Ever since Beats by Dre severed its relationship with Monster, we've been waiting for the company to come out with a new version of its signature headphones, the Beats Studio, which were released in 2008 and became a cultural phenomenon. Well, Beats has unveiled the new, "reimagined" Studio and while we haven't gotten our hands on it yet, we will soon.
At first glance, the design does seem better. Beats says the new Studios are 13 percent lighter, stronger, and more comfortable, with no visible screws and no straight lines. The new model boasts softer earcups and "an ergonomic bellow to create a flexible, custom fit for every head shape." I'm not sure what "ergonomic bellow" means, but I'm sure it will become clear to me when I try them on.
On the inside, there's a new, "improved" DSP (digital signal processor) and software that Beats has dubbed the Beats Acoustic Engine for marketing purposes. I suspect the new engine will be rather bass-heavy, but we'll have to wait and see just how these sound compared with the original model.
These are active noise-canceling headphones and they now come equipped with two modes of "adaptive" noise cancellation. According to Beats, one mode is for music listening and offers "balanced" adaptive noise-canceling between your music and your environment, and the other mode is for when you're disconnected and just want to shut out the world (the noise cancellation is stronger in this mode).
The integrated lithium rechargeable battery is rated at 20 hours (it charges via USB) and has a five-light LED battery fuel gauge that indicates how much charge is left. There's also an auto on/off feature for automatic shutdown once you unplug the headphones. That's a nice feature that all noise-canceling headphones should have.
The new Beats by Dre Studio headphones are scheduled to ship in early August, and, unsurprisingly, they retain the $299.95 list price of the original Beats Studio headphones, which now sell for around $250 online. We'll have a full review up in the next few weeks.