Apple’s AirPods Pro offer a great piece of quality, but it does depend on whether you will use them with Apple devices or not. Even though they work alright on Android devices, you won’t be unlocking the full potential of the AirPods like you would on an iPhone for example. In that sense you might be better off with the Beats Studio Buds. The Beats Studio Buds also offer a snugger fit, being a tad better for use with sports, and can also be the better choice when you’re into EDM or hip-hop for example. If you tend to make more calls, listen to podcasts or acoustic music, the AirPods Pro might be the better choice.
Also, don’t forget the prices of course. If we would do a Studio Buds vs Airpods Pro looking at the ‘bang for buck’ value you should definitely consider the Beats Studio Buds, they’re amazing for their price. So if the AirPods Pro are just a tad out of your range, the Beats are a great choice nonetheless!
Design & fit
Apple’s AirPods Pro are still rocking the stem design, while the Beats Studio Buds take on a cleaner look and look less present when wearing them. Next to that, you can also get the Beats Studio Buds in three different colors: black, white & red, whereas the AirPods Pro are only available in the iconic glossy white color.
They both offer great comfort: the Beats Studio Buds do have a bit of a snugger fit, making them better for use with sports, but still feel great. The AirPods Pro also hardly feel like they’re there, but have a bit of a looser fit. You can wear them for sports, but expect them to fall out easier than the Beats Studio Buds do.
Talking about sports: both the AirPods Pro as well as the Beats Studio Buds are IPX4 rated, meaning they can take on a splash or some sweat when working out. Don’t take them for a swim though!
Apple’s AirPods Pro definitely take the crown in this area. The charging case for the AirPods Pro is smaller than the one from the Beats Studio Pro, ánd can have wireless charging. The only downside we could think of is the lightning connection Apple is sticking with, while the Beats Studio Buds are rocking a USB-C connection (which you will be using since they do not support wireless charging). We do like the matt finish of the Beats cases though!
The Apple AirPods Pro come with a squeezing mechanism in the stems. You can play, pause, skip or go back a track and can activate transparency mode as well as use Siri. There’s not much to configure here unfortunately, so a simple gesture for volume up or volume down isn’t possible and should be done via Siri. The AirPods Pro do have ear detection, so they recognize when you take an earbud out, pausing the current track, and resuming once you put the earbud back in.
The Beats Studio Buds have a button that can be pressed, offering the same features the AirPods Pro have. Play, pause, skip and previous tracks are available, and long pressing will actually cycle through ANC, Transparency mode or ANC off. There’s no ear detection though, so taking an earbud out will not pause playback unfortunately.
A good thing to mention is that connecting the earbuds differ per operating system. The AirPods Pro obviously work great with Apple devices due to the H1-chip. You have instant connecting, seamless switching between devices, while on Android devices you will have to pair them like regular bluetooth earbuds. Surprisingly the Beats Studio Buds, even though also coming from Apple, do not offer these nice extras on Apple devices. Instead, you actually benefit more from the Beats Studio Buds when you’re using an Android device, offering instant connection and a dedicated Beats app for additional controls.
Battery life on both of these earbuds is fine. The Beats Studio Buds have a slight edge over the AirPods Pro, getting 5 hours of listening time with active noise cancellation turned on, or even 8 when turned off! Apple’s AirPods Pro only give you 4,5 hours of listening time with ANC turned on, or 5 hours when turned off.
They both offer a total of 24 hours of listening time when you include the case though, but we’ll give the edge to the Beats here since the earbuds give you a bit more listening time.
Active Noise Cancellation
Both the AirPods Pro and the Beats Studio Buds offer active noise cancellation and a transparency mode. You will notice though that the AirPods Pro are a step up from the Beats Studio Buds in both areas. The active noise cancellation and transparency mode on the Beats are decent, but definitely not up to par with the AirPods. The AirPods Pro’s transparency mode sounds so natural, while the Beats Studio Buds really sound like you’re listening through the microphone of the bud. The Beats Studio Buds do offer better passive noise cancellation potentially, meaning they will naturally block out some more high frequency sounds than the AirPods Pro, but overall the noise cancelling on the AirPods Pro take the win in this area.
True to the typical Beats sound, the Beats Studio Buds are no different and offer more of a bass-boosted sound. Apple’s AirPods Pro, however, are very neutral and sound balanced and clear. It all depends on your music taste as well as how you like your audio. Do you like thumping bass, or are you into modern music like EDM or hip-hop & RnB? Then the Beats Studio Buds will be right up your alley. If, however, you listen more to podcasts, acoustic songs or just prefer a balanced and clear sound, the AirPods Pro are a great choice. Either way, the sound quality on both the Studio Buds and AirPods are great!
They do both feature Spatial Audio, but the Beats will just have a dumbed-down version of this since they lack Apple’s H1-chip. While the AirPods Pro offer Spatial audio for both music and movies and support head-tracking, the Beats Studio Buds just offer Spatial audio for music without any head-tracking.
Regarding calls: the microphone on the AirPods Pro is fantastic and still amongst the top when it comes to wireless earbuds. The Beats Studio Buds sound a bit more tinny / robotic and really make you feel like you’re in an actual phone call. It’s not that the Beats Studio Buds are bad looking at the price and competition, the AirPods Pro are just very good.