Comparing Beats earbuds

There are plenty of speakers and consumer electronics to choose from, but it’s not often that the manufacturing company is founded by one of history’s most influential hip-hop stars. Beats Electronics, better known as Beats, was started in 2006 by artist Dr. Dre and record executive Jimmy Iovine.

While it went through different phases of funding and investment, the most significant event in the company’s history happened in 2014. The year before, the brand was valued at $1 billion and made up 64% of the headphones priced above the $100 market. 

Those successful industry figures prompted Apple to acquire Beats in 2014 for $3 billion, making it (to this day) the largest acquisition in Apple’s history. Which helps to explain why so many consumers turn to the Beats brand for earbuds and other audio products. 

A short history of Beats under Apple

After the deal got approval from all the relevant departments and agencies, Dre and Iovine stayed on as executives. As with most high-profile acquisitions, the pair would receive some cash while other payments came in as Apple stock. 

Unable to cash in the stock until it vested four years later, Iovine jumped on the opportunity to leave Apple in 2018 when the final paycheck from the deal came through. As for Dre, it’s unclear whether he is still involved.

Under its belt, Beats had three distinct offerings. The headphones made up the biggest slice, the Beats Music streaming service was a lucrative venture, and then the pure star power of Dre and Iovine. Rumors at the time had it that Apple wasn’t all that interested in the first two (Beats Music was discontinued in favor of Apple Music, and Apple already had superior headphones). 

Having Dre and Iovine attached to the company could place them in a better position in terms of marketing, brand recognition and attracting a new generation of music fans. Whether it worked is debatable, but today, Beats operates as a standalone company and a subsidiary of Apple.

Selection of products

And as far as products are concerned, Apple still pulls the strings. One of the most successful speakers, the Beats Pill+, was quietly discontinued in early 2022. That leaves Beats’s official offerings at two headphone models and four models of earbuds.

The company also ventured into vehicle audio by reaching a deal with Chrysler in 2011. The car manufacturer agreed to install Beats-branded audio systems in its vehicles, the first being the 2012 Chrysler 300S. It had a 10-speaker Beats by Dr. Dre sound system. Other vehicles that have Beats audio as an optional extra are some Fiat, Volkswagen, and SEAT models.

Best Beats earbuds

Top Beats earbuds

Beats Fit Pro True Wireless Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Beats Fit Pro True Wireless Noise-Canceling Earbuds

What you need to know: These wireless noise-canceling earbuds come with a charging case to power them up while on the move.

What you’ll love: The earbuds feature a wingtip design the ensure they stay in your ears. It uses spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to deliver sounds in relation to where you are looking. The active noise cancelation uses microphones to block out ambient sounds, and the battery lasts six hours.

What you should consider: Some users have complained that the charging case can be slippery if you have moisture on your hands.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Beats earbuds for the money

Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds

Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds

What you need to know: These comfortable earbuds are perfect for a gym session, lasting up to 12 hours on a single charge.

What you’ll love: The Flex-Form cable conforms to the shape of the back of your neck, ensuring a comfortable fit. It comes with four ear tip options so you can hear the music clearly. Powered by Apple’s W1 chip, it uses magnets to stop the music when you take them off and clip them together. Several buttons control the volume, answer calls and enable the voice assistant. 

What you should consider: It is made for use with iPhones but also works with Android devices. However, some Android users indicated that they had trouble pairing the earbuds with their phones.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth considering

Beats Studio Buds True Wireless Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Beats Studio Buds True Wireless Noise-Canceling Earbuds

What you need to know: The most popular Beats earbuds come with a charging case that provides up to 24 hours of listening time.

What you’ll love: It has two listening modes where you can swap between active noise canceling and transparency mode. It comes with three ear tips to perfectly seal off your ear canal. There are built-in microphones, and the battery lasts about eight hours. 

What you should consider: A few users indicated that the active noise cancelation could be better as some ambient sound can still be heard.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones

Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones

What you need to know: These earbuds have extended wingtips that go perfectly over your ear lobe, ensuring they don’t fall out.

What you’ll love: Compatible with iOS and Android devices, the earbuds have volume and track controls on each bud. It has built-in microphones and better call performance than earlier versions. They provide up to nine hours of listening time, and you can recharge them for five minutes to give over an hour’s listening.

What you should consider: Some users indicated that the built-in equalizer lacks midrange settings and compensates by boosting the treble and bass.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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