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Beats headphones rated

By Daniel Nissenbaum

Article 3 of 6

Beats is one of the biggest headphone brands, but its products don’t come cheap. Read our expert opinion before you invest in a pair.

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Beats is a relatively new brand of headphones, founded in 2006. Initially named Beats by Dr Dre after its rap-star founder, it has steadily grown into one of the largest headphone manufacturers around and was bought by Apple for $3bn in 2014.

Beats headphones are aimed at the mid-to-high price range, with the cheapest pair you can buy priced at around £50. The most expensive wireless model with noise cancelling will set you back more than £200, which is roughly on a par with brands like AKG, Sennheiser and Sony.

The table below rounds up the best Beats headphones we’ve tested. Before you spend a lot on a new pair, be sure to check what our expert listening panel had to say about each pair and whether any of them are Best Buys.

To unlock the table and see which Beats headphones we’re talking about, sign up for a £1 trial and instantly access all our reviews and Best Buys.

Best Beats headphones

beats by dr. dre Solo3 Wireless
Typical price £200.00
Which? score 67%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Performance:
4 out of 5
Comfort:
4 out of 5
Durability:
5 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

This pair of wireless headphones are nice and portable but don't sacrifice big sound. They'll give you the signature Beats feel with plenty of bass but perhaps the most impressive thing about them is their fantastic battery life. You'll get 40 hours between charges, and with fast charging technology you only need to plug them in for five minutes to get three hours of charge.

beats by dr. dre Solo 2 Wireless
Today's best price £142.59
Which? score 67%
Reviewed Jul 2015
Performance:
4 out of 5
Comfort:
3 out of 5
Durability:
5 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

This pair of wireless headphones is punchy and powerful, and will give you a ‘thunderous’ level of bass which will appeal to you if you enjoy rock music or other bass-heavy genres. The build quality is impressive, too, so this pair should be solid and dependable enough for long-term use.

beats by dr. dre Studio
Today's best price £165.00
Which? score 63%
Reviewed Sep 2013
Performance:
3 out of 5
Comfort:
4 out of 5
Durability:
4 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

These headphones might not be the newest but they’re still a fantastic choice. They have excellent noise cancelling that will block out almost all external noise. The use of quality plastics ensures they look and feel solid, but they’re still comfortable, and the weight only becomes apparent after wearing them for a prolonged period of time.

More on Beats headphones

Bass heavy

Beats headphones can divide opinion among audio experts. Their tendency to boost the level of bass in music makes them sound great to some people, especially those who like hip hop, dance and other bass-heavy genres of music. But to others, often including members of our listening panel, this level of bass is too much.

Wireless or wired

Beats’ 2016 range of headphones consists entirely of wireless Bluetooth models, and this is certainly the direction manufacturers are going in, especially since the launch of the iPhone 7, which lacks a headphone socket. Battery lives are getting ever longer – the Studio 3 Wireless on-ear headphones, for example, will last for up to 40 hours on a single charge.

That’s not to say you can’t still get a decent pair of wired headphones, though. There are still some good Beats pairs that don’t have Bluetooth and, if you’re not bothered about having wireless headphones, you could save some money without sacrificing on sound quality.

In-ear, on-ear or over-ear headphones

Beats has headphones for all kinds of uses, but which ones are best for you? If you’re sure that Beats is the brand you’re looking for, you can read all our Beats headphone reviews here.

There is a range of in-ear models, including the Powerbeats sports headphones that are specifically designed to stay in your ears during exercise. The UrBeats in-ear headphones have been around almost since the brand’s inception – going for these is the cheapest way to get yourself a pair of Beats headphones, but they won’t have any of the latest features.

There are also on-ear and over-ear models. The over-ear Studio headphones give you noise cancelling, while the Solo wireless ones are more portable on-ear headphones that are easy to carry around every day.

If you really want to push the boat out, there’s also the Pro model – supposedly a professional-grade pair used in recording studios worldwide. These are Beats’ most expensive headphones, but they don’t have wireless or noise-cancelling technologies.

To see all the headphones we’ve tested and which are our top-scoring models, visit our headphone reviews.

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