Dr. Dre, the man who boasted of being the first billionaire in hip-hop after selling his Beats by Dre to Apple, can be forgiven for taking it easy these days. He has nothing left to prove to anyone. But Beats, the brand that transcended its origins as the money of a cynical celebrity and became a cultural icon, has everything to prove. For a long time, Apple has apparently frozen the development of new products within Beats, allowing its adopted brand to launch only minor updates and alternative colors. He could be forgiven for thinking that Beats was a careless stepchild.
The new Powerbeats Pro put such concerns to rest. They are the most sincere and comprehensive product of Beats since the takeover of Apple, and they are a triumph. The Elves of the Doctor's headphones have been very busy, and the first Beats wireless headphones are the best Beats headphones of any size or class. At $ 250, they are not cheap. However, the Powerbeats Pro offer numerous advantages over Apple's cheaper and simpler AirPods, and those updates fully validate the Beats price premium.
When unpacking the Powerbeats Pro, & # 39; I will have to repress a laugh at the size of its case. It is like a regular case of wireless headphones with a serious case of gigantism. I could probably place four AirPods cases in the volume occupied by the Powerbeats Pro's forgiving box. Looking at the positive side, it's a very sturdy case, it includes a battery for more than twice the operating time of the hearing aids, and it's still less than half the size of a case for over-the-ear hearing aids. And without wanting to get ahead of myself, the sound quality of the Powerbeats Pro is good enough that they can be compared to portable alternatives over the ear.
The design of this new generation of Powerbeats is subtly bright. It still has the crossbar section that houses the batteries for each bud, but is now much more integrated into the hard stem that curves up and around the back of the ear. Apple also gradually softens the part that wraps around the ear to make it more comfortable and tolerant of what is a highly sensitive area of the body. (There is no fat to protect the cartilage of the ear). That unique and fluid external shape makes the Powerbeats Pro look much more coherent and intentionally designed than its thick predecessor.
It's not yet the most discreet aspect, for which I probably recommend Samsung's almost invisible Galaxy Buds, but it allows you to feel more comfortable using a pair of Powerbeats headphones outside the context of a gym or an exercise session.
Placing the headphones in my ears was a bit of a complicated task at first. They do not have the simplified and simple form of AirPods, so I have to pay a little attention to turn them on and off. The advantageous difference of AirPods, however, is that the Powerbeats Pro have several sizes of internal tips, so they have a much more customizable fit. That should mean they have a better chance of matching people who find that the AirPods fall or do not fit properly.
With the new Powerbeats, I find that if I do not position them correctly, the right end of the ear hook starts digging in the back of my ear (You can blame my physical asymmetry for the reason why it only happens in a side). I was also worried that those hooks collided with the glasses, but my colleague Chris Welch, who tried the Powerbeats Pro in his ad, says the trick is to put on the headphones before the glasses and all is well. Once you get over those little hiccups, what you'll get from Powerbeats Pro is an absolutely incredible fit, stability and comfort.
Because of its size and shape, these are super lightweight headphones. I would not say you can forget that you're wearing them, mostly because of the hooks to place over the ears instead of the buds themselves, but they're not far from the ease of use of the AirPods.
. My colleague Thomas Ricker has two specific complaints about Apple's other wireless headphones: he hates the way the connection cable from the previous Powerbeats flapped against the back of his neck as he ran, and when he switched to the AirPods, he finds that his hooded sweatshirt traps its protruding stems when the head turns. The Powerbeats Pro solves both problems. Its well curved exterior design means that they do not have aberrant shapes that stick out to catch things. I approve these headphones a lot to wear them with hoods, and I would not be surprised if Beats' ingenious engineers made a point of perfecting that fit for the jogger.
The Powerbeats Pro are, in the background, exercise aids, and I put them to the test. I ran, I played basketball, I jumped like a 20-year-old in a metal concert, I lifted weights, I grimaced, I even started to sweat with the professionals. But they did not. I am surprised how stable these headphones remain in my ears, no matter what I throw at them. (Note: the battery case is not water resistant like the yolks, so you should definitely dry the sweat from the buds before throwing them there again.)
Aware of the incompatibility between touch controls and hands sweaty, Apple has wisely stuck to the mechanical controls in the Powerbeats Pro. There is a symmetrical arrangement in each outbreak: the circular logo "b" is the control for playing music and for answering or rejecting calls, and there is a small control of volume above that. With the new Apple H1 chip on board, you also have the option of Siri always listening to your voice commands. You can read more about the update of the H1 chip in our review of AirPods 2. from a few weeks ago.
Being a devoted user of Android, I have been using mainly the Powerbeats Pro paired with a Google Pixel 3 XL. Guess what? They work brilliantly together. Maintaining the excellent wireless performance of the AirPods, the Powerbeats Pro from Apple offers a stable connection without failures. I've had exactly zero signal losses or disturbances in the signal, and it has the longer connection range than any other wireless headset I've tested. Given Pixel's reputation for somewhat questionable Bluetooth performance, I can say that it will not be easy to find a device that does not work perfectly with Powerbeats Pro. It's no wonder that Apple is already in the second generation of its true wireless champion. AirPods.
When watching YouTube videos on Android with the Powerbeats Pro, I do not see any detectable delay. The automatic sensors that pause and resume music depending on whether you have the headphones also work on Android as they do on iOS. The same goes for receiving calls with these headphones: no latency, no confusion or lack of communication. In fact, the Powerbeats Pro are so good for things that have nothing to do with workouts that I'm tempted to recommend them as a universal pair of headphones for everything.