Most people just don’t think about the fact that they might have forgotten that Apple owns Beats. They bought Beats for billions of dollars and operated them as a separate company. That’s one of the craziest things about these headphones. If you removed the Beats logo from the side and replaced it with an Apple logo, these would be insane. They are so un-Apple-like, but they seem to operate independently. So, let’s just call them Beats headphones. These are their new $350 over-ear noise-cancelling headphones. They fit right into the premium tier, competing with the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45s.
You should consider all the ways these new Beats headphones are better than Apple’s flagship AirPods Max. First, the design. Even though they’re not entirely made of metal, the build quality is quite impressive. Most headphones use plastic for a reason – it makes them much lighter. The ear cups remain soft, creating a flexible and comfortable pair of headphones that you can wear for extended periods, like during flights. The added bonus is that they fold up, making them easier to travel with. The accompanying case is practical, featuring pockets for cables and even a zippered pouch, the purpose of which is a bit unclear.
Design and Build
The Beats Pro headphones showcase a design that seamlessly combines functionality and aesthetics seamlessly. While not entirely metal, their build quality remains impressive. Unlike most headphone designs, which often incorporate plastic for weight considerations, the Beats Pro strikes a balance between durability and weight. The ear cups offer a soft and flexible fit, making extended usage, such as during long flights, comfortable. Notably, these headphones boast a foldable design, enhancing their portability and making them a travel-friendly accessory. Accompanying the headphones is a practical case that features dedicated pockets for cables, and a zippered pouch for miscellaneous items.
A distinguishing factor of the Beats Pro is its unique aesthetic. Notably, this version retains certain design elements from its predecessor, maintaining a semblance of continuity. Music controls find their place on the left ear cup, while the power button and battery indicator lights are on the right. This iteration adopts a cleaner, more refined appearance by eliminating shiny and chrome accents. A notable departure from the previous design is the reduced prominence of Beats branding, such as the absence of text on the top of the headphones. It’s worth mentioning that the headphones’ darker matte finishes exhibit a minor setback – they are prone to collecting fingerprints, which can prove to be challenging to clean. Another noteworthy design aspect is the ear cup depth, which falls between on-ear and over-ear styles, with the inner mesh making contact with the ears.
Beats Pro vs AirPods Max
Comparing the Beats Pro to Apple’s flagship AirPods Max reveals some intriguing advantages. The Beats Pro headphones embody a distinct persona that transcends the traditional Apple aesthetic, possibly attributed to their status as a subsidiary of Apple-owned Beats. If one were to envision these headphones with an Apple logo in place of the Beats branding, the result would be an awe-inspiring device. This uniqueness sets them apart from the conventional Apple offerings, operating independently within the Beats framework.
The Beats Pro boasts a slew of features that outshine the AirPods Max. Notable among these is their lighter weight, rendering extended wear considerably more comfortable. Additionally, the foldable design adds a layer of convenience, facilitating hassle-free travel. The case, featuring USB-C compatibility, underscores their modern approach to connectivity. Impressively, the Beats Pro boasts extended battery life, further enhancing its usability. A compelling factor is their affordability when juxtaposed with the AirPods Max.
Elegant Design and Practical Connectivity
The Beats Pro headphones exhibit an undeniable touch of class in their design, setting them apart from the competition. Their refined appearance makes a statement in the premium headphone space, underscoring their commitment to aesthetics and functionality.
Positioned strategically on the left side, including a headphone jack, is a standout feature. This is a notable departure from the AirPods Max, as it caters to users who prefer wired connections. Accompanying this convenience is a three-foot aux cable, allowing seamless integration with various audio sources.
Meanwhile, on the right side, a USB-C port is an unexpected but impressive inclusion. In a departure from Apple’s conventional choices, this USB-C port serves as a hub for versatile connectivity options. The accompanying USB-C to USB-C cable provides a means to directly connect the headphones to a source, allowing for lossless and compressed audio transmission. Notably, this feature proves highly effective when paired with devices such as the Pixel, delivering the highest bitrate audio experience. It’s important to highlight that this capability might be restricted for iPhone users due to the exclusive use of the lightning port.
Impressive Battery Performance and Value Proposition
One of the Beats Pro’s remarkable attributes is its extended battery life, surpassing the AirPods Max in this regard. The headphones offer an impressive 40 hours of usage with noise cancellation disabled and a commendable 24 hours with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) engaged. For those seeking swift replenishment, fast charging delivers approximately four hours of playback after a mere 10-minute charge.
Perhaps the icing on the cake is the competitive price point of the Beats Pro. With a price tag that is around $200 lower than its counterparts, these headphones present an appealing value proposition. This combination of advanced features, extended battery life, and affordability positions the Beats Pro as a potential front-runner among Apple headphones.
Notable Quirks and Distinctive Features
Omissions and Unusual Features
However, it’s important to acknowledge certain intriguing aspects that set the Beats Pro apart, both positively and otherwise. Notably, the absence of on-head detection, a feature prevalent in many headphones in this price range, raises questions. While its absence might not be a deal-breaker, it’s worth noting compared to its competitors.
Unconventional Chip Situation
An unexpected feature that diverges from the norm is the absence of an Apple chip in the Beats Pro. Unlike previous models and other offerings, these headphones lack an H1 or H2 chip. Though this is also true for some products from Sony and Bose, the absence of this feature in an Apple-associated product raises curiosity.
Bluetooth and Connectivity
Despite the absence of an Apple chip, the Beats Pro maintains its connectivity prowess through Bluetooth 5.3. The familiar fast-pairing experience with iPhones and iCloud integration remains intact. However, the headphones miss out on multi-point connectivity, resulting in a less seamless transition between devices. Unlike the instant device switching seen in some other products, users might need to navigate Bluetooth settings for device pairing.
Power Management and Transparency Mode
Users should be cautious about the power management of the Beats Pro. Unlike headphones with automatic power-off features, the Beats Pro remains perpetually on until manually powered down. Neglecting to switch them off could lead to unintended battery drainage.
Furthermore, while the inclusion of transparency mode adds a layer of versatility, this feature might not match the effectiveness observed in AirPods, setting a high standard for comparison.
Sound Quality and Transparency Mode
Delving into sound quality and advanced features, the Beats Pro headphones offer an intriguing perspective. While these headphones lack the H chips found in their counterparts, it’s unclear how much of their audio processing relies on these chips versus the microphones themselves. Notably, the transparency mode, though not on par with AirPods, remains impressive. However, it leans slightly towards being more subdued and processed.
Spatial Audio and Find My Compatibility
A noteworthy feature is the support for spatial audio and head tracking, catering to enthusiasts seeking an immersive audio experience. Additionally, these headphones integrate into the Find My network, albeit with a limitation. The absence of the H chip prevents continual background pinging, resulting in the display of the last connected location. This aspect might detract from the convenience of locating lost headphones in certain scenarios.
Luxury Features and Sound Profile
While these features may be perceived as a luxury rather than essential, their omission is intriguing, considering their typical inclusion in Apple products. Beats Pro offers fast pairing with Android devices and automatic synchronization with Chrome devices. Despite the presence of Find My compatibility, the limitations of displaying the last connected location might hinder its effectiveness.
Sound Quality and Equalization
The sound quality of the Beats Pro is characterized by a v-shaped equalizer featuring pronounced bass and comparatively less striking mids. However, this sonic profile is enjoyable and versatile, suitable for various media consumption scenarios. These headphones prove adept for diverse use cases, including music, movies, videos, podcasts, and phone calls. Their performance, although not suitable for professional video editing, offers a commendable experience for casual applications.
Unique EQ Quirk
Notably, the Beats Pro headphones offer a unique equalization quirk. EQ adjustments are accessible only when connected via USB Type-C, enabling lossless audio transmission. This functionality, paired with three built-in EQ profiles, adds a layer of personalization. Signature, Entertainment, and Conversation profiles cater to different audio preferences and are switchable via a simple power button combination.
Microphone Quality and Versatility
The microphone quality of the Beats Pro is reliable, and Bluetooth latency remains minimal, making them suitable for activities such as video watching and gaming. While lacking an official IP rating, their design suggests potential suitability for gym use, with a build reminiscent of past Beats headphones.
In summation, the Beats Pro headphones, crafted through the partnership of Apple and Beats, make a compelling mark. While not entirely overshadowing the AirPods Max, they hold their ground as an impressive alternative. Priced notably lower and offering a comprehensive array of features, they emerge as a solid choice for various scenarios. Anticipate encountering these headphones frequently during flights, given their captivating blend of quality, enjoyment, and entertainment. Notably, the limited communication between Beats and Apple raises curiosity about their collaboration’s dynamics. As this review draws to a close, we thank you for your attention and look forward to engaging with you in our future content.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the unique selling point of the Beats Pro headphones in terms of design and build?
The Beats Pro headphones offer a balance between functionality and aesthetics, featuring an impressive build quality and foldable design for enhanced portability. Unlike many headphones that prioritize weight with plastic components, the Beats Pro headphones prioritize durability and comfort, making them suitable for extended use.
2. How does the design of the Beats Pro headphones differ from traditional Apple aesthetics?
The Beats Pro headphones have a distinct aesthetic that sets them apart. While they retain certain design elements from their predecessor, they have a cleaner, more refined appearance with less prominent Beats branding. The ear cup depth is also unique, falling between on-ear and over-ear styles.
3. How do the Beats Pro headphones compare to Apple’s AirPods Max?
The Beats Pro headphones offer several advantages over the AirPods Max, including a lighter weight, a foldable design for travel convenience, USB-C compatibility, extended battery life, and a more affordable price point.
4. What unique connectivity options does the Beats Pro offer?
The Beats Pro headphones include a headphone jack for wired connections, catering to users who prefer this option. Additionally, they feature a USB-C port for versatile connectivity, allowing for lossless audio transmission when connected via USB-C.
5. How does the battery performance of the Beats Pro compare to the AirPods Max?
The Beats Pro headphones offer an impressive 40 hours of usage with noise cancellation disabled and 24 hours with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) engaged. Fast charging provides approximately four hours of playback after just a 10-minute charge, surpassing the AirPods Max in battery life.
6. Are there any unique quirks or features of the Beats Pro headphones worth noting?
Yes, there are notable quirks, including the absence of on-head detection and the lack of an Apple chip. The headphones, despite being associated with Apple, use Bluetooth 5.3 for connectivity but lack multi-point connectivity, requiring manual device pairing.
7. How does the transparency mode of the Beats Pro compare to the AirPods?
While the transparency mode of the Beats Pro headphones is impressive, it may be slightly more subdued and processed compared to AirPods, setting a high standard for comparison.
8. Do the Beats Pro headphones support spatial audio and head tracking?
Yes, the Beats Pro headphones offer support for spatial audio and head tracking, providing an immersive audio experience for enthusiasts.