Beats’ new Powerbeats Pro are AirPods with a longer battery life and better fit

A couple of weeks after Apple launched its second-generation AirPods, the company's Beats division is finally making its own entrance into the true wireless headphone market. The new $ 249.95 Powerbeats Pro is shipped in May and is Beats' most important product in years. I have the feeling that, for many people, these will be more convincing than the AirPods. They offer a longer battery life, are completely sealed in your ears without letting in outside noise, include the same Apple H1 chip as the newer AirPod for "Hey Siri" voice commands with hands-free, and yes, for my ears, the Powerbeats Pro sounded better during my brief introduction to them.

Beats says that their Powerbeats wireless headphones are the most popular exercise headphones in the world, and the new Pro model throws the cable that joins the left and right buttons. They retain the look and identity of Powerbeats, but Beats did not just cut the cable; redesigned the entire product in motion to a true wireless design. Professionals are 23 percent smaller and 17 percent lighter than normal Powerbeats neck pads, and Beats offers color options beyond white: the Powerbeats Pro will come in black, white, dark green and navy blue .

beats new powerbeats pro are airpods with a longer battery life and better fit

What's so good about the Powerbeats Pro?

  • Battery life: Beats says the Powerbeats Pro can reach nine hours of continuous listening. That's no match for the best traditional Bluetooth headsets (including the Beats own 3s only) but, if accurate, it's an exceptional achievement for true wireless hearing aids. Nine hours easily surpasses AirPods, Galaxy Buds, Jabra Elite 65t and the rest of the field. The charging case contains enough extra juice to get around 24 hours of total listening time.
  • Apple H1 Chip: Like the second-generation AirPods, the Powerbeats Pro include the Apple H1 chip for hands-free "Hey Siri" voice commands and a faster change between Apple devices .
  • Setting: Beats aimed for a comfortable and safe fit, and my initial impression is that it nailed it. Wrapping the hook around my ear was a little uncomfortable, as is the life of those who have glasses, but once they were inside, the Powerbeats Pro did not move. I could not take them to run or make car wheels while I use them, so more tests are needed. But do not judge these based on older Powerbeats headphones. Beats says that "more than 20 configurations were electronically modeled and physically tested. The result is a completely new acoustic housing, with an ergonomic angle that nestles comfortably in the shell bowl of the ear with a nozzle off the shaft. "Four sets of ear tips should mean you'll find the perfect seal or something close to

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  • Physical controls: You do not have to worry about gestures or uncomfortable touch zones, both earphones have identical physical buttons for volume and tracking controls, when you're in the middle of a workout, you'll appreciate uncomplicated controls No power button, but headphones contain motion sensors that automatically put them in sleep mode when they are inactive.
  • Automatic pause and restart: Like AirPods and many other true wireless headphones in this point, Powerbeats Pro will pause your music when you take off one or both and then start playing again once they re-enter. [19659009] Can be used independently: Like the AirPods, both Powerbeats Pro ergonomic headphones connect to your device independently. Many other true wireless outbreaks use a linked system where only one of them is connected to your phone, and the other is connected to the first headset. This limits you to using only one side for phone calls, for example. With the Powerbeats Pro, you can place any of the headphones and you're done.

What's not so good about Powerbeats Pro

  • Large cargo case: It's very clear that Beats expects people to keep the charging case for the Powerbeats Pro in a bag of some kind; Whether it's your gym bag or your daily baggage, it does not matter. But the case is significantly greater than that of the competition. It's hard to beat Apple here, and you have to consider the Powerbeats Pro's earhooks, which require a bigger case. However, this is much bigger than what you get with the Beats competition. You could probably put this thing in a pocket, but it will not be comfortable.

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  • Without wireless charging: If there is one obvious thing that separates the new AirPods from the Powerbeats Pro, is this. The case does not support Qi wireless charging.
  • There is no LED light to show the charge status of the handset: Apple's AirPods also lack this, so I'm not surprised. But some true wireless headphones have separate LEDs to reflect how much charge the case and hearing aids have. The small circular LED on the front of the Powerbeats Pro's housing is only designed to show its own remaining battery. To check the battery level of the headphones, it is necessary to open the case near your iPhone; A menu will appear showing the charging status of the headphones and the case. You will also see the percentage when you are using them in the iOS battery widget.
  • Water resistant, but unrated: Beats does not disclose an IPX water resistance rating for Powerbeats Pro, but the company insists it has been designed to handle all of its sweat without failure. (The charging case is not water resistant, so you'll want to clean your headphones before placing them there after an intense workout.)

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How do they sound?

Look, I did not really have enough listening time to make a final call here, but my initial impression is very positive. The Powerbeats Pro put a lot of thrust behind The Hold Steady and my playlist focused on the rock. They showed a very good dynamic range and a large sound stage as I went through my library in the course of a couple of minutes. Yes, there is an emphasis on the bass. And no, nobody is going to confuse this with neutral studio headphones.

If you want Beats to adopt the sound, this is the following: "Completely redesigned from the inside out, the headphones feature an improved linear piston controller that takes advantage of an efficient and pressurized air flow to create a powerful acoustic response in a small package. "

Something else?

  • The case is loaded with Lightning: Beats puts a Lightning connector in the Powerbeats Pro case instead of USB-C. It is not the first time that the company does this; Beats X also use Lightning. I can see reasonable arguments on both sides here: if you have an iPhone, obviously you have a Lightning cable ready. But is not the USB-C the future? Either way, the Powerbeats Pro can still load pretty fast. Beats says you can get an hour and a half of playing with a load of 5 minutes and four and a half hours after a maximum of 15 minutes.
  • The quality of the call is supposed to be excellent: False voice calls are a common complaint with real wireless headphones. Check out the video review of Galaxy Buds from my colleague Becca to see just one example of that. The long stem of the AirPods helps enormously here. But Beats came up with his own solution: he set up voice detection accelerometers (to detect when his mouth is moving) and two beam-forming microphones in each headset that should be able to pick up his voice and block outside noise reasonably well. I have not tried it yet, so I can not answer, but I'm optimistic.
  • Work well with Android: The Powerbeats Pro are compatible with Android, of course, and Beats says you can expect the same battery life of up to nine hours with a charge. A lightning cargo port is a little inconvenient, but there's nothing you're really missing apart from Apple's unique features like "Hey Siri".

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Are you or AirPods?

Beats (and by extension Apple) see the Powerbeats Pro as a complement to the AirPods, it is not a direct threat. They are in a different price range ($ 250 versus $ 159 or $ 200). They isolate the sound, which some people will prefer but others will not. If he frequently goes out on the busy streets of the city and likes to be aware of what is happening, that could be a decisive factor. The Powerbeats Pro does not have any kind of ambient noise mode to channel the external audio.

But if AirPods does not fit you right or if you want to want to block the surrounding noise, the Powerbeats Pro looks very impressive outside the door. The nine-hour battery life sets a new bar for true wireless headphones. They fit comfortably and safely.

Where do they fit in terms of prices?

The Powerbeats Pro are firmly in the high-end level of true wireless headphones. They are not the most expensive, but they are certainly up there.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8: $ 299.99
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless: $ 299.95
Master and Dynamic MW07: $ 299
Wints Powerbeats Pro: $ 249.95
with wireless charging case: $ 199
Bose SoundSport Free: $ 199
Sony WF-SP700N: $ 179.99
Jabra Elite 65t: $ 169
Apple Airpod with normal case: $ 159
Samsung Galaxy Buds: $ 129
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air: $ 79

Photograph by Chris Welch / The Verge

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