Beats Studio Buds + review: The best AirPods Pro replacement earbuds?

Beats Studio Buds+ has added a transparent appearance design while continuing the shape of Beats Studio Buds, which has enhanced Active Noise Cancellation and battery life. And the optimized compatibility also allows them to benefit more Android users.

Beats Studio Buds+ specs and features:

  • Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC/AAC codec
  • 6-9 hours playback of per charge (ANC on/off)
  • Charging case can charge earbuds fully 3 times
  • IPX4 waterproof rating (rain and sweat resistant)
  • Comes with 4 sets of eartips, USB-C cable, user manual
  • $169 – Check latest price on Amazon US or other Amazon countries

Design, Comfort and Battery Life

The overall design of the charging case is more rounded, in the shape of a “pebble”, and the size is the same as that of Beats Studio Buds, and it will be slightly larger in TWS earbuds.

The shell of the charging case is made of frosted transparent material, and the circuit board, battery and other components inside the charging case can be seen through the translucent shell. With Apple’s consistently excellent workmanship, the Beats Studio Buds+ is full of technology.

Same as the previous generation, Beats Studio Buds+ adopts the “Buds” bean-shaped design, the sound cavity is rounded on the side near the speaker, and gradually becomes two capsule-shaped planes (control buttons) on the rear side. Due to the transparent appearance design, the internal components can be seen through the shell of the earbuds.

Beats Studio Buds+ optimizes the design of the earbuds’ ventilation channels, and the three acoustic vents bring a double effect. It can not only balance the ear pressure, reduce the pressure on the user’s eardrum, but also optimize the tuning.

Studio Buds + is equipped with 4 sizes of silicone eartips, friends with smaller ear canals can also use it. Because there are enough earplugs to choose from, coupled with Beats’ years of experience in ergonomic design, it fits well with the ear canal after wearing.

Also, a single earbud weighs only 5.5g. The overall weight is relatively balanced, and it can ensure sufficient comfort for long time wearing.

The battery capacity of the charging case is 600mAh, and the earbud battery is unknown. The single battery life with ANC mode off is up to 9 hours, and the comprehensive battery life is up to 32 hours. The battery life after turning on the ANC mode is about 6 hours. The earbuds support Fast Fuel charging technology – charge for 5 minutes and listen to music for 1 hour. Unfortunately, the Beats Studio Buds+ do not support wireless charging.

Connectivity, App and Control

If using an Apple device, simply open the cover and get close to the device. After that, a window will pop up automatically on iOS or macOS, prompting to connect earbuds with iCloud.

After the connection is successful, Beats Studio Buds+ can enjoy the treatment of Apple devices when used with Apple devices – pairing pop-up window, control center adjustment, find function and so on.

After downloading and installing the Beats App on my Android phone, I found that the instructions for the Beats App just open the cover and approach the phone, and a connection notification will pop-up. However, due to differences in mobile phone systems, in the Android phone I tested, it is still necessary to manually enter the Bluetooth list in the system settings to connect.

After connecting with an Android phone, you can customize the noise cancellation mode, name and control method of the earbuds through the Beats App.

In terms of control, the control buttons on both sides of Beats Studio Buds+ can realize answer/hang up call, noise cancellation mode switch, etc. by pressing once, twice, three times, and long pressing. Users can also change the operation of control noise cancellation to a volume control function.

In addition, if you are using an iPhone or iPad, the voice assistant “Hey Siri” is always available.

ANC Mode, Transparent Mode and Calls

Beats Studio Buds+ has been upgraded for ANC mode and transparent mode. In addition to the new acoustic vents, Studio Buds+ also has more microphones for collecting external ambient sound.

After turning on the ANC mode, it is found that thanks to the larger pickup microphone and the new acoustic vent design, the noise cancellation effect of the Studio Buds + is significantly stronger than Beats Studio Buds. In the scenes of subways, offices and roadsides, the ambient noise can be significantly reduced, and the contrast between before and after noise cancellation is extremely significant.

Beats Studio Buds+ effectively eliminates low-to-mid frequency sustained noise – such as engine sounds, motor sounds, tire noise, machinery running noises. Therefore, earbuds are quite suitable for use in commuting, office and other scenarios.

The overall performance is very close to AirPods Pro 2, especially in transparent mode – the effect improvement is very obvious. Moreover, the microphone will also capture and enhance the human voice in a targeted manner, even wearing earbuds will not affect the conversation.

However, I also found that in the current firmware version (2A219), the transparent mode of the earbuds will have a large noise floor. That is to say, the ambient noise heard in transparent mode will be noisier than the real environment – the hearing sense is a little strange. Hopefully this issue can be fixed with a firmware update.

During the call, Beats Studio Buds+ collects speech sounds through a more sensitive microphone, and can also effectively filter out wind and external noise with the help of noise suppression. Therefore, even if you answer the phone during exercise, you don’t worry that the other party will not be able to understand what we are saying.

Another advantage is that when making and receiving calls outdoors, it can control wind noise well to ensure that both parties on the call can hear clearly. Although there will still be a small amount of wind noise passing through the earbuds, but the impact is not significant.

Taken together, the upgrade of Beats Studio Buds+ this time is definitely very sincere. Especially as the only TWS earbuds on the market that are perfectly compatible with iOS and Android devices.

Sound Quality of Beats Studio Buds+

The hearing sense of Beats Studio Buds+ is still somewhat different from Beats Studio Buds. Not only is the overall sound density and quantity better, but the shock of low frequencies has also been significantly improved. The most important thing is that with the addition of three new acoustic vents and double-layer sensor, the enhanced low-frequency does not feel “stuffy” – on the contrary, it achieves better separation from the mid-high-frequency, bring a more transparent hearing sense.

Compared with the tuning style of AirPods Pro 2, the sound of Beats Studio Buds+ are fuller. Especially for drums and Bass, it has a very good presentation effect.

Also, the Beats Studio Buds+ also support spatial audio for Dolby Atmos effects. When I tested it, I found that the earbuds support Dolby Atmos and spatial audio effects in Apple Music. When listening to supported songs with spatial audio turned on, the soundstage presented by the Studio Buds+ can be significantly enhanced.

Of course, it may be due to the positioning of the product that the Beats Studio Buds+ do not have built-in sensors – that is, they do not support head tracking and in-ear detection.


If you already have Beats Studio Buds, I don’t see much need to replace them. Because the upgrade points of Beats Studio Buds+ are mainly noise cancellation effect and battery life. But for new users with limited budget, it can also be considered.

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