Beats Studio Buds vs. Belkin Soundform Freedom

Beats Studio Buds Versus Belkin Soundform Freedom
Beats Studio Buds Versus Belkin Soundform Freedom (Image credit: iMore)

Here we have two mid-level truly wireless headsets, each with its own unique features. Because of these significant differences, each set of earbuds will appeal to a different group of users. Beats Studio Buds, for example, represent exactly what we've come to expect from Beats with a robust, bass-forward sound profile, while Belkin's Soundform Freedom buds offer their greatest strength in crystal-clear, voice-isolating calls. However, there's more to it than that, so let's start with the specs.

Beats Studio Buds vs. Belkin Soundform Freedom: Key differences

Beats Studio Buds Vs Belkin Soundform Freedom

Beats Studio Buds Vs Belkin Soundform Freedom (Image credit: iMore)

While they are very different, the Beats Studio Buds and Belkin Soundform Freedom do have a few similarities. They are both truly wireless using high-quality Bluetooth 5.2 technology. They both offer up to eight hours of playtime outside of the charging case, and each set is perfectly compatible with the Apple Find My system. That's about where the similarities end. Take a look:

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Header Cell - Column 0 Beats Studio BudsBelkin Soundform Freedom
TypeWireless Bluetooth EarbudsWireless Bluetooth Earbuds
ChipMediaTek TWS chipQualcomm QCC3046 SoC
Battery life8 hours8 hours
ChargingUSB-C wired chargingQi wireless charging
Active noise cancelationYesNo
Transparency modeYesNo
Live ListenNoNo
Spatial AudioYes, with limitationsYes, with limitations
ControlsMulti-function buttonTouch
InputsUSB-CUSB-C
ColorsBlack, White, RedBlack, White
CaseUSB-C Charging CaseQi wireless charging case
MicrophonesBuilt-in microphone with wind reductionDual microphones
Voice assistant"Hey Siri" and "Hey Google" hands-free voice assistantTouch-activated voice assistant

As for differences, they are many, and they are significant. These two earbud sets run off different chipsets, support different charging mechanisms, come in different colors, and offer different features. It should even be noted that Belkin's Soundform Freedom are targeted at Apple users, while Studio Beats work beautifully with both Apple and Android devices. You couldn't find two products in the same category that are more different. But how does this affect usage? That's what we'll go into in the following sections.

Beats Studio Buds vs. Belkin Soundform Freedom design: To each their own

Studio Buds Vs Soundform Freedom

Studio Buds Vs Soundform Freedom (Image credit: iMore)

From the outside looking in, it could be argued that the Beats Studio Buds rock a cooler look than the Belkin Soundform Freedom, but this is subjective, of course. The Studio Buds are tiny and subtle, while the Belkin earbuds have a more Apple-centric look with a long stem. I enjoy the color choices and limited-edition designs offered by Beats. At the writing of this article, they are offering a limited-edition tricolor "Union" colorway that is fun and interesting compared to the black and white colorways provided by Belkin.

On the other hand, form follows function, and the Soundform Freedom does have a better design for making calls. The longer stem brings the microphone closer to your mouth and allows for better voice isolation during calls. The stem also improves certain touch controls, which are finicky at best on the Soundform Freedom. When it comes to controls, the Belkin Studio Buds have a simpler, tactile multi-function button that is easy to use.

The Studio Buds are tiny and subtle, while the Belkin earbuds rock a more Apple-centric look with a long stem.

The Belkin Soundform Freedom earbuds do come with a wireless charging case, which will be greatly appreciated by those who already own multi-device wireless charging docks. Wireless charging matters more to some than to others, but the Beats brand is a little behind in offering this perk on any of their earbud models. For the Beats Studio Buds, wired USB-C charging is the only option. All in all, when it comes to design, these two products are neck in neck, each with its advantages.

Beats Studio Buds vs. Belkin Soundform Freedom performance: Beats win on sound

Here's where the differences between these two models really come to the forefront. If sound quality is what matters to you, the answer is clear. The Beats Studio Buds bring excellent, crisp sound quality and a robust, bass-forward style. Any genre of music sounds lovely with the Beats Studio Buds, and hip-hop beats truly shine. The sound coming out of these is clear and detailed, even at high volume levels. When it comes to sound, the Belkin Soundform Freedom simply don't compare.

With the Soundform Freedom Earbuds, the bass falls a little flat, and in general, the sound is a bit tinny compared to the clarity you get from the Studio Buds. The Belkin buds don't sound bad exactly; they just aren't as great as the Beats Studio Buds. However, when it comes to phone calls or gaming, that's a whole different story.

Because of the microphone placement and the environmental noise cancellation (ENC) offered by Belkin, the Soundform Freedom earbuds offer unparalleled voice isolation during calls. Whether you're playing video games virtually with your friends or taking important conference calls in a loud airport, everyone will hear your voice loud and clear during any type of call. This could be a vital feature for those who work on the go. Because of the small design and microphone placement on the Studio Buds, they do not offer the same voice clarity and isolation.

The Belkin Soundform Freedom don't sound bad exactly; they just aren't as great as the Beats Studio Buds. However, when it comes to phone calls or gaming, that's a whole different story.

The ENC on the Belkin earphones is not to be confused with active noise cancellation (ANC), however. The Belkin Soundform Freedom do not offer ANC, so you will hear ambient noise while listening to these buds. The Beats Studio Buds incorporate impressive ANC technology and Transparency Mode, so you can choose whether or not you'd like to hear ambient noise while listening to your Beats.

Finally, it's important to note that the Belkin charging case offers some serious additional battery life. When fully charged, the wireless charging case offers an additional 28 hours to the eight hours of listening time you get from the Soundform Freedom earbuds. That's 36 hours total. On the other hand, the Beats Studio Buds only offer 24 hours of total listening time. The extra listening time could come in very handy during long trips. If you're keeping score, the Beats Studio Buds still win on performance, in my opinion, but it all depends on what's important to you.

Beats Studio Buds vs. Belkin Soundform Freedom: Price

For price, the Belkin Soundform Freedom Earbuds technically win because they are usually more affordable. At this moment, however, both earbuds are being offered at the same price of $100 on Amazon. When the Beats Studio Buds are being offered at this low price, they are the better deal.

For $100, you're getting fantastic sound, ANC technology, and cool, colorful design options. At the usual retail price of $150, on the other hand, the Studio Buds might not be as good of a deal when compared to the Belkin earphones, which retail at $120. At this moment, it's totally up to you because they are both going for $100 on Amazon. Better grab them while you can!

Beats Studio Buds vs. Belkin Soundform Freedom: Which should you buy?

Studio Buds Versus Soundform Freedom

Studio Buds Versus Soundform Freedom (Image credit: iMore)

Deciding which earbuds to buy may or may not be a tough call depending on what features you are looking for. If sound quality is your be-all and end-all, then the Studio Buds are the way to go. For one thing, they have active noise cancellation, which can be a big deal if you're trying to listen to your favorite beats in loud environments. These earbuds also offer better sound quality than the Belkin Soundform Freedom, hands-down. They do not, however, offer better call quality.

For those working or gaming on the go, the Belkin earbuds may be the better choice. The extended microphones offer environmental noise cancellation that isolates your voice and blocks out ambient noise while you're on a call. This could be a great benefit if you're taking calls in a coffee shop. The Soundform Freedom earphones also have longer battery life when paired with the charging case, which could also prove helpful to world travelers.

There are also subtle differences between the two, like visual design, color choices, and end price, that could also influence your decision. You'll have to look at the specs and details outlined in this article to see how they affect your usage requirements. In general, audiophiles and sound enthusiasts will want the Studio Buds, while busy world travelers will likely prefer the Belkin buds.