We're expecting that Apple's rumored Beats Studio Pro could launch any day now, and if you're considering buying the AirPods Max we've just heard another reason why you should wait. According to the full leaked spec sheet as seen by 9to5Mac, the new Beats Studio Pro will have the same personalized head-tracking spatial audio as Apple's best over-ear headphones.
As we reported a few days ago, the Beats Studio Pro are shaping up to make the AirPods Max look old and overpriced. A recent leak suggests the price will be €399 / $349 / £340, which makes them a serious and significantly more affordable alternative to the Sony WH-1000XM5 and massively undercutting the AirPods.
Currently, personalized spatial audio is only available to Apple's third generation models like the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro, which uses your iPhone's TrueDepth camera to build your listening profile. If the key specifications that are being reported about them turn out to be right, these headphones are getting a big audio upgrade.
Beats Studio Pro reported to sound 80% better
According to 9to5Mac, the Beats Studio Pro will have twin 40mm custom drivers that deliver near-zero distortion even at high volume, an improvement of 80% over the aging Beats Studio 3. There will also be an integrated digital processor that optimises the frequency response, and the headphones will deliver active noise cancelation (ANC) with transparency mode.
The personalized spatial audio will also include the same dynamic head tracking feature. That adjusts the sound according to where you point your head, and while I've found it a little gimmicky in music it's fun in TV shows and movies.
The chip in the Beats Studio Pro won't be the Apple H2 either, instead the company has gone for a new Beats chip, largely because it needs to support Android as well as iOS. It'll support Google Fast Pair, Audio Switch and Google Find My Device on Android. On iOS, it has one-touch pairing, over the air updates, "hey Siri" and Find My integration.
Another key difference between the Beats Studio Buds and AirPods Max is weight. At 260g the new Beats are a lot lighter than the AirPod Max's 385g. That premium finish adds a hefty weight penalty, and I've found my AirPods Max can feel very heavy during longer listening sessions.
Last but not least, the report says battery life is set to last 24 hours with ANC on, 40 hours with ANC off and Fast Fuel charging to give you four hours of playback from just a 10-minute charge.
We still don't know the launch date, but retailers told 9to5Mac that it's "imminent" and that the rumoured $349 launch price is accurate.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.