(Pocket-lint) - The Beats lineup has gone from strength to strength since being acquired by Apple, with the parent company offering a big influence over the tech in its products.
With quite a wide-reaching range now available to choose from, though, finding the right Beats for your needs can be a bit of a challenge.
We've tested and rated the entire range for our in-depth Beats reviews, but, especially if you're new to the range, this is a good place to get familiar with what's available. And to give you a quick summary, we'll be covering each of the key models' features, design and price.
What are the best Beats headphones?
As a quick summary, we've featured and ranked eight of the best Beats headphones available, comprising one pair of over-ears, two pairs of on-ears and five pairs of in-ears.
For a more detailed summary of each model, check out the section below.
- Beats Fit Pro: A nice midpoint between the Studio Buds and Powerbeats Pro, these are ideal for those who need headphones for both exercise and easy listening.
- Beats Powerbeats Pro: These are essentially a true wireless version of the Powerbeats 4, but with an improved design and the same internal tech as the Apple AirPods. Best for heavy exercisers.
- Beats Studio Buds: A wireless pair of in-ear buds, offering great support for Android users and balanced sound.
- Beats Solo Pro: This model features an on-ear design, but with a more premium design than its predecessor, the Studio 3's ANC engine, updated H1 Chip and great battery life.
- Beats Studio 3 Wireless: An over-ear design that can connect wirelessly to your mobile device, these are available in a range of colours, have active noise cancellation technology and the new W1 chip.
- Beats Solo 3 Wireless: An on-ear design that features the new W1 chip to instantly connect to iPhone.
- Beats Flex: An entry-level, wireless pair of in-ear headphones with a neckband and the W1 chip.
- Beats Powerbeats 4: A sports-orientated in-ear wireless headphone pair, with the H1 chip and an ear-hook design.
Best Beats Headphones
Beats Fit Pro
- Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking
- Super noise cancelling and sound
- The fit is comfortable and secure
- No wireless charging case
- Not full support for Android
There are plenty of Beats headphones that specialise in one particular area, but the Fit Pro buds are the best all-rounders - and that, for our money, makes them the best overall pick.
The Powerbeats Pro might be the go-to pick for workouts, and the Studio Buds are likely your best bet for pure in-ear listening, but the Fit Pro manages to sit right in the sweet spot of these two options and provide a superb experience whatever the occasion.
The standout features are the very capable ANC, solid sound quality, Spatial Audio and the easy pairing for Apple users, thanks to the H1 Chip. And though it's not perfect, this is still a fairly complete experience for Android users, as well.
The only big disappointment is the lack of a wireless charging case - because, after all, we've seen the technology packed into much smaller models.
Either way, these are still excellent buds, and ideal for those who like AirPods Pro, say, but want a bit more of a workout-ready pair.
Beats Powerbeats Pro
- Unmatched design and sound for exercise
- Exceptional battery life
- No wireless charging case
- Not the cheapest Beats model
Beats' flagship in-ear buds give you complete freedom when running or in the gym - they're unashamedly workout-orientated with the distinctive ear hooks, but can easily be used for general listening, too.
They're based on the same technology as the Apple AirPods, but have the benefit of being sweatproof and waterproof. They're extremely light in your ears and come in a charging case.
You get some super sound across the spectrum, but you don't feel like they're pressing into your ear; thanks to the range of tips, you don't have to get a complete seal to ensure great sound.
They're not noise-isolating, so don't expect that, but battery life is brilliant with nine hours of constant listening, while you can charge them twice over again from the case. Our only gripe is that it's not able to charge wirelessly.
Beats Studio Buds
- Affordable and great-sounding
- Android Fast pair support
- No H1 chip for cross-device Apple pairing
- The charging case isn't wireless
The latest addition to the Beats lineup is a little different to the rest, providing an everyday pair of wireless earbuds that are still relatively affordable.
The sound is crisp and solid in pretty much every scenario we've tested - including trains, workouts and casual wear - with active noise-cancelling a really nice addition, too.
Like its Apple cousins, though, the biggest benefit of Studio Buds is the convenience. They're small enough to carry around easily, they last for long periods and are also comfortable to wear.
There's even support for Android Fast Pair, which opens them up to a section of the market mostly ignored by AirPods: Android users.
They might not be the most exciting earbuds on the planet, but, with their list of convenient features, design, price and sound, Studio Buds are incredibly easy to recommend.
Beats Solo Pro
- Outstanding sound with ANC
- Premium feel
- No wired connection
- Lightning cable charging
Beats Solo Pro is a pair of headphones that takes the smarts and noise cancelling of the Studio 3 and puts them in a smaller, on-ear pair of headphones. It's probably the best pair of wireless headphones Beats has made to date.
The headphones themselves feature a premium anodised aluminium arm that slides smoothly in and out of the headband, while the ear cups have memory foam-stuffed padding. It offers more surface contact than its predecessor, thanks to a redesign and new materials. The ear cups are mounted on arms in a way that allows them to move and angle freely to fit each user.
There's no option to use a wired connection with the Solo Pro, and you need to use a Lightning cable to charge them, but they are still a fantastic pair of on-ears. They're comfortable, last ages on a full charge and sound fantastic.
Beats Powerbeats 4
- Elite option for workouts
- Still relatively affordable
- Not ideal for casual listening
- Hook design isn't for everyone
Sports headphones need to stay snugly fit in your ears, provide a good sound quality to keep you motivated and be weatherproof. Fortunately, the Powerbeats 4 tick all those boxes - updating the design of the wired Powerbeats line to match the Powerbeats Pro.
The Powerbeats 4 have an ear hook style fit, which makes sure they stay on your ears when you're exercising and come with three pairs of ear tips to ensure a tight fit in your ears. The length of the neck cable can be adjusted so you don't have any extra slack flailing about when you're running and they're waterproof, sweatproof and weatherproof.
The H1 chip means they connect to your iPhone in an instant and the built-in battery lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. The sound they produce is big and powerful, and, of course, has plenty of bass. When it comes to workouts though, bass can be a good thing to keep you pumping. However, they're not necessarily going to be the best pair to use for everyday listening.
The Powerbeats 4 are the ideal companion for workouts. Their wireless and lightweight design, H1 chip for longer battery life and a good Bluetooth range, and engaging sound will keep you going for longer.
Beats Studio 3 Wireless
- Incredible battery life
- Superb sound and pairing
- Plastic build not for everyone
- Very bass-heavy
The Beats Studio 3 Wireless are an over-ear headphone design that encapsulates your whole ear inside the ear cup. This design helps to block out external noises, although it's aided further by active noise cancellation (ANC). This new ANC is different to previous iterations, in that it constantly adjusts its frequency to match the sound of your environment, making it more versatile.
The built-in rechargeable battery can last over 22 hours, and the lightweight build combined with the soft materials used will mean you'll want to keep them on your head for as long as possible. There are controls on the headphones themselves to skip tracks, change volume and accept phone calls.
The Beats Studio are not just one of the most iconic pairs of Beats headphones available, but one of the most iconic pairs of headphones full stop. Soundwise, they're bassy (as you'd expect), but the entire nature of the audio profile seems to have shifted to make it more refined. They can go loud and hard, and the addition of active noise cancellation should only help focus you on the music.
Beats Solo 3 Wireless
- Great connectivity for Apple users
- Long battery life
- Very snug fit
- Too much bass for some
The Solo 3 Wireless on-ears were introduced quite a long time ago, but handily still feature Apple's W1 wireless chip. It promises greater battery life, a greater Bluetooth range and improved connectivity options for iPhone users.
Touch-sensitive controls are present on the left ear cup for skipping tracks and changing volume. Beats claims up to 40 hours of life - and they do last so long - but, naturally, you can also plug in a 3.5mm cable for a wired connection to your phone. Or charge them up for five minutes to get three hours of playback time.
In terms of sound, they're very much a pair of Beats headphones, which means bass in your face. But they do bass very well. So if you're after a powerful yet portable pair of headphones, the Solo 3s are for you.
- Extremely affordable
- Excellent battery life
- Very snug fit
- Too much bass for some
Beats Flex are a welcome update to the formula laid out by Beats X, and are some of the best budget wireless earbuds around with a neckband design.
They're comfortable to wear, are really light and come in some fun colours - all while working superbly with iOS. In this case, that's thanks to the older W1 chip on board.
You get 12 hours of battery life, which is really impressive for the price, and they're really great for a hectic lifestyle. If you want some Beats without breaking the bank, these are the obvious solution.