In 2008, Beats Electronics, or Beats by Dr. Dre, released its first branded product: the Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones. In no time, it would become a juggernaut in the culture, becoming a go-to headphone for music stars, athletes, and in turn, their many young fans.
Since then, the Beats brand, under parent company Apple, has released a bevy of popular products, from portable speakers to earbuds, including the Studio Buds, the Solo line and even branched out into car audio. As they continue to expand offerings, the brand decided to reach back into the vault and do a redesign of their very first product. Enlisting the help of designer Samuel Ross, they’ve released the Studio Pros, available now ($349.99).
“When Beats approached me to bring a new design language to the Studio Pro, my goal was to retain the integrity of the design while creating a more sophisticated look and feel that compliments all of the technological advancements,” said Ross, Beats Principal Design Consultant. “The result is the perfect blend of design culture, creative
culture, and engineering coming together.”
I had the chance to test the efficacy of Ross’s new design, trying out the Studio Pros in a gorgeous chocolate brown shade (formally called Deep Brown). I took them with me on a couple of back-to-back trips, by air and road, and listened to them while playing my go-to travel playlists and when watching the latest streaming releases. They are indeed sophisticated in design, toting new UltraPlush over-ear cushions covered in seamless engineered leather. And the metal sliders that allow you to adjust the fit of the headphones have come a long way from the wireless pair I bought post-college that eventually snapped, now offering a wider range of adjustment for a better fit.
The colors are also rich, with more of a matte look in comparison to the glossy look of past Beats headphones. They also come with the charging cord (USB-C), an audio cord to plug into tech products that still provide headphone jacks and don’t expect you to set things up via Bluetooth only, and a nice, durable case to toss in your gym bag, personal bag for travel or favorite purse.
But of course, the sound is what anyone in the market for headphones (and being asked to pay $300+ for them) wants to know most about. The Studio Pros certainly don’t disappoint. The bass in them, as expected from this brand, is strong, and at some of the highest volumes, there’s no sound distortion, offering an immersive, enjoyable listening experience. The immersive experience is helped by the Active Noise Cancelling feature, which allows you to really tune out all the activity around you to vibe to your preferred sounds. But when you’re ready to tune back out, you can easily switch back to Transparency mode.
Other nice features include personalized spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, up to 40 hours of battery life, three other premium colors (Black, Navy and Sandstone), improved call performance, and fast pairing, whether you’re an Apple or Android fan. So yes, I’m obsessed.
The nostalgia also makes this product a must-have. It feels like just yesterday when the brand, two years after it was founded, redefined the way we listen to music. Fifteen years later, they’re still industry leaders, and this revamped offering will only help the brand continue to be.