Hands-On With Apple's New Powerbeats Pro Earbuds

Apple's new wire-free Powerbeats Pro are set to launch this Friday after pre-orders became available last week, and ahead of their official debut, we were able to get a pair to test out to find out whether Apple's latest Beats-branded earbuds are worth the $250 price tag.

While Apple is planning to sell the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ in four colors, including ivory, moss, navy, and black, only the black version is available right now, with the other options coming later in the summer.


‌Powerbeats Pro‌ share many features with the AirPods, but the design is totally different because they're aimed at vigorous physical activity like sports and working out. There are a set of earhooks that wrap around your ear to keep the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ in place, along with four sets of ear tips for a customized fit.

powerbeatsprosize
Multiple tips means the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ will fit most people, and while it's early, we found them to be lightweight and comfortable overall, though any earbud is going to cause ear fatigue after long periods of usage. This kind of around the ear fit isn't going to appeal to everyone, and it can take a bit of practice to be able to get them positioned in your ears correctly.

The ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ fit on the ears super securely, and it's unlikely these are going to fall out of your ears during physical activity. ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ fit in the ear canal unlike the ‌AirPods‌, and will drown out ambient noise, which is something to be aware of. We tested these out with sunglasses and found them comfortable, so these may work well for those who wear glasses regularly.

powerbeatsprodesign
As for sound quality, with the tips positioned correctly in your ears, the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ sound impressive. Everything is full, crisp, and clear, and parts of songs remain distinguishable. Bass sounds great and is not muddy, which can be an issue with other wire-free headphones.

‌Powerbeats Pro‌ have a carrying case, but it's a lot bigger than the ‌AirPods‌ case. It's not really pocketable, and it's worth noting that wireless charging is not an included feature. You need to charge this case using a Lightning cable. Opening up the case causes the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ to pair with your device just like the ‌AirPods‌ and thanks to the H1 chip, easy pairing, easy device swapping, and "Hey Siri" support are all ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ features.

powerbeatspropairing
We were impressed with how quickly the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ were able to pair with an iPhone, and it's worth noting that the Live Listen feature available on the ‌AirPods‌ is also available on ‌Powerbeats Pro‌. Live Listen is designed to let the ‌iPhone‌ serve as a microphone, amplifying the ambient noise around you and beaming it to your earbuds.

Automatic play/pause functionality will pause audio when you remove an earbud and play it again when it's put back in place, a super handy feature, and there are some physical buttons for doing things like playing music, pausing music, adjusting volume (these buttons are at the top) and skipping tracks. Physical buttons are nice, but it's not always easy to use the button on the first try and it takes a bit more effort than the tap controls on the ‌AirPods‌.

powerbeatsproandcase
‌Powerbeats Pro‌ offer up to nine hours of listening time per earbud along with 24 hours of additional battery life from the charging case, plus there's a fast fuel feature that offers up 1.5 hours of playback with a five minute charge. We haven't had the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ long enough to test the battery life sufficiently, but we'll be providing more detail in a future video.

So are the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ worth the $250 price tag? We think the answer is yes if you're looking for a set of earbuds that have a secure, comfortable fit with all of the features offered by the ‌AirPods‌. They're perfect if you live an active lifestyle or are looking for a more traditional earbud fit than the ‌AirPods‌ offer.

We'll be doing a follow up video comparing the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ to the ‌AirPods‌, so make sure to keep an eye out for that tomorrow, and for more info on ‌Powerbeats Pro‌, check out our Powerbeats Pro guide.

Top Rated Comments

Analog Kid Avatar
20 months ago

Why don’t any of these reviews include anything about the sound quality?

Maybe they all do and you’re not reading them?:

As for sound quality, with the tips positioned correctly in your ears, the Powerbeats Pro sound impressive. Everything is full, crisp, and clear, and parts of songs remain distinguishable. Bass sounds great and is not muddy, which can be an issue with other wire-free headphones.

;)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bruinsrme Avatar
20 months ago

Why don’t any of these reviews include anything about the sound quality?

he mentioned they sound good and the bass isn't muddy, that's something
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
winglet69 Avatar
20 months ago
Not a fan of the "Beats hype", but I can't wear AirPods as they're Just. Too. Uncomfortable. I do think they (AirPods) are the most tightly-integrated true wireless earbuds out there though. I WANT to like them. So I may just end up splashing out for the Beats, I can live with the case size and don't care about wireless charging.

Hell truly hath frozen over. :D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calzon65 Avatar
20 months ago
I did not purchase Apple AirPods, but these are impressive. I may be tempted to purchase.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pepe4life Avatar
20 months ago

Why don’t any of these reviews include anything about the sound quality?

Because these are just glorified unboxing videos
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
costeta Avatar
20 months ago
$250. Hard pass.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
14

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 With Fix for Text Message Bug and iPhone 12 Mini Lock Screen Issues

Thursday November 19, 2020 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 14.2.1, a bug fix update that comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 14.2 and is available for Apple's new iPhone 12 models. The iOS 14.2.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's release notes, iOS...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...
iOS14AntitrackFacebookSadfeature

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...
maxresdefault

CrossOver Allows x86 Windows Apps to Run on Apple M1 Macs

Wednesday November 18, 2020 6:07 pm PST by
Codeweavers posted a blog post and video tonight showing off CrossOver running on an Apple M1 MacBook Air. This video shows Team Fortress 2 running on a new M1 MacBook Air: CrossOver is software (based on Wine Project) that runs Microsoft Windows apps on the Mac by translating Windows APIs into their Mac equivalents. The Codeweavers team was able to run the current version of CrossOver on...
macbookpro13large

Apple Offers Instructions on What to Do if macOS Big Sur Causes Installation Errors on 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro

Thursday November 19, 2020 6:12 pm PST by
Following the release of macOS Big Sur last week, a number of 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro owners found that the update bricked their machines. Affected users saw their Macs get stuck displaying a black screen after attempting to install the new software. Apple has now addressed this issue in a new support document that provides instructions on what to do if macOS Big Sur can't be installed on...
128gb m1 macbook air education cropped

$799 M1 MacBook Air With 128GB Storage for Education Institutions Spotted Online

Friday November 20, 2020 5:15 am PST by
A new configuration of the M1 MacBook Air with 128GB of storage and a lower $799 price has today been spotted on Apple's U.S. Education Institution Hardware and Software Price List. The M1 MacBook Air is only available with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage. There is currently no 128GB configuration on the Apple Store. However, Reddit user "u/dduci97" noticed that Apple has listed...