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Why Apple ditching the Beats name for high-end headphones would make sense

Red Beats headphones against a white background.

So long, Beats? When it comes to premium headphones, that may not be a bad thing.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported Apple is working on noise-canceling, over-ear headphones that would compete with headsets from Bose and its own Beats by Dre brand.

Apple has a rich history in music, from iPod and iTunes to Apple Music AirPods. The surprising tidbit in the report: these new headphones might not use the Beats brand.

Apple bought Beats for $3 billion in 2014, taking a stylish and popular franchise into its fold. But many audiophiles say they are not great-sounding headphones. People generally don't buy Beats for their sound; they buy them because they're cool.

"I would not be at all surprised to see Apple move upmarket with headphones with the Apple brand rather than Beats," says Avi Greengart, an industry analyst with GlobalData, a market research firm. 

Greengart, however, cautions that just because Apple might launch its own brand of headphones, the Beats brand is notgoing to disappear. "They own the brand, this isn't a relationship. Beats is wholly owned by Apple." 

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. 

This wouldn't be the first time Apple moved off Beats

New high-end headphones would complement AirPods well.

A move like this wouldn't even be unprecedented for Apple. Apple ditched the Beats name in favor it's own when it launched Apple Music in 2015, subsequently shutting down Beats Music.

AirPods, Apple's popular $159 wireless earbuds first launched in 2016, similarly lack the Beats name in favor of Apple's own. (Reports also point to new AirPods arriving later this year as well). 

The HomePod, the company's new $349 smart speaker that hit shelves last month, similarly isn't "Beats" branded, even though Beats makes its own speaker called the Pill+. While critics have criticized the HomePod's price and limited functionality, one thing that has been commonly praised is how well it sounds. 

More:Apple's pricey HomePod sounds great but exacts some trade-offs

Research firm recently estimated the earphone and headphone market would grow to $20 billion in revenue by 2023, providing plenty of reasons for Apple to target this market.

While it is unclear how Apple would price its new headphones, rival Bose charges $349.95 for its popular QuietComfort 35 high-end wireless headphones. Beats' premium consumer headphones, the Beats Studio3, are similarly priced. 

But if Apple truly wants to take on Bose, Sennheiser and others in the high-end headphone game, it will need to leverage the HomePod's goodwill. Even if that means sacrificing Beats. 

Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal

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Download the Beats app to unlock features that put you at the center of your music like never before. With one-touch pairing*, automatic updates, and dedicated product controls - connect to your supported Beats products in the app to get the most out of them.

Once you’re up and running, effortlessly see the battery status and access key features from the Product Card when you turn on your Beats products - no need to open the app first*.

*Location access is required to enable quick pairing and battery notification features, even when the app is running in the background


True wireless noise cancelling Beats Studio Buds are made for music. Designed with a custom acoustic platform, Beats Studio Buds are engineered to deliver powerful, balanced sound in a compact, in-ear form factor. The result — immersive sound that pulls the emotion of music from the studio to your ears to keep you inspired. These earphones feature two listening modes, Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and Transparency mode, to give you total control of your sound. Each earbud has up to 8 hours of listening time with two additional charges provided by its pocket-sized charging case to give you up to 24 hours of combined playback.


Stay connected to the world you love with all-day wireless Beats Flex earphones. In your ears or around your neck, they’re as versatile as the life you lead. With up to12 hours of battery life, you’ll always be ready for whatever the day (or night) may bring. Enjoy rich, powerful sound with both accurate bass and low distortion across the frequency curve. Magnetic earbuds make listening that much easier with Auto-Play/Pause, playing music when they’re in your ears and pausing when they’re connected around your neck.


DJ – Grab a friend and control the music from two Bluetooth® sources.

Amplify – Add a second Beats Pill⁺ into the mix and simultaneously play from both for a sound that’s twice as full.

Stereo – Use two Beats Pill⁺ speakers as left and right output for an even more dynamic sound experience.


Analytics is designed to protect your information and enable you to choose what you share. Apple collects analytics information about your Beats app and your Beats products, such as the device software versions, device rename occurrences, and device update success and fail rates, in order to improve the product.

None of the collected information identifies you personally. The information collected will only be used by Apple to improve the quality and performance of the Beats app as well as the Beats products.

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Beats Studio Buds offer a compact design, noise-canceling and Android/iOS fast pairing at $150

When they were released in 2019, Powerbeats Pro were standouts. Two-plus years later, they remain one of the more well-rounded wireless earbuds on the market. There are things I would change, of course. Even in 2019, that charging case was ridiculously large. In 2021, the original case is all the more absurd. And, of course, noise-canceling has become nearly standardized among mid-tier buds.

After weeks of rumors and leaks (including a very public cameo on the ears of one of the world’s most famous athletes), Beats’ latest take on the space is finally official. Meet the Beats Studio Pro. They are not, as the company will be quick to tell you, a Powerbeats Pro replacement. Those are sticking around (which isn’t to say they won’t be getting their own upgrade).

Beats may be Apple-owned, but in most respects, the brand operates as it has. It was a wildly successful brand well before Apple got its hands on it, after all. So the company’s opted not to fix what’s clearly not broken. And while technology is clearly shared between the two camps (the H1 chip on the Powerbeats, example), it maintains a line between its self-branded audio offerings (AirPods, et al.) and the Beats line. There’s a reason Beats never really shows up at Apple events, in spite of having a big announcement the following week.

Image Credits: Brian Heater

Compared to AirPods, the Beats lines can get a bit convoluted. Effectively the new Studio Beats are a fully wireless earbud line from the company, borrowing a name from its premium over-ear line. But the new buds are actually significantly more compact than Powerbeats Pro, both in terms of the case and the buds themselves. Also notable — and frankly a bit surprising — is the pricing.

At $150, the Studio Buds are a fair bit cheaper than the two-year-old Powerbeats Pro, which currently go for between $160 and $200 online. Keep in mind, that’s down from a launch price of $250. That’s also $50 less than the AirPods and $20 less than the Galaxy Buds. It’s a nice price for what you’re getting here — though maybe my standards have shifted a bit, just coming off of a review of the $280 Sony WF-1000XM4.

Those Sonys are in a class of their own, of course. It’s much fairer for all parties concerned to pit them against other midrange headphones. And by that metric, they perform pretty well. The biggest addition here is active noise canceling — keep in mind, it was far from standard when the Powerbeats Pro were announced. These days, however, it feels like a glaring omission at this price range (Google, I’m looking at you).

Image Credits: Brian Heater

Another interesting top-level feature is fast pairing for both iOS and Android, making the Studio Beats one of the first products to walk that line. Funny that it comes from an Apple product, but again, the company seems be afforded at least a little bit of freedom on that front. It’s a small thing — after all, many people will only use the iOS/Android one-touch pairing once, but there’s a lot to be said for making the product as accessible to as many potential customers as possible.

I like the new streamlined design of the buds. As mentioned above, the new case is a fraction of the size of the Powerbeats. Still, the Studio Buds have the same stated battery life, with eight hours on the headphones and 24 total, when you factor in the case. That’s a healthy bit of life, which is quickly becoming the standard these days. There’s a USB-C port on the bottom (a move away from the Apple-only Lightning), which will give you an hour of playback time on a five-minute charge.

Image Credits: Brian Heater

The case is wider and a bit thicker than the AirPods Pro, but is still easily pocketed. It has a bit of a cheap plasticky feel to it, but the matte finish is a nice touch. The branding is the standard Beats level of loud, with a big, bold white “b” set against the black. The buds, too, sport the logo, which can pass for a “9” or a “6” depending on positioning. The lid has a snap to it, and the magnets on the buds snap nicely in place — though, as with the Powerbeats, it can take a little finagling to get them into the proper position.

The buds are fairly compact, as well. The earhooks are gone. That’s something of a mixed bag, honestly. I didn’t think I would love the Powerbeats Pros earhooks, but as someone who experiences some ear pain with a lot of different bud designs, I’ve found them to be among the most comfortable options, transferring the load bearing to the top of the ear.

The Studio Buds are fairly comfortable, and I was able to work out in them (IPX4 rating FTW), though I did have some trouble keeping them in place on occasion. That’s certainly never been a problem with the Powerbeats. If you really don’t want them to move, I recommend applying a bit of pressure to really corkscrew them in place.

One of the design choices I really appreciate that Beats brought back is the physical button. Powerbeats had them and they’re back here on the end of the Studio Buds. It’s got a nice little click to it that I prefer to purely touch-based buttons. A single click will Play/Pause and a long click will turn ANC on and off.

Image Credits: Brian Heater

The ANC is a nice addition, of course. It does a decent job with ambient noise, but can’t really touch what you’ll find on higher-end systems. The sound quality, too, has come a ways in the last couple of years. Beats has refined things with a pair of 8.2mm drivers that offer solid sound at their price point. These aren’t sitting-around-and-enjoy-the-finer-points-of-classical-sonata-or-experimental-jazz-record buds; they are, however, solid, listen-to-music-or-a-podcast-while-going-about-your-life headphones.

There’s a lot to like about the buds, and with little question, they’re a much better deal in 2021 than the Powerbeats Pro, even if they don’t feel as groundbreaking as their predecessors did at launch.

The new Beats Studio Buds are up for preorder today and start shipping June 24.

How to reset and rename Beats X headphones

'Experience beats youth any day', says Dwayne Bravo as 'Dad's Army' CSK lift fourth IPL title

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) all-rounder Dwayne Bravo feels experience can any day defeat the youth when it comes to locking horns in the shortest format of the day.CSK, also knows as `Dad`s Army`, lifted their fourth IPL title on Friday after defeating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final by 27 runs.

CSK was the first team to get off from the race of playoffs in IPL 2020 and Bravo said he was really disappointed last year after the dismal performance by the side in the showpiece event.

"That`s the first thing I`m going to do when I turn on my phone - let Kieron Pollard know this is the 16th (T20 titles he has won). He has some catching up to do. Belief in the squad from management, owners. After last season was really disappointing," Bravo said after the win in the post-match presentation.

"Owed it to the franchise, the fans to come up with a better performance. Don`t get nervous (coming into a final). Have had good performance in different phases of the tournament.

"Faf and Ruturaj stand out for us. To have these two guys scoring over 500 runs together. Experience beats youth any day. Going to change the name from Mr. Champion to Sir Champion," he added.

CSK, who posted 192/3 on the board on the back of Faf du Plessis` brilliant 86, restricted KKR to 165/9 and sealed a 27-run win. The side has previously won the tournament in 2010, 2011, and 2018.


Name change beats

Apple launches rebranded mobile app for select Beats headphones

Apple has quietly updated the Beats app with new important features and a name change. The app that was previously known as Beats Pill is now known as Beats and addresses to a larger pool of Beats fans. Up until now, the app was meant for those who own the Beats Pill+ speaker, allowing them to control various aspects.

The new Beats app does a lot more and caters to a much larger audience – audiophiles. Spotted by AndroidPolice, the rebranded Beats app is now compatible with five of Beats' more popular Bluetooth-enabled headphones, such as Studio3, Solo3, Powerbeats3, BeatsX, and Powerbeats Pro.

The Beats app unlocks a number of interesting features for Beats headphonesusers, such as the ability to see the battery status and access to key functions when you turn on the headphones. Those who own the Beats Studio3 wireless headphoneswill be able to control the Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling (ANC) feature directly from the Product Card of the Beats App.

If you're using an Android smartphone with your Beats headphones, you can now download the new Beats app for free via Google Play Store. The iOS Beats app remains unchanged though, at least for the time being.
How to Rename Your Beats Headphones! (Solo3, Beats Solo Pro, Beats Studio 3, Powerbeats Pro,Beats X)

End of an era: Cleveland beats Kansas City Royals in final home game before name change

Cleveland's Amed Rosario hits an RBI-single in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND — Cleveland won its last home game before becoming the Guardians, beating the Kansas City Royals 8-3 on Monday to close a run that started in 1915 and will continue next season with a new identity.

Amed Rosario homered and Cal Quantrill pitched six strong innings to delight a Progressive Field crowd of 13,121 that came to see their team play one last time with its current name. Rosario finished with four hits and three RBIs.

Cleveland starting pitcher Cal Quantrill delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cleveland’s Bradley Zimmer homered off his brother, Kansas City reliever Kyle Zimmer, in the eighth.

Salvador Perez drove in two runs for the Royals.

The home finale was the club’s final game in Cleveland with its current name, ending a 106-year run in a city where the name will forever be attached to those of legendary players like Bob Feller, Larry Doby and Jim Thome.

But now it is a memory, just not yet faded or distant.

The team announced the name change earlier this year in the wake of a nationwide reckoning over racist names and symbols. For some, the change was overdue. Others still aren't ready.

Cleveland's Jose Ramirez fields a ball hit by Kansas City Royals' Adalberto Mondesi in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Cleveland. Mondesi was out on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cleveland won two World Series (1920 and 1948) with its current name, and came close to winning it all in 1995, 1997 and 2016 only to twice lose in heartbreaking fashion. Now, baseball's longest current title drought carries on under a new name.

Monday's matinee was a makeup from a rainout last week, pushing the current name's sendoff to a previously scheduled off day.

The adjustment allowed fans who wouldn't have otherwise attended to catch history, and there were lines at the ballpark's ticket office — an uncommon sight for a team that has struggled with attendance.

Kansas City Royals' Adalberto Mondesi, right, throws out Cleveland's Myles Straw at first base as Andres Gimenez runs by in the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Once the team plays its 2021 finale in Texas on Oct. 3, there will be a transition period before the name officially changes to Guardians, selected from over 1,000 entries submitted during a renaming process.

Cleveland fans have been understandably conflicted — and divided —- about the change and expressed their wide-range of feelings as they prepared to say goodbye to the only name they've known.

Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez, right, scores as Cleveland catcher Austin Hedges waits for the ball in the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

It's been a mixture of sadness, resentment toward owner Paul Dolan for making the switch and the anticipation of a new beginning.

Acting manager DeMarlo Hale empathizes with those who might not be ready to see the name go.

“Years and years and years," Hale said. “I know it’s different in a sense when you take on change. But I truly believe that it's going to be embraced over the years.”

The team's last home game of 2021 led to a late run on merchandise.

On Sunday, prices in the team shop were further slashed as fans bought T-shirts, caps — anything with the name on it.

The switch to Guardians has begun.

For Monday's game, there were 2022 schedules featuring the team's new scripted logo stacked in the back of the press box.

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jackson Kowar delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against Cleveland, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

“It just doesn't look right,” one member of the TV crew said as he passed by.

Beyond the team's name change, it's been a bumpy season for Cleveland on several other fronts.

An injury to reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber played a role in the club falling too far back to catch the Chicago White Sox, who clinched their first AL Central title since 2008 last week in Cleveland.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona had to step away in July to undergo two operations, clouding his future. And, it's been a little quieter at home games as longtime drummer John Adams wasn't around due to health reasons.

During Monday's game, fans posed for photos, many using the giant scripted logo above the left-field scoreboard as background.

Four score

Rosario is the first Cleveland player with six four-hit games since Joe Carter in 1986.

Up next

The teams head to Kansas City for a three-game series beginning Tuesday. Cleveland will start Aaron Civale (11-5, 3.90 ERA) while the Royals have yet to announce their starter.

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Beats Electronics

American audio products manufacturer

Beats Electronics LLC (also known as Beats by Dr. Dre, or simply Beats by Dre) is an American consumeraudio products manufacturer headquartered in Culver City, California.[2][3] The company was founded by music producer Dr. Dre and record company executive Jimmy Iovine. Since 2014, it has been an Apple subsidiary.

The subsidiary's product line is primarily focused on headphones and speakers. The company's original product line was manufactured in partnership with the AV equipment company Monster Cable Products. Following the end of its contract with the company, Beats took further development of its products in-house. In 2014, the company expanded into the online music market with the launch of a subscription-based streaming service, Beats Music.

In 2011, NPD Group reported that Beats' market share was 64% in the U.S. for headphones priced higher than $100, and the brand was valued at $1 billion in September 2013.[4][5]

For a period, the company was majority-owned by Taiwanesesmartphone maker HTC. The company reduced its stake to 25% in 2012, and sold its remaining stake back to the company in 2013. Concurrently, Carlyle Group replaced HTC as a minority shareholder, alongside Dr. Dre and Iovine in late 2013. On August 1, 2014, Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in a cash and stock deal, the largest acquisition in Apple's history.



Dr. Dre(seen in 2012), company co-founder
Jimmy Iovine and David Guetta

Beats was established in 2006 by music producer Dr. Dre and record company executive Jimmy Iovine.[citation needed] Iovine perceived two key problems in the music industry: the impact of piracy on music sales and the substandard audio quality provided by Apple's plastic earbuds. Iovine recalled that Dre said to him: "Man, it's one thing that people steal my music. It's another thing to destroy the feeling of what I've worked on." Iovine sought the opinions of musicians with "great taste", such as M.I.A., Pharrell Williams,, and Gwen Stefani during the early developmental stage.[6] Beats initially partnered with Monster Cable, an audio and video component manufacturer based in Brisbane, California, to manufacture and develop the first Beats-branded products, and debuted its first product, Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones, on July 25, 2008.

To promote its products, Beats primarily relied on endorsements by pop and hip-hop music performers, including product placement within music videos, and partnering with musicians and other celebrities to develop co-branded products.[6][7][8][9] Beats' use of endorsements by musicians helped the company aggressively target the young adult demographics.[10]

HTC purchase and non-renewal of Monster contract[edit]

In August 2010, mobile phone manufacturer HTC acquired a 50.1% majority share in Beats for $309 million. The purchase was intended to allow HTC to compete with other cellphone makers by associating themselves with the Beats brand,[11] as the purchase also granted HTC exclusive rights to manufacture smartphones with Beats-branded audio systems.[12] Despite its majority acquisition, HTC allowed Beats to operate as an autonomous company.[12]Luke Wood, President of Beats in May 2014, joined the company in January 2010, when the company was a "licensing business". Wood had previously worked under Iovine at Interscope Records.[13]

On January 19, 2012, BusinessWeek reported that Beats and Monster would not renew their production contract and their partnership ceased at the end of 2012. Dre and Iovine subsequently decided to oversee the entire operation of the company, from manufacturing to R&D,[13] and aimed to double its workforce to around 300 employees. Monster would ultimately begin marketing its own competing line of premium headphones aimed towards an older demographic.[7] At the time, neither Dre, Iovine or Wood were experienced in the operation of a company at such a grand level, but Wood explained in 2014:

I didn't have manufacturing experience, but I had experience of building something from scratch… Every time we put out an album, it was basically like building a new business--a unique cast of characters, unique challenges and opportunities, and trying to figure out a unique path to market.[13]

In October 2012, Beats unveiled its first two self-developed products, "Beats Executive" headphones and "Beats Pill" wireless speakers—Iovine believed that the company would now have to "control [its] own destiny" in order to continue its growth. Iovine also commented on how other headphone makers had attempted to emulate Beats' celebrity endorsement business model (including Monster themselves, who unveiled Earth, Wind and Fire and Miles Davis-themed headphones at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show),[7] stating that "some of our competitors are cheap engineers who have never been to a recording studio. You can't just stick someone's name on a headphone that doesn't know anything about sound."[7][14][15] Following the decision to transform Beats into an autonomous entity, the company's revenues reached the $1 billion mark, according to Iovine.[13]

HTC sale and Beats Music[edit]

The logo that Beats Music, a subsidiary of Beats Electronics, uses.
The logo for Beats Music.

In July 2012, HTC sold back half of its stake in Beats for $150 million, remaining the largest shareholder with 25.1 percent.[16] The sale was intended to provide "flexibility for global expansion while maintaining HTC's major stake and commercial exclusivity in mobile".[11] In August 2013, reports surfaced that Beats' founders planned to buy back HTC's remaining minority stake in the company, and pursue a new, unspecified partner for a future investment.[17][18]

On September 27, 2013, HTC confirmed that it would sell its remaining 24.84% stake in Beats back to the company for $265 million. Concurrently, Beats announced that the Carlyle Group would make a $500 million minority investment in the company.[19][20] The overall deal valued Beats Electronics at $1 billion[4] and helped HTC turn a net profit of $10.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, following HTC's first quarterly loss in company history.[21]

The appointment of a new chief operating officer (COO), a role previously filled by Wood,[13] was announced in early November 2013. Matthew Costello, formerly of IKEA and HTC, was formally appointed to the role in May 2014.[22][23]

On January 21, 2014, the company launched Beats Music, a subscription-based online music streaming service.[24] Prior to the launch of the service, Beats stated that it intends to provide a different type of streaming experience to what was available on the market at the time. Additionally, the service would only be available to consumers in the U.S. at inception.[25] Chief executive of Beats at the time, Ian Rogers, said:

We wanted to build a music service that combined the freedom of an on-demand subscription service—unlimited, uninterrupted streaming and downloads of tens of millions of songs – but layer on top features that would give you that feeling only music that moves you can give. The right song at the right time will give you a chill. Make you pull someone close. Nod your head. Sing in the mirror. Roll down the car window and crank the volume to the right.[25]

Subsidiary of Apple Inc. (2014–present)[edit]

On May 8, 2014, the Financial Times reported that Apple was in negotiations with Beats to purchase the company for $3.2 billion—the largest purchase in Apple's history, ahead of its $429 million purchase of NeXT in 1996.[26] The impending deal was prematurely and indirectly revealed in a photo and YouTube video posted to Facebook by Tyrese Gibson on May 8, 2014; the video documented a celebration in which Gibson and Dr. Dre made boasting remarks about the acquisition, with Dre declaring himself the "first billionaire in hip hop", while Gibson declared that the "Forbes list" had changed. Both the photo and video were removed from Facebook the following morning, but both remain on Gibson's YouTube channel.[13][27] Indeed, analysts estimated that the rumored deal would make Dr. Dre the first billionaire in the hip-hop music industry in terms of net worth, assuming that he held at least 15% ownership in the company prior to the deal. Dr. Dre was listed with a net worth of $550 million on Forbes' The World's Billionaires 2014 list. It was also estimated that the Carlyle Group would receive a profit of $1 billion from the sale of its minority stake in the company.[19][28][29]

On May 28, 2014, Apple officially announced its intention to acquire Beats Electronics for $3 billion—with $400 million to be paid in Apple stock and the remainder in cash. Some reports suggested that the reduction in value may have been a result of lower-than-expected subscriber numbers for the Beats Music service.[13] Iovine felt that Beats had always "belonged" with Apple, as the company modeled itself after Apple's "unmatched ability to marry culture and technology". In regard to the deal, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that "Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple. That's why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world." Beyond stocking Beats products at its retail outlets, Apple did not provide any further indications over how Beats would be integrated into its product line at the time, and whether Beats Music, which competed with Apple's own iTunes Radio service, would continue to operate after the acquisition.[30][31][32]

The acquisition closed on August 1, 2014. Dr. Dre and Iovine were hired as executive employees,[33][34] and worked at Apple for years afterward.[35] To eliminate redundancy, Apple planned to lay off 200 workers from Beats' workforce of around 700.[36][37] Beats Music was discontinued effective with the launch of Apple Music on June 30, 2015.[38][39]

Bose lawsuit[edit]

In July 2014, Bose Corporation sued Beats Electronics, alleging that its "Studio" line incorporated noise cancellation technology that infringed five patents held by the company. Bose has also sought an injunction which would ban the infringing products from being imported or sold in the United States.[40][41] The lawsuit was settled out of court. Apple pulled all Bose products from its retail outlets, although it is unclear whether it was in response to the lawsuit, an ambush marketing conflict involving Beats and the NFL (which had recently named Bose as one of its official sponsors, and thus fined a player for displaying the Beats logo during an official activity), or as a result of Apple's acquisition of Beats.[42] However, two months later, Bose products returned to the shelves of Apple Stores. The companies settled in October 2014: details were not disclosed.[43]

Monster lawsuit[edit]

In January 2015, Monster Inc. sued Beats for fraud, alleging that the company had used illicit tactics to force Monster out of the venture whilst retaining rights to the technologies and products that it had co-developed, and engaged in collusion to harm Monster's own audio products business. Monster argued that the acquisition of Beats by HTC and its founders' subsequent buyback was a "sham" to take control of Monster's stake in the company—which could have been valued at over $100 million in the Apple purchase, that the company had "concealed" the role of Monster and its CEO Noel Lee in the design and engineering of its products, and that "had the partnership expired on its own terms, there would have been no transfer of Monster's years of work [onto the company]". Monster also alleged that Beats had partaken in anti-competitive practices with retailers to force those offering Beats products to not offer Monster's competing products.[44][45][46]

In June 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that in retaliation for the lawsuit, Apple Inc. revoked Monster's membership in the MFi Program on May 5, 2015, meaning that Monster can no longer manufacture licensed accessories for iPhone, iPod and iPad products, and must cease the sale of existing licensed products that contain the certification or technology licensed through the program by September 2015.[47]

The case was dismissed in August 2016, with a Supreme Court ruling that Beats "had the right to terminate the agreement as of January 7th, 2013 or when there was a transaction resulting in a change of control of Beats", and that Monster "did not obtain the right to approve the change of control. Nor did the agreement require that any change of control had to be objectively reasonable".[48]


A pair of Beats Headphones

Beats' original product line were Beats by Dre headphones. In promotional materials, Dre outlined the line's advantages by alleging that listeners were not able to hear "all" of the music with most headphones, and that Beats would allow people to "hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way they should: the way I do". In comparison to most headphones, Beats products were characterized by an emphasis towards producing larger amounts of bass, and are particularly optimized towards hip-hop and pop music.[5][49][50] In October 2012, Beats unveiled its first two self-developed products, the Beats Executive noise-cancelling headphones (to compete with similar offerings by Bose and Sennheiser) and the Beats Pill portable speaker.[7][15] In October 2015, Beats launched a new collection of speakers including the upgraded Beats Pill+ Speaker.[51]



Beats Solo Pro[edit]

This is an on the ear style headphone. Along with the Powerbeats Pro true-wireless earphones, they are part of a new generation of Beats products made from the ground up with Apple. They are the first on-ear headphones made by Beats to feature active noise canceling. They are sold alongside the Solo 3.

Beats Solo 3 Wireless[edit]

This is an on-ear style headphone. It can last for 40 hours on a single charge or indefinitely when plugged in via the headphone jack.

Beats Studio 3 Wireless[edit]

These are currently the high-end wireless headphones that Beats offers. They connect by Bluetooth and have 40 hours of battery life, with 22 hours of battery life with adaptive noise cancelling on. They feature Apple's W1 chip for quick connection to Apple devices running iOS 10, macOS Sierra, or watchOS 4 or later. They also feature pure adaptive noise cancelling technology, which uses microphones both inside and outside the ear cups to measure sound levels based on the environment. If there is any headgear or eyewear on the user's head, it calibrates the noise cancelling and volume level accordingly. The headphones come in a wide range of colors and editions, including black, blue and special collections such as the "NBA Collection".


On September 7, 2016, Powerbeats³ were released. On February 10, 2017, BeatsX neckband-style headphones were released.[52]Powerbeats Pro were released on May 10, 2019, in the United States and 2 weeks later for UK and Europe.[53] The latest iteration of Powerbeats was released on March 18, 2020, sharing design concepts similar to that of the Powerbeats Pro from the year prior.[54] On October 14, 2020, Beats Flex neckband-style headphones were released as the evolution of BeatsX. [55] On June 14th, 2021, Beats Studio Buds were released, and priced at US$149.99. [56]

Beats Audio[edit]

The company has also licensed the Beats brand, under the name Beats Audio (rendered beats audio), and technology to other manufacturers. In 2009, HP began to offer personal computers equipped with Beats Audio systems, beginning with its HP Envy line.[57] The system features a software equalizer with a preset that HP marketed as being optimized for higher quality sound output.[58] Beats Electronics ceased its partnership with HP following its purchase by Apple Inc.; HP subsequently entered into a similar agreement with Bang & Olufsen.[59]

Following its acquisition of a stake in the company, most new HTC smartphones began to be released with Beats Audio software, beginning with the HTC Sensation XE/XL with Beats Audio in September 2011.[60] The software was to be included in most new HTC devices, such as the One series.[61][62] The Sensation XE and Rezound were also bundled with Beats by Dre earbuds, but HTC abandoned the practice on future devices. A HTC product executive claimed that despite the prominence of the Beats brand, "an accessory like the headphone doesn't factor in when someone is buying a smartphone".[63]

Car audio[edit]

In 2011, Beats reached a deal with Chrysler LLC to feature Beats-branded audio systems in its vehicles. The first vehicle under the partnership was its 2012 Chrysler 300Sluxury vehicle, which included a 10-speaker Beats by Dr. Dre sound system.[18][64] Beats audio systems have also been included in models from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' other marques. Automobile brands that currently have Beats audio systems available in its vehicles are Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, Volkswagen, and SEAT.[65]

Beats Music[edit]

Main article: Beats Music

On July 2, 2012, Beats announced it had acquired the online music service MOG, in a purchase reported to have been between $10 million and $16 million. Beats stated that the acquisition was part of the company's goal to develop a "truly end-to-end music experience". The acquisition did not include the company's blog and advertising network, the MOG Music Network,[66][67] which was sold in a separate transaction to the broadcasting company Townsquare Media in August 2012.[68]

While MOG indicated that it would continue to operate independently with no immediate change in service,[67] Beats subsequently announced a new subscription-based online music service, known as Beats Music, which launched in January 2014. In comparison to its competitors, such as Spotify and Google Play Music, the service emphasizes recommendations by music professionals alongside algorithmic recommendations.[24][69] MOG was shut down on May 31, 2014, and existing users were directed to Beats Music.[70] Beats Music was in turn replaced by Apple Music in June 2015; the service also incorporates a Beats-branded online radio station, Beats 1.[38][39]

Dolby Atmos Support[edit]

In May 2021, Apple announced spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support. Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and all Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip.[71]

Critical reception[edit]

Some critics claim that Beats products emphasize appearance over quality and function, arguing that more durable and better-sounding products are available for the same price or lower.[72][73] Tests done on an HTC smartphone with Beats Audio indicated that the audio technology is a combination of audio equalization that boosts the low (bass) and high ends of the audio range, audio compression, and audio amplification.[74] On accusations that Beats' products were "bass heavy", Beats' current president denies it, citing that their products are not for reference, but rather for playback.[75]


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External links[edit]


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