Introduction

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Use this guide to replace the motherboard on the first generation Beats Studio.

  • Phillips #00 Screwdriver
  • Phillips #0 Screwdriver
  • T5 Torx Screwdriver
  • iFixit Opening Tools
  • Tweezers
    • Using the T5 Torx screwdriver, remove the black screws on both sides of the outside of the headband.

    • 4 (2 per side) Torx type T5, 3.5mm long screws.

    • Use the plastic opening tool to gently pry the black plastic hinge piece directly away from the headband as shown.

    • Remove the small metal hinges from their housings. There are a total of 4 hinges, two per side of the headphones.

    • The hinge pins may slide out upon removal of the black hinge piece from the previous step. Be careful not to lose the hinge pins.

    • Using a T5 Torx screwdriver, remove the silver screws from the silver segment of the headband.

    • 4 (2 per side) Torx type T5, 4.0mm long screws.

    • Using the plastic opening tool, gently pry the headband cushion directly away from the plastic portion of the headband as shown. Pry the plastic portion a small amount and then move the opening tool sideways along on the headband. Repeat on both sides until the cushion separates from the top plastic part of the headband.

    • Carefully remove the metal band from each of the hinge housings on each side. These should come off quite easily, provided that you have removed the hinges as instructed in step 3.

    • Congratulations, you have completely removed the headband! This will allow for ease of accessibility to the speakers should you choose to delve further into the depths of your headphones.

    • The black wire connecting the two speakers is somewhat fragile! Check that it isn't frayed. If it is frayed, consider repairing it with some electrical tape, splicing it, or replacing it.

    • Pinch the ear cushion between your thumb and forefinger.

    • Be very careful when pulling off the ear cushion, as the material holding the cushion onto the plastic ring can rip easily.

    • Carefully pull the cushion directly away from the earpiece.

    • The cushion will have a thin piece of foam inside of it that may fall out upon removal. Make sure to save this for reassembly.

    • Repeat for the other ear cushion.

    • Use the plastic opening tool to remove the black ring from the speaker. This will allow you to access the screws on the metal ring.

    • Congratulations, you now have access to the rest of the speaker!

    • For reassembly, the black ring cannot snap back into the speaker the way it was disassembled. It must first go inside the black lip of the ear cushion. The black lip is located on the back side of the ear cushion. Please refer to the last two pictures on this step.

    • The black lip is located on the back side of the ear cushion.

    • Make sure you are working on the speaker that has the label 'R' for the right ear. This speaker is the one you must disassemble in order to access the motherboard.

    • Use a 00 Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screws holding down the metal ring.

    • 7 Phillips type 00, 3.9mm long screws.

    • Set aside the metal ring.

    • Using the 0 Phillips head screwdriver, remove the 3 screws holding down the red speaker assembly.

    • 3 Phillips type 0, 8.0mm long screws.

    • The screws removed in the previous step held the cover in place so, go ahead and just lift it out!

    • Easy as 1-2-3!

    • Use the 0 Philips screwdriver to remove the two 6.0 mm screws screws that hold the motherboard and cover.

    • Place one hand on the other side ( where the beats logo is) so, that when you take the two screws out, the cover and motherboard don't fall out.

    • 2 Philips type 0, 6.0mm long screws.

    • Once the screws have been removed from the other side, turn the speaker housing around.

    • Simply lift the cover with the beats logo off.

    • Congratulations! You have uncovered the motherboard!!

    • Locate the black power button switch, then gently remove it with a pair of tweezers.

    • The mute button

    • Power switch.

    • Sometimes the motherboard will just fall out of its housing. If it doesn't, use a plastic opening tool to gently pry or push out.

    • Congratulations, you now have access to the motherboard!

    • The wires can now be de-soldered and the old motherboard can be replaced with a new one.

    • Before you begin soldering, make sure to mark or label all of the wires so that you remember exactly where they go.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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Executive

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Preview

You probably don't associate the Beats by Dr. Dre brand with corporate chic, but that's the vibe the company is going for with its Executive noise-canceling headphones.

In its marketing pitch, Beats says the Executives are designed to 'take you from [the] boardroom to the tarmac and everywhere in between. These headphones deliver the legendary Beats sound now in a refined premium package that's easier than ever to take on the road.'

In other words, it's trying to dip into the same crowd that Bose runs with -- and why not, those are the guys and gals who can afford to pay $300 for a pair of headphones.

So, are the Executives as good as the Bose Quiet Comfort 15 headphones, which retail for the same price? No, not quite; but they're still quite decent noise-canceling headphones, with a sleek look, good build quality, and a comfortable fit.

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Design
In the past, a lot of people complained that Beats headphones just weren't that sturdy and didn't hold up that well over time. I've only tested this pair for a week, so I can't comment on how well they'll do over several months, but they seem much better built than previous Beats models and have a good sturdy feel to them, with some parts made out of metal instead plastic, thick wires, an L-shaped plug, and a nicely padded headband and earcups. They have a slightly more refined, understated look than some of the other Beats models.

While one of the hinges squeaked a little -- a spritz of WD-40 remedied that -- I liked the design and found the headphones very comfortable, though they are somewhat hefty (the adjectives sturdy and hefty often seem to go together).

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The Executives have a double hinge and fold flat and up slightly to fit into a fairly compact case that's about the same size as the case for the Bose QC15s. A diagram inside the case informs you how they should be folded to fit properly. However, there's no pocket inside the case for storing an extra set of batteries or the two-pronged adapter.

In a nice touch, the door to the battery compartment in the left earcup adheres magnetically and is easy to get on and off. Two AAA batteries are required to power the noise cancellation; the switch is at the top of the right earcup. Alas, like with Bose's QuietComfort headphones, you have to activate the noise-canceling to get any sound out of the headphones -- so if the batteries die, you can't listen to anything.

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Features
Beyond the active noise cancellation, the headphones ship with a two-pronged airline adapter and two different headphone cables (yes, the cables are detachable). One is a standard straight cord while the other has an Apple-friendly inline remote with a microphone for making cell phone calls.