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Best Beats headphones: Budget, premium and sporty earbuds

If you’re looking for a new pair of Beats headphones, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together this guide to help you pick the best headphones from Beats’ current range of headphones and wireless earbuds. 

Beats was originally founded by music producer Dr. Dre and record company executive Jimmy Iovine and was acquired by Apple in a big money deal back in 2014. The company was best known for its bass-heavy sound signature, but since the Apple purchase, it’s slowly transformed its sound.

As always, our buying advice looks at a range of factors, including the design, fit, sound quality and any additional features, such as noise cancelling, transparency modes and battery life. If the headphones pass the muster, then they’re up for consideration to feature in our best buys.

If you’re not yet settled on Beats, we recommend you check out some of our other best lists we have, which include best wireless earbuds, best noise-cancelling earbuds, best running headphones and best AirPods.

Best Beats headphones at a glance 

  • Best Android Beats true wireless: Beats Fit Pro – check price
  • Best affordable Beats true wireless: Beats Studio Buds – check price
  • Best running Beats true wireless: Beats Powerbeats Pro – check price

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 Fit Pro

Best Android Beats true wireless
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Pros

  • Stable fit and good comfort levels
  • iOS and Android support
  • Useful noise cancelling
  • Physical controls

Cons

  • 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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Pros

  • Natural, balanced tone
  • Solid noise cancellation/transparency mode
  • iOS and Android support
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons

  • 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. 

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Beats Studio Buds

Beats PowerBeats Pro

Best running Beats true wireless
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Pros

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

Cons

  • 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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FAQs

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

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IP rating
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Driver (s)
Noise Cancellation?
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Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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