Battle Royale with Cheese (Headphones Edition): Beats Studio 3 Vs JLab Studio Pro

Top of the line vs. bargain bin

Joshua Beck


How much money do you need to spend on headphones?

That’s a question I found myself asking on Black Friday, as I skimmed the deals on Best Buy’s website. After finally, finally settling on which devices I wanted to use on a day-to-day basis, I got back to the original tech “splurge” that had me frequenting Best Buy at the beginning of the year (back in the good ol’ days, when hand sanitizer was not something I had to think about constantly).

Before I got into my indecisive phase with computers that has fueled the majority of my tech stories this year, headphones were the thing I was busy comparing; namely, I was looking for over-the-ear (or perhaps on-ear) headphones that I could use for hours at a time while working without the fatigue (or Tinnitus flare-ups) that I got from in-ear buds. And I looked at a plethora of headphones, from the cheapest JLab headphones to the more expensive options from Beats, JBL, and others.

But a year later, when I finally came back around to wanting some over-ear headphones, only one brand came to mind again: Beats.

This wasn’t because they were the best on the market; I knew that headphones from Bose and Sony would likely have better sound than Beats, which tend to favor bass a little more than some reviewers like. But being an Apple brand, they came with some unique benefits for someone who has gone all-in with Apple products as I have. And I remembered that they were quite comfortable.

But I can never, ever be satisfied with buying one product and sticking with it. If you’ve read my other tech articles, you’ll know that my superpower is massive indecisiveness; I tried out a whopping 10 computers before deciding that the new MacBook Air with M1 was right for me, and I tried 6 different tablets before determining that the diminutive iPad Mini was all I needed in that space. So, naturally, I was gonna try a few different options before I settled down with one.

In fact, even before we get to the Beats that I’m comparing in this story, I tried out the Beats Solo Pro, which Best Buy had on sale for $169 at the time. And I loved everything about them, from…