Whether it is Ellen dancing around in a fairy tale to the new Beats Music App, or Richard Sherman sporting Beats Studio headphones as he runs his mouth off – the Beats machine keeps trucking along as they continue to push out new models in their army of headphones. First was the Studio, so the next logical step was to make a wireless version of the Beats Studio headphones.
While we were big fans of the original Beats Wireless back in the day, the Beats Studio Wireless headphones for 2014 are quite far ahead of the Beats Wireless in quality, sound, and technology. And if the design looks familiar this time around, it is because the Studio Wireless is practically identical to the latest Beats Studio. Yes, they are twinsies. The super soft ear cups, improved collapsible design, the fuel gauge to monitor battery life, and even the Active Noise Canceling feature is all the same on both pairs of headphones. Of-course, the most significant difference between the Beats Studio and the Beats Studio Wireless, is the ability to listen to your devices wirelessly over Bluetooth.
In the box you get plenty of accessories, including a Beats branded carrying case, a cleaning cloth, a red micro USB cable for charging, a red 3.5mm audio cable, and RemoteTalk cable. Beats Studio Wireless seamlessly connect to your computer or iPhone over Bluetooth. Once connected, you have about 12 hours of listening time before having to charge up again. If you decide to listen to your tunes via the included 3.5mm audio cable, you’ll gain 8 additional hours of juice. Going wired is a lovely option to have, but it kind of misses the point of being wireless… In any case, you can charge the headphones up from any device that has a USB port accessible using any standard microUSB cable. However, once the battery dies, so does the music, so be sure to keep a battery charger handy when traveling.
Having burned in the Studio Wireless in significantly, these wireless headphones may just be the Wireless headphones to beat this year. As much as Beats has taken some punches in the past when it comes to sound, they have really stepped up and delivered with their latest pairs of Studio headphones. The Beats Studio, and now the Studio Wireless, are both full bodied headphones that deliver the goods in sound without drowning everything out with overwhelming bass. Likewise, the Beats Studio Wireless, much like the new Beats Studio, exhibit more rich highs and mids this time around, versus the bass heavy sonics of the past.
Just about every genre sounds good on the Studio Wireless. That includes everyone from Swedish Mafia House, to Diana Krall, to Jeff Buckley. During testing, we even threw in some Pavarotti for good measure. Highs and mids are crisp, and the low end provides a nice warmth, but in no way takes over or saturates the rest of the sonics. That said, some songs are certainly more balanced than others. And on more vocal or acoustic heavy songs, the highs are much stronger than the mids and low end. The soundstage overall is wide and far reaching, and you can easily identify certain instruments from one ear cup to the other.
In the end, the new Beats Studio Wireless is an excellent pair of wireless headphones. So much so, you might just want to skip getting the Beats Studio and go straight for the Beats Studio Wireless instead. The majority of the features are the same between the two, and that includes Active Noise cancellation, as well as the ability to control phone calls. So if you are already willing too shell out $300 bucks on headphones, $80 more isn’t going to kill you for wireless freedom. The Beats Studio Wireless are available now and retail for $379.95.
The Good: Identical in quality and sound to the new Beats Studio. Pairs seamlessly via Bluetooth with all devices. Rich soundstage. Nearly 12 hour wireless battery life. Very little sound leakage. They sound even better as you continue to use them over time. Extremely comfortable thanks to super soft ear cushions. Also works as a wired pair of headphones. ANC works very well to cancel out external noise. Comes with plenty of high quality accessories. Convenient fuel gauge provides battery life indication.
The Bad: Highs can be too high on some songs (now that’s a switch). Would have liked a 20 hour battery life without using the 3.5mm cable. ANC can be tricky to switch on and off.
Update 2/5/2014: Since publishing this review, we have learnt that the Beats Studio Wireless is not a replacement for the Beats Wireless, but actually a wireless version of the newer Beats Studio headphones. To that effect, the Beats Wireless headphones will continue to be sold, but for $100 less than the Beats Studio Wireless headphones. We have updated the review to reflect this information.