Apple has made a significant leap forward in the world of audio technology with the recent unveiling of the Beats Studio Pro, marking the first major overhaul of the Beats Studio line since 2017. While Beats products have coexisted alongside Apple’s popular AirPods, the Beats Studio Pro is poised to compete directly with the AirPods Max, Apple’s high-end and expensive headphones. However, what truly sets the Beats Studio Pro apart is its exciting tease of two new features that could potentially make their way to the next-generation AirPods Max: the adoption of the versatile USB-C port and support for Lossless audio.
The Beats Studio Pro may appear strikingly familiar, as it has retained the signature design elements that have made Beats headphones popular. Subtle changes, like the omission of the “Beats” logo from the top headband, are the only telltale signs of the advancements that lie beneath the surface. Inside, the Beats Studio Pro boasts technological improvements that bring it even closer to the highly acclaimed AirPods Max.
The hardware upgrade on the Beats Studio Pro is nothing short of remarkable. Equipped with a new chip that enables Spatial Audio with Dynamic Head Tracking and Personalization, akin to the features found in AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, these headphones offer a remarkable listening experience. Furthermore, the inclusion of a USB-C port instead of the traditional Lightning connector represents a significant shift in Apple’s product ecosystem.
Apple has been progressively transitioning from the Lightning to the more versatile USB-C port, with the iPhone being the last major device still reliant on the former. As a universal standard for charging, USB-C presents numerous advantages over Lightning. However, for the Beats Studio Pro, the USB-C port serves an even greater purpose.
A notable breakthrough is that the Beats Studio Pro becomes Apple’s first set of headphones to achieve certification for Lossless audio. While previous Beats headphones have featured a 3.5mm analog audio output, the Beats Studio Pro now integrates a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC), enabling lossless audio playback at an impressive 24-bit / 48 kHz via USB-C.
This particular feature addresses a point of contention for customers who purchased the $549 AirPods Max, as they lacked support for Lossless audio due to the absence of a 3.5mm audio jack for direct analog audio output. Instead, the AirPods Max relied on the Lightning port, which converted analog audio signals to digital, resulting in a potential loss of audio quality.
For audiophiles and discerning listeners, the inclusion of Lossless support in a premium product like the AirPods Max is essential. Surprisingly, it is the Beats Studio Pro, not the AirPods Max, that achieves this feat first, elevating the reputation of Beats headphones to new heights in the audio community.
Beyond Lossless audio capabilities, the USB-C port brings another advantageous feature to the table – simultaneous audio transmission and charging. Users can now recharge their Beats Studio Pro headphones using their iPad or Mac while simultaneously enjoying their favorite music. This multitasking prowess sets the Beats Studio Pro apart from its AirPods Max counterpart, which lacks this capability due to its reliance on the Lightning port.
Rumors circulating in recent times indicate that Apple intends to adopt USB-C across its entire AirPods lineup, in line with the anticipated move of the iPhone from Lightning to USB-C. However, the timing of the release of an updated version of the AirPods Max with these enhancements remains uncertain, leaving consumers in anticipation.