A recently discovered Amazon listing may have spilled the beans on Apple’s upcoming Beats Studio Buds Plus, revealing new features and a questionable price point.
The listing has since been taken down, but luckily, a copy of it exists as a Google Cache web page. Right off the bat, you will notice the earbuds are set to launch on May 18 for $169.95 making them $20 more than the regular retail price of the Beats Studio Buds on the official Beats website. The devices are slated to launch in a clear plastic casing similar to Nothing’s Ear 1 wireless earbuds, according to the listing. However, there will also be solid black and ivory-white options for people who aren’t into the retro transparent look. Interestingly enough, the Amazon listing for the earbuds even had pre-orders open at one point.
Design-wise, the Studio Buds Plus appear to look identical to the current model, which is great to see. We praised the original Beats Studio Buds for how comfortably they fit in the ear. In fact, the Studio Buds Plus may be more comfortable thanks to the apparent addition of three new acoustic vents said to “gently relieve pressure for [an] all-day fit” as well as “improve audio precision”. At a possible 3.87 ounces, they could be lighter than Beats Studio Buds, which weigh 4.5 ounces in total.
Aside from the vents, the rest of the new features will be internal. Chief among the apparent changes is improved Active Noise Canceling (ANC). According to the listing, the Studio Buds Plus will come equipped with microphones that are three times larger than the ones found on the older model. The specs sheet does reference some kind of new “powerful processor” being added, although the product page doesn’t really explain what it is in detail. Apparently, through a combination of the acoustic vents, the mics, and this processor, the Studio Buds Plus will have “1.6 (times) more active noise canceling power” compared to the standard Studio Buds. Transparency Mode is said to be twice as effective this time around thanks to the same tech.
Among the last of the major improvements gleaned from the leak is the battery life, which may hit 36 hours (with the charging case) on the Studio Buds Plus. Compatibility with iOS and Android phones will be getting a small upgrade as automatic switching between devices should be possible. So you can hop from phone to desktop with ease. The rest of the features, like support for spatial audio, are carryovers from the current model.
Price point pains
Assuming this is the final product, that price tag is a tough pill to swallow given current inflation. Yes, it’s only $20 more than the Beats Studio Buds, but the earbuds frequently go on sale on other platforms. A more common price tag is actually a de facto $99, with some Amazon sales sometimes going as low as $63.
TechRadar’s own Entertainment Managing Editor Matt Bolton told us when it comes to headphones in general people either want to pay under $100 and stay frugal or pay over $200 for the best. “Everything popular is either below or above” that price range. “The middle ground is toast.” If anything, this could all be a ploy to keep the original Studio Buds at their unofficial $99 price point while selling a new product.
Either way, take all this information with a grain of salt. Things can always change at the last minute.
If you want to stay frugal, check out TechRadar’s list of the best budget earbuds for 2023.