We love our “cans” here at EFTM, in fact collecting them is almost a hobby. Plus we’d like to think we know a thing or two about what brings together the ultimate headphones package after years working in radio. We see plenty of them come across the man cave and now it’s time to turn our attention to the latest creation from Dr. Dre, the new Beats Studio.
Essentially these are the latest over-ear noise cancelling effort from Beats Electronics and of course Apple who recently acquired them. The Dr. Dre name has always been a major draw-card helping to turn humble headphones into a cool, hip fashion statement.
The design certainly lives up to expectations, with a cohesive, streamlined look. You don’t see any screws and the hinges are simply a pivot that makes fitting the ear cups to any head a piece of cake. The set is particularly light, although not quite as lithe as the acclaimed Bose QC25. They do fold away a little more intelligently than the QC25, tucking into basically a semicircle when you’re done.
(Wrapped up for travel – Bose Qc25 (Left) and Beats Studio)
The adaptive noise cancellation features two modes. When plugged into your device with a track pumping away the system finds a balance between smothering the surrounding environment out of the equation while using new custom digital software to deliver a premium listening experience. The sound is typically biased towards clear, yet throbbing base. Personally it’s a sound I like, as my music interests are more skewed towards the type of base laden tracks Dr. Dre is renowned for.
If you choose to enjoy just the noise cancelling properties it’s a matter of unplugging from your music source rather than flicking a switch somewhere on the headphones. This is the one feature I’m not a fan of because a slight white noise hiss sound is produced. I’d much rather the almost vacuum like silence of the aforementioned Bose effort. The hiss remains evident in the less noisy parts of some tracks, listening to an audio book for example would really expose this drawback. Another less than desirable issue is that if the cord is not removed completely from the left ear cup the system remains active, on more than one occasion this resulted in an overnight unintentional battery discharge.
However once you get in the habit of turning them off correctly the inbuilt rechargeable, 20-hour Lithium-Ion battery is a huge plus. Able to be charged via USB it includes a 5-light LED battery gauge which keeps you posted regarding how much juice remains, although using the smallish button to do so isn’t the most ergonomic experience ever. A mute button can be depressed on the left side ear cup to shut down your playlist should the need to interact with another human emerges.
The cups are well padded, but not as pillowy and leathery as some others, perhaps an extended breaking in period would improve comfort levels.
At $429.00 the Beats Studio is certainly a hefty investment. But if you fit the profile for wearing fashionable headphones and just need to have that “b” on your melon these may be for you. The noise cancelling is a little way off the eerily silent nature of the Bose QC25 but the sound is on par if not better, again it’s all down to personal taste. Oh and they’re available in red, white and black!