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New Beats by Dre Studio headphones ditch the AAAs

Ogle the newly redesigned Beats Studio headphones in a select few snaps.

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Luke Westaway
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Hip-hop general practitioner Dr Dre has devised a swanky new version of the Beats Studio headphones that ditch the replaceable batteries and offer a slight redesign. Flick through the photos above to ogle the new noise-cancelling cans from every angle.

The new Beats Studio slightly alter the look of the original model we first glimpsed in 2008. The most noticeable change is they no longer require AAA batteries to power the noise-cancellation tech.

Instead you'll be recharging these headphones using a power adaptor and cable, with Beats reckoning you'll get 20 hours of use from one charge. A button on the right earcup lights up a set of LEDs to illustrate how much charge you have left.

Our test set only came with a US plug, but hopefully the version that winds up on shop shelves will come with something more UK-socket friendly.

No no-noise-cancellation

Unfortunately, these headphones suffer from one massive flaw -- you can only use them with the noise-cancellation switched on. That means if the batteries die they won't work at all, and if you fancy listening to music without that audible hiss buzzing in your ears, you're out of luck.

That hiss is audible, too. You might not notice it while your tunes are whomping their way into your ear canals, but between songs, in a quiet-ish room, you'll definitely pick up the ssssssss of the noise-cancelling technology.

Elsewhere there's quite a lot to like -- they're comfy, and these new Beats sound as thumpy and brash as you'd expect from the bass-heavy brand, though at £270, you can definitely find superior sound-quality for the same cash. Check out the Sennheiser Momentums for example, or the gorgeous B&W P5s.

The newly designed Beats Studio headphones hit the UK on 14 August. Initially only 30 sets will be available, from Selfridges on London's Oxford Street, but then the new cans will become "more widely available" from September.

Are you tempted? Let me know in the comments, or on our painfully loud Facebook page.

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The revamped headphones have a new design.
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The headphone cable detaches, so if it breaks you can replace it, rather than having to buy new headphones.
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Here's the charging port. Beats is claiming you'll get 20 hours of battery life.
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An in-line remote lets you control playback, adjust volume and take calls. How exactly these features work will vary depending on what smart phone you're using.
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Adjustable earcups, natch.
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This is the left earcup. The 'b' on the left side doubles as a volume switch.
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There's a charging cable, and a cable without an in-line remote.
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You also get a carabiner, for some reason.
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They'll set you back £270, and go on sale on 14 August.
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Here's what they look like on a human. Pretty chunky, non?

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