Apple announces ANC (Active Neucan) fully wireless earphonesBeats Studio BudsBeats Studio Buds, which is a little more affordable than Apple’s ANC earphones. Gizmodo has reviewed it right away. I’m curious!
I personally don’t like Apple’s AirPods Pro so much. I don’t like the design of that short handle (the longer AirPods are still better). Perhaps because of that shape, it’s almost impossible to touch and operate the earphones while exercising. As I said at this time, I honestly think that the fit is not good. When I’m running, I drop it. Besides, it’s expensive. The smoothness of cooperation between Active Neucan and Apple devices is the best. That’s Beats Studio Buds. Earphones with active noise canceling that can be used seamlessly by both Apple and Android users. It’s also $ 100 cheaper than the AirPods Pro (about 13,000 yen cheaper in Japan)!
Beats is under the umbrella of Apple, but I feel that Beats products are treated more frankly than Apple products. There was a glimpse before the announcement. Is it because it appeals not only to the Apple ecosystem but also to people outside it? Studio Buds also followed this trend, showing off a good glimpse of celebrities wearing it before the announcement.
Beats Studio Buds
What is this?: Fully wireless (Bluetooth) earphones with active noise canceling from Beats, an Apple company. Compatible with Android as well as iOS
price: $ 150 (17,800 yen)
Where you like: Easy to pair with iPhone or Android device, comfortable to wear, good battery, this ANC is the best at this price
Where I don’t like: No connection to multiple terminals, no detection function
The $ 150 Beats Studio Buds aren’t as packed with features as the AirPods Pro. However, the terminal is open to the outside. It supports Android’s Fast Pairing feature and uses a USB-C cable instead of Lightning! It’s a product that is conscious of “everyone”. I personally like that. Besides, the fit is also very good (again, personally).
It’s perfect and comfortable to wear
Studio Buds has a more traditional earphone-like design than the AirPods Pro. Inside, three microphones on the left and right (six in total) and a uniquely designed 8.2 mm piston driver are packed. The driver is positioned parallel to the acoustic nozzle and the vents on the nozzle prevent pressure buildup inside. The earphones themselves weigh 5 grams. There are three color variations, Beats Red, Black, and White. The charging case has the same coloring as the earphone body.
Three silicon chips are included. Thanks to this, it is comfortable to wear and does not shift even if it moves. It didn’t shift even in a fairly intense workout. As it is waterproof IPX4, it is not sweatproof but sweatproof. Be careful here as I have ruined IPX4 earphones with sweating exercise in the past. (If you want tough earphones that can be sweaty, Jabra’s Elite Active 75t is for you.)
The fit and fit of Studio Buds makes it feel like Active Neucan is better than AirPods Pro (although this is a good match for each user’s ears and earphones). I said at the beginning that I don’t like the AirPods Pro in the first place, so I’m sorry, but it’s better to operate with the “b” logo of Studio Buds than to operate by touching the stem of the AirPods Pro. By the way, you can switch ANC on / off by pressing and holding the b logo. If you press the b logo normally instead of pressing and holding it, you can perform operations such as pausing music and skipping tracks. It can also be used with FaceTime, but I accidentally touched the b logo and hung up the call several times. It may take some getting used to the operation around here.
Even on the iPhone! Even on Android!
One of the advantages of AirPods is that it works well with Apple devices. It’s great to pair with your iPhone the moment you open the lid of the charging case. Android has a similar function called Fast Pair, but Beats Sutdio Pro supports this. This is the first product in the Apple ecosystem.
In the review, I paired the iPhone 12 Pro with the Google Pixel 5 and used Studio Buds. In both cases, the pairing procedure is almost the same. Open the lid of the charging case, press the Bluetooth pairing button between the left and right earphones, and the permission notification for the Studio Buds image will be displayed, so just allow it. The only difference between using iOS and Android OS is that you have to install the Beats app separately on your Android device to customize your earphones (iOS can be done from Bluetooth settings, so you don’t need the Beats app).
Pairing is also possible, but the tracking function is also compatible with iOS and Android. You can use Find My on your iPhone or Find My Device on your Android. Finally, you can see where you used your earphones. It doesn’t have an ultra-wideband (UWB) chip, so there’s no turn-by-turn navigation when looking for lost earphones. I tend to lose small ones like earphones, so I’m grateful that I have the ability to search for them personally.
In terms of UWB chips, Studio Buds doesn’t even have Apple’s H1 wireless chips (even W1). Therefore, it is not possible to connect multiple terminals that can be done with AirPods. Honestly, this is a disagreement, and in my case, AirPods often made a mistake in determining whether the sound is being played on the MacBook or the iPhone, so there should be no automatic switching function for multiple terminal cooperation. But I feel like I’m not in trouble. It doesn’t have an Apple chip, but you can use the voice control of “Hey Siri”.
Wow, it’s USB-C!
A wider target, a more universal approach is also available at the charging port. It’s USB-C! It’s not Lightning! Except for some, other Beats products are Lightning, but considering Android integration, it’s USB-C. Android users don’t have Lightning in the first place. No wireless charging. But the battery is pretty good, so I wonder if it doesn’t have to be wireless.
ANC is always on, 5 hours for earphones alone + 10 hours for charging case, 15 hours in total. For those who switch ANC on and off depending on the situation, it takes about 8 hours for the earphone alone and 24 hours for the charging case. This is a pair with AirPods Pro. Even when you say, “Oh, I’m going out now, but I don’t have a charge!”
Charging case sets are the norm for all-wireless earphones these days. The Beats’ first fully wireless earphones, the Powerbeats Pro, had a big case that was a bit annoying, but the Studio Buds are pretty compact in the AirPod direction.
There is no smartness even if the sound quality is excellent
Beats was once known for its heavy bass headphones, but these days it’s not. Studio Buds also has a well-balanced sound, especially when listening to Dolby Atmos compatible songs on Apple Music. However, the driver size is different in the first place, so I can not beat the AirPods Pro.
Well, this is Dolby Atmos. According to Beats, Studio Buds supports Apple’s spatial audio, but it’s only Apple Music and a bit limited. AirPods Pro and AirPods Max have sensors that track the orientation of the user’s head, but Studio Buds doesn’t. So the spatial audio experience isn’t as good as the AirPods Pro. Still, it’s great to hear Apple Music’s Dolby Atmos compatible songs.
The Beats Studio Buds sound is very well balanced overall. But it’s not perfect. Compared to earphones that are a little more expensive, you may be worried about treble and bass sounds. It depends on what (what kind of song) you listen to often, but it seems that you are better at elegant and delicate songs.
Personally, I think that ordinary AirPods that are not Pro are the best for calling, but why is Stufio Buds not bad either? My voice reaches the other party clearly, and that voice is easy to hear clearly. ANC is very effective and the sound disappears from the world. I tried using it while cleaning it, but I didn’t mind the sound of the old and noisy washing machine. When I used it on a treadmill, I couldn’t hear my running footsteps. Thanks to that, I was able to concentrate on running.
Compared to the AirPods Pro, there are some features that aren’t there, some that you don’t need to have, and some that you want to have. What I wanted most was the mounting detection function that can be used with Apple’s W1 / H1 chip. When you remove the earphones from your ears, it senses it and stops playing music. That feature isn’t in Studio Buds, so it’s a little frustrating. When I receive FaceTime or a phone call while listening to music in Studio Buds, the iPhone speaker becomes the default for some reason. Even though Studio Buds is in my ears and paired with my iPhone. To make a call, you have to manually configure the control panel settings, which is frustrating. The music keeps ringing even if I remove it from my ears. I have no choice but to think that Apple’s magic cannot be used here because it is compatible with Android.
After hearing the rumors about Beats Studio Buds, I hoped it would be a cheaper alternative to the AirPods Pro. As a result, it is as desired.
The design and fit are perfect. It’s also nice to have a more luxurious feel than Amazon Echo Buds ($ 120 with ANC). I would like to have multiple terminal pairing and automatic switching. Even if you receive a call, I think you can connect by default. But you have to give up something to achieve the $ 150 price.
$ 150. Considering the price, the sound quality and active noise canceling are excellent. Except for those who say that all devices are Apple, I’m happy to use both Andoird and iOS.
It is a past story that high-end audio functions could only be used on high-end = expensive terminals. We are now in an era where ANC, large drivers, seamless software support can be used on cheap (or mid-priced) terminals. That is the new standard for earphones.