Powerbeats Pro is one of the best among the completely wireless (TWS) headphones that came out last year. They sound much better than any other in-ear headphones of the manufacturer, and they also have a lot of cool chips that significantly increase the convenience of their regular use. Nevertheless, it’s still difficult to say that they play perfectly - well, but it could be better. Moreover, crochet design makes them not suitable for everyone.
Not so long ago, Apple Beats released another headphone in this series - the usual Powerbeats without the Pro console. They got an almost complete set of chips that the flagship model has, albeit they got an "extra" cable. In the USA, they cost only $ 150, which is $ 50 cheaper than the Powerbeats3, which turned out to be their predecessor, which makes the new headphones even more attractive.
When Beats worked on Powerbeats Pro, the company completely redesigned the shape of the headphones. Older models lacked angular components, which looked worse, and were inferior to new smoothed forms in use. This did not only benefit the headphones for reasons of aesthetics - it also made it easier to access the built-in buttons to control the volume level. Regular Powerbeats got exactly the same design as the Powerbeats Pro. The only exception is the cable between the pair of headphones. Oh yes, at the bottom of the headphone shell there is also a Lightning interface for charging, because the model without the Pro set-top box does not have a charging case with magnetic connectors.Topic: Exceptionally Sporty: Beats Powerbeats Pro Review
Another important difference between previous Powerbeats3 and new Powerbeats is the cable layout. Previously, it was attached to the bottom of the headphones and remained in front of each of the ears, and now it clings to the arch, which is located behind the outer shell. It is not only more convenient in daily use, but, as English-speaking colleagues say, “looks more clear”.
Crochet design is not for everyone, and that's fine. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that the behind-the-ear arches help to keep the headphones in place even during intense physical exertion. It’s a pity, it’s not convenient to use them with glasses at all - this is a big problem. Moreover, the arms will also interfere with the use of any headgear. But no one says that these are headphones for everyone. These are not AirPods to suit almost everyone, but rather the other way around. What is there, on the market there are enough completely wireless headphones that are devoid of arms.
Unlike the Pro model, which allows you to control playback from either side, most Powerbeats controls are on the right side. This is not so important, but it would be better to be able to switch tracks if only the left hand is free. Fortunately, Beats did not give up the simple and most reliable physical buttons: there is a rocker for adjusting the volume, and there is also a multi-function button integrated in the Beats logo for changing tracks and receiving calls.
Powerbeats uses a proprietary Apple chip called H1, which is also installed in the latest AirPods, Powerbeats Pro, and Solo Pro models. It makes it possible to activate the assistant with a simple voice command “Hello, Siri!”. This does not seem to be such a significant advantage, but the ability to communicate with an assistant without having to press buttons is worth a lot. It is especially convenient during jogging or other active physical activities.
Yes, the Apple H1 is also used to easily connect headphones to the iPhone. If you turn them on and bring them to your smartphone, a special pop-up window will immediately appear on its screen with a request for binding. Once you do this, the headphones will immediately be available for use on all gadgets that are connected to the same Apple ID account. You don’t have to pair Powerbeats with each of your Apple devices (iPad, Mac), the ecosystem will automatically do this for you. Yes, this does not mean that the headphones can not be used with smartphones on Android or computers on Windows, but inside the Apple ecosystem it will be more convenient to use them.
Powerbeats have quite a few useful features, but there are a few that are missing. The biggest minus of the headphones is the lack of active noise reduction (ANC). Of course, the in-channel design, which can even be called “vacuum”, provides good passive noise protection. Moreover, the headphones are loud enough to "shout" almost any noise occurring nearby. However, with ANC it would be much more interesting. Perhaps the Beats refused this to extend the battery life, but most likely this is not the case. The second misunderstanding is the complete absence of at least some settings: there is no reassignment of buttons, nor a separate equalizer.
Interestingly, Powerbeats are not inferior to Powerbeats Pro in sound quality. The novelty has quite low frequencies, and it is they that are best supported during intense training. By the way, these are one of the few wireless headphones that divide the bottoms into parts. Others just turn them into a monotonous hum. But these clearly show the kick, bass line and other instruments in the lower frequency range.
As expected, the genres in which bass prevails in Powerbeats show themselves as cool as possible. However, the headphones have enough depth and clarity to deal with ambient and indie rock. The only thing, like Powerbeats Pro, the model with the wire also does not cope with a critical increase in volume. When it reaches a level of 90-100%, the headphones immediately cut low frequencies and boost high ones. In most cases, this is not so noticeable, but in some tracks it sounds, at least, strange. That's just, the majority will definitely not need to turn up the volume so high.
Beats also managed to increase the battery life of the new headphones. The company promises 15 hours of continuous music playback before they go on charge. This is 6 hours longer than the Powerbeats Pro excluding the case, and also much more than most TWS that are on the market, except perhaps the Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW. The new Powerbeats last 3 hours longer than the Powerbeats3, and with the Fast Fuel function they can be charged for another hour of music playback in five minutes on the cord. During testing, the headphones showed 30% of the charge level after 10.5 hours of continuous use, so they would definitely reach the 15-hour mark. If you use them for 2-3 hours a day, then for a week you can forget about connecting to the Lightning cable.
Beats were urgently required to upgrade their Powerbeats3, and the company did this by introducing Powerbeats 50 bucks cheaper than its predecessor - for only $ 150. However, for 250 she sells fully wireless Powerbeats Pro, which can often be snatched up at sales and for 200. Moreover, Jaybird Tarah Pro headphones for $ 160 or regular Tarah for 100 can also be a good alternative. Yes, there is more on the market today offers in the TWS category, but with the cable alternative headphones can also be found.
Beats intentionally made Powerbeats as close as possible to the more advanced Powerbeats Pro in all respects. The new model follows the design of the older brother, and it is also equipped with an Apple H1 chip for convenient interaction with all devices of the company, but it costs a hundred bucks cheaper. Yes, the sound can hardly be called ideal, but in this category of wireless headphones it is very good - it can be seen that the company invested a lot of energy and tried to make it as balanced as possible. Headphones play deep and clear enough to handle most modern genres. Plus, again - they cost only $ 150. For this money, you can take other wireless in-ear headphones, but they just won’t play just as well.
Beats completely redesigned the Powerbeats model to match the Powerbeats Pro level, which is definitely very cool. Convenient controls, the launch of Siri without the help of hands and excellent sound quality make it possible to recommend them in their price category. Yes, not everyone will like the crochet design, but the runners will definitely be delighted with it.Strengths:
- Great sound quality.
- Impressive battery life.
- Convenient management.
- Quick pairing with iPhone.
- Activation Siri voice.
Note: this is a partial translation of the Engadget review.
- Crochet design will not appeal to everyone.
- No active noise reduction.
- There are no settings.
- High frequencies are sometimes naughty.
Final rating: 8 out of 10.