Before we get into the Beats Studio vs. Bose AE2i, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this comparison
Since I’ve already talked about each of these, today I will give a quick comparison and then provide a recommendation towards the end! 🙂
The Beats line
The i in AE2i
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
I got a chance to demo each of these headphones on a few different occasions, and they are extremely different in almost every way.
I will use the Beats Studio 2.0 as the basis for my comparison, but let’s quickly go over the Beats babies. 😛
Beats Studio Wired (Discontinued)
Beats Studio 2.0 Wired Over-Ear (Circumaural)
Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear (Decent)
Beats Studio Wireless 2.0. (Decent)
Beats Studio Wireless On-Ear (Supra-aural)
Beats Pro Wired Over-Ear (Decent)
Beats Executive Wired Over-Ear
Beats EP Wired On-ear
Monster Beats Solo (Discontinued)
Beats Solo HD Wired On-Ear(Discontinued)
Beats Solo HD “drenched in color” 2.0 (2013). Really? No.
Beats Solo2 Wired On-Ear (Good)
Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear (Better)
Beats Mixr Wired On-Ear (Decent)
I believe this list to be pretty current and up to date, but let me know if I need to add anything in that I missed. 🙂
Out of the various studio models, I found the Studio 2.0 Wireless to be the best of the bunch. Though it’s extremely comfortable and pretty durable overall, the bass is a bit bloated.
It just comes across as a little too loose and flabby sounding for my personal tastes. The low end has a tendency to kind of get in the way of the overall sound, and who wants that?
That said, the 2.0 isn’t a terrible headphone since the bass is more balanced this time around. It will likely satisfy bass enthusiasts, but I don’t see it necessary to pay the asking price when you could get much better sound for less. More on that in the Final Word. 🙂
Why the “i” in AE2i?
All it means is that the AE2i’s are for iPhones. The built in mic that comes with the AE2i is only compatible with iPads, etc. The sound quality is the same.
Both have the removable cable feature, but the Bose ends in a 2.5mm termination going into the ear-cup. Both terminate in a 3.5mm jack at the end plugging into your device.
Both are wireless and Bluetooth, but the AE2i will need an adapter for both features.
Soundstage. Neither have a particularly great soundstage or instrument separation. It’s not terrible, but not up to nerdy audiophile standards. 😛 What is Soundstage?
Bass. The first thing you’ll notice is the bass response. The AE2i’s have a much more balanced low end. It’s still fairly tight and doesn’t lack impact, but it sounds nothing like the somewhat overly bass heavy Beats Studio 2.0.
Mid-range. The AE2i’s have a better and more present mid-range, while the Studio’s is more recessed (or pushed back) due to that heavy bass. The AE2i’s bass doesn’t get in the way of the mid-range.
Treble. While both have a spike, the spike on the AE2i’s is much more subtle. There’s not a lot of sparkle, and they’re never going sound sibilant. What does Sibilant mean? By contrast, the Studio’s pushed at louder volumes will sound “essy” and and metallic, with a lot of sparkle. It just ends up being too much though. At lower volumes they will be okay, but the treble still ends up being brighter overall.
Comfort. Both are very comfortable, but the AE2i is more so than the Studio 2.0. You won’t have to make adjustments with it. Bose has made a living off of comfort, and it’s easy to see why when you put any one of their headphones on. It’s magnificent. The Studio’s are comfy, but they will need an adjustment or two over time.
Genre pairing. Listen to the AE2i’s with most anything. Only listen to Studio’s with bass heavy stuff, with some pop and rock thrown in.
Packaging. The Beats Studio 2.0’s come with 3.5mm cable, another cable with in-line mic and remote, and a hard shell carrying case. The AE2i’s come with an Inline remote for control of iPhone/iPod, an Inline microphone for hands-free calling, and a drawstring velvety looking fabric case.
Design. The Studio’s are a bit more flamboyant than the low profile AE2i’s.
Weight. The AE2i’s are lighter (4.94 oz) than the Studio 2.0’s.
Fold. The AE2i’s fold flat while the Studio’s do not. The Studio’s can fold, but in a different way. Each side can be folded up.
Overall sound. The AE2i’s are pleasant sounding vs. the intense, in your face sound of the Studio’s. It’s really like night and day. I wouldn’t consider the Studio’s an actual studio headphone, as I think that moniker is incredibly misleading. The funny part about it is that the AE2i’s make a much better reference/mixing/monitoring headphone. It’s quite irritating when you think about it. The Studio’s are for bass-heads, period. The AE2i’s are more of a bubble bath and glass of wine type of can. Kick back and relax Jack!
Well friend, the AE2i’s are pretty good, but if you’re looking for the complete solution, the Bose QC35 takes the cake. They’re wireless, bluetooth, and have Active Noise Cancellation built in. They retain that same pleasant sound, but the signature is a bit more refined overall. That same level of amazing comfort is of course still present, and durability wise they will hold up admirably. Interested in learning more?
If you’re looking for a worthy Beats baby, check out the Solo 3’s. They really impressed me, which is something I never thought I’d say about any Beats headphone. They’re portable, compact, and also have wireless Bluetooth, and noise cancelling features. The bass on these is starting to find that sweet spot of having impact but not being overly flamboyant. Interested in learning more?
If you’re looking for an actual studio headphone, I have a couple of great solutions for you.
As far as a closed back that won’t break the bank, and sounds better than a Beats Studio for a fraction of the price, check out the V6. It’s price to performance ratio is startling, and it’s been around since the mid 80’s with no plans of leaving any time soon. In my opinion, it’s the quintessential studio headphone, with a tight bass, phenomenal mid-range, great instrument separation, and sparkling treble clarity. Interested?
Finally, what about the Gold Standard? The original studio? The benchmark? The value king? The best price to performance ratio? That would be the HD600 hands down. It’s stood the test of time being around since 1997. How can a headphone still be relevant after all these years? Quality my friend. Interested in learning all about my favorite audiophile headphone?
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.