Apple's Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds are here to give the new AirPods a run for their money

Apple's Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds are here to give the new AirPods a run for their money
Well, that was fast. Apple unveiled refreshed AirPods with wireless charging support and a number of small but notable improvements over the first-gen wireless headphones just a couple of weeks ago, putting the new model up for grabs shortly thereafter, and we already have an interesting alternative to consider. This is not technically Apple-branded, but as highlighted in its official announcement, it comes as the "result of a deep integration between Beats and Apple engineering."

For audiophiles who have been living under a rock for the past five years, Apple owns Beats Electronics, aka Beats by Dr. Dre, no doubt leveraging its subsidiary's expertise in designing the crazy popular AirPods. But the freshly announced Powerbeats Pro earbuds are actually the first Beats-branded product in quite some time, suggesting the market has evolved and matured enough to accommodate different wireless options at different prices catering to different target audiences.

Who are the Beats Powerbeats Pro for?


Obviously, like all three previous Powerbeats generations, these are a little more narrow in their scope than the Apple AirPods, which are essentially designed to appeal to everyone and anyone. Of course, it's not necessarily a bad idea to go after a specific niche, especially when talking about a large one like people focused on their health.


If you're wondering exactly how the Powerbeats Pro aim to "revolutionize your workouts", the answer is very simple - with a clean, straightforward, lightweight design and a new industry standard in ergonomics. Unlike the AirPods, which may not be able to keep up with an active lifestyle, these bad boys have been thoroughly tested and basically redesigned from the ground up to guarantee a perfect fit in any occasion. 

At least according to Beats, the adjustable earhooks should make it physically impossible for these completely wire-free headphones to fall off during your most extreme workouts. And even though the actual rating is bizarrely kept under wraps, the Powerbeats Pro are advertised as both sweat and water-resistant.

Powerbeats Pro vs second-gen AirPods


As much as Apple would like to keep the two products separate, comparisons are inevitable. While we obviously cannot judge the audio performance of the Powerbeats Pro until properly reviewing them, it's certainly exciting to hear sound was the "highest priority" in their development. After all, the refreshed AirPods are good but not great when it comes to simply playing tunes at the best quality available.

Apple's Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds are here to give the new AirPods a run for their money

Meanwhile, the Beats Powerbeats Pro promise to offer "incredibly low distortion and great dynamic range across the entire frequency curve", as well as "incredible voice performance" for phone calls on both Android and iOS. There's a very good chance noise isolation will also be a lot better, although that's not necessarily a strong point, as some folks may not want to be completely detached from the outside world while breaking a sweat.

There's no arguing with the impressive 9 hours of battery life provided by these bad boys, though, compared to the just 5 hours of listening time the new AirPods are capable of delivering between charges. The Powerbeats Pro also come with a charging case for a combined endurance total of 24 hours in continuous playback time. Then again, there's no wireless charging support on deck here.

Running with the new AirPods in your ears is probably not very wise

Running with the new AirPods in your ears is probably not very wise

 

On the bright side, you do get Fast Fuel technology for 1.5 hours of playback after only 5 minutes of charging and up to a whopping 4.5 hours after 15 minutes of charging. And yes, Siri is a mere two words away from hands-free activation, with the same Apple H1 chip found inside the AirPods 2.0 (1.1?) guaranteeing a faster, more stable wireless connection to your devices with the Powerbeats Pro as well.

Beats Powerbeats Pro price and release date


If you thought the $199 AirPods with wireless charging case are expensive, the $249.95 Beats Powerbeats Pro without a wireless charging case are probably not for you. But since the Powerbeats 3 are still available at around 200 bucks, that seemingly exaggerated price point actually makes perfect sense. The good news is we've seen the Powerbeats 3 discounted way more often than Apple's first-gen AirPods. They've even been available for $100... repeatedly.


Of course, the Powerbeats Pro are billed as an entirely different kettle of fish, not just cutting the cord separating the two earbuds, but also radically changing the design (23 percent smaller and 17 percent lighter), vastly improving the sound quality (at least on paper), and maintaining a stellar battery life while adding "Hey Siri" functionality into the mix.

By the way, if you're done waiting for black AirPods, the Beats Powerbeats Pro are set to come in black, as well as Ivory, Moss, and Navy colors sometime in May. That's a pretty long wait (compared to the almost instantly available new AirPods), but for what it's worth, a relatively wide global release is being planned, with the US to be joined by over 20 other countries and regions right off the bat.

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34 Comments

1. bucknassty

Posts: 1263; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

I want to compare these to the backbeat fit 3100s

2. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

If I ignore the price and possibly mic quality, those does not look that bad for a TWS. Hopefully they will sound at least as ok-ish as regular wireless Powerbeats do. If they will sound at least as 100$ standard wireless buds, I would be pleasantly surprised.

21. vincelongman

Posts: 5585; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Really disappointed these still have the ear hooks 1. makes them uncomfortable for people with glasses 2. means the case is ridiculously big

22. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

There are a ton of different, maybe even better, headphones if you do not like hooks. I myself think they are really useful if you do something involving faster movement aka exercise or working out. I hate those things as well (as a fat-ass individual), BUT I can see hooks being a huge benefit for a bunch of people. + I wear glasses and have yet to find headphones that are not comfortable because of glasses.

23. geordie8t1

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

Choose a different set of buds then, powerbeats have always had hooks and are way helpful for those who can't wear normal buds, non work in my ear due to the shape, they just wont stay in, use contact lenses if the hooks bother you. Why not opt for the cheaper airbuds ? No hooks problem solved

30. jvardon

Posts: 33; Member since: Apr 28, 2012

Vincelongman why would you expect them not to have the hooks? These are designed for active people and ear hooks are the best way to keep headphones in your ears.

3. cmdacos

Posts: 3778; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Love the outdated design

4. oldskool50

Posts: 175; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Yeah, the style is pretty aged. Though this looks pretty stealthy. But for $249????? These are the only beats models I like because of the ear-hooks and bass. But I see price just keeps going up for a technology that hasn't changed.

8. iloveapps

Posts: 183; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

It has H1 chip and no more wire.

31. ryanbbn

Posts: 17; Member since: Jan 29, 2019

Some people will complain about anything....

32. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

And some people will blindly defend any crap... point being?

5. monkeyb

Posts: 366; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

I was super excited about these ever since the rumors started from last month. But the beats webpage and all the articles leave out some key things: - For Non techies like me. WTH does bluetooth class 1 mean and why is Apple highlighting these only now. I contacted Apple support earlier today and the representatives have no notes/clue about what Class 1 bluetooth means or if it is available in any phone. All they informed me is that my iPhone 7 should be fine. - Upon digging a lot in the internet. I figured that Class 1 bluetooth is very helpful only if both devices have it and iPhone 7 and upwards definitely have Bluetooth Class 1. Not sure about the older models. - What is the talk time of this device? Everyone only mentions listening time. But my main reason for using a dongle with earphones now is to make sure I don't run out of juice 2 hours into a call. I think new AirPods only have 3 hours of talk time. - Does each earphone have 9 hours of charge (AirPods have 6 for each bud). These things need to be more clear. If anyone has more information on these. Kindly share.

16. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Buddy that Class 1 BT you just wrote is just a bunch of BS. H1 chip is simply just a CSR8670 copy. On iPhone 7 you get higher latency, worse signal stability, worse battery life.

33. monkeyb

Posts: 366; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

"Class 1 BT you just wrote" - Did you read what I said? im not a techie. I found the information on beats website. And I did research on what class 1 means. I never said anything about how great the iPhone is.

34. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

I am just informing you, information you recieved is wrong and you will get worse experience with iPhone 7. My point is to provide correct information, Apple devices sucking with BT implementation is secondary.

6. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

What's that tumor growing out of the back of the iPhone in the upper left corner in that one picture? Thing looks hideous

9. iloveapps

Posts: 183; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Some sort of black wireless pad.

7. KingSam

Posts: 1336; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

But will cancel it?

10. iloveapps

Posts: 183; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Gonna get one, the black.

15. pt020

Posts: 146; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

For $250 you can have the Sony WH-1000XM3, best noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones on the market.

29. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Yes, Sony WH-1000XM3 are literally the same headphones. Great for sport or workout as well ... Yes, XM3 are the best when it comes to NC and one of the best BT headphones when it comes to sound quality. For sport they are too fragile, too big and not even swet resistant. One thing is to despise Beats the other one is to make sense in discussion.

11. EC112987

Posts: 1211; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Apple is at it again, these are what the airpods should be but like usual they milk their fans. Why not release it together?!

12. Derekjeter

Posts: 1439; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I love that they priced them so high lol. You Apple fan boys are dumb as dirt. Old dated design, s**tty sound for $249!! Phonearena and Apple fans love to be raped by Apple.

13. FLOGROWN

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 25, 2018

You Mad Bro...!!!

14. pt020

Posts: 146; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

At Apple they are still in 2010.

17. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Check what successful headphones manufacturers are doing, they release the identical headphones for 30 years and people still buy them. If you get something right, there is no need to changed it just for the sake of changing it.

18. mootu

Posts: 1334; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

When did Beats get anything right apart from being one of the biggest cons in history?

20. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Never, so far as I know :-D It was a theoretical example.

19. Sparkxster

Posts: 1119; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

I'm feeling the style of these liking the dark green and navy.

24. geordie8t1

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

£250 without a case, what the actual f**k? Typical scrounging robbers apple

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