Beats Rolls Out New Line of Studio Headphones

Co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine call technological innovations to their debut product "the sound of the future." THR takes Studio for a test drive.

Beats by Dr. Dre is rolling out a new line of studio headphones, which the company is calling “the sound of the future.”

Available everywhere this August, the next generation of professional headphones features a new design, lighter materials, improved noise canceling and better power management (namely, a rechargeable, 20-hour, Lithium-Ion battery as opposed to AAAs). It will retail for the same price point as version 1.0 at $299.

“With the original Studio headphone we set out to prove that people all around the world care enough about sound to invest in it -- and we did," said Beats co-founder and CEO Jimmy Iovine in announcing Beats Studio. “Now we are taking it a step further. The new Studio is tuned with balance, accuracy and emotion, has a breathtaking design and truly innovative technology.”

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Among those innovations is tuning configured by new custom software Beats Acoustic Engine, a streamlined look that boasts no straight lines and an ergonomic fit around the ear, and adaptive noise cancelation features.

THR got to test drive the new Beats Studio cans, and there’s no doubt they’re a step up from their previous incarnation. For one thing, they feel sturdier and sound leakage is virtually non-existent, which you certainly couldn’t say of the first generation. Also, they power off automatically when unplugged, which should save countless travelers the frustration of realizing that, while you slept blissfully, your batteries died a long, slow death.

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Keeping with Beats’ commitment to ANC technology that erases background sound, the headphones went through an extensive tuning process and the results are exceptionally musical. That’s good for the pros.

But audio fidelity is only one part of the equation when it comes to superior headphones. The acid test really comes down to a balance of comfort, good sound and fashion for even the casual listener. And with more than five celebrity-endorsed headphone lines vying to capture a fraction of Beats’ market share, estimated to be over 70 percent of premium headphone purchases, the competition for those dollars is only heating up.

To that end, Beats wins with the Studio line for one key reason: like a good pair of glasses, after a while, you forget that they’re there. 

Twitter: @THRMusic