Ever since Apple bought Beats in 2014 the headphone brand has gone from strength to strength. Seen on high streets, in airports and clamped onto the heads of sportspeople and athletes, Beats are a go-to choice if you want to spend that little bit more on headphones.
And though Beats headphones work with any Bluetooth device they are best when paired with your iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac. Many have the great W1 chip also found in Apple AirPods to make connecting easier than ever.
Different types of Beats headphones
Generally speaking there are three kinds of headphones, and they are all represented in the Beats line up. In-ear, on-ear and over-ear all serve different fits, tastes and looks.
In-ear Beats will come with different sized tips to suit different sizes of ear, while on-ear and over-ear are similarly designed. The latter completely covers the entire ear and sometimes offer active noise cancellation to tune out the outside world.
How much should you spend on Beats?
It depends on your budget and what you want from a pair of Beats. There are cheaper options in the range, but if you want the classic Beats look with the on- or over-ear design then the price will edge over £200.
We’ve also opted to review some of the more premium Beats headphones for this round up – this is the best Beats, after all.
But for the price you’ll get a pair of headphones with excellent sound quality, fit and connectivity with your iPhone and other Apple gear.
Do you need wireless Beats?
Most of the Beats here are wireless, so you’ll need to keep them charged to work over Bluetooth. The on- and over-ear models come with a headphone jack attachment though, in case you are caught short when out and about.
The urBeats3 are wired and have a headphone jack or Lightning connector depending on which model you go for.
Best Beats headphones 2018
The Studio 3 Wireless are the most fully featured Beats headphones and can claim to to be best you can buy. This also means they are the most expensive, but their RRP still undercuts similar products from Bose and Sony.
While working best with an iPhone or iPad it’s great that you could use them with any other Bluetooth device should you want to. Sound quality is close to as good as you’ll find on headphones for this price, but they may not be the ones to go for if your main musical love is loud, guitar-led rock music.
That said, it’s hard to truly fault the Studio 3 and they stand out further thanks to exceptional comfort and class-leading battery life.
Read our Beats Studio 3 Wireless review.
If you’re looking for a stylish, discreet pair of earphones, the BeatsX are an ideal option. Featuring a variety of wingtips and eartips to find the perfect fit, the BeatsX stay securely in your ears no matter what you’re doing. They’re incredibly lightweight and comfortable to wear, thanks in part to the Flex Foam cable.
The highlight of the BeatsX is, surprisingly, in the battery department. It features Fast Fuel tech that provides two hours of playback with five minutes of charging, and can go from flat-to-full in only 40 minutes.
In the sound department, the BeatsX don’t disappoint. The bass is punchy but not overpowering like older Beats headphones, providing nice, balanced audio with warm mids and crisp highs.
Our one disappointment is that these sporty earphones don’t offer any kind of water- or even sweat-resistance.
Read our BeatsX review.
If you must have Beats and you want in-ear wired headphones then the urBeats3 are the best you can get. Their audio is similar to the wireless BeatsX but with the advantage of a headphone jack.
Comfort is a slight issue over extended periods but you might find otherwise. With a new RRP at under half the price of the BeatsX, the urBeats3 are a bit of a steal.
Read our Beats urBeats3 review.
Price-wise these are on the high side for sporty headphones, but they do a fair job of justifying this.
They stay on well and achieve a good, snug and largely sound-insulating fit, although clipping on the ear hooks can be a bit awkward. Design is fairly pleasing to the eye but also practical, with water resistance and drop protection well covered.
The W1 chip means setup is a breeze for Apple users, and sound quality is good where it counts: loud, brutal beats. More delicate tunes are handled less deftly but really, who listens to classical music on a run?
Read our Beats Powerbeats 3 Wireless review.
The Beats Solo 3 Wireless are potentially amazing headphones. If you’re happy with the familiar plastic (and durable) design to start with.
We’re impressed with the features on offer here, particularly the best battery life we’ve ever seen on a pair of wireless headphones.
Sound quality is good, but more than most headphones you need to be a fan of bass dominant music for the Solo 3 Wireless to suit you. If you’re likely to listen to other genres far more, then we’d recommend looking elsewhere.
Read our Beats Solo 3 Wireless review.