Although still competitive, cables are outdated.
Wireless is the way to go, especially with audio devices.
It just adds a touch of convenience and sophistication for its user. Premium, true wireless earbuds are the most compact wireless headphones.
The Powerbeats Pro is arguably the best pair of true wireless earbuds. Or are they?
We’ll find out soon.
Here are the things we’ll cover in the Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones Review:
- About the “beats by Dre “brand
- Special features of the Powerbeats Pro
- Drawbacks of the Powerbeats Pro
- A comprehensive buyers guide on true wireless earbuds
- Benefits of the Powerbeats Pro
- What other are saying about the Powerbeats Pro
- Alternatives to the Powerbeats Pro
- 1 Powerbeats Pro Wireless Review
- 2 About the “Beats by Dre” brand
- 3 Special Features of the Powerbeats Pro
- 4 Drawbacks of the Powerbeats Pro
- 5 Truly Wireless Earbuds Buyers Guide
- 6 Benefits of the Powerbeats Pro
- 7 Alternatives to the Powerbeats Pro
- 7.1 Apple Airpods Pro
- 7.2 Aftershokz Aeroplex bone conduction wireless earbuds
- 7.3 3. Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Bud
- 7.4 Conclusion
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Review
About the “Beats by Dre” brand
The company was founded in 2006 by rapper Dr.dre and Jimmy Lovine. Over the years, Beats has risen to the top spot in the premium audio electronics sector.
Some of their most notable products include the Solo, beatsx, beats EP, urBeats, and the beats pill just to name a few.
They manufacture wired earphones, wireless earphones, Bluetooth speakers, wired headphones, wireless headphones, and wireless earbuds.
The Powerbeats debuted as a premium truly wireless earbud in 2016. The PowerbeatsPro is their latest and greatest wireless earbuds.
Note that beats by dre products use Apple’s W1 and H1 audio processing chips.
Special Features of the Powerbeats Pro
Fit and Comfort
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Powerbeats pro is the ear hooks.
They allow for a snuggly fit of the headphones to your ears. Unlike the Airpods, Powerbeats Pro is significantly more comfortable. Part of the reason is that the hooks reduce pressure on the eardrums.
In the box, you get 4 pairs of differently-sized silicon ear tips. This is meant to provide the best fit for most users.
You can try all of them to find the one that delivers the most comfort and completely seals the ear canal. It is worth noting that sealing the ear canal eliminates the pressure difference that typically causes headaches.
Compared to the preceding Powerbeats 3, the Powerbeats Pro are 23% smaller and 17% lighter. This adds on the comfort levels. Note that the design is much better and more efficient.
The ear hooks are flexible enough to be twisted to your liking. This allows most users to find the ideal position.
The Powerbeats Pro use a piston speaker driver. This delivers great sound without cracking your skull.
The unit also uses a smart equalizer to efficiently analyze and reproduce each note. This eliminates the cacophony of high-frequency sounds. Therefore you can go through hours unending with no ear irritation.
The Powerbeats Pro has the best battery of any truly wireless earbuds. Apple claims that they can last up to 9 hours of listening time.
However, and probably for the first time, real tests seem to get more listening time. For instance, with a 75db setting and paired with iPhone XS Max, you get 10hours 52 minutes of listening time.
On Android, you get 10 hours 34 minutes of listening time. This is partly achieved by the use of low-power, high dynamic range power amplifier. It delivers a loud, clear sound with no compromise on the battery.
The buds also use a piston audio driver to fire music. They also deliver great sounds at the highest battery efficiency.
The H1 chip from Apple also plays a big role in battery management. It runs Bluetooth 5.0 which transmits sound signals via low energy bands.
The result is longer battery life on a single charge. Speaking of charging, the Powerbeats Pro can get up to 4.5 hours of playback time from just 15minutes of charging.
The charging case is much larger than any of the Airpods’. Its probably 4 times larger. It’s capable of powering the Powerbeats Pro through over 24 hours of playback time.
The case is charged via a USB-A to lightning cable. It’s such an inconvenient and arguably outdated cable. The upside is that you can always plug it into your wall charger or USB ports on PC.
Other tertiary technologies like the autoplay/pose feature when you remove the buds from your ears also save battery. It ensures that the headphones are only consuming power when you are actually listening.
The Powerbeats Pro also automatically go to sleep when you return them to the charging case. This also contributes to its long battery life.
The charging case has an LED that turns red when the battery percentage falls below 40%. It does not support wireless charging either. This is a little in the past considering fast wireless charging is now mainstream.
However, the case supports fast charging which charges the case+buds in 2.5 hours. On its own, the case can charge each wireless bud from zero to full in 90 minutes.
The Powerbeats Pro is specifically designed for sporty usage. This is why it doesn’t support gestures or touch controls. Instead, you get the good old buttons with satisfying travel. There are two buttons-a beats button and a volume rocker.
The beats button is on the face of the bud and has the “b” logo. The volume rockers are on the side.
The “b” button has the following control options:
- Long press to activate Siri or decline calls
- Single press to play/pause
- Double press to skip forward
- Tripple press to skip backward
The volume rocker serves the usual volume adjustment functions.
Siri brings more hands-free, voice commands. For instance, you can play, pause, stop, skip tracks, return to tracks and adjust the volume of the Powerbeats Pro via Siri. You can also send other Siri commands to your iOS device via the Powerbeats Pro.
Beats by Dre is known for its iconic sound quality. The Powerbeats Pro takes after this reputation with their comfortable, high fidelity audio output.
To get the best Powerbeats Pro experience, ensure that you are using the right ear tip for your anatomy. By sealing your ear canal, your ambient environment is isolated.
It also ensures that no sound escapes. The result is an adequate, audible listening experience. This also means that you can still hear your audio files in noisy places without having to crank the volume.
Consequently, you save yourself from the risk of noise-induced hearing loss
Sound quality largely depends on the phone you are using with the Powerbeats Pro. iOS devices produce the best sound.
This can be attributed to the compatibility of the AAC codec format used in beaming audio files via BlueTooth on iOS. Along with the H1 chip, the Powerbeats Pro maintains a rock-solid connection at a longer range.
On the other side, the audio quality when streaming from android is almost just as good. There’s a slight lag in sound when watching videos via android. This can be explained by Android’s AptX codec which is different from Apple’s.
Regardless, unless you are really keen, its highly unlikely that you’ll notice any differences in audio quality.
Processor-Apple H1 Chip
Apple’s H1 chip is the brain that powers all functions of this headphone. It’s predecessor, the W1 chip only improved the stability of the Bluetooth connection. The H1 chip is more powerful and capable.
It’s compatible with Bluetooth v5.0. This allows you to get stronger connections at a range of up to 800 feet(theoretically).
The H1 chip also allows for better synchronizations on iOS devices. For instance, once you pair your iPhone with Powerbeats Pro, you can synchronize it to automatically pair with your other devices.
These includes Mac, iPod and iPad.You can then switch up between these devices in very simple steps.
Powerbeats Pro has three sensors-microphones, an accelerometer and proximity sensor. The microphone has a larger cutting and has a high sensitivity. This allows it to pick up your voice much clearer. The result is crystal clear calls.
It also ensures that you don’t have to repeat commands when talking to Siri.
The accelerometer serves two functions. First, it senses the motions of your jaws when you are on a call. It then adjusts the microphone to adequately capture your voice.
This is very useful in noisy situations. You can hold a proper conversation in crowded places, in the rain, or on a train.
The proximity sensor senses when the pods have been removed. This allows them to pause in a bid to save battery life. It also resumes playing once the buds are back in your ears.
The proximity sensor also works with the accelerometer to sense when the buds are placed back in the charging case. Then, the Powerbeats Pro automatically stops and goes to sleep, further improving battery usage.
Finally, I love the design of the Powerbeats Pro. Not only do they look good, but they also have a nice textured finish on the exterior. The earbuds themselves are made of plastic. However, they feel durable. The paint job is well done and looks premium.
The Powerbeats pro has a flexible silicon hook. This makes them flexible enough for longer service life.
Powerbeats Pro is available in 8 colors-cloud pink, sparing yellow, glacier blue, lava red, ivory, black, moss and navy. You are most likely to find a color that best complements your style. The ear tips are made of silicon. They feel sturdy, soft and durable.
A proprietary binding joint ensures they never fall off even with the most vigorous activity!
If the silicon tips don’t fit your bill, then you may consider purchasing these memory foam ear tips. They are much cozier than any other type of tips.
Drawbacks of the Powerbeats Pro
The Powerbeats Pro uses the AAC Bluetooth code to send notes. Simply put, android just doesn’t fair well with AAC. The result is a slight lag when watching videos from android devices. However, the difference is too small to compromise your entire experience.
Lacks Active Noise Cancellation(ANC)
With a $250 price tag, I don’t understand why the Powerbeats Pro still doesn’t have ANC. Granted, their ear tip design completely seals the ear canal.
This manual mode of noise cancellation works well. However, it doesn’t come close to competitors such as the Airpods Pro which are miles ahead.
Again, at its price, Powerbeats Pro still doesn’t support wireless charging. Instead, you are restrained to the aged lightning cable(Apple!SMH). On the flip side, the charging case houses the largest battery in its class.
Truly Wireless Earbuds Buyers Guide
Consider the following factors before investing your hard-earned money in a pair of truly wireless earbuds:
The cost of wireless earbuds is determined by several factors.
These include the type of material, number of components, type of audio processor, battery capacity, Bluetooth generation, country of origin, charging case battery capacity, charging technology, and much more.
The point is, you get what you pay for. Meaning cheap wireless buds are likely to be made of cheap materials, have low battery life, unstable connections, and are not durable.
On the other side, costlier wireless earbuds sound great, have long-range, strong battery life, and useful technologies.
I haven’t seen any repair shops for wireless earbuds. This means that these gadgets are to be thrown away should they malfunction.
Consequently, I recommend purchasing wireless earbuds from reputable brands. They are costlier than generic brands. However, you get a guarantee that they’ll work.
Consider several options of quality earbuds withing your budget. Go through several reviews starting from the manufacturer’s website where all features are listed.
Check what other customers had to say about the buds on the comment sections of e-commerce and product review websites.
If you are in the market for specific features, say, battery life, then pick a model that excels in that. More often than not, every wireless earbud brand has its share of strengths and weaknesses.
Also, check that the claimed features can be available on your primary device’s(phone) operating system.
This will save you the regret of spending hundreds of dollars and yet, miss the features you wanted in the first place.
Your entire listening experience relies on how well an earbud fits your ear. If it’s too large, it’s going to hurt. If it’s too small, it can fall off. Even worse, let in unwanted noise.
Finding Properly fitting tips has been one of the most persistent issues with wireless buds. Fortunately, most premium earbud manufacturers have come up with solutions.
For instance, having more than one ear tip in the box. Most vendors now include three or four extra ear tips.
They are usually of different sizes for a perfect fit. By now, I’m sure you already know the type of ear tip you prefer. Pick a product that suits your needs.
If you wish to use earbuds for workout purposes, go for the ones with ear hooks. They are much more stable in the ear. This allows them to stay on during vigorous workouts. It also makes it hard for them to get lost.
As a bonus tip, ensure you wear earbuds in the proper configuration-left for left and right for right. This improves fit and comfort.
Earbuds are small devices. It’s very easy(and its the case) for most manufacturers to get it wrong with the battery. Some cells are way too small. Others have poor power efficiencies.
This can be due to the usage of low-efficiency audio drivers and amplifiers. So how can you tell if a wireless earbud has good stamina?
First, check the size of the battery in the charging case. It should be large enough to charge up the buds multiple times on a single charge. It should also support fast charging.
If possible, wireless charging would also be nice. Speaking of which, you should also consider the type of cable it uses to charge up.
Most new earbuds have USB-C chargers. These are the most convenient. The reason is that you can use one cable to charge multiple compatible devices.
However, you may have to deal with a less-convenient cable. This is the case when the earbud of your choice comes with a unique cable.
The earbuds themselves should also charge fast. Most earbuds can give you hours of listening time from a few minutes of charging.
The connectors should also be strong and magnetic if possible. This removes the guesswork in trying to clip them in. The earbuds should not have heat dissipation issues either.
Note that pricier truly wireless buds have better power efficiency. And therefore, better battery life.
So don’t confuse a higher battery capacity on a cheap earbud for actual battery longevity. These batteries also tend to lose their charge capacity much faster.
As the name suggest, truly wireless buds use BlueTooth to connect to phones and other devices. The latest version of BlueTooth should be given priority. In case you didn’t know, Bluetooth V5 is the latest band of wireless connectivity.
It offers faster connections times, high quality audio output, stable connections and much better power usage.
Be sure to first confirm that your primary device is compatible with a bud’s version of BlueTooth. The latest Bluetooth technology allows for a single device to stream the same signal to two different wireless audio receptors.
The connection of an earbud to your phone should be strong.
This allows you to put your phone in your pocket or somewhere else without losing the connection. The truly wireless buds should also connect seamlessly to devices across all platforms. This will future-proof you in case you wish to upgrade to a new device.
I’m assuming that your phone will be mostly out of reach when using earbuds. This is especially true when working out, walking in a busy street or subway.
To get the most out of your experience, ensure that the buds can be controlled independently. Functions like volume adjustment, play/pause and skip forwards/backwards should be included.
I don’t know about you but I’d choose physical buttons over touch controls. That feedback is something to live for.
On the same breath, ensure that the buttons are nicely secured for longer service life. If its touch or squeeze control, ensure that they work well both indoors and outdoors.
Voice controls via the phone/tablet/iPad is also a great extra. These modes widen the scope of utility of your wireless buds.
There are no two ways about this. A wireless earbud must sound great. Competition in this segment has really pushed the limits of what’s possible, You can now find wireless earbuds with just as great an output as their wired counterparts.
I tend to bias units with the best bass production.
However, be careful not to purchase a bud that downplays the mid and high frequencies. It’s going to be a disturbing experience. Find a unit with an wide frequency response.
It typically ranges from 20HZ-20KHZ in most models or 5HZ-33KHZ in the premium section. Note that a wider response doesn’t always translate to better sound quality.
Your usage scenarios should advise you on the best design of wireless buds to pick. If you are just looking into daily usage, you can settle for a neck design. They are more comfortable to the ear.
On the other side, they don’t fit tightly. This can cause them to fall, accidentally.
If you are looking for a workout pair, go for a hook design. These may be a little intrusive for some people.
On the flip side, they fit tightly and don’t fall of. Other factors to consider include the size of the buds, color and texture. Those are for you to decide.
Water and Sweat Resistance
A great earbud should have some degree of water resistance. I hate to break the news but you can’t find a speaker earbud with full water resistance.
Most of them are only splash and proof. This means that they can’t be used in water sports and related activities. You can’t submerge them either.
Note that charging cases are typically not water-resistant. So you might want to wipe of water/sweat from your earbuds before throwing them into the case.
You should also adopt the routine of regularly cleaning your wireless earbuds. This eliminated bad odor. It also ensures that the audio quality is maintained.
Benefits of the Powerbeats Pro
- Fast charging
- Sounds great
- Long battery life
- Excellent design
- Wide color options
- Wide frequency response
- Water and sweat-resistant
- Many diverse, useful sensors
- The hooks promote fit and stability
Alternatives to the Powerbeats Pro
Apple Airpods Pro
The Airpods Pro is the fraternal twin to the Powerbeats Pro. They share the same H1 chip along with amplifiers and mics. However, that’s where their similarities end. Externally, they look radically different. The Airpods Pro has a stem in place of the hook in Powerbeats Pro. It also has a smaller battery and charging case.
Consequently it delivers about 4-5 hours of listening time per charge. On the plus side, Airpods Pro supports Active Noise Cancellation. They also come with 3 extra, different-sized ear tips for a perfect fit. You get more sensors on the Airpods pro. They support functions such as automatic play/pause and the iconic fittest.
Overall, the Airpods Pro is best suited for daily use-calls, audiobooks, or casual music streaming. It’s less ideal for working out.
Key features of the Airpods Pro
- Stylish design
- Excellent build quality
- Has several, useful sensors
- IPX4-certified water-resistant
- Supports Active Noise Cancellation
Notable differences between the Airpods Pro and the Powerbeats Pro
- More sensors
- Only available in
- Shorter battery life
- Has a stem in place of a hook
- Supports Active Noise Cancellation
Aftershokz Aeroplex bone conduction wireless earbuds
If you want something completely different from Powerbeats Pro, then the Aeropex is just for you. It employs bone conduction technology to produce sound-in replacement of the good old speaker drivers. Each Aeropex has two transducers on either side. They convert electrical notes to corresponding vibrations which are transmitted through the cheekbone to the brain. You get the stimulation as in typical headphones.
Note that the bass level in Aeropex can’t come close to Powerbeats Pro. However, Aeropex is ideal and clear for audiobooks, light music streaming, and calls. It’s also more comfortable and healthy to the ear. Thanks to an open-ear design that eliminates the need to insert objects like ear tips inside the ear canal.
Aeropex is rugged and more durable than Powerbeats Pro. It’s also IP67-certified waterproof. Meaning it can survive being submerged up to a depth of 3M of water for about 30 minutes. The product has efficient control buttons that work every time.
Key features of the Aftershokz Aeropex bone conduction wireless earbuds
- Healthy for the ears
- Durable titanium body
- IP67-certified waterproof
- Has an excellent battery life
Notable differences between the Aftershokz Aeropex and Powerbeats Pro
- Puts out less bass
- Has longer battery life
- Uses bone conduction technology instead of speaker technology
3. Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Bud
The Jaybird Vista is yet another lightweight true wireless earbuds. They come in a highly portable charging case. They can deliver 6 hours of playback time on a single charge. The case can supply enough charge for a total of 16 hours of playback time. A quick 5-minute charge is enough for an hour’s worth of playback.
The buds are also IPX7 water and sweat resistant. They also have excellent heat management and can be used under extreme ambient temperatures. Your connectivity is powered by the JBS1 BlueTooth connection technology. It’s stable and sharp. The Jaybird app connects to the earbuds for additional functionality.
For instance, you can locate them or adjust Equalizer settings.
Key features of the Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Buds.
- Fat charging
- Long battery life
- Excellent audio output
- Durable material design
- IPX7 certified water-resistant
Notable differences between the Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Buds and the Powerbeats Pro
- Shorter battery life
- Higher water resistance rating
The Powerbeats Pro true wireless earbuds are premium, to say the least. They have great audio quality, design, performance, and battery life.
They are also made of durable materials with excellent control response times. Ensure that your buds are always clean. You can routinely wipe them after use.
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