headphones

Beats Studio Review

Beats Studio: Not for the studio

$299.95 MSRP
8.5 score Tested by Experts
  • The Beats Studio is better than 51% of the headphones we tested.
  • It is better than 53% of the headphones we have tested under $300.
  • It is better than 59% of the over-ear headphones we have tested.
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A Picture in Numbers

We've given you a front-page picture in words, now it's time to show you the same story in numbers. Like any other pair of headphones that darken these doors, the Beats Studios had to do hard time in the audio lab. Armed with software and a robot, I took the Studios for a spin and found a fairly healthy soundscape.

Frequency Response

Pleasing the masses

Headphones typically follow one of two main trends: They either produce a very flat response for studio/mixing purposes, or they produce a more dynamic response that traces the general shape of an equal loudness contour. Ironically, the Beats Studio headphones follow the latter—and quite closely, I might add. On an equal loudness curve, for anyone wondering, every note is emphasized in such a way that the human ear perceives them all as equal in volume.

StudioELC.jpg
The red line charts the Studio's frequency response, which very closely follows the blue line representing the equal loudness contour.

In plain terms, bass is quite forward on this soundscape, but middle and high notes on trumpets, flutes, violins, drums, and the lot will ring out loud and clear, too. A 4.8dB drop does occur right at 5kHz, so that peak notes on certain brass and stringed instruments are a tad quieter than they ought to be, but this is a mild effect that few will gripe about (here's lookin at you, audiophiles). Hobbyists will be anything but thrilled about this contour—they prefer flat frequency responses—but the Beats Studios are likely to please the masses.

Studio_freq.jpg
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Attenuation

Adequate isolation

I've tested better isolation this year, but these are still fine results—and I love that the electrical signals on the Studios don't apply as much pressure to your inner ears as competing models. Comfort aside, tests proved that high frequency outside clatter like chattering ladies or squeaky wheels get reduced to well upwards of 1/16 their original loudness; midrange bothers get quelled to 1/2; low-end bothers like passing automobiles are reduced by as much as 1/4.

Studio_att.jpg

Distortion

Keeping distortion at bay

Distortion is present in the sub-bass range, but the measures are low enough that you won't hear it. Happily, there isn't a bit of audible distortion on this entire chart—from sub-bass all the way through bass, mids, and highs. We applaud these fantastic results.

Studio_dist.jpg

Distortion doesn't rise above the 3% mark at all unless you crank volume upwards of the 110.75dB mark, in fact. But don't listen so loud to keep your ears safe and sound.

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