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Beats By Dre Comparison: Which Headphone Model Rocks Your World?

Nov. 21, 2016
Product Comparisons, Shopping
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Whether you unwind at home with Erykah Badu, have Rihanna score your commute or fuel your workout with some Disclosure, a good pair of headphones means you never miss a beat.

Beats by Dre, one of the most popular headphone brands available, makes two styles — over-ear headphones and in-ear buds — designed to provide high-quality audio and all-day comfort. Features vary among models, so tune in to see which headphones are a fit for you.

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The headphones: at a glance

 Beats EPBeats Solo2Beats Solo3Beats StudioBeats Pro
Color variety4 colors7 colors6 colors12 colors8 colors
Weightn/a7.23 ounces7.58 ounces9.17 ounces14.1 ounces
Bluetooth compatibleNoNoYesYesYes
Battery lifen/a12 hours (wireless edition)40 hours12 hours n/a


The headphones: up close and personal

Beats EP Beats EP

Price: $129.95

Features: Beats EP are the brand’s most affordable over-ear headphones. This model has a lightweight steel build, adjustable headband and cushioned ear cup design. The EP has a tangle-free fixed audio cable rather than the detachable cable of some models.

Good fit for: Beats fans on a budget. People who can live with wires and want brand-quality sound are a fit for the Beats EP.

Beats Solo2Beats Solo2

Price: $199.95

Features: The wired Beats Solo2 features a flexible, durable headband and ear cups designed for comfortable extended use. The RemoteTalk controller is a microphone-remote hub so users can change volume, switch tracks and answer calls from the headphone cable. A wireless version is no longer sold on the Beats manufacturer site, but shoppers can still find it on Amazon.

Good fit for: Music lovers looking for Beats-quality sound but not ready to spend $300 on the company’s latest over-ear model.

Beats Solo3 WirelessBeats Solo3

Price: $299.95

Features: The newest in the Beats line, the Solo3 wireless headphones are updated with a 40-hour battery, enhanced on-ear controls and built-in mic. Wearers can adjust the volume, switch tracks, activate Siri and answer calls through integrated buttons on the canisters. FastFuel offers lightning-quick charging: Five minutes on the charger and the Solo3 can provide three hours of playback.

Good fit for: Wearers looking for a long battery life and cable-free controls. These headphones are compatible with devices including the latest iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, and users can seamlessly sync the device and headphones by holding them close together.

Beats StudioBeats Studio

Price: $379.95

Features: The Beats Studio over-ear headphones cater to audiophiles, with a noise-canceling feature and replication of warm studio quality. Beats also reduced the weight from the previous generation for a more comfortable wear and offers these headphones in over 10 colors and designs.

Good fit for: Beats by Dre fans looking for high-quality sound and style in their headphones.

Beats ProBeats Pro

Price: $399.95

Features: Beats by Dre’s largest model, the over-ear Beats Pro was designed for DJs and audio engineers. The headphones are made from lightweight but durable stainless steel and aluminum, and the leather ear cups are on a swivel for extra comfort.

Good fit for: People who work with music professionally or as a hobby, or highly dedicated audiophiles looking for top-of-the-line Beats.

The earphones: at a glance

 urBeatsBeats Tour2BeatsXBeats Powerbeats3
Colors5 colors5 colors2 colors5 colors
Bluetooth compatibleNoNoYesYes
Battery lifen/an/a8 hours12 hours
Multi-sized ear tipsYesYesYesYes

The earphones: up close and personal


Price: $99.95

Features: The urBeats earphones are the simplest of the brand’s line. The metal casing around the buds enhances the Beats bass component, and the RemoteTalk cable houses a convenient controller. A durable, flexible cable stands up to wear and tear and the storage pouch keeps them clean and secure.

Good fit for: Casual listeners looking for simple earphones with high-quality audio.

Beats Tour2Beats Tour2

Price: $129.95

Features: The Tour2 earphones are sweat- and water-resistant and come with a cable management clip to prevent tangling. These earphones come with multiple-size earbuds and wingtips for personalized fit and a hard-shell carrying case.

Good fit for: Athletes looking for a more affordable Beats headset that stays secure while exercising.


Price: $149.95

Features: The BeatsX are the brand’s everyday earphones. The FlexForm cable and ear tips (available in multiple sizes) provide all-day comfort. The earbuds are magnetic so they stick together for easy coiling and storage. The Bluetooth compatibility allows users listen to their music, while the RemoteTalk control lets them adjust volume, switch songs and answer phone calls.

Good fit for: Casual everyday listening. These comfortable earphones are great for commuters.

Beats Powerbeats3 WirelessBeats Powerbeats3

Price: $199.95

Features: Beats designed the Powerbeats3 earphones with the athlete in mind. These sweat-resistant earbuds are equipped with wireless capabilities, secure ear hooks and a cable management clip so you can go full throttle in your workout. The Powerbeats3 have a 12-hour battery life and charge with FastFuel, needing only five minutes to power one hour of playback time.

Good fit for: Active wearers who seek earphones to deliver high-quality audio through their entire workout.

Nina Tabios is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected].