Beats Studio Buds offer best of AirPods Pro for $100 less

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Beats Studio Buds come in black.
Beats Studio Buds offer noise cancellation, Find My for $150.
Photo: Beats

Beats Studio Buds just became a strong competitor for AirPods Pro. Which is odd, as they’re both made by Apple.

Studio Buds are truly wireless headphones that offer active noise cancellation and access to Apple’s Find My network. They come in a variety of colors for $149.99.

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The smallest Beats yet

“Studio Buds is our tiniest, most subtle form factor to date, yet keeps Beats’ promise of delivering an immersive sound experience in a beautiful design” said Oliver Schusser, VP of Beats and Apple Music, in a press release Monday. “In building a product this small, every minute detail was considered, analyzed and selected to optimize for sound quality, comfort and durability.”

Beats Studio Buds boast a design somewhat similar with AirPods Pro, with soft silicone eartips — but without the “stem.” The earbuds come in at only 5.1 grams each.

The in-ear headphones use a proprietary 8.2 mm, dual-element diaphragm driver that features a central rigid piston with a flexible outer surround. This is coupled with a two-chamber acoustic design. They support Spatial Audio in tracks that offer it.

Like AirPods Pro, Beats Studio Buds include active noise cancellation to block external noise. Or users can switch to Transparency mode to hear their surroundings mixed with the music.

This is the first Beats product to support Find My, allowing the earbuds to be located from their paired device. (AirPods owners already can do this.) Plus, the new Beats offering also supports Find My Device on Android.

The new Bluetooth headphones promise one-touch pairing to Apple or Android gear. And the firmware can be updated from both types of devices, too.

However, Beats told 9to5Mac that Beats Studio Buds do not come with Apple’s proprietary H1 or W1 chips inside. The original AirPods came with a W1 chip to add some special connectivity magic. The second-gen AirPods and AirPods Pro boosted that with the H1 chip, which brought speedier and more stable connections.

Instead, Studio Buds use a proprietary Beats chipset. “In my testing, this had no effect on performance and Beats Studio Buds performed just as well as AirPods, but without automatic device switching and iCloud sync for pairing,” wrote 9to5Mac’s Chance Miller.

Beats Studio Buds come in a carrying case, with three color options: white, red and black.
Beats Studio Buds come in a carrying case, with three color options: white, red and black.
Photo: Beats/Apple

Apple says the earbuds can provide up to eight hours of listening time. And the pocket-size carrying case brings two additional charges.

Order your Beats Studio Buds now

Beats Studio Buds are available to preorder starting Monday in black, white and Beats red. They’ll begin shipping June 24. They also can be ordered from Amazon.

The $149.99 cost puts them $100 less than AirPods Pro, which offer many of the same features, as noted.