The Beats Studio3 Wireless reviewed here was released in September 2017, and it remains one of our top picks for wireless noise-canceling headphones. Beats has done such a awesome job with the distinctive design and branding of its Studio line of over-ear headphones. Apple has launched the new Studio3 wireless headphones with active noise cancelling that are also packing Apple's W1 chip, which means you get the same seamless pairing as with the AirPods. 

The new high-end Beats looks identical to the previous 2014 style. Some stitching tweaks make the ear pads slightly softer and very comfortable. The synthetic leather on the pads hint at where some cost savings have been carved outAnd those who like feel and sturdiness of premium aluminium should look elsewhere, as the all plastic structure does not feel the finest quality, but it doesn’t creak either.  There are some changes on the inside. Beats says it has completely redesigned the guts or DNA of this headphone, with not only new drivers but new circuitry that includes Apple's W1 chip found in other Beats wireless headphones -- the PowerBeats3 Wireless, the Solo3 Wireless and the BeatsX and Apple's AirPods.

  The W1 chip makes connecting the headphone to Apple devices easy and also helps prolong the  battery life. It's now up to 22 hours with wireless and noise canceling on, double from the previous model. The new Beats is a better performing headphone on several fronts, including sound, battery life and noise canceling. What I like most about Beats over-ears is they have a slim profile for their category. As with all Beats products if you go for brighter color you better have the some swag to carry off the look.

After just a few weeks, the paint on the outer ear cup of my Studio3s had already started to wear off. And after using them for about 20 minutes my ears started to get uncomfortably hot. The oval cut-outs in the pads give enough room for those with big ears, but it’s snug. The inclusion of a headphone socket is also pleasing to see - despite the fact that we really should all now be getting on board with wireless being the standard. The carry case is sturdy as well, and comes with all your lead needs.

Battery Life:
Battery life numbers vary with volume levels, so you may not get quite that amount, but you should consistently be able to hit at least 20 hours of playback and sometimes more before you have to recharge. Turn off noise canceling and that number goes up to 40 hours. The Beats Fast Fuel feature gives you three hours of playback from just 10 minutes of charging. These headphones work with  Apple Bluetooth audio devices and Android as well. but their special pairing feature is limited to Apple devices running iOS 10 or later, WatchOS 3 and later or MacOS Sierra or later. ​​

​Noise Canceling and Sound:
​Aside from the battery life, two big upgrades here are to the sound quality and noise canceling. The W1 chip enables its new Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling technology, which supposedly calibrates itself up to 50,000 times per second to adjust for head movement. I have heard better NC in other headphones, but what is on offer here is still very good and with a much lower level of background hiss that you get with some other NC headphones. Apple said in its briefing that these were designed to have the very best noise cancelling around. In my opinion they haven’t quite hit this mark, but they are off to a good start. The sound of new Studio Wireless headphones is slightly cleaner, with better bass definition and a bit more natural sound comparied to the older version. The 2014 Studio Wireless sounded good but there is a noticeable difference in the sound. The Beats sound is well known for its bass bloat, but on the Studio Wireless that's a thing of past. These are relatively well-balanced headphones with plenty of bass but it's not overpowering or boomy. ​​


Beats didn't upgrade the exterior design of this headphone. While Beats claims it was very pleased with the headphone's acoustic design and ergonomics they also wanted to unlock its full potential with new components, I think there's still room for improvement on the front design. Studio3s are a comfortable, durable headphone that's enjoyable to listen to and works reliably with rock-solid Bluetooth performance. That being said if you are looking for wireless noise-cancelling headphones then the Studio3s is your ticket. Beats has taken a good wireless noise-canceling headphone and significantly increased its performance and are no longer bass monsters. Some will prefer a more engaging soundstage, but most will want the long battery life. Best noise cancelling on the market? No, not this time. Beats could well be getting there. It may not be better than competing models from Bose and Sony, but I still liked them a lot. Of course, it would be nice if they cost a little less. Check Amazon for pricing.