Apple’s “AirPods for Android”
The Studio Buds are more affordable and compatible than Apple’s AirPods line
Apple has announced the Studio Buds wireless earphones, the latest addition to its Beats headphones line and a strong signal for how the company divides its two competing personal-audio brands. Studio Buds are priced at $149.99.
The Studio Buds are more affordable and compatible than Apple’s AirPods line: they charge via the more universal USB-C connector rather than Apple’s proprietary Lightning and they have a dedicated Android app, making them friendlier to users outside the company’s device ecosystem.
Google Assistant trigger
Apple has sought to make the AirPods a more premium product, adding the pricey AirPods Max over-ear headphones at the top of its range and sound enhancements like Spatial Audio to differentiate its products. The Beats Studio Buds do include the Spatial Audio capability with Apple gear, but they also allow Android users to see exactly how much battery charge each earbud and the accompanying carry case have remaining, plus their controls can be customized to even include a Google Assistant trigger.
In testing by Bloomberg News, the contoured shape and light weight of the buds made them comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. They offer a noise canceling option, which isn’t hugely effective against loud traffic noise on the street but helps improve the user experience. Battery life is rated at 8 hours on a single charge with noise canceling turned off.
The Beats Studio Buds are available to order immediately and start shipping on June 24.