Which headphone brand?
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.
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.
To see all the headphones we’ve tested and which are our top-scoring models, visit our headphone reviews.
The table below shows our expert insights on the Beats headphones we’ve tested alongside reliability and satisfaction scores from our owner surveys. Before you spend a lot on a new pair, be sure to check what our listening panel had to say about the brand.
Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.
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For more on the latest headphones from Beats, see our Beats headphone reviews.
How much do Beats headphones cost?
Beats doesn't make cheap headphones. You'll have to pay more than £50 for its most basic model, the Urbeats. These are wired, in-ear headphones.
If you want more advanced features, such as wireless Bluetooth connection, then you're looking at more than £100, and a pair with active noise cancelling will cost you upwards of £200.
Choosing the best Beats headphones
Wireless or wired
The Beats range of headphones now consists mainly of wireless Bluetooth models, and this is certainly the direction manufacturers are going in, especially now that smartphones are starting to drop physical headphone jacks. 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?
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.