A step up

Beats Studio3

Middle of the road

Beats Solo3

The Beats Studio3 are a step up from the Solo3, adding active noise cancellation, a more balanced audio profile, and featuring an over-ear design that's more comfortable when worn for longer periods.

$350 at Amazon

Pros

  • Fast Fuel 10-minute charge provides three hours of playback.
  • Adaptive active noise cancellation
  • Over-ear design for sealing out background noise

Cons

  • Build quality is sub-par
  • Micro-USB charging port

While the Beats Solo3 boast great sound and easy connectivity thanks to the W1 chip, their mix may be a little heavy on the low end for some. Many reviews also report the plastic cracking easily.

$300 at Amazon

Pros

  • 40-hour battery life
  • 5-minute quick charge for three hours of playback
  • Great color options

Cons

  • Bass-heavy mix
  • Build quality is sub-par
  • Uncomfortably tight for some

Break it down now...

When choosing between the Solo3 and Studio3, it's important to note that you're choosing between two classes of headphones on offer from Beats. If the Solo3 are Goku, then the Studio3 are Super Saiyan 1 Goku.

Solo3 Studio3
Battery life 40 hours 22 hours
Charge time 5 minutes for 3 hours of playback 10 minutes for 3 hours of playback
Active noise cancellation No Yes
Charging type Micro-USB Micro-USB
# of colors 10+ 10+
Wired mode Yes Yes

It's important to first note that the battery life discrepancy between these two pairs of headphones resides in the Studio3's active noise cancellation. That uses up a lot more battery than Bluetooth alone. The Studio3 also have slightly larger drivers, which require a bit more power.

The other aspects you'll want to explore are whether you prefer an on-ear or over-ear design, and whether or not you want/need active noise cancellation (ANC). For the comfort and longer periods of wear, the over-ear Studio3 is going to be the better option.

For the comfort and longer periods of wear, the Studio3 is the better option.

If you'll be wearing your headphones regularly while commuting, you'll want to seriously consider ANC. It helps to remove a lot of the buzz and hum of car engines, chatter, and ventilation systems. It does also, however, mean battery life takes a hit.

As it stands, these headphones are only $50 more if you buy them on Amazon, and I would say that the Studio3 are worth the extra money. Though the materials are still the same — and they're really not great — there is a bump-up in audio quality, the same flawless W1 chip pairing with Apple devices, and some stellar color options available.

For the extra $50, choose the Studio3. Your ears will thank you for it, both in music enjoyment and for the fact that they won't be sore after an hour of wear.

On-ear, not on-point

Beats Solo3

Mid-range sound and build make for mediocrity

Unless you're dead-set on on-ear headphones, the Beats Solo3 just don't have enough to justify their price. They're still great for Apple users, but the bass-heavy mix may not please everyone.

Our pick

Beats Studio3

ANC, decent battery life, and comfortable fit

The Beats Studio3 are the best wireless headphones Beats offers, and the $50 price jump from the Solo3 is worth it for the noise cancellation alone.

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