Apple AirPods Pro vs. Beats Studio Buds

Last month, Apple subsidiary Beats Electronics unveiled new Beats Studio Buds, US$149 earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). They are stemless and smaller than Apple’s AirPods and flagship AirPods Pro earbuds. There are some key differences between the ‌AirPods Pro‌ and the Beats Studio Buds that make them unique for different use cases, so MacRumors has done a comparison for prospective buyers.

make AirPods louder. AirPods Pro Lite production. Image: AirPods Pro bring the magic of AirPods to an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.
Apple AirPods Pro
Beats Studio Buds
Beats Studio Buds

Juli Clover for MacRumors:

Design wise, Beats Studio Buds are smaller and more compact than the ‌AirPods Pro‌, but the design is similar because they offer silicone tips. Beats Studio Buds actually have a stemless design rumored for the next-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌, so in the future, the two sets of earbuds could be even more similar when it comes to overall look.

Like the ‌AirPods Pro‌, the Beats Studio Buds have Active Noise Cancellation with a Transparency mode. Fit always varies from person to person, but we found the ‌AirPods Pro‌ to be more comfortable with a more snug fit and a better seal. That said, the noise cancellation was about the same on the Beats Studio Buds and the ‌AirPods Pro‌. There’s also very little difference in sound quality.

There is one major difference that separates the Beats Studio Buds and the ‌AirPods Pro‌ and accounts for the price difference – there’s no H1 chip. The ‌AirPods Pro‌ have an H1 chip that allows for useful features like cross-device switching.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple users will want to have the H1 chip found in the AirPods Pro. If you’re looking for a stemless design, wait a bit for Apple to reveal their next-gen AirPods Pro.

Beats Studio Buds are for Android settlers who aren’t bright enough to understand or too cheap to achieve the benefits of the Apple-designed H1-based System in Package that powers everything from sound quality to Siri. The H1 chip employs 10 audio cores which creates incredibly low audio processing latency that enables real-time noise cancellation.

Regardless of what customers choose, Apple gets the sale either way. 🙂


  1. This is a bit weird: Why Apple would NOT include the H1 chip in this $149 Beats model, yet they include the H1 chip in the $199 Powerbeats Pro, and the $99 Powerbeats Wireless.
    Heck, even the $49 Beats Flex gets the W1 chip which gives the user a better experience with Apple gear.

      1. Hmm, not sure what marketing has to do with anything. All of Beats wireless headphones will work with either Apple or Android via Bluetooth, but having the H1 or W1 chip allows them to work better with Apple devices. Why leave out one model which sits squarely in the middle of the Beats price range?

        I could understand the marketing angle if the item costs $29, but since it costs $149, it makes no sense why Apple/Beats would artificially kneecap this model.

        1. Never said they made sense but pretty sure it has to do with future releases.

          I doubt Apple want to have a Pontiac/Chevy rivalry so they will all be stair-stepped in price and features.

          Just my two pesos worth…

    1. Maybe they don’t have enough chips or they don’t want to put them in to save money and they said screw it, the average buyer won’t care or notice.

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