Apple’s Beats by Dre brand has become synonymous with headphones. In the streets, on a plane or riding public transportation – you’re likely to encounter several people sporting a pair of buds or over-ears that feature 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.
Brand staples like the PowerBeats3 Wireless and Studio3 Wireless remain hot sellers, while bargain gems like the urBeats3 has been a go-to for budget-conscious iOS and Android users. And just recently, the company launched its first truly wireless earbuds, the Powerbeats Pro, to universal acclaim; Tom’s Guide has awarded it a 4.5 out of 5.
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.
Best Beats headphones overall
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.
Bass blasters for iOS lovers
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.
Bluetooth sports headphones with reliable performance
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.
Dynamic studio headphones for a premium
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.
Best Beats earphones for the price
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.
Bold sound meets lengthy battery life
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.
Entry-level Beats with solid audio
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.
Decent wired buds on the cheap
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.