Beats Studio 3

Last updated date: January 4, 2019

DWYM Score
7.7

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 and dug through the reviews from 11 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Top Ten Reviews, Consumer Reports, CNET, The Verge, Tech Radar, Tom's Guide, PC Magazine, Wired, Engadget, RTINGS.com and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 103 expert reviews, the Beats Beats Studio 3 placed 12th when we looked at the top 14 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note November 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Headphones for a detailed review of all the top .

Expert Summarized Score
7.0
11 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
2,631 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Long battery life. Excellent design and style. Tight fit
- Top Ten Reviews
This wireless Bluetooth mobile device-centric model from beats by dre delivers excellent active noise reduction and very good sound quality, and is a decent choice for the more critical listener for both music and movie soundtrack playback. These headphones have a closed design; they will provide some muffling and electronic canceling of external noises and also reduce the amount of sound that escapes from the headphones. As such, they are best for those who want to reduce the amount of noise they hear from their surroundings, or don't want the sound from the headphones to disturb others, and who are comfortable with the size of a home/studio style model.
- Consumer Reports
The Beats Studio3 Wireless offers improved sound quality, noise canceling and battery life from its predecessor in the same sturdy design. Apple's W1 chip makes pairing with Apple devices dead simple. Performs well as a headset for making phone calls and and stacks up well against competing models from a sound standpoint.
- CNET
June 1, 2018 | Full review
Satisfying bass thump. Collapsible design. Comfortable, cozy pads. Flawless operation with Apple devices
- The Verge
October 25, 2017 | Full review
Excellent wireless stability. Good Bluetooth-phone interaction. Energetic, punchy sound
- Tech Radar
October 23, 2018 | Full review
Comfortable Fit. Quick Charging tops up battery in 10 minutes for 3 hours of listening. Stabile connection over large area. Solid bass performance for bass heavy tracks. Offer extra volume over other headphones.
- Tom's Guide
February 26, 2018 | Full review
Rich, crisp sound signature with a focus on high-mid definition. Wireless audio and active noise cancellation. NC can be disabled to save battery life. Apple W1 chip makes pairing with iOS devices even more simple.
- PC Magazine
September 19, 2017 | Full review
Amazing iPhone and Apple connectivity. Insane Bluetooth range. Great noise cancelling. 20-hour minimum battery life. Audio quality has improved from older models.
- Wired
November 22, 2019 | Full review
I will say that I find the overall sound much more balanced on the Studio3 ($350) than in previous Beats models I've tested. There's still a solid dose of bass, but it's not as obviously overpowering as it once was -- at least not to me.
- Engadget
Comfortable and stable fit. Stylish and sturdy wireless design. Low leakage.
- RTINGS.com
What experts didn't like
Although these headphones remain popular, to our ears (and those of many other reviewers), they sound too bassy and boomy, and their noise cancelling is only average.
- New York Times Wirecutter
December 10, 2018 | Full review
Not super comfortable. ANC produces hiss. Audio might not be the best
- Top Ten Reviews
Design is the same as previous model's. Does not fold flat and carrying case is somewhat bulky.
- CNET
June 1, 2018 | Full review
Battery life and Bluetooth suffer when not connected to Apple devices. Sound lacks refinement, vocals lack fullness. Competitors in same price bracket have more premium build. MicroUSB is an anachronism, especially in Apple ecosystem
- The Verge
October 25, 2017 | Full review
Firm headband pressure. Lack of fidelity for the price
- Tech Radar
October 23, 2018 | Full review
Known pairing issues with Samsung S7. Lack of audible notifications for pairing mode and power toggle. Expensive
- Tom's Guide
February 26, 2018 | Full review
Expensive. No passive listening mode. Adaptive aspect of NC is not impressive.
- PC Magazine
September 19, 2017 | Full review
Android phone users might get worse battery life. Wired mode still requires a charged battery. Sound may be too bassy for some.
- Wired
November 22, 2019 | Full review
Beats headphones are typically criticized for two key things: (1) overpowering bass, and (2) commanding a premium for the brand name.
- Engadget
Poor latency for watching videos. Inconsistent at times. Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
- RTINGS.com

From The Manufacturer

Real-time Audio calibration preserves a Premium listening experience. Up to 22 hours of battery life enables full-featured all-day wireless playback. Apple W1 chip for class 1 wireless Bluetooth connectivity & battery efficiency. With fast Fuel, a 10-minute charge gives 3 hours of play when battery is low.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 Headphones
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 13
2. Sennheiser RS 165 RF Wireless Headphone
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 4
3. Bose QuietComfort 20
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 10
4. SoundPEATS Bluetooth Wireless Earphones With Mic
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 4
5. Sony Hi-Res Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphone
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 3
6. Toysdone Wireless Headphones
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 0
7. Plantronics BackBeat Fit 2100
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 4
8. HyperX Cloud
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 8
9. Sony MDRZX110NC Noise Cancelling Headphones
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 9
10. Jabra Elite 65t
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 11
12. Beats Studio 3
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 11
13. Plantronics BackBeat GO 410 Wireless Headphones
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 4
14. MEE audio Headphones
Overall Score: 6.6
Expert Reviews: 3

An Overview On

Headphones are huge right now. Music fans, gaming buffs and podcast aficionados spent more than $9.5 billion dollars on them in 2016, and that number is projected to balloon to $13.8 billion in the next seven years.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

There are multiple styles of headphones. Earbuds, on-ear and over-ear headphones are the three most popular types, and they’re all available in wired and wireless versions. If you’re intimidated by the number of options you’re seeing online or in the electronics aisle, there are a number of ways to narrow down the choices and find the best headphones for your needs.

“The most important factor to consider when shopping for headphones is the environment it’s going to be used in,” says music and video producer Calvin West.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

At the gym? At home? On the train? For example, if you’ll be outdoors a lot or wearing the headphones on the bus while you commute to work, consider headphones with noise-canceling properties, West suggests.

Earbuds, or in-ear headphones, sit just inside your ear canal. Soft silicone tips fit snugly inside your ears, and some models come with different sizes for a customized fit. Other models, like the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 2100, have secure-fit eartips that create a stronger seal in your ear canal for a more secure fit.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Earbuds are available in standard wired versions, wireless versions (which connect around the back of your neck with a small wire but do not need to connect to your device with a wire), and true wireless versions (where both earbuds operate independently with no wires at all).

On-ear headphones, which are sometimes called supra-aural headphones, are larger, with soft ear cups made from real or synthetic leather. They sit on top of your ears and allow more sound in while you’re listening, which makes them great for times when you want to listen to music without completely canceling out surrounding sounds. They’re also more lightweight and portable than heftier, full-coverage over-ear headphones.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Over-ear headphones enclose your entire ear in soft ear cups. They’re the largest headphone option, and they boast advanced features like noise cancellation and higher sound quality than other types of headphones. They’re great for wearing indoors while you’re focused on work, playing video games or enjoying high-definition sound on your smart TV. They tend to be a bit bulky to take with you when you’re commuting, but the total noise cancellation option makes them great for long flights.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Some over-ear headphone models have active noise cancellation as well as ambient sound modes for different listening scenarios. Other types of over-ear headphones, like the Bose QuietComfort 35, come with a transmitter that connects to your home audio or entertainment system for a more robust digital listening experience.

DYWM Fun Fact

You owe your favorite pair of headphones a salute. The first pair of modern audio headphones were picked up by the U.S. Navy in 1910 after being repeatedly rejected by private sector investors. Mormon inventor and engineer Nathaniel Baldwin invented them on his kitchen table; the Navy’s eventual investment made him a rich man. They ordered 100 pairs and sparked a headphone revolution. Unfortunately, Baldwin never patented them, so the German company Bayerdynamic made some serious cash when they created the first pair for home enjoyment in 1937. Baldwin also wound up bankrupt after using his payout from the Navy to make a less-than-sound investment in the Mormon polygamous movement. Whoops!

The Buying Guide

  • If you’re picking out new headphones, the first order of business is choosing between wired and wireless. Wired headphones are generally more reliable, since they don’t rely on a Bluetooth connection to connect you to your music, but wireless technology is quickly catching up. You can get more bang for your buck in terms of sound quality with wired headphones, too, and you’ll never have to worry about your wired headphones running out of battery. However, the freedom of wireless headphones outweighs their downsides for many people, and high-end styles like the Bose QuietComfort 35 have up to 20 hours of battery life per charge.
  • Next up: what activities will you be doing while you wear your headphones? Gym rats will benefit from earbud styles, like the Soundpeats Wireless Earbuds. Their cone-shaped silicone tips fit securely in your ears, staying in place during very active sweat sessions. Plus, the in-line mic and volume control helps you answer calls or switch songs without fumbling with your phone. If you’re relying on headphones to help you focus while working from home or enjoying your favorite music, a pair of plush over-ear headphones can provide premium sound and comfort with active noise cancellation.
  • How portable do you need your headphones to be? Earbuds, like the Soundpeats Wireless Earbuds or the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 2100, are lightweight and fit into a purse, pocket or briefcase, but wireless and true wireless versions are easier to lose. If you’re not planning on taking your headphones far from home, on-ear or over-ear options make more sense; you can enjoy their superior sound quality without worrying about hefting them around.
  • If you’re going to drop your hard-earned cash on headphones, you’ll want to take steps to care for them to keep the music playing. Wired headphones need cable care; you’ll want to wind up the cable and secure it with a twist tie or velcro rope while not in use. Make sure you don’t leave your headphones in areas where it becomes extremely hot or cold (like inside your car during chilly winter days or hot summer nights). Those temperatures can damage the internal audio components.
  • Keeping your headphones clean also contributes to their life span. Earbud-style headphones need special attention since wax buildup can affect sound quality and hygiene. Removing the silicone ear tips, rinsing them with warm water, and drying them with a soft cloth should be part of their regular maintenance. All types of headphones should be wiped with a damp, clean cloth and dried if they’re exposed to excessive sweat or moisture. Make sure to keep your charging port clear of crumbs and debris for reliable charging, and store on-ear and over-ear headphones in a hard case when they’re not in use.