As one of the many virtues of my job, I try a whole host of different headphones from the divine to the absurd. Beats is just one brand that graces my testing table from time to time, and I've since become uniquely positioned to be able to give buying advice on Apple's subsidiary audio name.
Creating stunning-looking headphones, the Beats line manages to bring some killer features to go with their stylish frames. Be that noise canceling, location features that make it easier to find them, or Apple chips at lower prices than the little white equivalent, there are loads of reasons why you might want to try Beats. While they're not the last word in sound, deep integration with Apple's ecosystem makes them worthwhile even if you'd rather an audiophile music experience. I would also, however, like to introduce some alternative options that you might want to look at instead, with different feature sets and sound profiles.
Today, pretty much all the Beats headphone models just got reduced in the Amazon Big Deal Days sale — and I'm here to tell you which headphones you should try.
Which Beats should you buy?
Beats Studio Buds |
$149 $89 at Amazon
The Beats Studio Buds are a lovely little pair of in-ear buds — I said, in fact, that they're a great budget alternative to the AirPods Pro. They have solid sound quality, good noise canceling, and the little case is amongst one of the best shaped in the industry. This sub-$100 price makes them an even better bet than the AirPods 2.
Beats Fit Pro |
$199 $159 at Amazon
The Beats Fit Pro are a divisive pair of earbuds. They are less comfortable than the likes of the AirPods Pro 2, the noise canceling isn't as good, and they're not cheap enough (usually) for those issues to be overlooked. At the moment, however, their $160 price makes them a much better buy, and one that you'll look on with greater friendliness.
Beats Solo3 |
$199 $94 at Amazon
The Beats Solo3 aren't the newest, nor the best in the lineup, but if you're looking for a pair on-ear cans then they are a very ok option — and one that you should definitely think hard about when they are half. Micro USB and no ANC will date them, but if you want the Beats logo for a low price then this is the way to go.
Ones you'll have to think really hard about
Beats Studio Pro |
$349 $179 at Amazon
When I reviewed the Beats Studio Pro, I said they "feel like the death rattle of a dying brand, one that won’t do anything all that new in the risk of overshadowing its perhaps more marketable cousins." While I stand by this about the Studio Pro at full price, things become a little more complicated at this reduced one. The lack of decent sound stings a little less, and the lackluster build is less of a problem — but you should still think twice about dropping the cash.
The Beats... condundrum
Beats have long been a devisive brand, with some saying that they are muddy, bassy messes. That hasn't been true for some time, although I've still found their product lineup mixed at best. That's not to say, however, that there aren't those who love their Beats headphones, and wear them every day.
iMore contributor Tshaka Armstrong was a big fan of the Beats Studio Pro, and the brand as a whole — he loves the sound signature, the looks, and the way they feel. Headphones are an achingly personal thing, and sometimes, that means that people disagree about them.
In my eyes, all of the above headphones are much better options with these current lower prices — and it makes them much easier to recommend based on my experience, and how much I think they're worth. That doesn't mean, however, that I don't think there are better options out there, including some that are in the Amazon Big deal Days sale.
I'd recommend these as well
I have tried Beats, but I have also tried much more. These are just some of the headphones that I would recommend instead of the beats line of headphones.
1More Sonoflow |
$99 $99 at Amazon
These are actually one of my favorite pairs of budget headphones. They have noise canceling on board, they sound good, and they are nice and understated as well. The price is also excellent, and this sale price makes them a better buy than both the over-head options above. The case is good too. Long live the 1More Sonoflow.
Price check: Not available at Best Buy | Not available at Target
Sennheiser Momentum 4 |
$399 $299 at Amazon
Want some truly epic noise-canceling headphones? I loved my time with the Momentum 4, and found their noise canceling was better than loads of the competition in a big noise-canceling showdown. They sound good too, they're comfortable, and the case is second to none. You'll have to stretch the budget, but they are well worth it.
Status Between 3ANC |
$249 $179 at Amazon
The Between 3ANC are only a little more than the Beats Fit Pro, but they absolutely trounce them in sound quality. These use three little speakers inside (or drivers, if you want to be technical), and they sound really, really good. They're a little large and unwieldy, but they are excellent.
Price check: Not available at Best Buy | Not available at Target
It's all down to you
Whichever you go for, ultimately, is going to be up to you. Do you want the fashion statements that perhaps don't perform as well as better priced competition, or do you want something that's not going to turn as many heads and sound better? Personally, I'd go for something that performs better — but I am a self-proclaimed audio weirdo.
There are loads of other headphone deals during the Big Deal Days sale, even as it comes to end — and if you're looking to join the ranks of audiophiledom, it might just be the perfect time to join in.
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As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.