AirPods Max vs Beats Studio 3: Which Is the Best?

Have you been searching the market for a set of new headphones? If so, it is highly likely that you've shortlisted the AirPods Max and the Beats Studio 3 as suitable candidates.

Confused about which one to choose between them? This article will focus on just that.

The Beats Studio 3, a sister product to the AirPods Max, adorns a price tag significantly less than the latter. Both devices share a similar set of functions. Although, the audio quality on the Airpods Max stands a notch above the Studio 3. The Beats offering, sadly, is a bit heftier than the Airpods Max.

FeatureAirPods MaxBeats Studio 3
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)YesYes
Audio SwitchingYes Yes
Audio SharingYes Yes
Dynamic Head TrackingYesNo
Battery Life (all features turned on)20 hours22 hours
ChipApple H1Apple W1
BluetoothClass 1Class 1
Weight (in grams)385g260g
AirPods Max vs Beats Studio 3

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AirPods Max: Best of Apple

Airpods Max

The AirPods Max, the flagship audio offering from Apple, has quite quickly become one of the most recognized headphones in the market.

Features five colors, namely Silver, Space Grey, Sky Blue, Pink, and Green, the Airpods Max doesn't disappoint in the aesthetics department as well.

AirPods Max claims to deliver an unparalleled listening experience with its industry-leading Active Noise Cancellation.

The AirPods Max features a unique audio driver setup designed for the sole purpose of producing crystal clear sound with ultra-low distortion across the frequency range.

AirPods Max delivers accurate, clean, and crisp audio that is capable of reproducing every note with clarity and contributing to a near-perfect three-dimensional listening experience.

AirPods Max also has the wireless connectivity feature of the AirPods family along with Siri commands making your listening experience smooth and easy.

The only notable downside of the AirPods is its apparent sound leakage issue that may arise as a result of user error and improper maintenance.

Apple AirPods Max
Apple AirPods Max Wireless Over-Ear Headphones. Active Noise Cancelling, Transparency Mode, Spatial Audio, Digital Crown for Volume Control. Bluetooth Headphones for iPhone - Space Gray

Beats Studio 3: Flagship from Dr. Dre

Beats Studio 3

Beats Studio 3 is the latest high-end wireless headphones from Beats Electronics LLC also known as Beats by Dr. Dre.

It is a known fact that Beats by Dr. Dre has been an Apple subsidiary since 2014. The inclusion of the Apple W1 chip stands witness to this collaboration.

The exterior design is mostly unchanged compared to the previous Studio Wireless version.

However, the audio drivers and internal electronics have been updated which improves overall sound quality.

Another thing to take note of the Studio 3 is its similarities to the AirPods Max.

Both devices feature almost the same set of features, which is to be expected since both devices come out of the same workbench.

Beats Studio 3
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, 22 Hours of Listening Time, Built-in Microphone - Defiant Black-Red (Latest Model)

Airpods Max vs Beats Studio 3: A Comparison


Airpods Max vs Beats Studio 3 Price

Here is how much it would cost you to own an AirPods Max or the Beats Studio 3

AirPods Max$479
Beats Studio 3$231
Beats Studio 3 vs Airpods Max Price

How much do both of these headphones cost?

The AirPods Max is priced at $479 in the United States.

On the other hand, the Beats Studio 3 boasts a price tag of about $231.

But does this disparity in price reflect on the internals and the sound quality of Studio 3? Let's find out:

Audio Quality

Airpods Max vs Beats Studio 3 Audio Quality

AirPods Max

The AirPods Max is reminiscent of a floor-standing speaker with dual neodymium ring magnet motors minimizing total harmonic distortion across the whole audible range.

Using the AirPods Max, the output of this setup gives consistently clear playback, even at full volume.

The AirPods also employ the Beamforming technique to isolate your voice on phone calls so that it is heard clearly even under noisy situations.

Apple has designed a dynamic driver for the AirPods Max, capable of producing a wide frequency range with minimal distortions.

Beats Studio 3

Beats Studio 3 delivers much less audio quality in comparison with the AirPods.

However, if you are a user that prefers punchy lower frequencies, then Beats Studio 3 is a good option as these headphones boost bass notes.

The audio quality on calls is also a mixed bag. Although, the built-in microphone on the Studio 3 has more than adequate quality over call.

However, users attribute good quality audio over call only in ideal quiet conditions. Under windy or other noisy situations, that may not be the case.

Noise Cancelling/Isolation

Airpods Max vs Beats Studio 3 Noise cancelling

Airpods Max

AirPods Max employs a total of six outward-facing microphones to detect ambient noise in your immediate environment.

It also employs two inward-facing microphones to measure the audio environment inside the earcups.

The noise cancellation feature allows for total immersion and little to no external stimuli.

The AirPods Max features a noise cancellation button to enable/disable ANC.

For example, you can switch to Transparency mode from Active Noise Cancellation mode to let outside sound in, enabling you to interact naturally with your surroundings.

Beats Studio 3

The Active Noise Cancelling feature continuously pinpoints, isolates, and cancels exterior noise in real time to play sound the way it was meant to be played.

This feature can be turned on and off either by clicking the power button twice or by accessing the Bluetooth settings app on iOS.

On Android, you can toggle ANC by downloading the Beats App.

All high-end headphones boast an Active Noise Cancellation feature. The Beats Studio 3 is good at physically blocking noise from entering your ears due to its design.

As a result, the cumulative effect is pretty good.

By default, the Active Noise Cancellation feature is turned ON on the Beats Studio 3.

Features On-Board

Airpods Max vs Beats Studio 3 features

Here are the many features available on the AirPods Max and the Beats Studio 3:

FeatureAirPods MaxBeats Studio 3
Active Noise CancellationYes Yes
Spacial AudioYes Yes
Dynamic Head TrackingYesNo
Audio SharingYesYes
Features on-board

As evident from the table, both devices share a similar set of features.

The only notable shortcoming is with the Beats Studio 3 which fails to feature the Dynamic Head Tracking function.

AirPods Max

To start off, the Airpods Max feature Adaptive EQ that tailors the sound profile to your preference.

Additionally, inward-facing microphones measure the audio environment inside the earcups and adjust the frequencies of your music accordingly to deliver a rich, consistent experience.

Personalized Spacial Audio along with dynamic head tracking gives a theatre-like experience that completely surrounds you.

AirPods Max along with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV track the motion of your head using built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers.

You can connect the AirPods Max to your iPhone or iPad effortlessly with a single tap. To pair your AirPods Max, place it near your device and tap 'Connect' on your screen.

This also enables you to seamlessly switch between iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.

For instance, if you are listening to music on your Mac and you take a call on your iPhone, the AirPods Max will automatically switch over.

You can also share audio between two sets of AirPods Max on your iPhone, iPad touch, or Apple TV. You can do this by bringing any AirPods near the device you are listening to and tapping on Connect.

Another cool feature that Apple brings to the table is Dynamic Head Tracking. This feature automatically pauses the audio when you take the AirPods Max off your head and resumes playback when you put them back on.

As with all other Apple products, you get Siri at your beck and call. You can schedule meetings, respond to notifications, and more with just the phrase 'Hey Siri'.

You also get 6 months of Apple Music free with your AirPods Max purchase.

Beats Studio 3

Beats Studio 3 has an audio-sharing feature that is compatible with most of the Beats lineup along with AirPods Pro and Airpods Max.

For this feature to work, you must use an iPhone 8 or above with the most recent firmware version.

The 'b' button on the left earcup can be used to control music by pressing to play, pause, fast forward, or volume up and down.

The Beats Studio 3 Box comes with the headphones, a carrying case, a 3.5 mm RemoteTalk cable, Universal USB charging cable, Quick Start Guide, and a Warranty Card.

Battery Life

Battery Life (with all features turned on)
AirPods Max20 hours
Beats Studio 322 hours
Battery life

AirPods Max

AirPods Max with Lightning cable

The AirPods Max can last up to 20 hours of listening time, talk time, or movie playback with the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Spatial Audio turned on.

Charging the AirPods Max for 5 minutes via a lightning connector generates enough battery life for around 1.5 hours of listening time.

However, you can also charge your AirPods with a 20W charger to get a much better charging time.

The AirPods Max enters an ultra-low power mode that conserves charge when stored in their Smart Case.

Beats Studio 3

Beats Studio 3 delivers a battery life of up to 22 hours with the noise cancellation feature turned on or up to 40 hours with the noise cancellation feature turned off.

Beats Studio 3 is designed for long-term comfort. The cushiony padding that comes with the Studio 3 provides a much-desired comfort for long periods of listening.

The Fast Fuel feature provides 3 hours of battery life with only 10 minutes of charging.

Beats Studio 3 also has a LED fuel gauge that shows the charge level.

When plugged in, it shows a full or depleted charge level. When not plugged in, it shows full, low or depleted charge levels.


ConnectivityAirPods MaxBeats Studio 3
ChipApple H1Apple W1
BluetoothClass 1Class 1

AirPods Max

AirPods Max paired to iPhone

Airpods Max has an Apple H1 chip with Class 1 Bluetooth. H1 chips have made several improvements over their predecessor the W1 chip.

These improvements include 1.5 times faster connection time for phone calls, up to 30 percent lower gaming latency, and twice the speed up on switching between active devices.

You could also use your AirPods Max in wired mode to conserve battery.

Beats Studio 3

Beats Studio 3 has an Apple W1 chip with Class 1 Bluetooth which provides a seamless setup and enables switching between Apple devices with extended range and fewer dropouts.

You can also wirelessly share audio such as songs, podcasts, or movies with Beats Studio 3 and another set of compatible Beats headphones or AirPods with Audio Sharing.

Comfort and Build Quality

Airpods Max vs Beats Studio 3 Build Quality
Weight (in grams)
AirPods Max385g
Beats Studio 3260g
Weight Comparison

AirPods Max

With a custom acoustic design paired with advanced software, the AirPods Max employs computational audio to give you an immersive listening experience.

The H1 chip's 10 audio cores are used to block outside noise and adapt the audio to the fit and seal of your ear cushions.

AirPods Max is designed for an uncompromising fit designed for different head shapes.

The canopy spanning the length of the headband is made from a breathable knit mesh, which distributes weight in order to reduce on-head pressure.

The stainless steel frame is wrapped with a soft material that gives a combination of strength, flexibility, and comfort to the user.

The arms of the AirPods Max telescope out smoothly and stay where you set them for a consistent fit and seal.

A meticulously designed mesh textile wraps the ear cushions to provide a pillow-like softness even over prolonged usage.

Each aluminum cup features literally a revolutionary mechanism that allows it to rotate independently and balance the pressure.

The ear cups are also acoustically engineered with memory foam which creates an immersive seal that fortifies over usage.

The Airpods Max features a specially designed digital crown that lets you precisely control volume, skip tracks, answer calls, and engage with Siri.

AirPods Max weighs approximately 385 grams.

Beats Studio 3

Beats Studio 3 is capable of calibrating noise canceling and volume levels if the user is wearing any headgear or eyewear.

Studio 3 is engineered for all-day comfort. The design is lightweight, durable, and comfortable for prolonged use.

The headphones also feature advanced venting to aid noise-canceling technology along with ergonomic pivoting ear cups.

Beats Studio 3 weighs approximately 260 grams.

Final Verdict

Both of these devices offer lots of features, incredible build quality, and unique acoustic designs.

However, on the basis of audio quality, the AirPods Max is better than Beats Studio 3. Studio 3 offers a high bass experience that might not be everyone's cup of tea.

For the price of the Beats Studio 3, many users claim that the headphones under-deliver.

Users have also pointed out that the AirPods Max wired mode doesn't work. This can be attributed to using cheap third-party cables. Always rely on proprietary cables for wired mode.

Both of these products offer Apple Limited Warranty for a period of 1 year.

Hopefully, this article has given you enough information to narrow down your choice.

Have a great day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it OK to use AirPods every day?

Using AirPods every day is not recommended as constant use can damage ear health. Overexposure to sounds for prolonged periods can cause temporary or permanent loss of hearing, especially if used at high volumes.

Does AirPods Max bleed noise?

In terms of audio leakage, AirPods Max has decent performance. AirPods Max leaks a bit of sound across the audio range. However, most of it falls below the average noise level of social space. It is unlikely that the leakage will turn heads around you, even when played at a high volume.

Can you wear AirPods Max in the rain?

AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd generation), AirPods (3rd generation), MagSafe Charging Case for AirPods (3rd generation), Lightning Charging Case for AirPods (3rd generation), and MagSafe Charging Case for AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are water and sweat resistant. However, they are not waterproof or sweatproof.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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