(Pocket-lint) – Beats has one of the world’s most recognisable brands despite still being relatively young. Apple’s now owned the brand for a good few years, though, and its parent company has had a big influence on the tech being used in the headphones, as well as its more recent designs.
With quite a big range of headphones available across all different fits, whether over-ear, on-ear or in-ear, deciding which pair is best for you can be a bit tricky. Luckily for you, we’ve broken down every Beats headphone available today, covering size, features and price.
There are eight pairs of Beats headphones available, comprising two pairs of over-ears, three pairs of on-ears and three pairs of in-ears.
- Beats Studio 3 Wireless are an over-ear design and can connect wirelessly to your mobile device. They’re available in a range of colours, have active noise cancellation technology and the new W1 chip.
- Beats Solo Pro feature an on-ear design, but with a more premium design than its predecessor, the Studio 3’s ANC engine, updated H1 Chip and great battery life.
- Beats Solo 3 Wireless are an on-ear design, feature the new W1 chip to instantly connect to your iPhone.
- Beats EP are on-ears and the cheapest Beats headphones connecting via wire.
- Beats Flex are wireless pair of in-ear headphones with a neckband and feature the W1 chip.
- Powerbeats 4 are sports-orientated in-ear wireless headphones, with the H1 chip and an ear-hook design.
- Powerbeats Pro are, essentially, a true wireless version of the Powerbeats 4 but with an improved design and the same internal tech as the Apple AirPods.
- urBeats are conventional in-ear headphones.
Beats Studio 3 Wireless
The Beats Studio 3 Wireless are an over-ear headphone design that encapsulates your whole ear inside the ear cup. This design helps to block out external noises, although it’s aided further by active noise cancellation (ANC). This new ANC is different to previous iterations, in that it constantly adjusts its frequency to match the sound of your environment, making it more versatile.
The built-in rechargeable battery can last over 22 hours, and the lightweight build combined with the soft materials used will mean you’ll want to keep them on your head for as long as possible. There are controls on the headphones themselves to skip tracks, change volume and accept phone calls.
The Beats Studio are not just one of the most iconic pairs of Beats headphones available, but one of the most iconic pairs of headphones full stop. Soundwise, they’re bassy (as you’d expect), but the entire nature of the audio profile seems to have shifted to make it more refined. They can go loud and hard, and the addition of active noise cancellation should only help focus you on the music.
Beats Solo Pro
Beats Solo Pro is a pair of headphones that takes the smarts and noise cancelling of the Studio 3 and puts them in a smaller, on-ear pair of headphones. It’s arguably the best pair of wireless headphones Beats has made to date.
The headphones themselves feature a premium anodised aluminium arm that slides smoothly in and out of the headband, while the ear cups have memory foam-stuffed padding. It offers more surface contact than its predecessor, thanks to a redesign and new materials. The ear cups are mounted on arms in a way that allows them to move and angle freely to fit each user.
There’s no option to use a wired connection with the Solo Pro, and you need to use a Lightning cable to charge them, but they are still a fantastic pair of on ears. They’re comfortable, last ages on a full charge and sound fantastic.
Beats Solo 3 Wireless
The Solo 3 Wireless were introduced around the same time as the iPhone 7 and come with Apple’s W1 wirless chip. It promises greater battery life, a greater Bluetooth range and improved connectivity options for iPhone users.
Touch-sensitive controls are present on the left ear cup for skipping tracks and changing volume. Beats claims up to 40 hours of life – and they do last so long – but naturally you can also plug in a 3.5mm cable for a wired connection to your phone. Or charge them up for five minutes to get three hours of playback time.
In terms of sound they’re very much a pair of Beats headphones, that means bass in your face. But they do bass very well. So if you’re after a powerful yet portable pair of headphones, the Solo 3s are for you.
The Beats EP represent one of the most affordable ways to get your ears on Beats headphones. They are an on-ear pair of headphones, and connect via a conventional cable, no Bluetooth wireless here. Beats says the EP headphones have been tuned to reproduce sound “the way it was meant to be heard”.
They’re designed for portability and as such, have a lightweight, stainless steel frame and come with a carry pouch. The cable has a RemoteTalk unit which is compatible with iOS devices to take calls and control your music.
They’re a stylish pair of headphones that will no doubt provide the signature, bass-heavy Beats sound and will be ideal for anyone looking for an affordable headphone upgrade for their phone.
Beats Flex are a welcome update to the formula laid out by Beats X, and are some of the best budget wireless earbuds around, with a neckband design.
They’re comfortable to wear and really light, and come in some fun colours, while working superbly with iOS like most of the Beats lineup now, in this case thanks to the older W1 chip on board. You get 12 hours of battery life, which is really impressive for the price, and they’re really great for a hectic lifestyle. If you want some Beats without breaking the bank, these are the obvious solution.
Sports headphones need to stay snugly fit in your ears, provide a good sound quality to keep you motivated and be weatherproof. Fortunately, the Powerbeats 4 tick all those boxes – updating the design of the wired Powerbeats line to match the Powerbeats Pro below.
The Powerbeats 4 have an ear hook style fit, which makes sure they stay on your ears when you’re exercising and come with three pairs of ear tips to ensure a tight fit in your ears. The length of the neck cable can be adjusted so you don’t have any extra slack flailing about when you’re running and they’re waterproof, sweat proof and weather proof.
The H1 chip means they connect to your iPhone in an instant and the built-in battery lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. The sound they produce is big and powerful, and of course, has plenty of bass. When it comes to workouts though, bass can be a good thing to keep you pumping. However they’re not necessarily going to be the best pair to use for everyday listening.
The Powerbeats 4 are the ideal companion for workouts. Their wireless and lightweight design, H1 chip for longer battery life and a good Bluetooth range, and engaging sound will keep you going for longer.
Beats Powerbeats Pro
Beats has another option that loses the wire entirely, though, resulting in an even better pair of earphones that give you complete freedom when running or in the gym – they’re unashamedly workout-orientated with the distinctive earhooks, but can easily be used for general listening.
They’re based on the same technology as the Apple AirPods, but are instead sweatproof and waterproof. They’re extremely light in your ears and come in a charging case.
You get super sound across the spectrum, but you don’t feel like they’re pressing into your ear – you don’t have to get a complete seal. They’re not noise isolating, so don’t expect that. Battery life is brilliant with nine hours of constant listening, while you can charge them twice over again from the case.
The urBeats are a conventional pair of Beats in-ear headphones. The offer classic Beats design in a range of colours, and are wired with a 3.5mm headphone connector, so you can plug them into your phone.
The urBeats offer a cable mic for taking calls, as well as offering in-line controls. The delivery of the music is classically Beats, with plenty of bass.
Writing by Dan Grabham. Editing by Max Freeman-Mills.