Well, there's not much left for Apple-owned Beats to "announce" after this. On Tuesday evening, Amazon prematurely published a retail listing for the rumored Beats Studio Buds Plus. The page contains every last detail about the buds: among other upgrades, they have more powerful active noise cancellation than the original Studio Buds, better air venting, and an improved transparency mode.
The Studio Buds Plus will sell for $169.95 when they're released on May 18th, according to Amazon. That's a $20 upcharge compared to the standard Studio Buds released in 2021. The buds and case share a very similar design to the original pair. That'll be a good thing for many; I didn't love their sound quality or find the ANC particularly effective, but the Studio Buds were at least extremely comfortable.
Of course, now the Studio Buds Plus will have to square off against another, more formidable Apple product: the second-generation AirPods Pro. Those earbuds have been lauded for their audio fidelity, noise cancellation, and adaptive transparency mode.
I don't expect Beats to outperform the AirPods Pro, but clearly it's trying to inch closer than the original Studio Buds could manage.
The Amazon listing mentions 36 hours of total battery life, larger microphones (which could theoretically improve voice call quality), and four sizes of bundled ear tips including an extra small set.
And of course, the Studio Buds Plus will support spatial audio. But as with the first pair, these are being marketed equally to iPhone and Android customers. These don't actually contain an Apple-branded chip like the AirPods or the more premium Beats Fit Pro. But they do offer some of the same features like hands-free Siri, Find My integration, and more.
I'm looking forward to checking out these buds (and that transparent set) as soon as I can; I've hoped Beats would release this style ever since the company briefly flashed a clear pair of Studio Buds in a behind-the-design video for the original product. Nothing is about to have some competition.
The Studio Buds Plus will also come in white or black, according to the listing which is likely to vanish any minute now.