NICKMERCS x Beats Studio Buds review: Fit for royalty
Twitch star Nick ‘NICKMERCS’ Kolcheff has released his limited-edition BeatsByDre Studio Buds, some of the first influencer-branded products from the company. Are they worth buying?
Popular Twitch streamer NICKMERCS released his limited-edition custom branded Beats Studio Buds on July 22, 2022, becoming one of the first influencers to receive their own collaboration with the brand after signing with the company in November 2021.
The product is graced with the star’s iconic greek helmet logo and ‘MFAM,’ the name of his large community of supporters.
The Beats Studio Buds have a premium price of $150, but fans of NICKMERCS swarmed the website at launch, selling out in hours.
But, is the design and quality worth the money?
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Driver diameter: 8.2mm
- Weight: Earbuds – 5g, Case – 48g
- Battery life: (ANC on) 5 hours (ANC off) 8 hours (Rechargeable case) 24 hours
- Features: Spatial Audio, Active Noise Cancelling, Transparency mode, IPX4 Sweat and Water resistance, one-touch pairing, on-device controls
- Price: $149.99
- Where to buy: Best Buy US
Included in the box: NICKMERCS Beats Studio Buds, USB C to USB C charging cable, three sizes of silicone ear tips, quick start guide, warranty card, Beats, MFAM, and NICKMERCS helmet logo stickers.
The NICKMERCS Beats Studio Buds make an impression even before you open the package, as the beautifully designed black box displays a single gray MFAM spread around four sides with the Beats and NICKMERCS logos emblazed on the front in silver.
Once you pull the earbuds out of the box is when the real party starts, however, as you’re immediately greeted with a compact black case with Kolcheff’s iconic Greek Helmet logo on the front left with nothing else but the Beats logo right beside it, and a USB C charging port on the bottom.
The Beats logo is engraved into the case, while the Twitch star’s helmet logo seems to be printed on — but don’t worry, it definitely feels like it won’t be damaged during normal use at all.
The Beats Studio Buds’ eggshell style case provides a magnetic latched lid on top that helps protect the earbuds, as well as gives the user an easy way to pair with devices.
The actual earbuds continue NICKMERCS’ iconic branding, as they sport ‘MFAM’ on the outermost part of the product, with another red Beats logo accompanying it. At first, we thought the red logo on the earbuds was the company trying to (understandably) squeeze their branding onto a very popular product — but we quickly realize it served a purpose.
Instead of finicky touch controls like on other truly wireless earbuds, the Beats Studio Buds have a physical button and all commands were accurate and easy to learn.
Connecting the earbuds is nearly seamless as well. With iOS devices, all you have to do is open the case near your iPhone or iPad and they’ll connect just like Airpods. On Android, it’s fairly similar except you must install the Beats app before you truly take control of the product.
On other devices like a PC, all you have to do is drop the Studio Buds in their case, and pair them like a normal Bluetooth device using the button placed in-between the earbuds on the case.
Our only complaint about the Beats Studio Buds is the extremely slippery outside plastic, as we’ve found it somewhat hard to remove the earbuds from their magnetic case.
The NICKMERCS Beats Studio Buds offer crystal clear sound quality straight out of the box, with distinct highs, lows, and bass that throughout our testing never sounded muddled together like cheaper earbuds.
The earbuds also have active noise canceling and transparency mode, which are both high-end, premium features. However, we found that the ANC still let quite a bit of sound through as we still found ourselves hearing the office air conditioner while working, which is slightly disappointing, considering the ASUS ROG Cetra True Wireless manages to pull it off flawlessly.
Transparency mode tells a similar tale, as we found it didn’t let enough sound through to be able to chat with friends without pausing what we’re listening to. However, it still proved to be an effective safety measure when outside, allowing us to hear cars and trucks on the road while we were out on a walk.
It’s important to note that the Studio Buds are solely marketed for music — and they’re nearly perfect for that. However, when it comes to gaming, Bluetooth latency killed the experience entirely with games like Powerwash Simulator and Fall Guys’ audio being so far out of sync that it made them almost impossible to enjoy.
During our testing with both phone and Discord calls, we were told the quality of the mic wasn’t the best — but it didn’t sound like we were in a tunnel or far away.
So, you can definitely use the microphone when needed, but we wouldn’t recommend making any important phone calls with them. They’re totally serviceable, and that’s about it. There are no fancy bells and whistles to shout about here.
The Beats Studio Buds have around five hours of battery life with ANC enabled, and about eight hours with ANC disabled. Thanks to the charging case, you can get up to an extra 24 hours of battery life with ANC disabled, but only 15 hours with ANC enabled.
During our testing, we were never disappointed with battery life thanks to fast fuel, which allows you to throw the earbuds into the case for only five minutes in order to use them for a full hour.
The Beats Studio Buds do not support wireless charging which would have been ideal, especially considering competitors almost all universally have this feature built into their charging cases
Should you buy them?
The Beats Studio Buds provide quality highs and lows while also providing a welcome amount of bass without any distortion whatsoever.
They’re not perfect at $150, but they deliver the sound quality where it really counts.
NICKMERCS and Beats definitely hit the nail on the head with the design for this collab, and they’re perfect for every member of the MFAM. But, they’re not quite perfect with the slippery design of the earbuds, mediocre microphone, and lack of wireless charging.
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