Beats Studio 3.0 (Releasing Fall 2017)

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by MICHAELSD, Jul 6, 2017.
  1. MICHAELSD
    I tried EQing out that 5dB 250Hz-500Hz lower mid boost and wow the mids and overall sound is so much better without it.

    WTF Beats engineers. Just pay me a nominal salary and I'll come in and fix your headphones' sound. I think they would also agree if they heard it without the lower mid boost that it's a much better headphone.

    You can see this absolutely misguided boost in RTings' measurements:

    http://www.rtings.com/headphones/1-1/graph#533/1197
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
    trellus likes this.
  2. Maukey
    I'm a little confused. In reading your Portable Headphones thread, you have the Beats ranked above the Sonys in SQ, but here you say the Sony's are better. What am I missing?
     
  3. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Interesting...I don't find the upper bass bias on the Studio 3's anything as offensive as the Studio 2s or even the Sony's?
     
  4. MICHAELSD
    It's not that there's too much upper bass boost, it's that the Studio3's bass presentation is predominantly upper bass without giving enough representation to the sub and mid-bass. Sony has a more linear bass that extends down below 20Hz. Plus Studio3 continues the upper bass boost into the lower mids making the mids sound muddy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  5. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Here is a great site to play around with...I don't hear what you're mentioning here FWIW?

    http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html
     
  6. MICHAELSD
    0881188C-0EAF-44E2-9E79-E3B994C44EC8.jpeg

    Studio3 vs Sony - Sony has a more even, better-extended bass.
     
  7. MacedonianHero Contributor
    I didn't say which had more extended bass and FWIW, there is not much happening at 20Hz. Neither has "even" bass whatever that means. I'll wager the NC circuitry is the culprit here. The Sony's are great headphones, but have the most amount of bass of the three...and a bit too much for my liking (especially when coupled with the rather severe treble roll off) and gives them an overly dark and veiled signature.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  8. eliogolf93
    Hi guys, I'm looking for a wireless headphone for my iPhone & Mac. Uhm.. I already own AirPods and they are just fabulous with their w1 chip, is the most user-friendly gadget I ever owned. I'm searching an headphone for film, tv series but also for music at home when I need something that "just works", because when I search for quality I just switch to my HD650. For you, would be a correct choice going with the Studio 3, or probably it's better to pick the Sony or the Bose? I'm not want to argue with bluetooth settings, apx, AAC supports...I need just an headphones that works out of the box. Thanks in advance for your reply!
    Maybe I have to wait a future Studio 4? I was reading that the studio 3 EQ isn't the best..there is also the Solo3, but I guess a circumaural headphone it's the best for comfort.
     
  9. Carnelian
    I just got back from a trip where I used the Studio3 and I really liked them. For both music and movies, they were perfectly fine and the noise cancelling is also fine. They have a fair bit of passive cancelling and the ANC takes care of the rest. And yes, they just work - the same as the AirPods which I also have. IMHO, people are getting caught up in looking at specs and not listening. The brain is great at providing its own equalization. It's hard for me to believe that there is a Studio4 coming in less than a year. Just my 0.02
     
  10. eliogolf93
    Thanks! Maybe if for christmas I'll find a nice price i'll take them...it's so great the w1 chip. You just put the headphone, and they just works with mac/apple tv/iphone etc.
    Definitely I guess studio 4 will come in late 2018/2019.
     
  11. Maukey
    Ok, I've been using the Beats Studio 3 for a couple of weeks and can now give my honest opinion on them and how they compare to the Sony 1000xM2 and the Bose QC35. First, a few things:
    1) I will only talk about the sound when being used Wirelessly with Apple Products using AAC because that's all I own. I did however test them all powered with the wire and I'll go ahead and say right off the bat that the Sony's sound the best with a wire. Which also means to my ears, they have the greatest degradation in sound when going from wired to wireless.
    2) I will only talk about sound when all are powered and with NC turned on because that's how I use them 75+% of the time.
    3) I'm a drummer and I typically listen to my music on my iPad Pro or iPhone 6s+ at a volume of 65 to 75%. I did however compare the 3 at lower volumes.

    Now for the review/comparisons!

    Build Quality:
    I never like going deep into this category because in my opinion you can't really compare build quality so early in a products life cycle. For me, the one that breaks, cracks, or squeaks first is last LOL. I like them all. The updated Sony's don't have the creak issue anymore. I think the Bose is the lightest and it would be first if I just had to choose one so early. Beats are Beats, and I personally like the build and have never had an issue with the few I've owned.
    Winner - A tie right now

    Comfort:
    For me, they are all comfortable and I can where them all for hours without issue. I may be in the minority here, but the Sony's fit my small ears and slim, long head the best. They're not as roomy as the Bose in the ear cups, but they do provide less clamping pressure on my head, and I like the material they use on the inside of the cups. The cups just hug my ears perfectly. The Beats fit more securely than the rest. I would work out while wearing the Beats. I prefer they're fit when I'm active over the other two.
    Winner - Sony with the Bose a VERY close second

    Noise Cancelling:
    Here's where it gets a little tricky for me. I'll just say right off the bat that the Beats trail the other 3 when it comes to NC although they have gotten much closer than the previous iteration. The Sony's have the best seal of the three. If I leave all of them powered off and put them on, the Sony's isolate passively the best. I personally feel this plays a major role in what Sony accomplishes with it's NC ability. When I turn on the NC, I feel that the Bose is slightly better at quieting rumblings and other low hums. The thing is, this advantage the Bose has is slight. When you combine the Sony's NC Tech with it's passive isolation, it just moves ahead of the Bose.
    Winner - Sony by a hair. I will say though that when music is playing at 50% volume or higher, you can't hear anything no matter which of these 3 you're using.

    Features:
    This is another category I really hate reviewing because some people judge this category on which has the most features, while some base it off of which has the features that matter to them. The Sony's have the most features by far with the App Sound control, NC Optimizer, Awareness mode, Ambient Sound, multi wireless codec support, etc. However, it's missing a major feature for my needs and that's simultaneous bluetooth pairing. I love that with the Bose and Beats I can be listening to music on my MacBook Pro, get a call on my iPhone and just answer it right from my headphones. With the Sony's you have to take the headphones off. Not an acceptable omission in my opinion.
    Winner - For me, Beats for the W1 chip/seamless integration with my Apple devices. For everyone else, the Sony because it does have the most useful features overall.

    Sound:
    I've been following this thread since it was started. I've also read all of the reviews from around the web and the complaints/praises between the 3. If there's one thing I gathered from all of this, everybody has different hearing and different preferences when it comes to sound, and at the end of the day graphs and charts mean very little, proven by the fact that the Bose measures better than the Sony on Rtings, but most I've seen prefer the sound of the Sonys. As I stated above, I'm a drummer and I generally prefer a punchy sound with good detail and a little bite/attack in the treble region. The Bose are the most natural sounding of the 3 to my ears. They're the more balanced headphone with some extra attention given to the sub bass region. They are the most versatile of the 3 in my opinion. I prefer them to the other 3 when listening at lower volumes, which makes them perfect in my opinion for office use and while relaxing. Just a very pleasing sound to me. And maybe it's just me, but I feel that the Bose sound has improved with the continuous firmware/software upgrades Bose provides. The Sony's are my least favorite of the 3 when listening wirelessly via AAC with an Apple device. They have the most bass of the 3, but are also the most veiled to my ears. Especially when listening to acoustic music with live instruments. They're a little too warm and too laid back in the treble region compared to the other two for my tastes. The mids are very nice, but these border on too bass dominant even for me when listening wirelessly. Now when you plug a wire up to them, they open up. They become more articulate, and the bass a little more controlled/defined. To my ears, these are the best sounding noise cancelling headphones I've heard when using a wire. I get the feeling that these shine better wirelessly with Android/Sony devices when AptX HD or LDAC is being used. But for me, with Apple devices, they're slightly below the other two when it comes to sound quality wirelessly. Now the Beats.....what can I say, to my ears, I prefer their sound signature overall to the other 3. I love taking my Apple Music library, turning my music up to around 75%, and just enjoying the energy these bring. They're not quite as energetic as the Studio 2s, but they sacrificed a little of the energy to bring a little more detail/articulation. I really don't get the flack these are getting as far as bass impact goes. These still hit hard when called for, and they still go deep. They've just been toned down a bit. I personally prefer it to the Studio 2s. It gives these a little more versatility than the Studio 2s in my opinion.
    Winner - Beats by a hair. But it's a 1a to 1b kind of difference with the Bose.

    In Conclusion, all 3 of these headphones are outstanding, and the difference in sound quality between all 3 is negligible at best. If I were only choosing one headphone of the 3, I would probably choose the Bose as it's in my opinion ranked one or 2 in every category that matters to me. It's just below the Sony's as far as NC goes, has the most balanced and versatile sound of the 3 wirelessly with Apple devices, and it's the most comfortable for most people. If I owned an Android device, I probably would take another look at the Sony as it has some killer features the other 2 don't have that's very practical for everyday use, and it's wired sound is outstanding. However, if noise cancelling is not a priority for you, and you're invested in the Apple ecosystem, I prefer the Beats sound in that scenario. It has an energetic, detailed sound that I just don't get from the other two. It just makes listening to my Apple Music library so fun and exciting. And now with the slight toning down of the bass, it handles more soft/mellow music a little better than previous iterations in my opinion. I had made up my mind when I got these that I was going to keep 2 of the 3, right now I'm leaning Bose and Beats. I will however give the Sonys a little more time as my return window is not for another couple of weeks. I really do like some of the features of the Sony. And they're really comfortable for me. I just can't say I love their sound signature when wireless with my Apple devices. Your mileage may vary!
     
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  12. MICHAELSD
    @Maukey @Carnelian It’s great to hear that some people do love the Studio3. I do agree that Bose, Sony, and Beats all have comparable headphone and that Beats holds its own, it just doesn’t go beyond that for me.

    I would also agree that measurements don’t 100% matter if you enjoy a headphone’s sound. For me personally the Studio3’s measurements matched up with what I was hearing which is a lack of sub-bass compared to the upper bass and a slight muddiness in the midrange. Still, for a wireless headphone Beats/Apple did a very good job at preserving sound quality and integrity. The DAC/amp in the Studio3 does make a difference since like the Solo3 they sound markedly better in wireless mode with AAC files than they do wired.

    @Maukey, do you notice a difference in sound with ANC enabled? It seems like the signature with ANC tones down the treble making louder listening more palatable but I wanted to hear your thoughts since you listen at 65-75%.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  13. Maukey
    I haven't listened with ANC off yet. Since I have been trying to determine the two headphones I am going to keep of the three, I've been only using each headphone wirelessly with ANC enabled since that's how I would use them majority of the time. I will take a listen when I get a chance. I will say I LOVE the Studio 3s at higher volume listening with ANC on. To me that's always been where the Beats shine. It's always been about listening at high, dance levels. In comparison to something like the Bose, which I really feel they focus on tuning their QC series for low to moderate, relaxing listening levels. Not that each aren't listenable at both volume levels.
     
  14. Maukey
    ** Review Update **

    The Sonys have moved ahead of the Bose for wireless, AAC sound quality. After I wrote my initial review yesterday, I started wondering why there was such a drastic drop-off in sound quality when listening wireless vs wired. Based off my memory of the original 1000X, I felt the sound quality was not up to par and that maybe I needed to exchange mine to see if maybe they were defective. Not only was sound quality not up to par, but I noticed while listening wirelessly on my Mac, that I had to turn the volume up to around 85% to get a decent output and that should definitely not be the case on a MacBook which has really good volume output. After doing a little research, I decided to re-run the NC Optimizer.....HOLY SMOKES what a difference. I don't know what happened, I know I ran it when I first got them. Maybe the built in Software had an error and forgot the settings? Maybe I shifted how I've been wearing them without realizing it. But anyway, this is how I remembered the 1000X sounding that I loved. The 1000XM2 sounds very articulate, lusciously warm, and musical now. Still has a heavy bass presence, but the mud I was experiencing is now gone. Still a slight drop off when going wireless compared to wired, but now in Wireless mode the sound surpasses the Bose and stands toe to toe with the Studio 3. In comparison to the Studio 3, they're more natural, although still not quite as natural as the Bose, have better sub bass presence, slightly clearer/accurate mids, and are more articulate. The Beats are still slightly more detailed, have more mid bass punch which I personally love, and have a slightly more exciting sound for me. I can listen to either one all day and be completely engrossed. Which I choose to use at any given time really depends on my mood and what I'm doing. If I really just want to jam out and feel the music, hear that lead guitar or horn section sing in the background of the recording, I pick up the Beats. If I want to get lost in the musicality of the music, I grab the Sonys. 1000XM2s and the Studio 3s are keepers for me, the QC35s are going back. I'm keeping the 1000XM2s for the features that are unique to the rest, the fact that I feel they are more musical than the other 2, and the comfort.. Keeping the Studio 3s for the fun listening experience that is unique in my opinion to other headphones, the W1 chip/seamless bluetooth integration with Apple devices, the secure fit for active use, and honestly the looks. I still like the QC35s, it's just that they literally come in 2nd or 3rd in every category now for me. They are the most balanced sounding of the 3, and I stand by my opinion that if you're only looking for a single, multipurpose headphone, they are a better option than the other two. I just don't really prefer they're flat sound signature in the scenarios where I use my ANC headphones. Plus, I have studio monitor headphones that does the flat, balanced sound signature better.
     
  15. MICHAELSD
    Not really a fan of the Studio3's sound. They sound decently balanced and make for an okay listening experience at ~ 50% volume, any louder than that to me gets fatiguing quickly. But the difference between the Studio3 and a headphone like my ATH-AD700 is night-and-day, and the ATH-AD700 is a fraction of the Studio3's cost. They're good-looking under-performers with mediocre build quality. They lack a sense of clarity and they're not even what I'd consider bassy headphones.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017

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