CNET First Look
Beats Studio 2013: "Radically better sounding than the original."Beats 'reimagined' signature headphone is more sturdy, lighter, and offers improved sound quality.
Ever since Beats by Dre severed its relationship with Monster, we've been waiting for the company to come out with a new version of its signature headphones, the Beats Studio, which were released in 2008 and became a cultural phenomenon. Well, this is it, the re-imagined Studio and I have to say it's definitely a better headphone all around. For starters, the Studios are 13 percent lighter-- they're more comfortable and more durable with no visible screws on the head band. Those tiny screws tended to get unscrewed and they were very easy to lose. These are active noise-cancelling headphones and they now come equipped with two modes of adaptive noise cancellation. According to Beats, one mode is for music listening and offers balanced adaptive noise-cancelling between your music and your environment and the other mode is for when you're disconnected and just wanna shut out the world. For better or worse, you do have to have the noise cancellation turned on to use these heahphones. The integrated lithium rechargeable battery is rated at 20 hours. It charges via USB and has a 5 light LED battery fuel gauge that indicates how much charging it has left. There's also an auto on/off feature for automatic shut down once you unplugged the headphones which is nice. The headphones come with a standard straight cord as well as one that integrates an Apple friendly remote and microfilms so you can make cellphone calls. In terms of sound, the stereo's what I call fast and fun, a forward-sounding headphone that's exciting to listen to. It's not as accurate or natural sounding a headphone. It's something like the $350 Sennheiser MOMENTUM, but it delivers on the bass front and comes on strong with the detail. In all, it's a radically better sounding headphone than the original. You do get a faint hiss from the noise cancelling and the noise cancelling isn't quite on par with the Bose Quiet Comfort 15s. But you also don't feel the pressure on your ears that you often feel when using noise cancellation headphones. That's a good thing. So there it is, the new re-imagined Studio available in the white you see as well as red and black. It's hard to say whether it's worth $300, but it's certainly worth more than the original Beats Studio which also cost $300. I'm David Carnoy. Thanks for watching.