I love the Beats Studio Buds, and think they're among the best true wireless earbuds you can buy. But their popularity means that lots of people will be buying them – so how do you stand out from the crowd to show that you're a person of refined taste and distinction?
Futura Laboratories has the answer: in its second collaboration with Beats, the artist FUTURA has, er, scribbled on them. The Limited Edition FUTURA Beats Studio Buds feature FUTURA's signature atom motif, and there's an accompanying Apple Music playlist. I've just listened to it and I can confirm that FUTURA did not forget about Dre.
The playlist is themed around New York, which is where FUTURA comes from, and it's fun. But of course, the Beats earbuds are the real star here. So what's different about them?
The short answer is: nothing. But that's no bad thing.
These Buds are about fashion, not fidelity
The first Beats/FUTURA collaboration was back in 2013, producing a pair of Beats By Dre Solo HD over-ears that looked like they'd been left lying around in Jackson Pollock's studio. And like those phones, these earbuds aren't any different inside from the standard Beats Studio Buds: you get the same 8-hour battery life, the same excellent audio, the same one-touch pairing, the same noise cancellation and the same transparency mode. And you'll pay the same price too: $149.99 / £129 / ¥1099 RMB from 30 July at Futura Laboratories Online, END Clothing and the Beats WeChat store.
This is purely a fashion play, and you'll either love it or you won't have the faintest idea who FUTURA is or why you'd want the logo on your ears. I'm in the latter category, but then these buds aren't designed for or marketed to the demographic who can't get out of a chair without grunting. But for those in the know, FUTURA is a bigger deal than the Beats brand: previous collaborations include the likes of Stussy, Nike and Hennessy. And this collaboration is a better buy than the last one: the Solo HD dated from the days when Beats delivered pretty average sound quality, whereas today's Beats are among the best wireless earbuds you can buy.