Beats Studio Pro vs. Beats Studio 3 -- compared

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After months of rumors, Beats officially announced the new Studio Pro over-ear headphones with a design reminiscent of the Studio 3, and a lot has changed in five years. Here's how the two models' specs, batteries, and more, compare.

Beats Studio Pro and Beats Studio 3
Beats Studio Pro and Beats Studio 3



Over the years, Beats has made its name for distinct style and sound while bridging the gap between both iOS and Android as far as features are concerned. In 2023, Beats are just as recognizable as Apple's headphones or offerings from Sony, Bose, and others.

Beats by Dre has been left to its own devices ever since Apple acquired the company in 2014, which has left the exterior of its headphones mostly the same over the years. Apple managed to get its chip, the W1, installed in some headphones, including the Beats Studio 3.

Unsurprisingly, Beats decided to keep things the way they are, sticking with the overall design of the Beats Studio 3 while making some key improvements in other areas and maintaining the $350 price tag.

So here's how the new Beats Studio Pro stacks up against the Beats Studio 3.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Specifications



A quick look at the specifications breakdown shows that Beats made some noteworthy improvements with the Studio Pro compared to the Studio 3. First and foremost, the company added features like Transparency mode and managed a couple more hours of battery life when Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency is switched on.

ControlsButtonsButtons
SpecificationsBeats Studio ProBeats Studio 3
Price$349.99$349.99, or on sale at certain retailers
Weight9.17 ounces9.17 ounces
FoldableYesYes
ProcessorBeats proprietary chipApple W1 chip
Primary materialPlasticPlastic
Noise cancellationYesYes
Transparency modeYesNo
Charging portUSB-CMicro USB
Battery lifeUp to 40 hours, 24 hours with ANC/Transparency turned onUp to 40 hours, 22 hours with ANC turned on



Even with the changes, the Beats Studio Pro certainly has plenty of similarities with the Beats Studio 3.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Design



This one's a bit more straightforward as far as the headphones are concerned. Beats stuck with a familiar design for the Studio Pro while only slightly tweaking the formula.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio 3 design
Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio 3 design



Both headphones share the ability to become more compact, thanks to the ear cups folding inwards, making travel a bit easier. They both have metal sliders, so it's quick and easy to find the perfect fit.

Beats upgraded the ear cushions with the Studio Pro offering an UltraPlush over-ear cushion design. The company says they should be even more comfortable to wear for longer listening sessions with the new construction.

Beats also switched away from micro USB in the Beats Studio 3 to USB-C with the Studio Pro, which unlocks an important feature for audiophiles, which is discussed later.

Both headphones get 40 hours of battery life on a single charge when Pure ANC, ANC, or Transparency modes are switched off. Turning any of these features on brings the battery life to 22 hours in Studio 3 and 24 hours in Studio Pro.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro in profile
Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro in profile



The Beats Studio Pro also features Fast Fuel charging, which means the headphones can get up to four hours of playback with just 10 minutes of charging. In the Beats Studio 3, that same 10 minutes of fast charging will net the wearer three hours of playback.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Processing and Connectivity



Apple launched the Beats Studio 3 almost six years ago, which means the headphones have missed a lot in chip advancements, especially made by Apple. However, as noted above, the Studio 3 is equipped with Apple's W1 chip.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio 3 connectivity
Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio 3 connectivity



With the W1, the Beats Studio 3 can seamlessly switch between supported Apple devices via iCloud. The chip is also partially responsible for the long battery life as well.

Meanwhile, Beats upgraded its processing unit in the Studio Pro, equipping the headphones with its proprietary chip that has also been used in the Beats Studio Buds+. With this chip, the Beats Studio Pro supports Apple's Find My, one-touch pairing, and support for "Hey Siri."

That chip also means the Beats Studio Pro supports Google's own Fast Pair for easy pairing, Audio Switch between devices, and Find My Device.

Shifting to the proprietary chip for the Beats Studio Pro means they do not support iCloud device auto switching, like with the Beats Studio 3.

While the W1-powered Active Noise Cancellation in the Beats Studio 3, the proprietary chip in the Beats Studio Pro handles the heavy lifting for ANC, Transparency, Personalized Spatial Audio, and optimized Sound Profiles.

Those Sound Profiles are:

  • Beats Signature profile: a balanced listening experience for music

  • Entertainment profile: elevated audio for games and movies

  • Conversation profile: optimizes voice audio for crystal clear calls



Beats made a significant change with the Studio Pro, adding a built-in Digital-to-Analog (DAC) converter. This means the Studio Pro headphones support high-fidelity Lossless audio when using the USB-C cable to listen.

The Beats Studio 3 lacks any HiFi improvements.

Beats Studio 3 doesn't support Spatial Audio because the feature wasn't around when the headphones launched. That's not the case with the Studio Pro, though, as these headphones support Personalized Spatial Audio that is tuned with an ear scan.

Beats says this feature is like listening to music with "64 speakers at once." The headphones support dynamic head tracking (with Apple devices) and various built-in sensors to offer a 360-degree field of audio.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: ANC and Transparency



First, Transparency modes. The Beats Studio 3 did not have this feature, trailing some other alternatives on the market.

However, Beats is adding the feature with Studio Pro. When Transparency mode is switched on, the over-ear headphones will automatically mix the sounds of the environment with the audio output, letting users stay aware of what's happening around them while they listen to their media.

Beats Studio 3 does offer Active Noise Cancellation, with Apple's Pure ANC. The performance was reportedly good enough for the most part, even with the relatively minimal amount of microphones in the headphones.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro in low profile
Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro in low profile



The ANC feature in Beats Studio Pro boasts a precise filter that cancels noise at an alarmingly fast 48,000 times per second. The headphones will continuously monitor the exterior noises around you, and ANC will adapt as needed.

Both ANC efforts are meant to block environmental noise, usually in the mid to low-level ranges, like a plane engine, machinery, and voices.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Other features



One big change with the Beats Studio Pro is a new carrying case design. The company has moved away from the Beats Pill-inspired case. Instead, the new case for the Beats Studio Pro is a larger rectangular shape with rounded corners.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro carrying case
Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro carrying case



The Beats Studio 3 feature Bluetooth 4.2, helping to keep latency low while listening to music and other content. And paired with the Apple W1 chip, it makes pairing to Apple and Android devices quick and easy.

While the Beats Studio 3 sound great, the Studio Pro upgrades the listening experience. The new headphones feature an upgraded two-layer diaphragm, refined micro-venting, and an overall 25% boost to the magnets in each ear cup.

Beats says with these improvements, the Studio Pro reduces distortion to near zero, even at max volume. The company also says this boosts audio performance by up to 80% compared to the Beats Studio 3.

The Beats Studio Pro also support Dolby Atmos audio, while the Beats Studio 3 do not.

Beats Studio Pro utilizes Bluetooth 5.3 for Class 1 Bluetooth, offering better range and fewer disconnections. The headphones have a 3.5mm audio plug, like the Beats Studio 3.

Beats also stuck with on-device media playback controls with the Studio Pro, just like the Studio 3. There is a dedicated button to control listening modes on one side and controls to Play/Pause, skip forward or back, and adjust volume up and down on the other ear cup.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro in profile
Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro in profile



While the Studio 3 handled phone calls well enough, Beats Studio Pro include voice-targeting microphones as part of the six total microphones in the headphone design. These microphones will actively weed out background noise, which Beats says sees a 27% boost in call performance compared to Beats Studio 3.

Finally, the Beats Studio 3 included a USB-A to USB Micro-B cable and a 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable in the box. Beats Studio Pro have a USB-C to USB-C cable for charging and audio and a 3.5mm analog audio cable in the box.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: What to buy



Considering the Beats Studio Pro and the Beats Studio 3 are still priced the same, the obvious choice for anyone looking for a new pair of Beats-branded over-ear headphones should go with the Beats Studio Pro.

However, with the new headphones available starting now, the Beats Studio 3 may be discounted while supplies last.

That being said, the Beats Studio Pro are still the way to go between the two headphones, just for the extra battery life, better call quality, and, of course, the better listening experience.

Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro folded
Beats Studio Pro vs Beats Studio 3: Studio Pro folded



This is especially true for anyone who is looking to have a pair of headphones that are, by all accounts, platform agnostic. They will pair just as easily with an iOS device as an Android device and vice versa.

Where to buy Beats Studio Pro and Beats Studio 3



The Beats Studio Pro are currently on sale from a variety of retailers, including Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Amazon. They retail for $349.99.

Meanwhile, Beats Studio 3 are still available from Amazon for a discounted $231.99.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    I’m pretty sure studio 3 support Dolby Atmos, which this article says it doesn’t. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 3
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,212member
    How does the studio pro compare with the Bose and Sony rivals? I will wait for those reviews.
    edited July 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 3
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,617member
    I’m pretty sure studio 3 support Dolby Atmos, which this article says it doesn’t. 
    They do and work well.  I have used them in the past with my iPhone and Apple TV and they sound great, just disable ANC because of the hiss.
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