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AirPods vs Beats – Which to Buy and Why

/ 10:12 AM November 12, 2021

For the past couple of years, Apple and the Beats brand have produced some of the best wireless earbuds ever used; and both brands show no sign of slowing down as they continue to improve on their products. In this article, we will be diving into the Beats Studio Buds and 3rd-generation Apple Airpods.

Both devices are mid-range true wireless models that have similar features and pricing. For the battle of Airpods vs. Beats, who wins and why? Let’s get right into it to find out.

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Quick Specs

Apple Airpods (3rd generation) – $175

  • H1 Chip
  • Audio Sharing
  • Live Listen
  • Smart Controls
  • Customizable Sound

Beats Studio Buds – $149

FEATURED STORIES

  • IPX4 water resistance
  • Spatial Audio
  • Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation Transparency Mode
  • Customizable Sound
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Customizable Sound

Airpods vs. Beats – Design

Airpods vs. Beats - Design

Photo Credit: theverge.com

Apple maintained most of the design elements from the first generation Airpods. The color choices, long-stem, and plastic construction are the same in these apple earbuds as in the predecessor. There is no IP rating, which means they can easily get damaged. It’s the same old regular design with barely any improvements.

For the Studio Buds, Beats changed quite a lot. The known ear hook style linked to models like the Powerbeats 4 was switched to an in-ear design that gives the buds a more discreet look. The Beats buds are made from durable plastic that can withstand scratches and most fail, and they also have IPX4 water and sweat resistance ratings. The buds are available in three colors ‘Beats’ Red, White, and Black.

If the design is a major deciding factor between Airpods vs. Beats, go for the Beats studio buds, and they not only look great in all the available colors but are more durable than Airpods.

Charging Case

The Airpods charging case comes with a small LED at the front to show pairing status and battery levels. It also has a pairing button for manual connection to devices if the Bluetooth malfunctions. However, the case does a mediocre job locking the pods while charging; they’ll shoot right across the floor if the case falls or is dropped.

The Beat Buds charging case is considerably slimmer and lighter than the Beats PowerBeats Pro, and it can easily fit into your jeans pockets. The only issue with it is that the magnetic system used to keep the lid closed is not as strong as it should (and ought) to be. Regardless of this, Beats win in this category of Airpods vs. Beats.

Comfort

Comfort

Photo Credit: beatsbydre.com

The Airpods are very light on the ears and can snugly stay on your ear for hours and hours. This is all well and good till you remember that Apple’s “universal-fit” is a thing. The Airpods were made to rest within your ear and not on your ear canal, which means it has no grip control, and the buds will fall off frequently. The way around this problem is to buy Airpods ear tips from a third-party brand.

Despite the absence of the ear-hook, the Beats buds still offer sufficient comfort. The slanted acoustic nozzle lets you easily slide it into your ear, and the tips provide a solid seal to ensure the buds stay in. Beats also added micro-vents to ease the build-up of pressure from Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). These subtle yet helpful features give the studio buds the crown in this Airpods vs. Beats category.

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Controls

The Apple Airpods and Beat Buds have voice assistance and motion detection, but the inputs differ. The Airpods have touch panels, while the Beats Buds have multi-function buttons.

For the Apple Airpods, the control functionality is good but limited. Their input gestures and controls, such as long hold and double taps, are not as varied as the Beat Buds, and Siri voice activation and on-ear detection are satisfactory.

Although AirPods doesn’t have Google Assistant Integration, you can use third-party apps such as Assistant Trigger to activate the digital assistant function for Android device pairing.

The Studio buds have an edge in control functionality for Airpods vs. Beats.

They come with controls that can be easily enabled through long-press and multi-tap gestures. The buds also have Siri and Google Assistant voice activation, and verbal requests are quickly registered and responded to. Another great feature is the on-ear detection. For instance, it will automatically pause your music when you take the buds out.

Battery life

Battery life

The Apple Airpods last just 5 hours after a single charge. Its charging capability is also considerably less than the Studio buds, as 15 minutes of charging gives you 3 hours of use.

The Beats Studio Buds offer about 5 hours of playback when ANC is enabled and 8 hours without Active Noise Cancellation. They also have quick charging – 5 minutes of charging gives you 1.5 hours of use.

However, it is worth noting that both the Beats headphones and Airpods charging cases have the same battery life of 24 hours (when ANC is not used). When active noise cancellation is used, the buds case life is cut to 15 hours, giving the Airpods case the edge in this round. Although you need to pay extra for the Apple Airpods wireless charging, it is still a considerable plus, as Beats doesn’t provide it for the Studio Buds.

Bearing all this in mind, it comes down to a choice between wireless charging or longer playtimes from just a full charge. The latter seems more appealing when choosing between Airpods vs. Beats, doesn’t it?

Sound Quality

Sound Quality

Photo Credit: beatsbydre.com

For the second generation of Airpods, what you get in terms of sound is better quality than its predecessor and most of the lower-priced wireless earbuds in the market.

The audio quality isn’t worth gushing over, especially when compared to the Beats Studio Buds or even the Airpods Pro or Airpods Max. Its midrange is pleasant, while the highs are average or unnoticed. The signature warm sound Apple provides is good enough, and you get similar customization options to the Beats buds to tailor the sound.

Beats engineered the sound profile of Studio Buds to be less ‘boom’ and more refined frequency to offer a more balanced auditory feel. Despite the toned-down bass, you still get the full experience when listening to lively songs. Even more impressive is how these new buds provide an enjoyable fusion of detailed highs, crisp mids, crisp vocals, and warm instrumentals. To fully grasp just how great this sound reproduction is, listen to an acoustic song or recording with the Beat Buds and thank us later.

Other great sound features include Headphone Accommodations, which lets you adjust sounds to suit your hearing, and Sound Customization. Also, if you love spatial audio and use Apple Music, the Beat buds are a godsend. The clear winner in this Airpods vs. Beats category is the Beat Buds by a solid margin.

Call quality

Call quality

The Apple Airpods always hit them when calling quality marks. They are one of the best wireless headsets for voice and video calls. The H1 chip and dual mics help lower the nose while concentrating on speech to give crisp audio during calls.

The Studio buds fall short in terms of call quality. They have challenges such as cutout and muffling. However, they aren’t completely hopeless for calls. They are passable enough to reduce background noise, and if you want to make a quick call, they can suffice. Apple Wins this Airpods vs. Beats round.

Conclusion

The Beat Studio Buds is a great product from a legendary brand, and it has a significantly refined sound, multiplatform support for iOS and Android devices, and active noise cancellation. On the other hand, the 3rd generation Airpods offers a pleasant warm sound, device switching, is great for calls, and has numerous apple ecosystem-friendly features wrapped up in the traditional Apple bud design.

Both products are solid and full of amazing features, but the Buds win easily in this battle of Airpods vs. Beat Buds. From the sophisticated sound to waterproof features to design, fit, and even price, the Beat Studio buds are a better overall deal than the Apple Airpods.

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TOPICS: AirPods, Amazon Associate, Beats, evergreen, headphones, review, US Affiliates
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