Beats Studio 3 Wireless Review: WORTH IT in 2024?

Odi Productions Jul 20, 2024
1694 People Read
Beats Studio 3 Wireless in grey held in hand

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. 

In this article, I'm going to share my HONEST Beats Studio 3 Wireless review for those who are wondering whether they are still WORTH IT in 2024. These were originally released in October 2017, but continue to be a best-seller to this day thanks to a much lower price since release.

For this review, I have put hundreds of hours into testing my own personal pair of Beats Studio 3 Wireless throughout the years, so I'm very familiar with how they sound and operate on a daily basis.

I'll be sharing my critical opinion with 10 years of experience as a professional music producer, audio engineer, and tech journalist.

I've also reviewed the newer Beats Studio Pro model released in 2023, and compared the Beats Studio 3 vs Studio Pro directly, for those interested.

Let's dive right in!



Should you buy Beats Studio 3 Wireless?

Beats Studio 3 Wireless in grey on desk

Buy if

  • You want a reasonably-priced, comfy, Bluetooth wireless headphone with good noise cancelling

  • You want an over-ear, noise cancelling headphone for the gym or working out

  • You want a headphone with one of the best battery life on a single charge at 40 hours (with noise cancelling off)

  • You are an Apple ecosystem user who switches between devices often

  • In-ear earbuds like the AirPods Pro or Beats Fit Pro are uncomfortable to wear for you

DON'T Buy if

  • Sound quality (especially with a "fun" sound signature) is your #1 priority

  • You plan to run with noise cancelling ON (in-ear earbuds are better)

  • You want Spatial Audio and/or Dolby Atmos features

  • You need a "Transparency" mode sometimes


Beats Studio 3 Wireless Pros and Cons

Beats Studio 3 Wireless grey earcup held in hand

Pros

  • 40 hours battery life

  • Great comfort

  • Decent noise cancellation

  • Stylish design in many colors

  • Switches between Apple devices easily

  • Sound quality is not bad

Cons

  • Boring sound signature

  • Noise cancellation makes weird noises at times

  • No Transparency mode or Spatial Audio

  • Works better with Apple devices than Android or Windows


Beats Studio 3 Wireless Price

At the time of this writing, the Beats Studio 3 Wireless are priced at $349.95 retail, but available on Amazon below for as low as $169 brand new.

Want to save up to an additional $24? Order the Renewed Version below which is currently around $145.

Order the Beats Studio 3 Wireless for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE (Do NOT pay retail): 

Disclosure: These links may provide a discount and in return, give us a commission in order to run the website 🙂


Beats Studio 3 Comfort: 4.0 / 5

Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones weighing 261.8 grams on scale

The Beats Studio 3 Wireless is a very comfortable pair of over-ear headphones, weighing in at just 261.8 grams on my scale.

For reference, the popular Apple AirPods Max weighed in at 387.8 grams on the same scale, which is 48% heavier than the Beats Studio 3 Wireless!

These are one of the lightest full-sized, over-ear headphones I have weighed on my scale.

The only other headphones that I have tested that are lighter are the Sony WH-1000XM4 by about only 10 grams.

When wearing these on my head, I could only sense a faint top of head pressure from the headband. I'm not complaining at all, but it could slightly improve with a suspension design or more padding.

The clamping force is also not offensive at all, although I have owned this pair for years so they have likely loosened up a bit.

I would say the one area of comfort that suffers is the tight closed-back design results in warmth and heat being built up inside of the earcup within 1-2 hours.

Other than that, the only more comfortable "headphones" to wear would be wireless earbuds like the AirPods Pro.


Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 4.0 / 5

Beats Studio 3 Wireless gray headphones folded and collapsed in hand

Features

The Beats Studio 3 wireless is surprisingly feature-rich for its time, back when it was originally released in October of 2017.

To my knowledge, this is actually the first of the Beats Studio line to be released after Apple's acquisition of the Beats brand back in 2014 for a cool $3 billion.

Logically, the "post-Apple" Beats products should see some form of improvement versus before the acquisition.

I'll say that today, the "outdated" Beats Studio 3 works just as seamlessly across Apple devices as even their newest AirPods line. This is a huge benefit for Apple ecosystem users, as having to manually go to "Bluetooth" and connect each time is such a hassle.

So what they released in the Beats Studio 3 Wireless is referred to as the "W1 chip", a piece of hardware that promised world-class Bluetooth connectivity and exceptional battery life.

The W1 chip is also featured in the Beats Solo 3, which is the "little brother" in the Beats lineup to the Studio series.

I would say they delivered on both fronts, as you'll soon read.

And finally, these do come with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) which I'll describe in more detail below.

Lastly, these can actually fold inwards (pictured above) to save space when throwing into the included hardshell case, or simply into your bag or backpack. I personally love the folding feature, as most other full-sized headphones are missing this and take up more space.

Looks

If there is one thing that Beats headphones do well, it would be styling. I personally love the rather minimalistic design of the Beats Studio 3 Wireless, especially the colorways that are of a single color as opposed to two-tone or multiple.

The pair that I own is sort of a cement grey, in a flat matte finish, which is just so chic.

At the time of this writing, there seems to be at least 7 different colors available, which is probably more than any other headphone model.

Aside from the fun colors, the overall shape and exterior design of the Beats Studio 3 is also quite pleasing to the eye.

It is a single rounded silhouette connecting the headband to the exterior of the earcup, as opposed to most headphones which connect to the innermost part of the earcup, leaving the earcups themselves sticking out.

A lot of over-ear headphones tend to have this clunky, "construction worker" headset form, but the Beats Studio 3 maintains a consistent geometry that unifies headband and earcup in a tidy, solidified manner.

Others try their best to mix and match exotic materials and contrasting shapes, but in the words of the immortal designer Dieter Rams, "the best design is as little design as possible".

Frankly, I think this is the best-looking pair of over-ear headphones today, especially when worn.

Some headphones look neat in isolation, sitting on a table or headphone stand, but then you put them on and look like a complete dork. Not these.

Beats Studio 3 Wireless Battery Life

The Beats Studio 3 Wireless is rated at up to 40 hours of battery life on a single charge, with noise cancellation turned off.

One of the claims from the new "W1" chip is exceptional battery life, and boy did Apple deliver on this promise.

What's crazy to think is that this product was originally released in late 2017, and 40 hours of battery life is still near the top of the class almost 7 years later.

In my personal testing and experience, I did find that the Beats Studio 3 battery life to be exceptionally long, rarely needing a charge despite daily use.

There is just one caveat here, and I believe that the Beats Studio 3 Wireless does not come with any "auto shut off" feature to preserve battery.

So if you accidentally leave them on, the battery will drain throughout the day or overnight.

Beats Studio 3 Wireless Noise Cancelling performance

So now you are probably wondering, "How is the noise cancelling performance of a 6 year old headphone?"

I find the Beats Studio 3 Wireless noise cancelling to be quite decent even by today's standards, on par with the much newer Apple AirPods Pro 2 (a wireless earbud).

There are some inherent advantages such as the closed-back, over-ear design that creates a nice, tight seal around your ears.

Once you turn on that active noise cancellation, I'd say roughly 85% of outside noise just dissipates like Spiderman did in Tony Stark's arms at the end of The Avengers: Infinity War.

I've worn the Beats Studio 3 Wireless on multiple flights and they do a good enough job, although I do have to turn up the volume a bit to compete with the airplane noise. No real complaints here, but they are probably just a step below the modern active noise cancelling headphones.

One caveat to the ANC is the lack of a "Transparency" mode that is fairly common with more recent noise cancelling headphones and wireless earbuds such as the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.


Do Beats Studio 3 Wireless have good sound quality?

Beats Studio 3 Wireless gray side profile

Let's get this out of the way first, the Beats Studio 3 Wireless do not sound bad at all. They have passable overall sound quality that is not offensive by any means. It's also more balanced than previous Beats Studio generations.

With that out of the way, let's critique what they could have done SO much better which would have taken these headphones from simply just "fine" to "great".

My first bone to pick is with the sound signature and strange tuning.

Going into this, I was curious what sort of "Apple magic" they would apply to their first joint product after the acquisition.

I was hoping they would completely shed the old Beats' reputation as being bass-heavy, muddy, overpriced headphones.

Well, they did indeed move in the opposite direction, but I think they overcompensated and lost sight of who their target customer is.

The sound signature of the Beats Studio 3 is rather boring, with a weird emphasis on the upper bass that bleeds into the mids, creating some muddiness especially for male vocals that can sound boxy at times.

These could have been SO good if they had just moved that upper bass peak down lower to the sub-bass region instead.

When I listen to these, I hear the upper bass punch but it's sorely missing the BOOM and slam of proper sub-bass frequencies just below that.

So in my opinion, they didn't go bass-heavy ENOUGH in the right region, these simply don't scratch that itch as a basshead.

Beats' target demographic likely listens to modern music and wants a fun, engaging sound that the brand is historically known for, for better or worse.

Doing so, I think they ended up with a product that doesn't really have its own unique character, the music doesn't really come alive and give an immersive experience. I think the dynamics are also rather weak which further contributes to this perception of "boring" sound.

Now to talk about the positives, the treble region, or the "highs", are surprisingly detailed and fairly enjoyable to listen to.

There is some very slight peakiness with certain frequencies, causing a slight harshness, but this is only every once in a while rather than a frequent occurrence.

The soundstage is intimate with little depth, as these are closed-back. I'd also say the resolution is on the lower side between a 720p or 1080p at most, and I think I hear some faint distortion when tracks get busy.

Even though there is seemingly a lot to nitpick, I have to repeat that these do NOT sound bad at all. They are just "fine" and rather vanilla for my tastes.

I personally would have preferred they leaned more into their "bass-heavy" perception, but this is a case of 2 steps back, 3 steps forward.

Beats Studio 3 Wireless Sound Quality: 7.0 / 10


Is the Beats Studio 3 Wireless worth it?

Beats Studio 3 Wireless top headband

So the Beats Studio 3 Wireless originally retailed at a whopping $349 brand new, and that is actually still the listed "full" price on Amazon currently.

Luckily, they can now be picked up at basically a 50% off discount, bringing the current market price down to just $169 today.

When I think about the Beats Studio 3 Wireless as an overall package, there's still a lot to like here and the good outweigh the bad.

To summarize the good, they are a comfy, stylish, wireless headphone (that works really well with Apple devices) with good noise cancelling, decent sound quality, and one of the best battery life ratings even today.

I'd say you could do a lot worse for the money when considering all of those points above.

Personally? I'd pony up about an extra $30 and try to get a pair of the AirPods Pro 2 on sale for about $199 from its usual $249 price.

If earbuds are not your thing, then the newer Beats Studio Pro can also be available for around $199 on sale these days, and has made some noticeable improvements since the Studio 3 was released in 2017.

Value: 3.0 / 5


Scoring Breakdown

Comfort: 4.0 / 5

Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 4.0 / 5

Sound Quality: 7.0 / 10

Value: 3.0 / 5

Total: 18 / 25

Our Rating: 7.2 / 10

Beats Studio 3 Wireless laying flat on desk


At the time of this writing, the Beats Studio 3 Wireless are priced at $349.95 retail, but available on Amazon below for as low as $169 brand new.

Want to save an additional $24? Order the Renewed Version below which is currently around $149.

Order the Beats Studio 3 Wireless for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE (Do NOT pay retail): 

Disclosure: These links may provide a discount and in return, give us a commission in order to run the website 🙂


Frequently Asked Questions

Do Beats Studio 3 have noise cancelling?

Yes, the Beats Studio 3 do come with active noise cancelling that is fairly effective for use while traveling on a plane, or in public transport. I would rate the noise cancelling on par with the AirPods Pro 2, but slightly below the AirPods Max.

Are Beats Studio 3 better than Beats Solo 3?

The Beats Studio 3 are superior to the Solo 3 model with active noise cancelling, better sound quality, and comfort since they are over-ear as opposed to on-ear headphones. This is supported by the fact that the Studio series is more expensive than the Solo series in the Beats lineup.

Do Beats Studio 3 Wireless have good bass performance?

The Beats Studio 3 Wireless have emphasized mid to upper bass, but is a bit lacking in sub-bass response, slam, and bass impact for my tastes.

Why are my Beats Studio 3 Wireless so quiet? How to make louder?

The Beats Studio 3 should get plenty loud enough even at half volume when paired with an iPhone in my testing, so chances are you need to fix your Sound settings and remove the option that limits volume to prevent hearing damage.


How We Tested and Our Methodology

RecordingNOW.com is a 100% independent publisher with over 10 years of experience testing and reviewing consumer electronics and headphones.

We currently purchase the products we test with our own money, and are not paid by any company or manufacturer to influence our opinions or decisions.

After purchasing the product, we conduct up to hundreds of hours of detailed hands-on testing in a controlled, acoustically-treated environment.

ODi Productions is our resident expert and author of this article, with 10 years of experience as a professional music producer, tech journalist, and audiophile.


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Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase.