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Beats headphones 2021: Top wireless and wired picks

Currently sitting in the No. 1 spot is the company’s first truly wireless earbuds, the Powerbeats Pro; Tom’s Guide has awarded it a 4.5 out of 5. The cordless buds combine high fashion with higher function, even outperforming the AirPods Pro in several areas: including sound and battery life. Following suit is the Solo Pro, Beats’ all-new ANC headphones that pack excellent noise cancelation into a sexy package. 

Apple’s Beats brand is synonymous with stylish headphones. Whether you're walking down the street, on a plane or riding public transportation – chances are you'll encounter several people sporting a pair of 'phones with the famous “B” logo on the side.

The audio giant’s celebrity-driven ads, along with its headphones’ booming sound profile and stylish designs, continue to resonate with consumers from all walks of life. But with so many options available, from noise-cancelling headphones to sports earbuds, deciding which pair suits your ears and personality can be a daunting task. 

Then come brand staples like the PowerBeats3 Wireless and Studio3 Wireless, which remain hot sellers, while bargain gems like the urBeats3 has been a go-to for budget-conscious iOS and Android users.

What are the best Beats headphones out there? The following page breaks down our top picks, across several categories and prices, to determine the best ones for you.

Also, stay tuned to the our latest news updates surrounding the rumored Beats Powerbeats 4, which will surely be reviewed and included on this page when officially released.

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Beats Powerbeats Pro

1. Beats Powerbeats Pro

Best Beats headphones overall

Size and Weight: Undisclosed, 0.7 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 9 hours, 24 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth Range: 100 feet (30 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Class-leading battery life
Balanced sound
Seamless connectivity
Great iOS integration
Sporty design
Huge charging case, which is also needed to pair or turn off the earbuds

The Powerbeats Pro has iOS performance similar to the AirPods 2, but with better aesthetics, battery life, and sound than its ear-dangling counterpart. Apple placed more emphasis on the audio this time around, developing an all-new piston driver engineered to deliver clearer vocals and tighter bass. Battery life is considered the highest in its class, with the bulky charging case generating up to 24 hours of juice. The buds also carry over the splash-resistant protection and secure fit of the Powerbeats3 Wireless, minus the wrap-around neck cable.

Read our full Beats Powerbeats Pro review.

Beats Solo Pro

Beats Solo Pro (Image credit: Beats)

2. Beats Solo Pro

Best Beats Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Size and Weight: Undisclosed, 9.42 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 22 hours (NC on); 40 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 100 feet (30 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Well-balanced audio
Strong battery life
Effective active noise cancelation
Powered by Apple’s H1 chip
Transparency Mode makes low-frequency noises too loud
No auxiliary cable

A much-needed upgrade to the popular Solo series, the Solo Pro packs new drivers, features, and Apple’s all-new H1chip into a sleeker design. Audio is more refined with highs sounding crisper over Beats’ bass-tastic sound profile, which is noticeably tighter than on previous models. Many of the same performance perks found on the Powerbeats Pro were also transferred over, including advanced sound processing, easy pairing to iOS devices, and smart functionality such as “Hey Siri" voice support. Granted, these cans use the same Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling as the Studio3 Wireless, but Beats made some changes to its technology, along with the on-ear design to filter out high amounts of external noise. It’s not Bose or Sony quality, but still impressive.

Read our full Beats Solo Pro review.

Beats Studio3 Wireless

Beats Studio3 Wireless

3. Beats Studio3 Wireless

Bass blasters for iOS lovers

Size and Weight: 9.2 x 7.2 x 4.5 inches, 9.2 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 20 hours (NC On);35 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 100 feet (30 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Improved sound
Standard ANC battery life
Quick-charging feature
Attractive design
Passable noise cancellation
Pairing issues with non-iOS devices

The Studio3 Wireless delivers emphasized  mids and highs, blending well with the company’s signature bass profile. Apple users get the best experience, thanks to the W1 chip, which increases battery life and connectivity range on iPhone models. Android users aren’t afforded the same luxuries, however, they still can enjoy acceptable noise cancellation, strong battery life, and far-better sound than some of the brand’s previous models.

Read our full Beats Studio3 Wireless review.

Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless

Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless

4. Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless

Bluetooth sports headphones with reliable performance

Size and Weight: 5.9 x 7.9 x 7.9, 0.9 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 12 hours | Bluetooth Range: 100 feet (30 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Durable, secure-fitting design
Quick charging
Full bass
Bluetooth is spot-on
Minor upgrade to previous model
Flimsy controls

The Powerbeats3 Wireless remains the earbud of choice for fitness fanatics due to its dominant bass response, stable fit, and sporty aesthetics. The water-resistant coating keeps the device protected from sweat or splashes, while the additional pairs of ear tips and wraparound hooks lock onto the ear. Battery life is still rated high at 12 hours; fast charging earns you an hour of playback on a 5-minute charge.

Beats Pro

Beats Pro

5. Beats Pro

Dynamic studio headphones for a premium

Size and Weight: Undisclosed, 14.1 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): None | Bluetooth Range: None | Digital Assistant Support: No

Premium, sturdy design
Thumping bass
Dual audio ports
Ideal for DJs and sound engineers
Heavy and large
Priciest pair of Beats available

The Beats Pro features stellar craftsmanship and sound quality that stays true to most recordings. Bass is deep and vibrant, while the midrange and treble are flattened to create a uniform soundscape. Each ear cup also has a 1/8th-inch output connector that lets audio professionals daisy-chain a second pair to share mixes. At 14 ounces, they’re a bit bulky for travel with, but are well-suited for DJing or studio use.

Beats BeatsX

Beats BeatsX

6. Beats BeatsX

Best Beats earphones for the price

Size and Weight: 7 x 1.2 x 2.3 inches, 0.7 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 8 hours | Bluetooth Range: 100 feet (30 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Great noise isolation
Fast Fuel charging
W1 chip functionality
Secure fit
Weak mids and treble
Not Android-friendly

A recent price drop makes these premium earphones a great add-on for any mobile user, and a nice stocking stuffer for under $100. Beats sculpted the sound signature to give the low-end more detail, which is clearly present when jamming out to bass-heavy content like hip-hop and rock songs. The tangle-free cord is functional and rests firmly around the neck, making the buds perfect for daily commuting. Then there is Apple’s W1 chip that allows for quick charging and instant pairing to iOS devices.

Read our full Beats BeatsX review.

Beats Solo3 Wireless

Beats Solo3 Wireless

7. Beats Solo3 Wireless

Bold sound meets lengthy battery life

Size and Weight: 5.8 x 4.5 x 8.3 inches, 7.6 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 40 hours | Bluetooth Range: 100 feet (30 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Strong battery life
Luxe design
Warm soundstage
Steady wireless performance
Still pricey
Tight fit

One of the company’s biggest sellers to date, the Solo3 Wireless is a fancy mid-level option with most of the trappings of luxury headphones. Beats’ bass-forward signature remains intact, producing boomy sound that balances thumping lows with smooth mids. Battery life is a huge selling point for these cans, providing you nearly 2 days of wireless listening. The Solo3 Wireless is currently listed at $50 less than the Studio3 Wireless, but certain retailers are selling the headphones at $100 off in certain colors.

Beats Executive Wired Headphones

(Image credit: Beats)

8. Beats Executive Wired Headphones

Wired Beats with good ANC

Size and Weight: 5.5 x 5.3 x 6.9 inches, 16 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 25 hours | Bluetooth Range: None | Digital Assistant Support: No

Loud, balanced audio with big bass 
Comfy and elegant design
Long battery life
Solid call quality
No modern features
ANC produces subtle hiss

An old-timer that still packs a sonic punch, the Executive remains one of Beats’ most soundful and underrated audio products. Its 40mm dynamic drivers pump out thunderous lows, while serving up warm mids and highs. You won’t experience the same level of detail as present on some of the newer models (e.g. Powerbeats Pro and Studio 3 Wireless), but the hearty thump these cans produce will appease bass heads. ANC performance is good (for Beats’ standards), though enabling the mode creates a faint hiss. Despite the headphones being discontinued, you can still snag a pair online for under $100.

Beats EP Headphones

Beats EP Headphones

9. Beats EP Headphones

Entry-level Beats with solid audio

Size and Weight: 6 x 8 x 2 inches, 7.2 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): None | Bluetooth Range: None | Digital Assistant Support: No

Affordable price
Well-rounded sound
Decent on-ear comfort
In-line mic for calls
Inflexible design
Poor noise isolation

These on-ear headphones are a worthy introduction to the brand, offering great comfort and sound for its price point. Lows are consistent and provide enough kick to satisfy bass lovers. Its sturdy build means a longer life as well. There’s no way of collapsing the arms to accommodate portability, but the cans are very light and rest gently on your head and neck. Beats offers the EP in four popular colors: Black, Blue, Red and White.

Beats urBeats3

Beats urBeats3

10. Beats urBeats3

Decent wired buds on the cheap

Size and Weight: 1 x 5.39 x 1 inches, 3.2 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): None | Bluetooth Range: None | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Flashy design
Punchy sound
Works with Siri
Tangle-free cable with magnetic earbud housing
Recessed mids and highs
Uncomfortable when worn for long stretches

Sometimes, you just want to run with the cool kids, and that often requires having a pair of Beats plugged into your ears. The urBeats3 serves such purpose – combining bouncy bass and Siri compatibility into a stylish in-ear design that bears the brand’s distinctive logo. Don’t expect Sennheiser-like sound out of these, but rather adequate audio that warrants its cheap price. The inline remote is solid for iPhone use, and the variety of colors available makes them a complementary accessory for your smartphone or wardrobe.

Credit: Apple