Beats is one of this century’s biggest audio tech success stories, but in the process the brand has become pretty commonplace, sacrificing some of the hip-hop cool that’s been part of its DNA from the start – just catch any form of public transport in one of Australia’s capital cities for proof of that. In a move that might be intended to reclaim some of that cachet, Beats has teamed up with Futura Laboratories (the design agency established by American artist Futura – formerly Futura 2000) for a limited edition run of Beats Studio Buds.
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The release is the second collaboration between Futura and Beats – the first was way back in 2013 and consisted of a set of Beats By Dre Solo HD over-ears given the Jackson Pollock treatment. This time, the collaboration has focused on the Studio Buds’ more compact form factor, simply adding Futura’s atom logo. The look has less impact than the’ first team up, but we’re sure fans of Futura will snap them up. The release is just the latest in Futura’s long line of brand collaborations, having previously worked with the likes of Stussy, Nike and Hennessy.
Perhaps more excitingly, Futura has pulled together a cool retro Apple Music playlist to accompany the release that’s intended to reflect his New York background, saying “Let’s take a trip back to the old school.” As one might expect for a Beats-related collection of tunes, Futura did not forget about Dre, nor did he forget Jimi Hendrix, Wu-Tang Clan, The Rolling Stones or A Tribe Called Quest.
“Music has always been a necessity in my creative space, but music on my Studio Buds takes me to an entirely isolated inner space,” says Futura.
The Beats X FL Studio Buds are being sold through the Futura Laboratories website, END Clothing and the Beats WeChat store with an asking price of USD$150. Or, if you’d prefer something a little more heavy duty, have a look at our guide to the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones and Earbuds.