Beats Studio 3 headphones bring a new kind of noise cancellation

Sony is perhaps the outlier in that it wants to actually harmoniously mix your music with ambient noise. Almost all headphone makers want to cancel out those external sounds instead. Apple-owned Beats is no exception and has already introduced noise cancellation in its previous gen Studio 2 headphones. With the new Beats Studio 3, however, it is taking that technology to a new and different direction. Beats calls it Pure ANC, for Pure Adaptive Noise Cancellation.

Like any active noise cancellation (ANC) implementation, Pure ANC utilizes mics, two in this case, to pick up noise coming from your environment. Most ANC systems analyze this audio waveforms of this noise and creates the inverse of that wave in order to cancel it. The technology works, but only really covers a certain range of sounds.

Pure ANC does one better by taking into account the original audio coming from your connected device or source. It compares this pristine waveform and compares it with the noise canceled version. It then removes whatever irregularities are left, basically leaving the original audio for your ears to hear.

Because it does this in real time and at a constant rate, it will naturally drain the headphones faster than your average ANC. And for Bluetooth headphones, that can be a pretty damning tradeoff. That's where Apple's W1 Bluetooth chip comes in, offering energy savings that will make the Beats Studio 3 last 22 hours even with Pure ANC turned on.

The Beats Studio 3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones retails for $349.99. It comes in six color choices of Red, Matte Black, White, Porcelain Rose, Blue, and Shadow Gray. Whether this fancy new Pure ANC tech is worth the higher price tag is something we'll have to hear to find out.