Beats by Dre headphones: Which model is best for you?
With increased time spent working from home, students navigating virtual learning and exercising indoors now that the Fall weather is here, sporting a pair of comfy and stylish headphones might help you stay focused while powering through your day. One popular tech brand is Beats by Dre, which was co-founded in 2006 by rapper and producer Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, who happens to also be the co-founder of Interscope Records.
The brand used to have two subdivisions: Beats Music, a streaming service that was discontinued once Apple launched Apple Music in 2015 and Beats Electronics, which currently offers nine audio devices, including headphones, earphones and a Bluetooth portable speaker. In 2014, eight years after the line’s inception, Apple bought Beats for a reported $3 billion — yup, billion with a “B.” NBC News previously reported this acquisition was Apple’s largest deal ever. The brand’s second-largest deal was in 2019, when it acquired Intel's wireless chip for $1 billion. Apple’s clean and minimal vibe contrasts the vibrant and celebrity-driven Beats aesthetic. Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne had previously launched limited-edition Beats products and the brand has featured everyone from Lebron James and Serena Williams to Big Sean and Billie Eilish in ads.
Beats, which is known for its colorful style and functional gadgets, was previously featured in our guide to true wireless earbuds and our friends at NBC BETTER included it in their fitness pro-approved list of the best workout headphones and earbuds. Additionally, you can find Beats by Dre on Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, QVC, Kohl’s, Staples and other retailers, as well as directly through Apple, of course.
Beats by Dre brand guide
To help inform your next potential tech purchase, we put together a brief overview of Beats headphones, earphones and that speaker with an eye toward how each may work best with your budget, needs and lifestyle.
Beats wireless earphones
1. Powerbeats Pro
If you live an active lifestyle or tend to sweat easily, consider the Powerbeats Pro, wireless earphones that are both sweat- and water-resistant, according to Beats. They offer up to nine hours of listening time and equip the brand’s Fast Fuel technology, allowing you to charge your earphones for a short amount of time: Five minutes of charge time offers up to one-and-a-half hours of playtime, and a 15-minute charge allows up to four-and-a-half hours of use. These true wireless Bluetooth earphones utilize the Apple W1 chip to automatically pair your other iOS devices logged into the same iCloud account, such as your iPhone, MacBook and iPad. These are Siri voice-activated, too, so you don't have to reach for your smartphone to use that hands-free feature to change your songs or dial your phone. You can also use these earphones whether you use Android smartphones or iOS devices. The Power Beats Pro has been available in five core colors — Ivory, Moss, Navy, Black and Lava Red — and three new colors as of June 2020: Cloud Pink, Spring Yellow, Glacier Blue.
Powerbeats is the brand's entry-level wireless earphones and costs about $100 less than the Powerbeats Pro. The Powerbeats Pro are true wireless earbuds with no wires while the Powerbeats have an ergonomic curved wire that fits around your neck. Style-wise, the Powerbeats are only available in three colors — Black, White and Red — while the Pro is available in eight options. These earphones are still functional — from offering 15 hours of battery life to quick pairing and access to Siri. The Powerbeats is Bluetooth-enabled, employs Fast Fuel technology, too — a five-minute charge equates to one hour of playtime in this model — and you can control playback directly on your earbuds. Your Powerbeats will show up with four differently sized ear tips so you can customize the fit, a USB-A charging cable and a case for easy travel.
Beats wireless headphones
3. Beats Solo³ Wireless
The Beats Solo³ wireless on-ear headphones feature 360-degree pivoting ear cups, employs Bluetooth technology and has a battery lasting up to 40 hours. If you like to drain your battery to the last drop, then take advantage of Fast Fuel technology, which in this models ups the ante further: Three hours of use after five minutes of charge time. These headphones use on-ear controls — adjust the volume, activate Siri and skip songs — and make for convenient phone calls using the built-in microphone. Additionally, like the other Beats headphones, the Solo³ features the Apple W1 chip to easily pair with your iOS devices. The Solo³ is available in nine colorways, including Matte Black, Satin Gold, Satin Silver, Rose Gold, Red, Club White, Club Yellow, Club Red and Club Navy.
4. Solo Pro Noise-Canceling headphones
The Beats Solo Pro is an on-ear headphone with Active Noise Canceling (ANC) technology, meaning it can help block ambient noise, making it particularly helpful for frequent travelers or those working in louder work-from-home environments. It is wireless and designed for long-wear and comfort with on-ear cushions. When ANC is turned on, you get up to 22 hours of battery life, and when it’s off, 40 hours of charge. These headphones also equips the brand’s Fast Fuel technology, offering 3 hours of playback for 10 minutes of charge time. The Solo Pro is compatible with iOS and Android devices, uses an Apple H1 chip and turns on when unfolded and off when folded. The Solo Pro headphones are available in five colors: Black, Grey, Ivory, Dark Blue, Light Blue and Red.
5. Studio3 Wireless Headphones
The top-of-the-line Beats product is the Studio 3 wireless over-ear headphones with noise-canceling technology. According to Beats, the ANC and ergonomically-designed headphones use an algorithm to monitor your environment and subsequently better block ambient noise. The Studio3 headphones have cushiony earpads for additional comfort and are available in nine colors, ranging from Black and Red to Sand Dune and Forest Green (the latter from the Camo Collection). If you use an Android phone, you can still rock the Studio3 headphones. However, iPhone users can take advantage of the built-in Apple W1 chip, which allows for quick syncing with other Apple devices. When ANC is turned on, you get up to 22 hours of wireless play — if you turn ANC off manually, which you can do right on the earcup, you'll have 40 hours of low power mode playback. Like with the other Beats by Dre headphones, the Studio3 wireless has Fast Fuel technology — 10 minutes of charge equates to three hours of use — and you can use the on-ear controls to use Siri, skip songs, turn up and turn down the volume plus make phone calls.
The BeatsX wireless earphones cost just under $100, offer eight hours of use, and are lightweight and flexible. Beyond the Apple W1 chip, Bluetooth and Fast Fuel technologies — a five-minute charge equals two hours of playback — the Beats X boasts RemoteTalk, which is how you can hop on calls, play music and use Siri hands-free. They are available in three colors — Satin Silver, Black and Defiant Black-Red — and are magnetic, which helps keep your earphones from tangling up.
Beats wired headphones and earbuds
7. Beats EP
If you prefer on-ear headphones, consider adding the Beats EP to your shopping cart. They are lightweight wired headphones reinforced with stainless steel, which helps with durability, according to Beats. The biggest difference between the wired Beats EP and the similar-looking wireless Solo³ Wireless is that the Beats EP are battery-free so you have unlimited playtime to listen to your workout playlists, podcasts, Netflix queue and more. You can also adjust these headphones with vertical sliders for a custom fit, use RemoteTalk for hands-free phone calls, and listen to music. The Beats EP is available in four colors: White, Blue, Red and Black.
8. urBeats3 with lightning connector
The urBeats3 are the entry-level Beats wired earbuds and feature dual-chamber acoustics, which the brand claims will "synchronize sound" and "provide natural tonality" when listening to music. Beats says their magnetic earbuds are ergonomic and feature a flat cable, which is tangle-proof. Additionally, these earbuds come with a few ear tip options so you can help customize your fit and RemoteTalk for hands-free use — from playing music to activating Siri and taking phone calls. The urBeats3 is available in six colors, ranging from vibrant hues like Yellow and Coral to neutral Blue and Black, as well as Satin Gold and Satin Silver.
9. Beats Pill+
Beats is mainly known for its headphones and earbuds, but the company currently offers the Beats Pill+, a wireless Bluetooth portable speaker with up to 12 hours of battery life. You can use the speaker while watching movies on your outdoor projector screen, toss it in your beach bag for music on-the-go or take phone calls. The Pill+ speaker also doubles as a portable smartphone charger to keep your gadgets juiced up when you're not near an outlet. If you download the app, you can let your friends connect to the Beats Pill+ so they can take a turn DJing your socially-distant outdoor picnic. It is available in three colors: Black, White andProduct (Red) — 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of Product (Red) products are donated to HIV/AIDS programs in sub‑Saharan Africa, according to Apple.
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Nicole Saunders is a former associate commerce editor for Select on NBC News, covering wellness and lifestyle.
Beats by Dr.Dre
Beats by Dr. Dre is a line of high-performance headphones, earphones and speaker systems designed by Ammunition working with hip-hop artist and producer Dr. Dre and Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records Jimmy Iovine. Inspired by Dr. Dre’s frustration that “people aren’t hearing my music,” the Beats team set about creating products designed specifically to support high-quality playback of popular rock and hip-hop music, and to be worn as iconic body art.
Our work with the Beats team has had tremendous cultural impact—defining an entirely new category of high-performance audio for young people around the world. In 2013, Beats became a part of Apple, arguably one of the world’s greatest companies and certainly the most design-led company of our era.
American audio products manufacturer
Beats Electronics LLC (also known as Beats by Dr. Dre, or simply Beats by Dre) is an American consumeraudio products manufacturer headquartered in Culver City, California. The company was founded by music producer Dr. Dre and record company executive Jimmy Iovine. Since 2014, it has been an Apple subsidiary.
The subsidiary's product line is primarily focused on headphones and speakers. The company's original product line was manufactured in partnership with the AV equipment company Monster Cable Products. Following the end of its contract with the company, Beats took further development of its products in-house. In 2014, the company expanded into the online music market with the launch of a subscription-based streaming service, Beats Music.
In 2011, NPD Group reported that Beats' market share was 64% in the U.S. for headphones priced higher than $100, and the brand was valued at $1 billion in September 2013.
For a period, the company was majority-owned by Taiwanesesmartphone maker HTC. The company reduced its stake to 25% in 2012, and sold its remaining stake back to the company in 2013. Concurrently, Carlyle Group replaced HTC as a minority shareholder, alongside Dr. Dre and Iovine in late 2013. On August 1, 2014, Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in a cash and stock deal, the largest acquisition in Apple's history.
Beats was established in 2006 by music producer Dr. Dre and record company executive Jimmy Iovine. Iovine perceived two key problems in the music industry: the impact of piracy on music sales and the substandard audio quality provided by Apple's plastic earbuds. Iovine recalled that Dre said to him: "Man, it's one thing that people steal my music. It's another thing to destroy the feeling of what I've worked on." Iovine sought the opinions of musicians with "great taste", such as M.I.A., Pharrell Williams, will.i.am, and Gwen Stefani during the early developmental stage. Beats initially partnered with Monster Cable, an audio and video component manufacturer based in Brisbane, California, to manufacture and develop the first Beats-branded products, and debuted its first product, Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones, on July 25, 2008.
To promote its products, Beats primarily relied on endorsements by pop and hip-hop music performers, including product placement within music videos, and partnering with musicians and other celebrities to develop co-branded products. Beats' use of endorsements by musicians helped the company aggressively target the young adult demographics.
HTC purchase and non-renewal of Monster contract
In August 2010, mobile phone manufacturer HTC acquired a 50.1% majority share in Beats for $309 million. The purchase was intended to allow HTC to compete with other cellphone makers by associating themselves with the Beats brand, as the purchase also granted HTC exclusive rights to manufacture smartphones with Beats-branded audio systems. Despite its majority acquisition, HTC allowed Beats to operate as an autonomous company.Luke Wood, President of Beats in May 2014, joined the company in January 2010, when the company was a "licensing business". Wood had previously worked under Iovine at Interscope Records.
On January 19, 2012, BusinessWeek reported that Beats and Monster would not renew their production contract and their partnership ceased at the end of 2012. Dre and Iovine subsequently decided to oversee the entire operation of the company, from manufacturing to R&D, and aimed to double its workforce to around 300 employees. Monster would ultimately begin marketing its own competing line of premium headphones aimed towards an older demographic. At the time, neither Dre, Iovine or Wood were experienced in the operation of a company at such a grand level, but Wood explained in 2014:
I didn't have manufacturing experience, but I had experience of building something from scratch… Every time we put out an album, it was basically like building a new business--a unique cast of characters, unique challenges and opportunities, and trying to figure out a unique path to market.
In October 2012, Beats unveiled its first two self-developed products, "Beats Executive" headphones and "Beats Pill" wireless speakers—Iovine believed that the company would now have to "control [its] own destiny" in order to continue its growth. Iovine also commented on how other headphone makers had attempted to emulate Beats' celebrity endorsement business model (including Monster themselves, who unveiled Earth, Wind and Fire and Miles Davis-themed headphones at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show), stating that "some of our competitors are cheap engineers who have never been to a recording studio. You can't just stick someone's name on a headphone that doesn't know anything about sound." Following the decision to transform Beats into an autonomous entity, the company's revenues reached the $1 billion mark, according to Iovine.
HTC sale and Beats Music
In July 2012, HTC sold back half of its stake in Beats for $150 million, remaining the largest shareholder with 25.1 percent. The sale was intended to provide "flexibility for global expansion while maintaining HTC's major stake and commercial exclusivity in mobile". In August 2013, reports surfaced that Beats' founders planned to buy back HTC's remaining minority stake in the company, and pursue a new, unspecified partner for a future investment.
On September 27, 2013, HTC confirmed that it would sell its remaining 24.84% stake in Beats back to the company for $265 million. Concurrently, Beats announced that the Carlyle Group would make a $500 million minority investment in the company. The overall deal valued Beats Electronics at $1 billion and helped HTC turn a net profit of $10.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, following HTC's first quarterly loss in company history.
The appointment of a new chief operating officer (COO), a role previously filled by Wood, was announced in early November 2013. Matthew Costello, formerly of IKEA and HTC, was formally appointed to the role in May 2014.
On January 21, 2014, the company launched Beats Music, a subscription-based online music streaming service. Prior to the launch of the service, Beats stated that it intends to provide a different type of streaming experience to what was available on the market at the time. Additionally, the service would only be available to consumers in the U.S. at inception. Chief executive of Beats at the time, Ian Rogers, said:
We wanted to build a music service that combined the freedom of an on-demand subscription service—unlimited, uninterrupted streaming and downloads of tens of millions of songs – but layer on top features that would give you that feeling only music that moves you can give. The right song at the right time will give you a chill. Make you pull someone close. Nod your head. Sing in the mirror. Roll down the car window and crank the volume to the right.
Subsidiary of Apple Inc. (2014–present)
On May 8, 2014, the Financial Times reported that Apple was in negotiations with Beats to purchase the company for $3.2 billion—the largest purchase in Apple's history, ahead of its $429 million purchase of NeXT in 1996. The impending deal was prematurely and indirectly revealed in a photo and YouTube video posted to Facebook by Tyrese Gibson on May 8, 2014; the video documented a celebration in which Gibson and Dr. Dre made boasting remarks about the acquisition, with Dre declaring himself the "first billionaire in hip hop", while Gibson declared that the "Forbes list" had changed. Both the photo and video were removed from Facebook the following morning, but both remain on Gibson's YouTube channel. Indeed, analysts estimated that the rumored deal would make Dr. Dre the first billionaire in the hip-hop music industry in terms of net worth, assuming that he held at least 15% ownership in the company prior to the deal. Dr. Dre was listed with a net worth of $550 million on Forbes' The World's Billionaires 2014 list. It was also estimated that the Carlyle Group would receive a profit of $1 billion from the sale of its minority stake in the company.
On May 28, 2014, Apple officially announced its intention to acquire Beats Electronics for $3 billion—with $400 million to be paid in Apple stock and the remainder in cash. Some reports suggested that the reduction in value may have been a result of lower-than-expected subscriber numbers for the Beats Music service. Iovine felt that Beats had always "belonged" with Apple, as the company modeled itself after Apple's "unmatched ability to marry culture and technology". In regard to the deal, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that "Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple. That's why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world." Beyond stocking Beats products at its retail outlets, Apple did not provide any further indications over how Beats would be integrated into its product line at the time, and whether Beats Music, which competed with Apple's own iTunes Radio service, would continue to operate after the acquisition.
The acquisition closed on August 1, 2014. Dr. Dre and Iovine were hired as executive employees, and worked at Apple for years afterward. To eliminate redundancy, Apple planned to lay off 200 workers from Beats' workforce of around 700. Beats Music was discontinued effective with the launch of Apple Music on June 30, 2015.
In July 2014, Bose Corporation sued Beats Electronics, alleging that its "Studio" line incorporated noise cancellation technology that infringed five patents held by the company. Bose has also sought an injunction which would ban the infringing products from being imported or sold in the United States. The lawsuit was settled out of court. Apple pulled all Bose products from its retail outlets, although it is unclear whether it was in response to the lawsuit, an ambush marketing conflict involving Beats and the NFL (which had recently named Bose as one of its official sponsors, and thus fined a player for displaying the Beats logo during an official activity), or as a result of Apple's acquisition of Beats. However, two months later, Bose products returned to the shelves of Apple Stores. The companies settled in October 2014: details were not disclosed.
In January 2015, Monster Inc. sued Beats for fraud, alleging that the company had used illicit tactics to force Monster out of the venture whilst retaining rights to the technologies and products that it had co-developed, and engaged in collusion to harm Monster's own audio products business. Monster argued that the acquisition of Beats by HTC and its founders' subsequent buyback was a "sham" to take control of Monster's stake in the company—which could have been valued at over $100 million in the Apple purchase, that the company had "concealed" the role of Monster and its CEO Noel Lee in the design and engineering of its products, and that "had the partnership expired on its own terms, there would have been no transfer of Monster's years of work [onto the company]". Monster also alleged that Beats had partaken in anti-competitive practices with retailers to force those offering Beats products to not offer Monster's competing products.
In June 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that in retaliation for the lawsuit, Apple Inc. revoked Monster's membership in the MFi Program on May 5, 2015, meaning that Monster can no longer manufacture licensed accessories for iPhone, iPod and iPad products, and must cease the sale of existing licensed products that contain the certification or technology licensed through the program by September 2015.
The case was dismissed in August 2016, with a Supreme Court ruling that Beats "had the right to terminate the agreement as of January 7th, 2013 or when there was a transaction resulting in a change of control of Beats", and that Monster "did not obtain the right to approve the change of control. Nor did the agreement require that any change of control had to be objectively reasonable".
Beats' original product line were Beats by Dre headphones. In promotional materials, Dre outlined the line's advantages by alleging that listeners were not able to hear "all" of the music with most headphones, and that Beats would allow people to "hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way they should: the way I do". In comparison to most headphones, Beats products were characterized by an emphasis towards producing larger amounts of bass, and are particularly optimized towards hip-hop and pop music. In October 2012, Beats unveiled its first two self-developed products, the Beats Executive noise-cancelling headphones (to compete with similar offerings by Bose and Sennheiser) and the Beats Pill portable speaker. In October 2015, Beats launched a new collection of speakers including the upgraded Beats Pill+ Speaker.
Beats Solo Pro
This is an on the ear style headphone. Along with the Powerbeats Pro true-wireless earphones, they are part of a new generation of Beats products made from the ground up with Apple. They are the first on-ear headphones made by Beats to feature active noise canceling. They are sold alongside the Solo 3.
Beats Solo 3 Wireless
This is an on-ear style headphone. It can last for 40 hours on a single charge or indefinitely when plugged in via the headphone jack.
Beats Studio 3 Wireless
These are currently the high-end wireless headphones that Beats offers. They connect by Bluetooth and have 40 hours of battery life, with 22 hours of battery life with adaptive noise cancelling on. They feature Apple's W1 chip for quick connection to Apple devices running iOS 10, macOS Sierra, or watchOS 4 or later. They also feature pure adaptive noise cancelling technology, which uses microphones both inside and outside the ear cups to measure sound levels based on the environment. If there is any headgear or eyewear on the user's head, it calibrates the noise cancelling and volume level accordingly. The headphones come in a wide range of colors and editions, including black, blue and special collections such as the "NBA Collection".
On September 7, 2016, Powerbeats³ were released. On February 10, 2017, BeatsX neckband-style headphones were released.Powerbeats Pro were released on May 10, 2019, in the United States and 2 weeks later for UK and Europe. The latest iteration of Powerbeats was released on March 18, 2020, sharing design concepts similar to that of the Powerbeats Pro from the year prior. On October 14, 2020, Beats Flex neckband-style headphones were released as the evolution of BeatsX.  On June 14th, 2021, Beats Studio Buds were released, and priced at US$149.99. 
The company has also licensed the Beats brand, under the name Beats Audio (rendered beats audio), and technology to other manufacturers. In 2009, HP began to offer personal computers equipped with Beats Audio systems, beginning with its HP Envy line. The system features a software equalizer with a preset that HP marketed as being optimized for higher quality sound output. Beats Electronics ceased its partnership with HP following its purchase by Apple Inc.; HP subsequently entered into a similar agreement with Bang & Olufsen.
Following its acquisition of a stake in the company, most new HTC smartphones began to be released with Beats Audio software, beginning with the HTC Sensation XE/XL with Beats Audio in September 2011. The software was to be included in most new HTC devices, such as the One series. The Sensation XE and Rezound were also bundled with Beats by Dre earbuds, but HTC abandoned the practice on future devices. A HTC product executive claimed that despite the prominence of the Beats brand, "an accessory like the headphone doesn't factor in when someone is buying a smartphone".
In 2011, Beats reached a deal with Chrysler LLC to feature Beats-branded audio systems in its vehicles. The first vehicle under the partnership was its 2012 Chrysler 300Sluxury vehicle, which included a 10-speaker Beats by Dr. Dre sound system. Beats audio systems have also been included in models from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' other marques. Automobile brands that currently have Beats audio systems available in its vehicles are Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, Volkswagen, and SEAT.
Main article: Beats Music
On July 2, 2012, Beats announced it had acquired the online music service MOG, in a purchase reported to have been between $10 million and $16 million. Beats stated that the acquisition was part of the company's goal to develop a "truly end-to-end music experience". The acquisition did not include the company's blog and advertising network, the MOG Music Network, which was sold in a separate transaction to the broadcasting company Townsquare Media in August 2012.
While MOG indicated that it would continue to operate independently with no immediate change in service, Beats subsequently announced a new subscription-based online music service, known as Beats Music, which launched in January 2014. In comparison to its competitors, such as Spotify and Google Play Music, the service emphasizes recommendations by music professionals alongside algorithmic recommendations. MOG was shut down on May 31, 2014, and existing users were directed to Beats Music. Beats Music was in turn replaced by Apple Music in June 2015; the service also incorporates a Beats-branded online radio station, Beats 1.
Dolby Atmos Support
In May 2021, Apple announced spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support. Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and all Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip.
Some critics claim that Beats products emphasize appearance over quality and function, arguing that more durable and better-sounding products are available for the same price or lower. Tests done on an HTC smartphone with Beats Audio indicated that the audio technology is a combination of audio equalization that boosts the low (bass) and high ends of the audio range, audio compression, and audio amplification. On accusations that Beats' products were "bass heavy", Beats' current president denies it, citing that their products are not for reference, but rather for playback.
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You dont drink. Hmm. And I love and there is nothing else to do here, the forest around.
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Everything was done just fine. And in this paradise on wheels we had to make a trip in the direction of Florida. The period from December 20 to January 10 we had to spend with our family to mark Noel.Lil Durk in the A-COLD-WALL* Beats Studio3 Wireless
With shallow penetrations, she worked out the entrance to the ass. Then he started to go deeper. Tanya began to change her holes.
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Slanting eyes are summed up with greenish shadows. The brightly colored lips felt swollen, as if from prolonged kisses. Short, more than a head shorter than a man, the hostess is dressed in a short plaid skirt.