remained clear and enjoyable to hear.

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Typeover-ear headphones
Active noise-cancellingyes
Power sourcerechargeable Lithium polymer battery
Frequency response20-20,000Hz
Impedence40 ohms
Plug type3.5mm headset jack plug
Inline volumeYes
Cable length1.36m
Extrashard case

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