Beats Studio Buds debuted back in 2021 with a comfortable fit, good sound and everything else that left a lot to be desired. After staying in the rumor mill for quite some time now, Beats is officially out with a solid successor. Although they look quite like their big brother, Beats says that 95 percent of the internal components are new.
Working on the weak points of the Studio Buds, these refreshing earbuds come in a smoky transparent design. I can already see the obvious inspiration from the radical Nothing earbuds. As a complement, I absolutely love the translucent design of the Buds + as compared to the completely transparent Ear (2). There are Back and Ivory color options too of earbuds at the same price tag of $170.
Designer: Beats By Dre
There are small little increments in every aspect that make these earbuds worth the upgrade, apart from the luring transparent design that exposes the intricately crafted audio elements on both the buds and the case. The audio quality has improved with better drivers and the Dolby Atmos spatial audio works seamlessly for an immersive soundstage. For obvious reasons, the buds get a different microchip rather than the Apple silicon, compared to flagship Beats Fit Pro.
Active noise cancellation on Buds + is far better courtesy of the three times larger microphones that improve sensitivity, transparency mode and noise cancellation in noisy ambient environments. Battery life has also got a bump-up as the charging case gets 50 percent more juice at 18 hours of listening time in ANC mode and 27 hours in normal mode. The buds themselves have a 16 percent better battery rated for six hours of playback with ANC on and nine hours with it turned off. Fast charging is also a novelty here as five minutes of charging provides an hour of playback time.
Reworked venting system comprising three acoustic vents means a superior air release mechanism so that the wearer doesn’t feel uncomfortable during long hours of listening. This also helps in far better transducer movement for quality audio output as compared to the Studio Buds. IPX4 water resistance makes them well-suited for exercise or a brisk run in inclement weather conditions.
Beats Studio + buds come with four sets of soft eartips (XS, S, M & L) and a black USB-C cable. The latter in no way matches the translucent aesthetics of the whole package – Beats By Dre should have gone the extra step here to complete the look. That said, the Buds + are not a dupe for the flagship AiPods Pro, but for just $20 more than the Studio Buds they are a far better package one-on-one.