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Best Beats headphones: Our top five picks

Beats has been around since 2006, and in that time it’s made a name for itself with its popular, mainstream sound. The last few years it’s refreshed its headphone to introduce a true wireless range and new full-size models. If you’re after a new Beats headphone, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve compiled the best Beats headphones currently available in this guide with the aim being to make your purchasing decision a little easier. 

We test each pair of Beats headphones thoroughly, examining the design: how well they fit, what features they offer, how long the battery is life and what they sound like. We do all of this to give you key insights into how they work, and whether they’re worth your money.

Scroll down to find our picks for the best Beats headphones, or if you’re considering other pairs to buy, have a look at our list of the best headphones and best over-ears to the best wireless earbuds and best noise-cancelling headphones.

Best Beats headphones at a glance 

How we test

Learn more about how we test headphones

Not just anybody can review a pair of headphones. You don’t need superhuman hearing to tell what’s good, but you do need to know what to listen out for.

Our headphone tests are done by some of the best and most prolific reviewers in the industry, with years of experience listening to everything from the plasticky freebie earbuds that come with your smartphone, to five-figure beasts of glass and marble. We love music and we want your tunes to sound good, too.

So we listen every pair of headphones we can get on or in our ears. We use a variety of sources, from basic MP3s playing on a laptop to high-quality tracks on dedicated hi-res audio players.

Our test tracks are wide-ranging to give headphones a thorough challenge. They’re also familiar, so we know every track backwards, and we know which bits might trouble the lesser performers.

We listen again and again, and we do that for weeks in case the sound changes – because it usually does. Then we’ll listen to similarly priced rivals and come up with a verdict that reflects the performance and features for the money.

Beats Studio Pro

Best sounding Beats headphones
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  • Strong noise-cancelling
  • Neutral, clear presentation
  • Excellent wireless performance
  • Physical controls
  • USB-C audio


  • ANC suffers with wind noise
  • No room for higher quality Bluetooth codecs
  • Design better suited for smaller ears

The Studio Pro are the first flagship over-ears we’ve heard from Beats in several years, and they command a flagship price at £349 / $349.

We found them to be a largely successful reboot of Beats full-sized headphone range. The design is slightly more minimalist than before, and feels better constructed, with physical buttons provided for playback, noise-cancellation and volume control which we rather liked to interact with. There’s no wear sensor so the headphones won’t automatically pause audio when taken off.

They’re comfortable enough to wear with their soft, pliable earpads, though we would say they’re best suited for those with smaller ears. The space inside the earcups is a little compact and can pinch around the ears.

Like the other Beats headphones on this list, they support features on both Android and iOS with the ‘Find My’ functionality to search for the last known location: one-touch pairing on iOS and Android (Google Fast Pair), and the ability to switch between devices within their respective ecosystems. 

The Bluetooth performance is vastly better than the Studio Buds Plus and among some of the best headphones we’ve tested recently – there’s barely any disruption in terms of the signal. The call quality is solid but it’s an area we feel could be improved. Background noise is effectively muzzled, but in busy areas we were told our voices sounded a little robotic and fuzzy.

The noise-cancelling is very strong, though it comes with a few caveats. One is that they’re susceptible to some wind noise, the second is that some noise can leak through when we turned our head. Otherwise the Studio Pro put the kibosh on the most noises we came across, including crying children. They’re an excellent choice for commuter journeys.

The transparency mode is very natural sounding and pipes in lots of clarity to our ears. Our only other issue is that there’s no room to customise the performance of the noise-cancellation to hear what we want to hear.

Battery life is claimed to be 24 hours but we found these headphones can go even longer when streaming audio at about 50%. The headphones don’t sound as good at that volume level but we reckon you can certainly get more than 24 hours from each charge. 

The sound quality is much like the rest of the current Beats range. Neutral, flat-sounding with lots of detail and character. Some may feel that the Beats’ sound lacks character, but in our minds it serves to present music as is without much tweaking. Bass is weighty, varied, and punchy; midrange clarity is excellent, and while the treble is as bright as we’d like, it is clear and detailed. Plug them into a wired USB-C connection and they sound even better, able to support 24-bit/96kHz files. In this mode the Studio Pro sound more energetic, lively, and dynamic.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Beats Studio Pro

Beats Studio Buds+

Best ANC Beats true wireless
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  • Improved noise-cancellation over original
  • Clear, spacious audio
  • Excellent call performance
  • Improved battery
  • Feature parity on Android and iOS


  • Patchy performance in busy signal areas
  • Slightly loose fit
  • More expensive
  • No support for higher-quality Bluetooth codecs

The Studio Buds Plus are the latest true wireless pair from the Beats brand, and as the name implies they are everything the original Studio Buds are, but enhanced in a variety of ways.

The design looks the same, at least at first glance, with the sculpted boot-shape design. But look closer are there are new vents to help relieve pressure in the ear as well as a better fit to allow for improved noise-cancelling and transparency mode. The fit does feel more secure, although we feel they still have a habit of moving about a little but not as much as the original.

Otherwise, they’re pretty much the same as the original pair. They’re nice to use with the glossy multi-function button providing good feedback when pressed, and volume control is included from the off, though it has to be activated within the app and comes at the expense of onboard control over noise-cancellation.

Like the Beats Fit Pro, the Studio Buds Plus pack features for Android and IOS users alike come, a list that includes one-touch pairing, the Find My function on both platforms, and device switching. Apple users do get hands-free Siri support.

Battery life is an improvement, as we tested you can get around six hours of battery from a charge. There is no wireless charging support, but fast-charging is provided with a five-minute providing an hour of playback.

The earbuds’ active noise cancellation performance is better than before, suppressing more noise though when the fit gets a little loose the ANC performance isn’t as strong. The transparency mode is clear, avoiding any noise; and call quality is strong, with again very little noise affecting the levels of clarity. An area we find  the Beats are poorer in is its wireless connection, which gets patchy in busy areas.

As far as audio quality goes, the Studio Buds Plus don’t stray far from the rest of the range. The frequency is flat and balanced across the frequency range, as well as being punchier and more spacious too. Bass is slightly more pronounced, though efforts from other brands such as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II offer more depth. The Studio Buds Plus are more of the same from Beats, making it another solid outing with the best sound quality, though it comes at a steeper price of £179 / $169 / €199.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Beats Studio Buds Plus

Beats Fit Pro

Best Beats true wireless for running
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  • Stable fit and good comfort levels
  • iOS and Android support
  • Useful noise cancelling
  • Physical controls


  • Can’t customise sound/noise cancelling
  • No wireless charging
  • Tough competition

The Beats Fit Pro can be worn for casual use as well as for exercise with their wing-tip design. Powered by Apple’s H1 chip (the same one found in the AirPods), the headphones have a number of iOS-exclusive features but can work handily with Android devices too

Connected to an iOS device and the earbuds operate at a system level, which means there’s no need for a separate iOS app – and users benefit from exclusive features such as dynamic head tracking with Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos. There’s also automatic switching between iOS devices, audio sharing with Apple products and hands-free voice assistance from Siri, and for even more convenience there’s one-touch pairing and support for the Find My app in case they go missing. 

Thankfully, Android users can access a good number of features through the Beats app, which include control customisation, battery levels and the Ear Tip Fit Test, with one-touch pairing possible when setting the buds up. However, some Apple-exclusive features such as Spatial audio are lost on Android users. 

Regardless of your device’s operating system, the Fit Pro offer a good number of features, including solid adaptive noise cancellation, Bluetooth 5 connectivity and a six-hour battery life. That’s longer than you’ll get from the AirPods Pro

We found the Fit Pro’s audio to be crisp and rhythmically adept, with detailed mids and highs, naturally reproduced voices and weighty and authoritative bass. Compared to the Studio Buds, the Fit Pro’s performance is treated with a little more scope and width as the cheaper bud’s soundscape can sound on the small side.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Beats Fit Pro

Beats Studio Buds

Best affordable Beats true wireless
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  • Natural, balanced tone
  • Solid noise cancellation/transparency mode
  • iOS and Android support
  • Comfortable to wear


  • Battery life less than rivals
  • No wireless charging
  • App is slim on features

The Beats Studio Buds are a solid pair of all-rounders for anyone searching for Beats on a budget. The earbuds feature a sculpted boot-shaped design with ear-tips to help them slot into the ear, which give them an edge over the standard AirPods for noise isolation. However, the fit isn’t quite secure enough that you could take them on a run – instead, we’d recommend the Powerbeats Pro if that’s your use case. 

Like the Beats Fit Pro, the Studio Buds come with a good range of features for both Android and iOS users, including one-touch pairing. The earbuds even support Find My on Android, which is a feature the Fit Pro (surprisingly) do not currently offer. 

The earbuds offer solid active noise cancellation for their price provided you get a tight seal (not always the case we found with its fit), and there’s a Transparency mode along with voice assistant support for whichever device you’re using. All of this operates at a system level for iOS users, whereas Android users will need to download the Beats app. 

As far as audio quality goes, the Studio Buds offer a natural and well-balanced sound across the frequency range, though the soundstage is limited in its width compared to the Fit Pro. Highs are described with a sharpness but can become too bright if the fit isn’t correct, while the bass is fairly impressive but does lack some depth. The Studio Buds Plus are better in pretty much every way, though they come with a jump in price to around £180 / $170

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Beats Studio Buds

Beats PowerBeats Pro

Best running Beats true wireless
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  • Stable, comfortable fit
  • Decent sound
  • Very good battery life for true wireless


  • Connectivity isn’t perfect
  • Slightly synthetic mid texture
  • Bass boost improved, but not high-end

For those searching for a great pair of Beats for running and fitness, the Beats Powerbeats Pro are your best bet. While the Beats Fit Pro offer a sturdy enough fit and IP resistance to be used in the gym, the Powerbeats have a sporty design with a lightweight plastic build, hook design and a malleable rubber stem. In that regards they offer the better, more stable fit.

As far as features go, the Powerbeats Pro don’t have as many as the other pairs on this list. There’s no noise cancellation as found on the Fit Pro or Studio Buds, although we wouldn’t expect on a design such as this. That would make the Powerbeats Pro less suited to being used in busy areas like the Tube, but for those who exercise and work out often, the noise isolating qualities of the design mean you can hear what’s around you to a decent degree.

However, the earbuds are water and sweat resistant (at IPX4) and include an IR proximity sensor to automatically play and pause your tunes when you move them in and out of your ear. There’s a mono mode and support for your phone’s voice assistant, as well as a nine-hour battery life that blows away many true wireless headphones.

Like the Fit Pro, the Powerbeats Pro pack the same H1 chipset found in the AirPods and AirPods Max. Despite being powered by an Apple chip, our reviewer found these earbuds felt perfectly at home when paired with an Android phone. 

When it comes to sound, the Powerbeats Pro pack Beats’ characteristic of old, with a bass lift without obvious boominess. There’s some extra bite in the upper mids and treble that gives the vocals more energy, making them a great signature for runs and workouts. However, despite the “Pro” name, we wouldn’t consider the Powerbeats a pair that would appease audiophiles. The Studio Buds and Fit Pro are much more neutral-sounding in their performance.

Reviewer: Andrew Williams
Full Review: Beats Powerbeats Pro

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Are AirPods or Beats better?

Whether you should get AirPods or Beats depends on the specific models you’re looking at, as well as which features and sound you need from your headphones.

Do Beats only work with Apple?

No, Beats work with both iOS and Android devices. However, Beats headphones tend to work on a system level with the iPhone but require an additional app to be installed on Android phones. Some features are also Apple-exclusive, so its important to check which ones will work with your device before choosing a pair of headphones.

Which Beats are the newest?

The Beats Fit Pro are the newest pair of Beats, having been announced toward the end of 2021.

Comparison specs

IP rating
Battery Hours
Fast Charging
Release Date
Model Number
Audio Resolution
Driver (s)
Noise Cancellation?
Frequency Range
Headphone Type
Voice Assistant

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