Powerbeats Pro: Apple's Sporty AirPods Alternative

by

Apple's Beats brand in April 2019 unveiled the Powerbeats Pro, a redesigned wire-free version of its popular fitness-oriented Powerbeats earbuds. Like the AirPods, Powerbeats Pro come with a dedicated charging case that offers 24 hour battery life and an H1 chip for fast connectivity to your devices and Hey Siri support.

Our Powerbeats Pro guide has all of the details you need to know about Apple's newest earbuds, which are a highly appealing alternative to the ‌AirPods‌.

Design and Fit

The Powerbeats Pro feature a design that's similar to prior Powerbeats models, but Apple says they've been entirely overhauled for an ideal wireless fit.

Apple aimed for the best possible fit for most people, testing more than 20 configurations before arriving at the final design. Apple says the Powerbeats Pro use a new "ergonomically angled acoustic housing" that fits comfortably in the concha bowl of the ear.


Apple designed the Powerbeats Pro to be 23 percent smaller and 17 percent lighter than the previous-generation Powerbeats 3 earbuds.

Like prior Powerbeats models, the Powerbeats Pro feature earhooks that fit over the ears to keep them in place. Apple says the earhook is adjustable, and the Powerbeats themselves can be customized with four sizes of ear tips.


The Powerbeats Pro are designed to create a tight fit in the ear to isolate sound, and there's no ambient noise mode, which is something to keep in mind.

Powerbeats Pro come with a clamshell-style charging case that's available in black. Like the ‌AirPods‌ charging case, it uses a magnetic closure to keep your Powerbeats Pro safe when not in use.

Sound

According to Apple, sound was its "highest priority" when developing the Powerbeats Pro. The earbuds were reengineered "from the inside out" to add an upgraded linear piston driver that leverages pressurized airflow to create a "powerful acoustic response" in a small package.


Apple says Powerbeats Pro users will get "incredibly low sound distortion" and "great dynamic range" across the entire frequency curve.

Water Resistance

Apple says the Powerbeats Pro are sweat and water resistant, making them ideal for working out and other fitness activities. Apple told The Verge that the Powerbeats Pro have been engineered to handle "all of your sweat without fail."


Powerbeats Pro have an IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they're certified to hold up to water splashing against the enclosure from any direction, but have the potential to fail when immersed or exposed to jets of water. With an IPX4 rating, the Powerbeats Pro should be able to survive sweat exposure, though heavy rain and immersion should be avoided.

We did a series of water resistance tests and the Powerbeats Pro held up well to splashes of water and 20 minutes of submersion.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Battery Life

Each Powerbeats Pro earbud features nine hours of listening time, which can be extended to more than 24 hours with the included charging case. At nine hours of listening time, the Powerbeats Pro offer a longer battery life than the ‌AirPods‌ 2. Powerbeats Pro provide six hours of talk time, compared to the three hours available via the ‌AirPods‌.

A Fast Fuel feature lets you get 1.5 hours of music playback after five minutes of charging, and 4.5 hours of playback after 15 minutes of charging.


The Powerbeats Pro come on when taken out of the charging case and power off when they're placed inside. A motion accelerometer is included to detect when the earbuds are idle, putting them into sleep mode to conserve battery life.


The charging case itself does not support wireless charging so you will need to charge it up with a Lightning cable through the included Lightning port.

Physical Buttons

There are physical volume and track controls on each of the Powerbeats Pro earbuds, so you can control volume and skip tracks on the earbuds themselves.


There's also a button for answering and declining incoming phone calls.

Live Listen

The Powerbeats Pro, like the ‌AirPods‌, support Live Listen feature for using the earbuds as a directional microphone.

Sensors and H1 Chip

The same H1 chip that's in the second-generation ‌AirPods‌ is in the Powerbeats Pro, allowing for fast connections to your devices and faster switching. The H1 chip also enables "Hey ‌Siri‌" functionality, allowing for hands-free access to Apple's personal assistant.


There are optical sensors in the Powerbeats Pro that allow the earbuds to detect when they're in your ears, playing and pausing music appropriately.

Phone Calls

There's a speech-detecting accelerometer in the Powerbeats Pro, along with two beam-forming microphones on each side that are designed to filter out external sound so incoming phone calls sound crisp and clear. In our testing, the Powerbeats Pro sounded great on calls and people had no issues hearing what we were saying, nor were there disconnects or other issues that we ran into.

Connectivity

Along with an H1 chip for "Hey ‌Siri‌" support and quick connections to your devices, the Powerbeats Pro use Class 1 Bluetooth technology for extended range and "exceptional cross-body performance."

As with the ‌AirPods‌, you can use both Powerbeats Pro earbuds at once or choose to use just one.


Powerbeats Pro connect to your iPhone or Mac just like ‌AirPods‌. Simply open the case to prompt a pairing mode, and Powerbeats Pro will pair automatically with any supported devices signed into your iCloud account. This feature requires an ‌iCloud‌ account and macOS 10.14.4, iOS 12.2, and watchOS 5.2 or later.

Compatibility

Full functionality, such as quick device connections and Hey ‌Siri‌ support will require an iOS device, but Apple says the Powerbeats Pro will also work fine with Android devices.

Colors

The ‌AirPods‌ are only available in white, but Apple made the Powerbeats Pro available in Black, Ivory, Moss, and Navy.


Apple in June 2020 released the Powerbeats Pro in four new colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new Powerbeats Pro are identical to the prior version that came only in Black, Ivory, Moss, and Navy, with the exception of the brighter colors.

Reviews and First Impressions

First impressions and reviews of the Powerbeats Pro have been largely positive, and the new earbuds are getting high praise for their comfort, stability, battery life, and other features.

We tested out the Powerbeats Pro were impressed with the design. The earhooks are light weight and comfortable, and are going to keep the Powerbeats Pro firmly in the ear even during vigorous activity. Multiple tips ensure a good fit, and the sound quality is great for earbuds this size. Even glasses wearers should find the Powerbeats Pro to be comfortable.


All of the ‌AirPods‌ features are here, so these function just like ‌AirPods‌ 2, and while the battery life is excellent, there's a downside - the Powerbeats Pro case is large, bulky, and not as pocketable as the ‌AirPods‌ case, nor does it have wireless charging. On the whole, we think the Powerbeats Pro are worth it for anyone looking for the perfect earbuds for an active lifestyle or those who prefer a more traditional earbud fit.

Reviews from other sites have also been overwhelmingly positive, which is no surprise given how well the ‌AirPods‌ have been received and the fact that these match the feature set of the ‌AirPods‌.


Pocket-lint highlighted the slimmed down size and weight compared to the previous-generation Powerbeats, and said they're much more comfortable to wear because of the softer angles and contours. The earhook grips the ear but doesn't tug or dig.


As for audio, Pocket-lint found it to be "genuinely great" for an earphone in the $250 price range. "At the low end, very low bass notes like the kick of a bass drum - or low bass guitar notes - were tight and controlled. Similarly, both treble and baritone vocals were clear and dynamic, while songs with plenty of reverb were given space to expand, without ever feeling like one aspect was giving way to the other."


Digital Trends wasn't a fan of the larger charging case, but loved the fit of the Powerbeats Pro. Songs were "clear and potent" with bass that "doesn't cloud the upper registers."


iMore said the Powerbeats Pro are "way more comfortable than ‌AirPods‌," even after wearing them for five hours straight. Compared to ‌AirPods‌, the Powerbeats Pro are "massive in size" and while the earhooks are comfortable, they can get caught in longer hair. Sound was clear and "not bass heavy at all," with an overall EQ balance that's impressive.




Additional Reviews: 9to5Mac and PCMag.

Powerbeats Pro How Tos

Price

Powerbeats Pro are priced at $249.95 in the United States.

Comparisons

To see a detailed comparison on how the Powerbeats Pro measure up to the second-generation ‌AirPods‌, make sure to check out our AirPods vs. Powerbeats Pro guide. We've also done a comparison between the Powerbeats 3 and the Powerbeats Pro for those who are thinking of upgrading.

How to Buy

Powerbeats Pro can be purchased from the Apple online store, Apple retail stores, or third-party retailers like Amazon.

Powerbeats Pro 2?

Apple in April 2020 seemed to have quietly refreshed the Powerbeats Pro with a new model, as regulatory documents for a new model with no design changes were shared with the FCC and various regulatory bodies in different countries.

There were rumors suggesting that Apple would launch a second-generation set of Powerbeats Pro based on this documentation, but it instead appears that Apple made a minor internal tweak to the existing design rather than releasing a new model. The new Powerbeats Pro colors released in June 2020 carry the updated model numbers, which explains the Powerbeats Pro 2 rumors.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the Powerbeats Pro or know of details we've left out? Let us know in the comments or Send us an email here.

Related Articles

Powerbeats Pro in New Colors Now Available for Order

Tuesday June 9, 2020 9:03 am PDT by
Following several leaks and their official announcement late last month, the four new colors of Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones are now available to order through Apple. The four new colors are Spring Yellow, Glacier Blue, Cloud Pink, and Lava Red, and they join the previous color options of Black, Ivory, Moss, and Navy. The new colors are available for delivery from Apple as soon as...

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by
Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options. Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the...

Powerbeats Pro Leaked in Four New Colors, Release Expected in Early June

Wednesday May 20, 2020 7:23 am PDT by
Last week, it was rumored that Apple plans to make its Powerbeats Pro available in four new colors, including Glacier Blue, Cloud Pink, Spring Yellow, and Lava Red. Now, official marketing images have surfaced on German website WinFuture, which notes that the new colors should be released in early June with the same $249.95 pricing. No other changes are expected, beyond the possibility of some...

Apple to Debut Powerbeats Pro in New Colors That Include Cloud Pink, Glacier Blue, Spring Yellow and Lava Red

Wednesday May 13, 2020 11:19 am PDT by
Apple is planning to introduce new Powerbeats Pro models in an array of bright, spring-themed colors that include cloud pink, glacier blue, spring yellow, and lava red, according to a rumor sourced from a Weibo account (via iMore). The rumor comes from WaveTech, a source without a known track record for sharing accurate info about Apple's plans, but the wide attention the rumor has garnered...

Rumored 'Powerbeats Pro 2' Likely Just a Minor Internal Tweak

Thursday May 7, 2020 12:30 pm PDT by
Alongside the announcement of the iPhone SE back on April 15, regulatory documents for what appeared to be new Powerbeats Pro models were also uploaded to the Federal Communications Commission's website, reflecting new Apple model numbers of A2453 and A2454 for the left and right earpieces. The regulatory documents filed for the new Powerbeats Pro models don't appear to have revealed...

Powerbeats Pro in Ivory, Moss, and Navy Now Available for Pre-order

Thursday August 22, 2019 1:31 am PDT by
Apple this morning started accepting pre-orders for its Powerbeats Pro wireless headphones in Ivory, Moss, and Navy on its online Apple Store. Apple is currently quoting shipping times of 5 to 7 business days for the Ivory and Navy headphones, which loosely corresponds with Apple's plan to make the new Powerbeats Pro colors available in retail stores from August 30. The Moss color currently ...

New Powerbeats Pro Ad Highlights Battery Life During Lengthy Icelandic Relay Race

Thursday July 25, 2019 6:45 am PDT by
Apple this week released a new ad for the Powerbeats Pro, which launched in May in the United States in Canada. The new commercial spotlights the accessory by showing how seven runners from the Paris Running Club joined a 280km relay in Iceland. Called the "Zero Dark Project," the ad explains how each runner used the Powerbeats Pro to stay motivated through music during the lengthy relay race. ...

Powerbeats Pro Now Available to Order in Over 20 Additional Countries

Friday July 12, 2019 5:00 am PDT by
Apple today began accepting Powerbeats Pro orders in over 20 additional countries, including many in Europe. The rollout includes Austria, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab...

Powerbeats Pro Launch Postponed Until July in Many Countries

Wednesday June 12, 2019 5:12 am PDT by
Apple-owned Beats has delayed the launch of its totally wireless Powerbeats Pro headphones in select European and Asian countries. Powerbeats Pro orders will now begin in July in Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and Taiwan, according to fine print on the Beats website. The headphones were initially...

Powerbeats Pro Now Available to Order in UK, France, and Germany

Friday May 31, 2019 2:58 am PDT by
Apple's Powerbeats Pro totally wireless earphones officially went on sale today in the United Kingdom, >France, and >Germany, as predicted. However, the fitness-focused, Beats-branded earphones are only available in black, and stock appears to be limited. As of writing, Apple's online UK store is switching between allowing customers to add the earphones to their bag, and graying out the Add...

Powerbeats Pro Orders Begin This Friday in UK, France, and Germany

Wednesday May 29, 2019 3:17 am PDT by
Apple's totally wireless Powerbeats Pro earphones become available to pre-order in the United Kingdom on May 31, according to a social media ad posted on the official Beats By Dre U.K. Twitter account. The date was spotted in the small print at the end of the 15-second video short, which features British professional boxer Anthony Joshua and touts the nine hours of listening time offered by...

Powerbeats Pro Water Resistance Test: Find Out What Happens if You Drop Apple's Newest Earbuds in the Toilet

Friday May 17, 2019 2:32 pm PDT by
Apple's new Powerbeats Pro earbuds feature a "reinforced design" for improved "sweat and water resistance" along with an official IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they should be able to hold up to a good amount of moisture. Still, there were a lot of reports of the Powerbeats 3 failing due to sweat exposure, so we thought we'd test the liquid tolerance of the Powerbeats Pro with a...

Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 3

Monday May 13, 2019 1:21 pm PDT by
Powerbeats Pro launched last week, and the first orders are now in the hands of customers. We already did a Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods hands-on comparison, but we got requests for a video detailing how the new Powerbeats Pro compare to the previous-generation Powerbeats 3 Wireless Earphones. Today, we're taking a look at whether it's worth upgrading to the Powerbeats Pro if you've already got...

Powerbeats Pro Orders Begin Later This Month in UK, Germany, and France, More Countries to Follow in June

Monday May 13, 2019 9:10 am PDT by
Apple's totally wireless Powerbeats Pro earphones became available to pre-order May 3 in the United States and Canada, with the first deliveries to customers beginning last Friday. The earphones are initially available in black only, with ivory, moss, and navy colors set to become available this summer. While the black Powerbeats Pro remain listed as "coming soon" on Apple's online store...

How Do Apple's New Powerbeats Pro Compare to AirPods?

Thursday May 9, 2019 1:40 pm PDT by
Earlier this week, we shared a hands-on look at the Powerbeats Pro earbuds launching tomorrow, and today, we thought we'd do an in-depth comparison with the AirPods, giving MacRumors readers a closer look at the similarities and differences between the two devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. AirPods and Powerbeats Pro look nothing alike, as the former is...

Powerbeats Pro Feature IPX4 Water Resistance Rating

Wednesday May 8, 2019 10:02 am PDT by
Apple claims that its new Powerbeats Pro earbuds feature a "reinforced design" that makes them sweat and water resistant, but there are still a lot of questions about what that specifically means given that past Beats headphones have experienced failures due to moisture exposure. As it turns out, the Powerbeats Pro feature an IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they're certified to hold...

Hands-On With Apple's New Powerbeats Pro Earbuds

Tuesday May 7, 2019 3:13 pm PDT by
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...

Powerbeats Pro Now Available to Pre-Order in U.S. and Canada

Friday May 3, 2019 7:30 am PDT by
Powerbeats Pro are now available to pre-order from Apple.com and the Apple Store app in the United States and Canada. Powerbeats Pro are Apple's first totally wireless Beats earphones, equipped with the same H1 chip as the second-generation AirPods for hands-free "Hey Siri" and faster connection speeds between the iPhone, Apple Watch, and other devices. Like the Powerbeats3, the...

Powerbeats Pro Pre-Orders to Begin May 3 Ahead of May 10 Launch

Monday April 29, 2019 5:02 am PDT by
The all-new Powerbeats Pro will be available to pre-order from Apple.com starting Friday, May 3 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time in the United States and Canada, followed by in-store availability starting Friday, May 10, according to 9to5Mac. Powerbeats Pro are essentially sportier AirPods, complete with a totally wireless design and Apple's new H1 chip for hands-free "Hey Siri" control. Like the...

Powerbeats Pro to Launch in Black in May, Other Colors Coming This Summer

Tuesday April 23, 2019 10:03 am PDT by
Apple's Powerbeats Pro, set to launch in May, will only be available in black when they first go on sale. The detail, first noticed by 9to5Mac, was recently added to the Powerbeats Pro listing on the Beats website. Powerbeats Pro will eventually be available in Ivory, Moss, and Navy alongside the standard Black color, with Apple offering a greater range of colors than are available with the...