Beats Studio Buds vs. AirPods Pro
Apple in June unveiled new Beats Studio Buds, which are $149 noise cancelling earbuds that are stemless and smaller than the AirPods and AirPods Pro. There are some key differences between the AirPods Pro and the Beats Studio Buds that make them unique for different use cases, so we thought we'd compare them in our latest YouTube video.
Design wise, Beats Studio Buds are smaller and more compact than the AirPods Pro, but the design is similar because they offer silicone tips. Beats Studio Buds actually have a stemless design rumored for the next-generation AirPods Pro, so in the future, the two sets of earbuds could be even more similar when it comes to overall look.
Like the AirPods Pro, the Beats Studio Buds have Active Noise Cancellation with a Transparency mode. Fit always varies from person to person, but we found the AirPods Pro to be more comfortable with a more snug fit and a better seal. That said, the noise cancellation was about the same on the Beats Studio Buds and the AirPods Pro. There's also very little difference in sound quality.
Both come with a charging case that functions in the same way, but the Beats Studio Buds case is more oval and slightly larger. As with the AirPods Pro case, the Studio Buds case offers additional battery life and you can get between 15 and 24 hours depending on how often you use ANC.
There is one major difference that separates the Beats Studio Buds and the AirPods Pro and accounts for the price difference - there's no H1 chip. The AirPods Pro have an H1 chip that allows for useful features like cross-device switching.
The H1 chip is responsible for a lot of the "magic" that makes the AirPods and AirPods Pro just work with Apple's devices and it's also been included in prior Beats headphones, but with the Beats Studio Buds, Apple wanted a more platform agnostic experience.
Apple designed the Beats Studio Buds to appeal to both iPhone and Android users, rather than catering solely to iPhone users as with the AirPods Pro. Apple has still built in quick pairing and Hey Siri activation, so Beats Studio Buds users aren't missing too many features. It's worth noting, though, that the Beats Studio Buds are also missing Spatial Audio support and ear detection.
Apple has been successful with its multi-platform approach. The Beats Studio Buds work well for iPhone users, and for Android users, the earbuds are the closest you're going to get to an AirPods-like experience on an Android device. At $149, they're cheaper than AirPods Pro, and with their feature set, the Beats Studio Buds are well worth the cost.