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We all have to grow up at some point. Life’s lessons culminate to breed humility and hopefully wisdom and maturity. In some instances, it defies the notion, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It’s true, the Beats by Dre signature Studio over-ear headphones have matured and learned more than a thing or two over the years.
The result is the newly remastered Beats Studio over-ear headphones, though they may not be the best over-ear headphones. Much has changed in the “remastering”. Design, comfort, and performance have all been retooled. Let’s see how much has changed, and if it’s for the better considering the steep price tag that’s connected to it. Although, if you’d like to pit Beats against another brand, check out our comparison article about Airpods Max Vs Beats Studio 3.
The new Beats Studio headies definitely seems more streamlined than the original offering. Though, is there much difference with the Beats Studio3 wireless noise-canceling headphones? The Beats Studio appears a bit smaller, and definitely does not make your head seem as huge as they did before when wearing the originals. They are sleeker for sure. And, they’re definitely much sleeker than most monitor headphones.
The look is not a massive departure but significant enough with more contours and sporty lines. There are stylish chrome accents outlining around the earpieces where they meet the memory foam padding, as well as on the headband where the “Studio” logo/label rests. We have the red-on-white color scheme model here. They are dapper and elegant, for sure. But the padding lining the headband and the foam padding for the earpieces will need regular cleaning if you hope to maintain the unit’s good looks when out and about.
Related: Looking for on-ear headphones? Check out our Beats By Dre Mixr On-Ear Headphones review
The Studio headies ship with the main headphone set, USB-to-mini USB charging cable, 3.5mm audio cable, a small carrying case, Quick Start guide, limited warranty, sticker of company logo, and an anti-static cleaning cloth. The carrying case is nice and compact and the Studio over-ear headphones collapse, much like the Audeze EL-8 open-back over-ear headphone, and fold in on themselves using hinges on the headband, which helps with their portability.
Related: In case you like wireless headphones, read the Bowers Wilkins P7 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones review
That USB charging cable is to power the batteries that support the active noise-cancelling engine (ANC). Using an interesting design, the Studio headies automatically powers on when you insert the 3.5mm audio cable. Alternatively, they auto-shutdown when the plug is removed. So while the unit boasts a 20-hour battery life, it’s incessantly easy to waste a good charge because you forgot to remove the audio cable. There is a button below the logo on the outside of the left earpiece. Press this to activate the LEDs which denote the level of battery life remaining for the noise-cancelling. It is also used to initiate the active noise-cancelling if pressed with or without the audio cable plugged. When held down, the logo above this button can also be pressed to mute sound. It’s a unique design but frustratingly so. I would have greatly appreciated a standby mode–after an allotted time in standby, I feel the unit could easily power down or remain in standby in exchange for prolonged batt-life. Unfortunately, such is not the case.
Yet we can’t scoff at much in way of performance. The remastered Studio headphones are another formidable premium offering from Beats. It seems much more attention was paid to the overall soundstage. More intricate nuances and instrument sounds can be heard than ever before. Previous Beats solutions sacrificed a more pronounced soundstage or clarity around various sounds, for raw thumping lows. Sure Dr. Dre is known for his decade-long success in the “Rap Game” and yes Pop music is replete with thumping bass. But an audio company with such a robust line of products should not play favorites to a specific genre of music across all those product lines.
Finally, the newly remastered Studio headphones are a great representation of a product maturing. They sound fantastic across, Soca, Hip-Hop, Classical (Vivaldi), Latin drums, Soul, and more. Percussion instrument sounds were not lost. Midrange tones are heard just as well as the thumping and lows. The Studio headphones have finally grown up to encompass the myriad tastes of music. Although treble went from being underrepresented to overly attuned. We recommend using a device with a good equalizer because in many cases the treble comes off as almost shrieking.
Bottom Line: Sadly the Studio headphones are still horribly over-priced. I love the sound–with a bit of tweaking–and the looks drip with cool. Yet I still feel the price belies the performance and engineering. V-Moda’s M100 over-ear headphones are still a superior-sounding solution with better overall balance across low to high ranges. They are equally priced, but provide more durability and less odd technical hassle. Still, this Studio headphone is truly remastered for the better ultimately. But third time’s a charm, I suppose.