The Powerbeats Pro marks the debut of the Beats in the category of completely wireless headphones. Following the recipe from the Powerbeats line, they are focused on people who play sports, bringing a safer design with protection against sweat and hooks that leave the sides firmly attached to the ears.
Beats promises a nine-hour battery, balanced sound and convenient connection thanks to the Apple H1 chip, which powers AirPods. And, as expected, the Powerbeats Pro is a luxury item, with a suggested retail price of $ 1,149. Is it worth it to spend it all? I listened to dozens of hours of music on Beats’s new headphones and recounted my impressions in the next few minutes.
Design and comfort
Right off the bat, Powerbeats Pro makes it clear that it’s not one of those versatile headsets for everyday use anywhere. The carrying case is giant compared to the AirPods or Galaxy Buds. It doesn’t fit in a jeans pocket, at least not comfortably, which means you’ll probably carry it in a purse.
Beats Powerbeats Pro
The case can be stocked through the Lightning port and has magnets to ensure the headphones are always in contact with the charging pins. An LED on the outside shows the battery status, while a small button inside the box lets you pair the headphones again.
The hooks do not drop the headphones at all. I got to run 16 km, with front and side wind in some parts, and at no time felt insecure. It’s very different from AirPods, which don’t fall either, but they feel bad in the first few minutes because they look “loose” in the ear. The rods are flexible enough not to press or bother even when wearing glasses.
Beats Powerbeats Pro
Features and connectivity
Beats got it right by placing physical buttons on Powerbeats Pro rather than relying on capacitive touch sensors that don’t always respond accurately and tend to be involuntarily triggered with sweat. Each side has the same pair of buttons: one to control the volume, another to pause a song, skip to the next track or answer a call.
As with AirPods, connecting is very convenient for those who already use Apple devices. When the charging case is first opened, a window pops up on iPhone asking if you want to confirm the connection. From there, everything is saved to your iCloud account and you can quickly switch between an iPhone, Mac, or Apple Watch without having to pair again. It is so simple that it should become an industry standard.
Another feature imported from AirPods is the optical sensor that identifies if the headphones are in your ear. Music pauses as soon as one side is removed and plays again when you wear Powerbeats Pro. Of course, if you want to listen to just one of the headphones, just store one side in the charging case and push the side button on the other to undo the music.
The range and stability of the connection is impeccable. Powerbeats Pro has maintained audio quality even though it is 10 meters from the source, with two walls in the middle; It is enough for you to keep listening to music while walking around the house or office. With my cell phone in my pocket, I didn’t see any connection drops or even cracking in the audio during the test days.
Sound quality and isolation
The sound quality surprised me positively. As with the latest Beats releases, there is no longer that exaggerated bass gain and fading midrange, which left the songs dark and undefined. In fact, I’d define Powerbeats Pro audio as “balanced,” which is kind of weird for a Beats.
The bass is present but does not stand out from the other frequencies. It’s a signature that pleases me, but for some it may give the feeling that it lacks vigor, especially for those who are used to mass-eared headphones, which almost always bring considerable gain. But the beats have enough strength and extension for an in-ear, which is clear in the drums.
If Beats didn’t put so much emphasis on the bass in Powerbeats Pro, it seems to have done it with the midrange and treble. The projection and richness of the voices, especially the female ones, captivated me, thanks to the clear mids. But at times, everything gets a little bright, with definition “too much”. Although this does not bother me at race time, it is not so pleasant in a calm environment: after a while, if the volume is a little higher, it gets tired.
By the way, the noise isolation of the Powerbeats Pro isn’t great, which is normal for sporting headphones, but it’s not clear just by looking at their in-ear shape. Even the largest pair of rubbers does not completely seal the ear, and you can still hear the surroundings. For one thing, it makes you safer running on the street. On the other hand, Powerbeats Pro will not insulate you from shopping mall offers.
Testing the Powerbeats Pro’s battery was a little tricky because the promised runtime is too high and because the headphones have power-saving features: in addition to pausing the music when they’re out of the ear, they turn off by themselves when idle. Beats promises nine hours of battery life – and I believe they can handle even a little longer than that.
On one of the test days, I put the Powerbeats Pro in my ear, went out for a longer workout, and listened to music for about three hours, at about 60% volume, connected to an iPhone XS. In this case, the battery dropped from 100% to 75%. I also did another test listening to songs and podcasts for five hours, and the load dropped from 100% to 53% (ie more than half of the battery left).
Logically, the Powerbeats Pro can stay up to ten hours away from the charging case, which is impressive for fully wireless headsets. You can press play on the music, leave home to run a marathon, warm up at the start, finish the race, come home and still have a load. Maybe the phone battery runs out sooner.
The Powerbeats Pro’s large size with a large body and earhook allows you to fit a larger battery than a more discreet headset. And Beats seems to have enjoyed it very well.
Beats Powerbeats Pro
I liked the Powerbeats Pro a lot, but it’s hard to recommend a $ 2,149 headset. Even in the United States, it costs $ 249, which is far from a bargain: you can save a lot of money by giving up little.
The Galaxy Buds, for example, have good sound quality and decent battery for less than half the price, with the advantage of being more versatile. And if sport isn’t your thing, the options are even bigger: the Sony WF-1000XM3, for example, costs $ 1,299 and still has active noise cancellation. Even AirPods look “cheap.”
Beats Powerbeats Pro
But if money is not a problem, there is no more hindrance. Powerbeats Pro is one of the best headsets I’ve ever tested (and I’m not restricting myself to true wireless only). The sound quality is excellent, the design is comfortable and safe for running or cycling, the battery lasts too long and the connection is impeccable.
Beats often charge more because of brand strength, which doesn’t always translate into something better: Beats Studio 3 Wireless, for example, is not a noise-canceling headphone superior to Bose QuietComfort 35 or Sony WH-1000XM3, despite having a higher price. In the case of Powerbeats Pro, this does not apply: these are the best sports earphones so far. But they are also the most expensive.