For a brief time, headphone fashion meant investing in a bulky pair that could be identified from far away. These days, however, earbuds are a big deal. Many people are willing to invest big money in the right pair. Sound quality is a key consideration, but style shouldn’t be discounted. Hence, the popularity of multiple options from Apple.
Nowhere is the value of style in the earbud niche more evident than with Apple’s 2014 acquisition of Beats Electronics — the makers of the iconic Beats by Dre
headphones. At the time, enthusiasts wondered what Apple had up their sleeves with this purchase.
As the years have passed, it’s become clear that Apple was never interested in rocking the boat at Beats. The tech giant has mostly left the company alone to do its own thing. With that level of autonomy comes a unique rivalry in the headphone space, with Apple’s own AirPods
competing against the newest Beats Studio Buds
. Keep reading to find out what sets these buds apart — and who comes out on top.
Apple’s AirPods Pro
The first iteration of Apple’s AirPods met mixed reviews
, with users especially unhappy about the fit. Thankfully, the AirPods Pro
comes with three different silicone tips that can be snapped onto the buds to ensure a better fit. Included with the AirPods Pro software is a fit test that is a great help when trying on your new pair of earbuds for the first time. The new, shorter stem that protrudes from the AirPods Pro actually serves a fantastic function, allowing you to squeeze them whenever you want to skip songs.
Apple enthusiasts will get the most use from the AirPods Pro, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has used iOS devices within the last decade. Pairing the buds is far easier on an iOS device, but it is still possible to use them alongside an Android phone. Still, don’t expect to make use of some of iOS-specific features such as auto-pausing if you pair Android and AirPods Pro.
A few noteworthy features are new to the AirPods Pro, including active noise cancellation and transparency mode. Considering the small stature and earbud design, the AirPods Pro does a solid job of blocking out the noise around you. If you want to bask in the world around you, transparency mode will amplify your surroundings. These features aren’t exclusive to the AirPods Pro, but they are certainly welcome additions.
Sound quality has always been a sacrifice consumers choose to make when opting for earbuds instead of over-the-ear headphones
, but the gap is narrowing. The AirPods Pro provide a significant step up as compared to their predecessor. They can stand up against competitors from Sony and especially Beats. Whether or not that sound quality is worth the steep price tag of $249 is up to the consumer.
Beats Studio Buds
At $149, the Beats Studio Buds are significantly cheaper than the AirPods Pro, but that doesn’t mean they are inferior. In fact, the audio quality packed into the sleek-looking Beats Studio Buds rival — and in some cases exceed — those of the AirPods Pro.
A lot has been said about the way Beats products sound with emphasis on bass
and treble. But it’s a style that definitely has won over fans throughout the years, and is on full display here. Active noise cancellation on the Beats Studio Buds isn’t as robust as its Apple counterpart, but it’s still solid. Beats also offers transparency mode, which works as advertised, but again, it falls a little short of Apple’s earbuds. That being said, there’s still a lot to move about the Beats Studio Buds — especially if you’re more of an Android fan than an Apple aficionado.
The Beats Studio Buds perform as expected without being particularly flashy or groundbreaking. They fit in the ear just fine but don’t offer the variety of different silicone tips that you get with the AirPods Pro. Pairing is easy — but that should be expected from any modern Bluetooth device. Build quality and reliability are acceptable, while battery life is average at about five hours.
It may sound surprising, but the Beats Studio Buds can almost be described as pedestrian — a term you would never use to describe a Beats product just a few years ago. However, it’s not a negative term in the slightest. The $149 price point gives you everything you need in a pair of active noise-canceling earbuds.
Apple AirPods Pro vs Beats Studio Buds Protection
Ultimately, your decision regarding AirPods Pro versus Beats Studio Buds will come down to personal preference. Either way, you’ll want an extended warranty to protect your earbuds
. You can one from the retailer, but you’ll save up to 70% if you seek extended warranty coverage from Upsie.
Upsie provides very reasonable rates and flexible options for getting your earbuds fixed, should the need arise. They offer accidental damage protection for drops, spills and more. As you do your research, don’t forget to consider the exorbitant cost of replacing your earbuds if you lack an extended warranty – especially one from Upsie.
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