Best Beats Headphones Review 2020
Do you want to own a pair of the famous Beats headphones but are confused to select a model which suits your needs? To make your life a bit easier, we have thoroughly tested the best Beats headphones to create a list of the top Beats headphones for you to look at.
Beats are amongst the most popular and reputed brands of headphones globally. Beats has been a subsidiary of Apple for the last five years. This association with Apple has resulted in a heavy influence on the technology used in the latest headphones models of Beats.
Beats currently offers three models of over-ear headphones and four models of in-ear phones.
The Beats headphones product line consists of a good selection of over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear phones with different fits and sizes. Hence, selecting an appropriate pair can be somewhat challenging and confusing at times. Fortunately, we have compiled a comprehensive list of Beats’ headphones covering their sizes, features, and prices.
The best Beats headphones at a glance
Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones exhibit an over-ear design with the ability to connect wirelessly to your phone. These headphones are available in a variety of colors, incorporate active noise cancellation technology, and house the new W1 chip.
Beats Solo 3 Wireless have an on-ear design and feature the new W1 microchip which ensures instant connectivity with your iPhone.
Powerbeats Pro is basically, the wireless variant of Powerbeats 3 with an enhanced design. They incorporate the same technology as the Apple AirPods.
Beats EP are the on-ear headphones. They are the cheapest Beats by Dre headphones with a wired connection.
Beats X are the in-ear headphones with wireless connectivity. They include a neckband as well as the latest W1 microchip.
Powerbeats 3 offer a sports-oriented in-ear headphones design with wireless connectivity. They also include W1 chip and ear-hook design.
urBeats are the signature in-ear headphones from Beats.
Beats Studio 3 Wireless are the leading headphones in the over-ear and on-ear category of Beats products. They feature an over-ear design, great sound quality, and the highest price tag. The Beats Solo 3 Wireless is a popular model having a compact on-ear design.
On the lower price range, Beats EP is an economical option which can be found under $100. The Beats Pro headphones are designed for DJs and studio professionals however they are no longer listed on the company’s website.
So, if you have made up your mind to go with the Beats headphones but aren’t sure which model to pick then let us make the selection process easier for you.
The Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones were introduced in the market in September 2017. They continue to maintain their ‘top of the line’ status in the wireless noise canceling headphones category.
The internal circuitry of these headphones has been completely redesigned by Beats. The circuit now features new drivers as well as the latest W1 chip from Apple. The same chip can be found in other Beats wireless headphones — the PowerBeats3 Wireless, the Solo3 Wireless, the BeatsX, and Apple’s AirPods.
The W1 chip enables instant and easier connectivity with Apple devices. The chip is specifically designed for lower power consumption and provides a longer battery life of around 22 hours with wireless and noise cancellation turned on. This is almost double than the previous model.
The battery life depends on the volume levels as well, so the numbers might not be absolute. However, we were consistently able to get 20+ hours of playback time. This means that the battery performance is slightly better than the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
With noise cancellation turned off, the battery can last as long as 40 hours. Additionally, the Fast Fuel feature of Beats provides three hours of playback time with just 10 minutes of charging.
These wireless beats headphones also work seamlessly with non-Apple Bluetooth audio devices. We tested them with Samsung Galaxy S8 and they worked just fine.
Apart from the battery life, improved sound quality and noise cancellation are the two upgraded features of these headphones. Compared to the older model, these headphones have a cleaner sound, pronounced bass definition and more natural audio. The difference in audio quality might not be huge, but it definitely is noticeable.
When compared to my personal favorite in this category Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II, the sound quality is comparable. The soundstage of the Bose is more open and the sound of different instruments can be heard more distinctly. Although, the treble sounds sweeter and better than Bose.
The audio quality of both the headphones is great however we rated Bose a bit higher because of its comfort factor and the compact form factor when folded to fit in a compact carrying case.
The absence of the flat folding feature on the Beats is a downside which makes them not so travel-friendly. Along with the carrying case, they feel bulkier. Addition of another hinge would be a great design upgrade if Beats chooses to make one.
Other top-of-the-line wireless noise-canceling headphones (Sony, Bose, Marshall & Wilkins PX) have the ability to fold flat. This allows for a compact and travel-friendly form factor and fits well in the travel bags.
Beats headphones feature advanced noise cancelling technology. The new Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling or Pure ANC, constantly monitors the ambient noises and adjusts the noise cancellation accordingly. Whether you are in a plane, train, public area, or windy outdoors, the Pure ANC of Beats Studio3 Wireless provides great noise cancellation capabilities.
Just like Sony’s MDR-1000X and new WH-1000XM3, the headphones house microphones on the inside of each ear-cup which help in the calibration of noise cancellation levels.
These headphones also work quite well as a headset for making phone calls. One can hear his own voice during the conversation which prevents loud talking. The call sound quality is also great.
- Very aesthetic and elegant design
- Enhanced sound quality
- Comes with a hard-case, charging cable and audio cable
- Features latest W1 chip for instant and easier connectivity with Apple’s devices
- Sturdy design with noise cancellation and long battery life
- Fast charging for 10 minutes only
- Works well as a headset for making phone calls
- Audio quality suitable for EDM music
- Wireless connectivity is strong and the range is quite good as well. The Bluetooth connection is stable while walking in the apartment or behind the closed doors.
- These headphones are tight and bulky, and are not suitable for extended usage.
- The noise cancellation is inferior as compared to the Bose 35
- Absence of flat folding feature. Carrying case is bulky and not very travel-friendly
- Design is similar to the previous models
Appearance wise the Solo 3 Wireless isn’t much different from its predecessor, the Solo 2. However, in terms of internal technology, Solo 3 incorporates huge improvements. It includes the new W1 custom Bluetooth chip which provides extended battery life and seamless connectivity with Apple devices.
These headphones also integrate very well with Android and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The battery rating for both the Apple and Android devices is 40 hours.
This Beats headphone also include the Fast Fuel feature which ensures a battery time of 3 hours with a charging time of just 5 minutes. The battery charge level can be monitored using the 5-pip LED indicator present on the right ear-cup.
The Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones exhibit the same issues with the audio quality as the previous models. Unless you are Beats brand loyalist, Bose QuietComfort 35 with smart noise cancellation, added comfort, and enhanced audio profile could be a better choice for your listening needs.
The headphones feature synthetic leather foam padding which doesn’t look very appealing. The synthetic materials cannot be easily distinguished from the real deal, however in case of these headphones the plastic build is quite obvious.
With only the folding hinge and the headband structure made out of metal, the excessive use of plastic in the headphones build doesn’t assure strength and ruggedness.
A 3.5mm audio jack is present on the left ear-cup for the direct wired listening in case the battery has run out of juice. The headphones come with a carrying pouch as well.
The right ear-cup houses hidden remote controls. Play/pause function is activated using the Beats logo. The rings around the logo are used for volume up/down.
A microphone is also built into the left ear-cup which allows you to take calls. However, these Solo 3 Wireless headphones don’t have active noise cancellation, which is a common feature in the latest high-end wireless headphones.
The Solo3 Wireless headphones have an on-ear design and provide a great listening experience to the bass lovers. However, the audio quality is not as clean as the Beats’s more balanced Studio Wireless headphone which is an over-ear model. That Beats model is also more cost effective and comfortable.
The Beats Solo 3 Wireless has a powerful and energetic sound output which coincides very well with the brand’s image. The groovy bass-line of Simian Mobile Disco’s Sleep Deprivation gives a juggernaut-like feel on these headphones with lesser undesirable boom as in the earlier models.
Despite of the hefty price-tag, the mid-range sounds flat and lacks dynamics. The frequency band where mid meets the treble also sounds rough around the edges for certain types of vocals and instruments.
- Long battery life of 40 hours
- Decent call quality both for caller and the listener
- Crisp and clear sound on iPhone7 from all audio sources
- Decent noise canceling ability without integration of electronic noise canceling technology
- Audio cable with high-quality microphone comes with headset
- USB charging cable included
- Full battery charge achieved only in 2 hours
- Comfortable padding on the ear-cups
- Easy to operate headset controls
- High-integrity long-range Bluetooth connectivity with iPhone 7
- Great support for software updates, other technical issues
- Convenient setup and installation with iPhone7
- Some issues noticed regarding the use of headset for making calls and soft calls (Skype, Viber etc)
- No provision of voice feedback for controls
- The tight fit causes fatigue and headache over extended usage.
- Battery status can only be monitored through LED indicator which can be challenging for the visually impaired.
- Absence of headset battery indicator on iphone7 status bar
There are a number of benefits which the Powerbeats Pro offers over the Airpods which are simpler and cheaper. These added features totally justify the premium price tag.
As compared to the AirPods, Powerbeats Pro offers a better audio quality and battery life. The audio is rich, clean and the bass is tight without being overly heavy. In these types of headphone with noise-isolation features, the full seal is of extreme importance for getting the optimal audio quality.
The headphones come packed with a handy case and an extra-long battery life. Despite of its big charge storage capacity, the battery size is still less than one half of the case size.
Another excellent feature of these headphones is the inclusion of speech-detection accelerometer which detects the user’s jaw motion. Based on this jaw-motion detection the call clarity is vastly improved.
In order to filter out the extraneous noise, two beam-forming microphones work in conjunction with the accelerometer sensor. As a result of this, better focus and clarity of user’s voice is achieved.
Powerbeats Pro exhibits a new generation design which is both brilliant and elegant. The batteries for each bud are housed in the crossbar section. The headphones come packed in an attractive looking black box which include four pairs of ear tips as well a lightning cable.
The intuitive and easy to use remote controls are provided on each ear-bud. The volume controls are placed on the top edge whereas the Beats logo serves as a multi-function control button.
The mirrored design of both the ear-buds allow the users to control the playback, call, and volume using either hand. This functionality is similar to the AirPods. Each ear-bud can be controlled independently.
Siri can also be summoned using the multi-function logo button. However, summoning of Google Assistant is not possible for Android device users.
The multi-function button however, is not very intuitive to use especially for the new users. A new user can expect to accidentally drop the calls, raise/lower the volume and play/pause tracks as he/she gets acclimated to the controls.
One of the many great features of these headphones is their IPX4 water resistance capability. This feature makes them resistant against splashes, rain and sweat. However, they shouldn’t be completely submerged in the water.
Another great feature of the Powerbeats Pro is the latest H1 microprocessor which is also used in the Apple’s Airpod 2. This chip is a further evolved version of W1 chip and provides excellent power consumption, pairing and connectivity capabilities to the headphones.
- Very comfortable and firm grip in the ear even during the workout routines
- Excellent soundstage for true wireless ear-phones
- Clean and rich sound profile with nice bass thump
- Sweat and water resistant
- Very long battery life for its category
- Secure, fit and elegant design
- Uncomfortably large carrying case
- Absence of battery gauge
- Intermittent connectivity problems
- Treble frequency can cause fatigue over extended use
- Absence of wireless charging or USB-C charging
- The design is not suitable for office and formal environments
The Beat Tour 2 headphones are designed with athletes, gym goers and sportsmen in mind. They include an inline microphone and remote control. They fall in the lower price tag category in the Beats product line. They are cheaper than the urBeats and Power Beats 2.
These earphones are compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
Although the form factor of these phones is relatively smaller and lighter, they are capable of delivering the signature Beats sound.
The earphones are water and sweat resistant. The angled earpieces help keep them in place while moving around, and the variety of ear tip options also help in this area.
These earphones are water and sweat resistant which is a very important feature for sports headphones. A large variety of ear tip sizes are available for these headphones and the angled ear-pieces ensure a firm grip in the ears.
These earphones come with a hard-shell carrying case which is large enough to carry the earphones as well as the ear-tips. The case is not bulky or heavy.
The Beats Tour 2 headphones are superior to the previous models of this line. These in-ear headphones are suitable for almost all genres of music and deliver a rich and powerful audio. However, the bass of this model is less powerful than the previous versions and can get muffled at volume level of 80-90%.
These headphones provide a well-balanced sound with crisp highs and clear lows. However, a significant amount of sound can leak out due to mediocre noise isolation.
The headphones do a pretty decent job at noise isolation however, 100% noise isolation is not possible because of the absence of active noise cancellation feature. The overpowering bass of these headphones can be managed using the equalizer.
The Beats Tour 2 in-ear phones have a compact design profile and are known for their rich and clean audio quality. These phones are available in four colors: red, gray, black and white. These vibrant colors give them a funky look which makes them stand out from the crowd.
Although designed specifically for iPhones and iPods, they work fine with the Android devices as well. However, the inline microphone and controls might function differently for different devices.
The design of these headphones is compact and lightweight which provides comfort to the user. Their build is rugged and strong which makes them suitable for rugged use and stressful routines. The audio cable is quite thick and doesn’t get tangled easily. The cumulative weight of these headphones is 20g including the remote and the inline microphone. Hence, these are not the most lightweight earphones available in the market.
The three-button remote enables track skipping, calls and volume control for iOS devices.
- Stylish and comfortable design
- Sweat and water resistant – can accompany you on your workout or sports routine
- Seamless switching between call and media player with inline remote
- Flat and tangle-free audio cable
- Sturdy and strong build ensures durability
- Seven ear-tip choices
- Sits firmly in the ears even during intense activity
- Hard case included in the package
- Attractive and modern look
- Bass response suits well to some genres
- Bass and treble are uncomfortably strong and tend to overwhelm the other musical segments
- Not the best build quality
- Treble tends to be little harsh and over powering
- Uncomfortable noisy jitter heard when the microphone is removed
- More pricey than the average headphones
These headphones follow the same design philosophy and style as their predecessor, the Power Beats 2 Wireless.
The initial fit was not very comfortable and was quite loose. This caused them to fall out of the ears occasionally. However, the hooks can be slightly made to bend and with the narrower angle, they will fit pretty well in the ears.
The power button can be difficult to locate with the finger and with gloves on, it can be a pretty challenging task to turn the device on/off. The volume control, playback, and call buttons are placed perfectly. The remote is located on the left ear-bud.
The inline remote control has a sturdy build quality with intuitive buttons. These controls can be used to change the volume, skip tracks, and take calls.
The headphones package includes four pairs of ear-tips, a USB to micro-USB charging cable, instructions manual, and some Beats stickers. A rubberized case is also included in the packaging.
Another great feature of the PowerBeats3 is the 12 hour long life battery. This much battery time is quite impressive for this class of ear-phones.
The headphones deliver a powerful bass which can sometimes be overwhelming. The bass although powerful, might not be very musical for certain genres and overpowers the song in many cases. The headphones do provide decent mids and highs but they occasionally get overshadowed by the bass.
According to the buyer reviews, these are not the most durable in-ear phones that one could buy for this price range. This fact is also evident from the poor Amazon rating.
The volume on these headphones is also slightly lower than its actual potential. Due to this, noise isolation is quite poor especially in noisy environments.
For $200, much better and capable earphones are available in the market. In the presence of better alternatives, spending money on these earphones could be considered as a waste.
- Good battery life of 6 hrs
- Strong bass response
- Fast charging time
- Easy and intuitive operation
- Good audio profile
- Excellent range
- Nice audio quality (maybe 90% as good as Bose)
- Water resistant, great for workout and sweating
- Excellent microphone and call quality
- Large and bulky design
- No sweat resistance
- Hefty price tag
- Weak Bluetooth connection
- Clumsy ear-fitting. Around the ear fittings increase the overall size
- Mediocre audio performance during phone calls
The urBeats3 earphones are an affordable entry-level option in the Beats’ product line. These are wired earphones and don’t have wireless connectivity. The flat cable design counters against tangling and the magnetic casing keeps things in order when the earphones are idle. The audio response is average and the base response lacks the signature groove of Beats’ headphones.
The tangle resistant cable provides comfortable user experience and the angled ear-buds ensure user comfort for longer listening sessions. These earphones are not designed for excessive sweating and workout routines.
The audio quality of these earphones is similar to the BeatX with an added feature of a headphone jack. The left cable houses a volume up/down and play/pause control. These headphones prove to be rather uncomfortable for longer listening sessions.
The cable also poses a slight problem. If the music is paused while the headphones are still in your ears, a weak noise can be heard every time the cable rubs against the clothes.
The sound curve offered by the urBeast3 is quite interesting. The bass meets the expectations and the reputation of Beats for delivering a loud and powerful bass. Beats is indeed a bass lover’s brand. The mids are less clear and the highs suffer as well.
In our opinion, these headphones are not worth the money. Far better options are available in the market with better features and equivalent price tag. The headphones don’t come with any accessories except two pairs of ear-tips. The sound quality is also quite mediocre. The build is also average and doesn’t speak reliability.
- Unique tangle-free wire design
- Functional volume adjustment
- Magnetic buds for efficient storage
- Decent audio quality
- Built in microphone and remote control enables track skipping, volume control, and Siri activation
- Available with a 3.5mm jack or a lightning connector (ideal if you have an iPhone 7 or above which doesn’t have a headphone socket)
- The earphones sometimes cause irritation inside the ears which is quite unusual.
- Sound quality is not very good and is even worse than some of the cheaper brands.
- Case not included in the package.
Beats EP are one of the most affordable and cost effective headphones in the Beats’ product line. These on-ear headphones feature a conventional wired connection and do not have the wireless connectivity features.
With the lightweight stainless steel frame, these headphones are very portable and travel friendly. They also come packed with a carrying pouch. The cable houses a RemoteTalk module which works seamlessly with iOS devices. It can be used for taking calls or controlling the playback.
The design of these headphones offers a stylish look along with the bass-heavy sound which is a signature of the Beats headphones. These headphones are an ideal pair for anyone looking for an affordable pair of Beats.
The headphones provide amazing sound quality on the instrumental perspective. Bass is pretty solid and noise cancelling technology works as it is supposed to.
The sound quality of these headphones is quite amazing from an instrumental point of view. Bass is quite heavy and the noise cancellation technology works perfectly.
- Rich and heavy bass
- Premium sound quality
- Great noise cancellation
- Sleek and attractive design
- The cable is quite fragile and can get damaged easily
- Price tag is quite hefty
The BeatX headphones are available in two colors: black and satin silver. The minimalist and aesthetic ear-buds clearly communicate the Apple’s design philosophy.
The headphones feature a flat tangle-free cable that runs into both the ear-buds. The inline remote control is used for controlling the volume, audio tracks and for summoning Siri. The cable also hosts a microphone which is used for attending/rejecting calls while listening to the music.
The BeatX headphones are very lightweight and weight only 0.74 ounces. Although their lightweight ensures user comfort and portability, it also raises questions regarding their durability. The headphones have a good build but they seem less durable than similar ear-phones from other brands such as JayBird X4.
These headphones don’t have an IPX rating and therefore, cannot withstand water and sweating. This means that they are not suitable for gym or sports use. The headphones incorporate the Apple’s W1 chip which provides seamless and robust pairing with Apple products.
The headphones also have quick charge feature which makes then last for two hours with a charging time of just five minutes.
The W1 chip is also used for handling the power management of the headphones’ circuitry and ensures the excellent battery management which results in longer battery life. According to the product specifications of the ear-phones, the battery can provide a runtime of eight hours.
These headphones are very comfortable due to their lightweight and compact size. This makes them ideal for extended use as well. The headphones come packed with four different silicone ear-tips.
These headphones provide a very balanced sound. The bass output is good but not as powerful as other Beats models. There exists a nice balance between bass and treble in these pairs.
The ear-tips provide a reasonable passive noise cancellation capability which works well at middle to high volumes. The microphone can cause a slight noise due to the rubbing of cable against the clothes which can be a little uncomfortable.
The wireless connection of the ear-phones is very strong and has an excellent range. The connection stays intact even at the distance of 20 meters and also behind the closed doors.
- The build quality is very good and the small ear-buds fit nicely in the ears
- They are lightweight and the size is compact
- Didn’t really test battery but I’m sure it’s good
- The battery time is long due to W1 power management chip
- Reasonably good noise cancellation capabilities
- They fit tightly in the ears even during the workout sessions. The neckband is quite comfortable
- The audio quality is mediocre
- Build quality is average