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Beats Studio Buds+ vs Studio Buds: what’s the difference?

It’s not been much of a secret since leaks emerged of the true wireless buds thanks to Amazon. But the Beats Studio Buds+ have been officially announced, and the first question we find ourselves asking is how do they differ from the original Studio Buds?

That’s probably the same question you’ll be asking yourself too, especially if you’re thinking of upgrading from the original model to this ‘plus’ version.

So what is the difference between the Studio Buds+ and Studio Buds? We’ve listed five ways in which they differ from one another.

New colour options and tweaked design

The design of the Studio Buds+ is very reminiscent of the original. The shape is almost identical, which might fool you into thinking that they’re exactly as before but much of the changes have happened underneath the surface.

The venting design has been reconfigure with new acoustic vents in both the front and rear acoustic chambers. Beats says this helps generate better airflow to the transducer (i.e. speaker), to improve the audio quality, while also helping to improve the effectiveness of the noise-cancellation and transparency performance. Better airflow also reduces the build-up of pressure for a more comfortable fit. There’s also an extra ear-tip in an extra small size provided.

Beats Studio Buds plus transparent
credit: Beats

And it’s all change on the colour front. Black is still with us with gold font type instead, but we now get a version in ivory and a transparent model that mimics the Nothing earbuds.

Longer battery life

One area that was definitely less than impressive was the Studio Buds’ battery life. That’s been rectified with the Studio Buds+.

Stamina has been boosted from 15 hours to 24 in total with noise-cancelling on. Per charge is a slight boost from five hours to six, so much of the improvement is found within the charging case.

Without noise-cancelling it’s a bigger jump; 24 to 36 in total, which is technically more than the Fit Pro can offer.

They’re more expensive

The original Studio Buds were priced at £130, the Studios Buds+ add another £50 on top for £179.99.

That’s a fair chunk to add on, and puts it closer to the Fit Pro which are still considered to be the flagship Beats true wireless.

Improved noise-cancellation and transparency

That hike up in price can likely be attributed to the boost in performance for the noise-cancelling and transparency modes.

The Active Noise-Cancelling is adaptive to the fit, which means they’ll adapt the ANC performance to the fit of each person’s ear. Beats have also thrown about some figures such as “1.6x more active noise-cancelling power”. To be honest, we have no idea as to how we could quantify that increase, but according to Beats that improvement is down to the larger microphones, new venting design and more powerful processor.

Beats Studio Buds plus family shot
credit: Beats

Similar improvements apply to transparency mode, which apparently is twice as good as it was before. Again, this is one we’ll have to wait until we’ve reviewed it before we can give our conclusions.

Enhanced Android compatibility

Unlike Apple, Beats true wireless earbuds have supported the Android ecosystem with more assertiveness, and that continues with the Beats Studio Buds+.

In terms of app features, there is virtually parity between iOS and Android. There’s Google Fast Pair, Find My Device support and customisation within the Android app; and there’s also the Audio Switch feature that allows users to transition between Android, Chromebook and other compatible devices.

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