the beats powerbeats pro are a solid step for apple and its series of fitness-focused headphones.
Released in 2018, while apple could have churned out a half-decent, sweat-resistant pair of wireless earbuds and called it a day, the powerbeats pro are something special: they’re supremely comfortable, sound decent, and look like never, ever you fall
Reading: Best running headphone
That’s why they’re one of the top picks in our guide to the best headphones for exercise, guide to the best headphones for running, guide to the best wireless headphones, and guide to the best truly wireless headphones.
Since they were released, several newer true wireless earbuds have been released, including apple airpods pro, apple airpods 3, and beats fit pro.
but the beats powerbeats pro are still apple’s best in the world of running headphones, and they’re the headphones we’d recommend to most fitness enthusiasts. Read on for our full beats powerbeats pro review.
- beats powerbeats pro (black) on amazon for $199.95 (opens in a new tab)
beats powerbeats pro: price and release date
- released in 2018
- expensive but not out of this world
- costs $249 / £219 / AU$349
powerbeats pro were released in 2018.
When they first came out, they were available in four colors: black, ivory, moss, and navy, all of which come with a matching charging case. A year later, in 2019, Apple released four new, more vibrant shades. however, it appears that the range has since been reduced to three main colours: black, ivory and navy.
beats powerbeats pro are $249/£219/au$349. This means that compared to other Apple products, the Powerbeats Pro are expensive, but not the most expensive of the bunch.
for comparison, airpods pro cost $249/£249/au$399, which you can find more in our airpods pro review. While the 3rd generation airpods cost $179 / £169 / AU$279, take a look at our apple airpods 3 review.
The newer beats fit pro, by comparison, cost $199/£199/au$299.95. Read our Beats Fit Pro review for more information.
Looking at apple rivals, the jabra sport elite is designed for similar fit and is available for $250/£230/around au$330. While the Shokz OpenRun Pro is $179.95 / £130 / Au$250. Although they have a completely different form factor with a headband and bone conduction technology, they are fast becoming the top choice for racers and rival the Beats. powerbeats pro in this regard.
so while powerbeats pro beats can be expensive, not that expensive. as they are a fantastic pair of earbuds for all kinds of scenarios and for fitness at least we prefer them to apple airpods.
beats powerbeats pro: design
- a sporty design
- hands-free control
- perfect for sports >
in terms of design, there are a lot of things i like about beats powerbeats pro. these buttons have a sporty look, while still being practical enough to wear outside the gym.
On each of the two earbuds, the powerbeats pro have a central playback control button where the beats logo is, as well as a volume control. that means you can control your music with whichever hand is free, which is a nice feature. (Of course, if you have hey siri enabled, you can simply say the wake word with a voice command to get the same effect.)
It also helps that professional headphones are extremely comfortable, and not only in terms of how they fit in and around the ear, but also in terms of how they feel when you listen to music.
If you’ve used other wireless headphones in the past, you may remember feeling a kind of pressure in your ear while listening to music. It’s something we’ve certainly felt when listening to other workout headphones like the Jaybird X4, but that uncomfortable pressure just doesn’t exist with the Powerbeats Pro.
That’s down to a micro-laser barometric vent in the front chamber which, in Apple’s words, reduces pressure on the ear and improves bass response…not that Beats headphones need help with the bass levels.
another factor that contributes to the excellent fit is how thin the mouthpiece of the earphones is. It’s smaller than many other true wireless earbuds on the market and with four different ear cushion options, there are still plenty of ways to get that perfect seal.
One problem with the design of the Beats PowerBeats Pro is that they stick out a bit from your ears and don’t have the same understated look as the Apple AirPods.
This is also a problem if you want to wear headphones to bed, as when you lie down with them in your ear, they push them uncomfortably into your ear canal.
The other problem, and it’s something other reviewers also insisted on, is that the case for powerbeats is huge. it’s the kind of thing that looks awkward in your gym shorts and can be a hassle to carry around in your pockets. It seems like the only place the headphone case belongs is in your gym bag or locker, and that’s a bit of a disappointment if you want to wear the Pro while working at the office.
Apple’s rebuttal to that claim is that Powerbeats can last up to nine hours between charges and store around two charges in the case. When you combine those numbers, Apple claims that the Powerbeats Pro have a 24-hour battery life and should last a few days between charges, a claim that’s pretty accurate during testing, getting two and a half charges out of the case with around eight or more. then hours of use per charge.
Unfortunately, though, if you want wireless charging, you won’t find it here. If you want to stay within the Apple family, only the latest versions of AirPods have that feature, so for now, you’ll still need to use a Lightning cable to charge the case every few days.
beats powerbeats pro: setup
- works with android, but better experience with ios
- new h1 wireless chip
just like other airpod products, powerbeats pro are most useful at home when paired with other apple devices. On iOS, pairing Powerbeats Pro is as simple as opening the case near your iPhone or iPad. two taps later and your devices are in sync.
just like with airpods, you can open the case to see how much battery is left in your ios device, and that helps enhance its space age feel. (It would have been nice to see battery life in the top right corner of the home screen, as we’ve seen with other true wireless earbuds, but that’s not a deal breaker).
That said, the Powerbeats Pro are not exclusive to Apple and will work with both Android and Windows 10 devices. All you need to do is press and hold the pairing button inside the charging case and select the Powerbeats Pro on the device you want. match. There is almost no difference in the sound quality that we can hear between a paired iOS device (our iPhone 8) and a paired Android device (our Google Pixel 3A XL) as both connections use Bluetooth 5.0.
one of the main reasons you’d want to use an apple device is to take advantage of the new h1 wireless chip, the same one that’s just been added to apple airpods. With it, you’ll notice faster pairing times and hands-free Siri. You can certainly get by without those features, obviously, but hands-free Siri is a spectacularly useful feature if you want to make calls or send texts without picking up the phone.
beats powerbeats pro: performance
- sound great
- no noise cancellation
- not waterproof just splash ipx4 -resistant
Staying in your ear and seamlessly connecting to your devices is the stakes in this category. what really matters is how good they sound when you move, an area that many of the more popular in-ears don’t really master.
See also: Cowin E7 Review: Pros & Cons and Verdict
The good news is that the beats powerbeats pro sound great both during your workout and when you’re not in the gym. yes, there is a slight brittleness to the sound if you pay attention to it, but it’s not the kind of thing you notice during your workout.
Over the course of a few weeks, we listened to various genres and discovered that, unsurprisingly, the beats brand still caters to edm, r & b and rap, and now you can play crunchier rock and alternative. with some authority.
what’s more amazing is that the beats powerbeats pro have really turned down the bass this time. They don’t have a flat EQ, but it’s like a smooth v-shape that boosts the highs and lows with a slight dip in the mids. it’s a smooth curve where music sounds reasonably energetic, but not so steep that movies and shows can’t be seen. in fact even movies like thor raganarok sounded absolutely great with them.
The problem here, however, is that music, and audio in general, is relatively subjective. our preferences for an equalization curve are not going to be to your liking, and apple does not provide you with any tools to alter the sound. That can be frustrating if you feel like you’re not hearing enough media when you’re watching a movie, and worse, if you feel like your music lacks some sparkle in the upper register. as of now, there is no way to add any of that back.
You will also feel frustrated by all these problems when you take the powerbeats pro with you on any form of public transportation; Despite all its other features, the Powerbeats Pro still don’t offer noise cancellation.
What’s worse, though, is that they don’t block sound very well either (what we call passive noise isolation). so unless you’re listening to your music at uncomfortable levels, expect to hear everything going on around you.
an even more practical issue people might have with powerbeats is that they are only ipx4 splash resistant. this means they can get a little sweaty, maybe an accidental splash from a water bottle or someone jumping in the pool, but they are not waterproof. That means you have to be careful if you take them to the beach and you have to keep them as far away from a pool party as possible; if they stay submerged for more than a few seconds, they will probably never work the same.
where we find the beats powerbeats pro to perform the most is in a near silent environment like your office, home or gym because you can use siri hands free they are great for setting timers on the middle of devices and making calls to friends and clients.
plus, because they’re so comfortable in the ear and last around eight hours between charges, you can wear them around the house for hours with no problem, making them a decent everyday headphone and the one we’d pick if necessary to make a call or listen to spotify on our phone.
To keep the music going, between sessions we’d put the headphones back in their case and they’d be ready to go and fully charged in an hour and a half.
Ultimately, while the Beats Powerbeats Pro impressed us, they’re just not the best true wireless earbuds on the market.
these earphones are still not noise canceling like the airpods pro, nor are they waterproof like the jaybird run xt, nor do they sound as good as the sony wf-1000xm4 earphones.
That said, though, they’re, in our opinion, Apple’s best fitness headphones to date thanks to little additions like the ear hooks, pressure-reducing microlaser barometric vent, their longer battery life and superior sound quality.
To that end, buy these headphones if you’re an apple-loving gym goer who can appreciate better-sounding music and features like hey siri hands-free, and don’t mind paying a little extra for those things.
If our beats powerbeats pro review has you considering other true wireless earbuds, then here are three other options to review, all of which would make a fantastic pair of earbuds for working out.
See also: AKG Y400 review | What Hi-Fi?
- first reviewed May 2019