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Beats packs ANC and hands-free Siri into its tiny $150 Studio Buds

Beats by Dre has announced its new Studio Buds, a powerful pair of true wireless earbuds that are set to drop just in time for the start of summer. As the name suggests, Beats wants to market these buds as the sort of headphones that both music industry professionals and laypeople will love — so let’s take a closer look.

The design of the Studio Buds is simple and striking, with a sleek, minimalist exterior that encases a 8.2mm, central-piston-driven, dual-element diaphragm driver. That’s a mouthful, we know, but the upshot is that this is a powerful driver that Beats says will provide sharp, striking sound at both high- and low-range frequencies. It was also purpose-built for active noise cancellation (ANC). At the touch of a button, these buds can block out ambient noise (ANC), or allow it in so that you can hear everything going on around you (Transparency Mode).

red beats studio buds in case against white background

We haven’t taken these for a spin yet, but Beats is known for big, bass-heavy audio, so we’re optimistic that these buds will pack more of a punch than some of their competitors. The company may be compromising a bit of battery life to deliver such sound, however, as the Studio Buds offer just five hours of playtime with ANC activated and 15 hours total with the case. Extended playtime has been a selling point of other Beats models like the Powerbeats Pro, but these are definitely on the shorter side. We’ll have to see if the sound is worth the relative lack of endurance.

Moving on, it’s clear that these buds have been carefully engineered and a glance under the hood reveals the depths of those design details. The driver lines up perfectly with the ergonomically tilted acoustic nozzle, and they even have a built-in, laser-cut micro vent to relieve pressure on your eardrums during long listening sessions.

If you’re also the type to make long phone calls, the Studio Buds feature built-in, dual beamforming microphones that are designed to identify your voice while filtering out wind and other external noises.

Studio Buds offer simple one-touch pairing with the latest Apple and Android devices, and they’re voice-assistant compatible; Apple users will be able to summon Siri hands-free, while other assistants will need to be activated manually.

Another cool feature is that you can use Find My (iOS) and Find My Device (Android) to ping your buds when you’ve misplaced them. They’ll produce a high-frequency chirp in response, making it easy to dig them out from between the couch cushions or the crevice between the driver’s seat and the door of your car. Not that we’re speaking from personal experience or anything.

Beats Studio Buds come in three colors — black, white, and red — and are available for pre-order today in the U.S. and Canada, but won’t start shipping until June 24. They retail for $150. That’s definitely on the cheaper side of the spectrum for Beats and — if they can deliver great sound — they could end up being a good value buy.

Check out our in-depth Beats Studio Buds review for our full impressions.

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