Beats seems on the cusp of having a fairly busy spring. We already know that Studio Buds Plus earbuds are on the way (and likely soon), thanks to a premature Amazon listing. And now 9to5Mac is reporting that a refreshed set of Studio Pro noise-canceling headphones are also in the works after being spotted in the release candidate build of iOS 16.5 that went out to developers yesterday.
Citing sources familiar with the headphones, 9to5Mac says we can expect more powerful noise cancellation and an improved transparency mode. The $350 Studio 3 headphones — still being sold by Apple as of now — don’t offer any passthrough / transparency mode whatsoever. But Beats did a pretty good job with the feature on the Solo Pro headphones released in 2019 and its more recent earbuds. So it makes sense to bring transparency to the flagship over-ear cans. The report says we can also expect features like personalized spatial audio.
The Studio 3 headphones have gotten very long in the tooth at this point, having been introduced all the way back in 2017.
The new Studio Pro will come in four colors, according to 9to5Mac, including black, brown, dark blue, and white. The design looks very similar to the Studio 3 headphones, though it’s expected that Beats will upgrade these to USB-C; yes, the Studio 3 are old enough that they charge by Micro USB.
I have to imagine the Studio Pro headphones will replace them. But if these new headphones once again have an asking price of over $300, they’ll be facing some fantastic high-end competition from Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, Bowers and Wilkins, and other brands. And you’ve got Apple’s AirPods Max sitting even higher on the pricing ladder. Will Beats be able to make a good case for why the Studio Pros stand out against the field? We should have a better idea in the not-too-distant future.