- Powerbeats Pro, the first truly wireless workout headphones from Beats, launched earlier this month.
- I’ve been using the Powerbeats Pro headphones for about 24 hours now, and I have some thoughts about my experience so far.
- I can definitely see Powerbeats Pro dethroning my current exercise headphones, but I’m not sure if they will become my “everyday” headphones like my AirPods are.
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In late March, Apple blog 9to5Mac posted the first pictures of the upcoming Powerbeats Pro wireless headphones, which would eventually be released in the beginning of May.
Those photos of the yet-to-be-announced headphones generated lots of excitement online. It looked like Beats’ version of AirPods: totally wireless, but built for exercise (and, presumably, people who like lots of bass in their music). I love my AirPods, so I was excited to try Powerbeats Pro.
Beats was kind enough to send me a review unit this week, and I’ve had about 24 hours with the wireless headphones so far.
Here are my first impressions of the Powerbeats Pro.
First of all, Powerbeats Pro are supremely comfortable. I feel like I can wear them for a long period of time, and never worry about them falling out of my ears.
This is a revelation for me, because I’ve never been a fan of headphones with interchangeable ear tips. I don’t like having earbuds push into my ear canals; for this reason, I typically prefer over-ear headphones, or earbuds like AirPods that sit on top of the ear canal.
But Powerbeats Pro buck the trend, and offers a comfortable and satisfying experience.
The ear hooks are key.
By wrapping around your outer ear, Powerbeats Pro have a level of stability I’ve yet to experience in other headphones. I’ve tried lots of headphones built for exercise, but all of them are still prone to falling off your head, despite being sweatproof.
I can’t imagine a scenario where Powerbeats Pro would come off my ears without me manually removing them.
Like other sports earbuds, Beats offers different-sized tips to accommodate most ear sizes. I like the default tips, though.
I have zero issues with the default tips after using them for about 24 hours.
In terms of sound, Powerbeats Pro are very bass-heavy.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who is familiar with Beats products.
Almost every piece of audio equipment from this company leans toward providing a heavy, thumping bass experience – like taking the subwoofer in your car and putting it on your head, or in your home.
I actually like how Beats emphasises bass; I listen to a lot of hip-hop, so this audio profile accentuates the type of music I like. That said, other music genres also sound great in Powerbeats Pro, like rock or even classical music.
Powerbeats Pro can get very loud — way louder than AirPods — so you can hear lots of details in your music.
Just don’t play your music too loudly, or you’ll do permanent damage to your ears.
The charging case is well-built and intuitive, with magnets to snap the earbuds into place for charging.
But it’s definitely not as pocketable as the AirPods case, which is about the size of dental floss. The Powerbeats case is about four times as big.
I also like the Powerbeats Pro’s on-board controls, which are conveniently on both earbuds and not just one.
Pressing the Beats logo on either earbud once pauses the music, twice skips a track, and three times goes back a song. You can also press this button to take or reject phone calls.
There’s a volume rocker on top of the Beats logo so you can control your sound without reaching for your phone.
Based on my brief experience with Powerbeats Pro, I’ve found they have some advantages, and disadvantages, when compared to AirPods.
Powerbeats Pro beat AirPods in three big ways: They’re more stable on your head; they offer a deeper and richer audio experience; and they’re built for the gym, whereas AirPods should not be worn at the gym, as they can get damaged from sweat or water.
Stop wearing your AirPods at the gym
But AirPods still have a couple of big advantages over Powerbeats Pro: Taking them in and out of the case, and putting them in your ears, is a completely friction-less experience; and the carrying case is smaller and more portable, which makes them better for taking on a walk. The audio isn’t quite as good or loud as Powerbeats Pro, but it’s good enough for casual use.
So far, I’m thrilled about Powerbeats Pro. They’re a pair of headphones that I can’t wait to put on.
I can definitely see Powerbeats Pro dethroning my $US60 Urbanears Hellas as the undisputed king of exercise headphones, but I’m not sure if Powerbeats Pro will become my “everyday” headphones like my AirPods are. I’m interested to find out.
This isn’t a complete review of Powerbeats Pro, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with the headphones to learn more about their pros and cons. So far, though, I’m impressed by Powerbeats Pro. Beats created an excellent, versatile design that feels good to wear regardless of setting, and no matter what you’re doing; you’ll often forget you’re wearing them. They’re great for the gym, or if you want to just sit and listen to music at your desk, or on your commute.
In just 24 hours of testing, I’m feeling optimistic that I’ve found the perfect pair of wireless headphones. I think they definitely justify their $US250 price point, and will make lots of people very happy.
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