A new pair of Beats headphones has been spotted in the latest iOS beta, including how they look and a big range of potential features. Apparently called Beats Studio Pro, they look set to be the replacement for the Beats Studio 3 headphones, which are drastically overdue for it, having originally launched back in 2017.
The Beats Studio Pro were spotted in the iOS 16.5 beta by 9to5Mac, which was able to glean a ton of likely details about them. In particular, they appear to support Spatial Audio (and Apple's newer Personalized Spatial Audio feature, no less) and a Transparency mode to let outside sounds in when you want them. The latter is standard on all of the best noise-cancelling headphones these days… but the Beats Studio 3 are old enough that they don't have one.
9to5Mac also reports that its finding indicate improved noise cancellation skills in the headphones, but again that's no surprise. The tech has come a long way since even the Beats Solo Pro, aka the most recent on-ear ANC headphones from the company, released in 2019.
The leak even gives us a look at the design and colors of the new headphones and, with all matt finish and sleek lines, they're exactly what you expect from Beats.
If we assume that this is all being powered by a custom Beats chip – perhaps the same one that's about to go in the Beats Studio Buds Plus that leaked in the last iOS beta – we can guess that other Apple features will probably be supported, too. That would include audio sharing to AirPods and other Beats headphones, automatic switching between your Apple devices, and Find My support for locating them when lost.
This would make the Beats Studio Pro extremely similar to the AirPods Max, when it comes to features – more so than other other headphones. No other over-ear headphones includes these features currently, since they tend to only be available to Apple and Beats products (because Apple owns Beats).
I wager that these will have a much cheaper official price tag than AirPods Max, though unsurprisingly that's not mentioned in the software. Beats Studio 3 have an official price of $350 / £350 / AU$499 – though you've been able to find them for much cheaper during sales events.
I wouldn't be surprised if the new model launches at the same price, either, keeping it in line with the likes of the Sony WH-1000XM5, and providing a much cheaper alternative to the $550 / £550 / AU$899 AirPods Max if you want full headphones with Apple's best features.
The other big question for the Beats Studio Pro is what kind of features they'll support for Android. The whole reason Beats developed its own custom chips to use in the likes of the Beats Studio Buds is so that it could offer a load of Apple-specific features as well as offering similar features on Android, including a location option and control customization. I assume it'll do the same here, but obviously Apple software isn't very revealing about that.
Given how much information is in the iOS beta, it seems like the Beats Studio Pro are probably imminent, likely alongside the new Beats Studio Buds Plus. So we'll just have to wait in the next couple of weeks to see how imminent.
It's like that these will be the only over-ear headphones to arrive from Apple this year – the current rumors suggest that AirPods Max 2 won't arrive until 2024 at the earliest.