The New Beats Studio Buds+ Have Officially Arrived With Better Battery Life and Improved ANC

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While Apple usually does a pretty good job of keeping its new products under wraps, it doesn’t seem to try nearly as hard when it comes to those being developed by its Beats division. We’ve been hearing reports of upcoming Beats Studio Buds+ for months, and this week they launched with few surprises.

The first solid information on the Beats Studio Buds+ was found hidden in iOS 16.4 in March. Their existence was later confirmed by independent sources who revealed they were an upgrade to the 2021 Beats Studio Buds and would follow those in the same platform-agnostic footsteps.

Today’s release of the Beats Studio Buds+ lines up with everything we’ve been hearing. Even the one eleventh-hour surprise — a new transparent case option — was leaked a few days ago as product shipments began arriving at big box retail stores.

Nevertheless, just because the Beats Studio Buds+ aren’t a surprise doesn’t mean they’re not an exciting new entry in the Beats lineup. The 2021 Beats Studio Buds broke new ground for Apple’s Beats brand. They were the first wireless Beats headphones released since 2016 that didn’t include Apple’s W1/H1 chips inside, instead using other custom chips designed to offer equal compatibility with AirPods-equivalent Android features like Fast Pair. Despite this, they still supported “Hey Siri” right out of the gate and gained iCloud-synced pairing in an early 2022 firmware update.

The Beats Studio Buds were also Beats’ first true wireless earbuds to offer Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), making them a competitive alternative to the AirPods Pro for those who weren’t firmly in the Apple ecosystem — with a substantially lower price tag.

Of course, there are still a few things the AirPods do that Beats Studio Buds don’t, such as Audio Sharing, automatic switching between Apple devices, and wireless charging — and the new Beats Studio Buds+ aren’t changing any of that.

What’s New in the Beats Studio Buds+

Besides some sleek new colors, including the cool transparent option, the Beats Studio Buds+ are nearly indistinguishable from their predecessors. However, they pack some more subtle design changes and a few internal enhancements that Apple and Beats hope will justify an asking price that’s $20 more than the originals.

In fact, Beats tells us that 95 percent of the internals have been replaced with improved components. The microphones are three times larger with new venting, which delivers a 1.6X improvement in ANC, and 2X in Transparency mode.

The upgraded mics also incorporate a new intelligent voice-targeting algorithm combined with new acoustic architecture that actively filters out background noise to enhance your voice when you’re on calls.

Naturally, Beats Studio Buds+ also support Spatial Audio content on Apple Music, minus the head-tracking features. They also offer one-touch pairing and “Hey Siri” just like Apple’s AirPods, plus basic Find My support to show the last connected location — the way AirPods used to work with Find My before Apple enhanced their capabilities in iOS 15.

However, the real strength of Beats Studio Buds+ is in its Android compatibility, where they offer Google Fast Pair and seamless audio switching between compatible Android and ChromeOS devices. There’s also a Beats app for Android to customize, configure, and update them, but that’s not needed on the iPhone as those features are built into iOS.

Battery life is the other significant upgrade for the new Beats Studio Buds+, which now provide up to nine hours with ANC and Transparency turned off, plus an extra 27 hours from the case. That’s 36 hours in total, which works out to 50 percent more than the original Beats Studio Buds. Those numbers drop to 6 hours from the buds and 18 hours from the case if you use the ANC and transparency features.

Beats Studio Buds+ are available for order today from Apple and Beats in the US, Canada, and China in all three colors. They’ll start shipping tomorrow and should begin appearing in retail stores soon.

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