Post Your Powerbeats Pro Review

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by blairh, May 20, 2019.

  1. blairh, May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 22, 2019

    blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    Wanted to create a thread where Powerbeats Pro owners can share their thoughts. I'm just going to try to add things you won't necessarily see in the professional reviews. You can read countless professional reviews online or watch them on YouTube. I should add that I've been using the Powerbeats3's for 16 months before receiving the Pro's.

    I'll start by saying you do not need the charging case during the day. I wasn't clear how the pairing/repairing process would work without the case. But in my testing so far, you can wake the Pro's simply by putting them in your ear after a period of inactivity. Meaning you can put the Pro's in any case/pouch of your choosing, and then pop them in your ears for them to work. This solves the issue of how to carry them around in your front pocket. Just buy any pouch/case on Amazon that you like and you are good to go. I personally am using this pouch and it works great for me. Very slim profile and super easy to carry in my front pocket when desired. Now, David Carnoy at CNET did make the obvious point during his initial hands-on video that Apple should have included a cheap carrying pouch with the Pro's in the box. But yes, the charging case should not stop anyone from getting the Pro's.

    Speaking of the charging case, it's even bigger than I thought. The issue is the thickness. It's essentially the size of a standard post-it note, but it's a thick boy. Reminds me of a square hockey puck. Definitely not pocketable in most pockets unless they are quite large and even then it will probably stick out. It's really just meant for a bag. Also it's a bit slippery. There are no grooves to grip aside from the 'B' logo on the top. It's very smooth otherwise and I wish Apple had designed it to be easier to grip. It could easily slip out of your hand if you aren't careful.

    I haven't tested the single charge battery life claim of 9 hours. So far every professional review has stated that it does indeed last 9 hours in their testing, and sometimes longer. So realistically you can easily go out with these in your front pocket with zero worries. I imagine that anyone that needs them for more than 9 hours is probably going to have a bag with them. (Travel, work, etc.)

    They are noticeably smaller than the Powerbeats3's.

    I have always used the default medium silicone tips that came already placed on the Powerbeats3's. With the Pro's, I found the default medium tips to be leaking in more ambient noise than I had with the PB3's. I then tried the tips that are smaller and more narrow (not the small tips, but rather the different shaped ones (cones) that appear to go deeper into your ears). These just leaked in even more sound. So then I tried the largest tips that come with the Pro's and these ended up solving my issues. They created the seal I'm after and I feel the sound quality is best with these tips. Comparing the same size tips of both the PB3's and Pro's, they are indeed different. The hole of the PB3's tip is larger compared to the Pro's. Not sure why Apple made this change.

    As for sound quality, I'm really happy. Most reviews state this is a step up from the PB3's in that regard. I can't really tell what is specifically different, but I'm super happy with the sound quality. Certainly not a step back in any way from the PB3's, which I think sound great.

    A real shame there is no wireless charging here. Not a huge deal with 24 hours total battery life but really feels like such an obvious feature to include at this point.

    Side buttons are easy to locate due to the textured feel of the 'B' logo. You don't need to press the side buttons hard, but regardless I still find this to be an awkward sensation. I find that placing my thumb on the bottom of the earbud, and my middle finger on the top, and then using my index finger to push the button, alleviates the awkwardness as you displace the pressure of your finger pushing into the side of your earbud. The volume rockers found on both buds are terrific.

    The side buttons are very sensitive. Sometimes adjusting the bud during my workout will inadvertently pause my music or podcast. I tried to put one earbud in my pocket post-cardio at the gym as I made my way to the lockers and my podcast kept pausing. If you want to move around while using one earbud you're gonna need to keep the other one in the charging case, in a pouch/case not in your pocket, or on a table. Otherwise they will be triggered in your pocket as you move.

    I really like the black color. Makes the headphones disappear. The white model would be nice in that people would know you have headphones on. But I'm not a fan of the 'B' logo displayed prominently on all the non-black models.

    Price-wise these should probably be $199.

    Overall I'm thrilled with the Pro's. The glowing written reviews are on-point IMO.
  2. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    i think a wireless charging case would've been ideal, since the rumor is that the next iphone will have bilateral charging.
  3. lulla01 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2007
    I am sure the omittance of wireless charging was intentional so that they could sell separate or add it in in a next-gen product.
  4. eckndu macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2008
    good info! so soft pouch is no good, its proximity sensor might still trigger and button pressed by accident.
  5. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    The earbud may be triggered by any sort of pouch/case that is soft or hard if you plan on using one earbud while moving while keeping the other one in your pocket. I can't say for sure.
  6. Skunkape123 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2011
    I'm still on the "not as loud as my PB2/3 train". While they do have good sound, I feel like an extra one or two clicks of "volume up" would do the trick. Maybe with a lot of people complaining about this already, they will do something in a firmware update? who knows...

    I'll say this though, I was using the medium tips for a bit at first, since that's what I used for my PB2, noticed more sound coming through. I then got some comply tips (both the sport and comfort+, and tried the largest ones for both. Those helped a tiny bit, but nothing crazy. The ones I haven't really tested yet are the largest silicone tips that came with them. I installed those last night and plan to see how they are at the gym today.
  7. canyonblue737 macrumors 65816

    Jan 10, 2005
    I'm sure that's true but I'm failing to see how lack of wireless charging is a serious inconvenience when for most they will only have to charge the case 1 or 2 times a week since it has 24 hours of charge for the powerbeats.
  8. drew0020 macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2006
    It's 2019, I expect everything to have a wireless charging option especially north of the $200 price point. I charge my Airpods 2 once a week and I find the wireless option one of the best features. Hard to go back, but thats just my opinion.
  9. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    And lose the opportunity to introduce a Powerbeats Pro 2 w/ Wireless Charging case for $329 next year? Pfft. :p
  10. Cryates, May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 20, 2019

    Cryates macrumors 68020


    Nov 19, 2013
    Chattanooga, TN
    I think I find the lack of USB-C charging more of an inconvenience than the lack of wireless charging. I've got USB-C cables sitting out and ready to charge my MacBook Pro and my wife's iPad Pro, but no lightning cables out because I charge my phone wirelessly. Ideally, this product would have both USB-C and wireless charging, but it is what it is. The other pros far outweigh this con for me personally.
  11. aloper macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2015
    I was in the same boat...started with the medium tips as they what I used on my older Jaybird Runs...Sound was decent. Then I tried the other tips, plus some comply tips. Oddly, non of the Comply tips...Large, mediums or smalls gave me a good seal...For me the Comply tips were actually worse than the medium silicone tips. Then, I tried the large silicone tips and finally, a good seal...good bass and better volume...

    Goes to show, everyone's ears are different, and how something sounds differently, to different people...
  12. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    I wonder if you'll see some third party wireless charging cases show up on amazon now.
  13. qtrim macrumors 6502


    Oct 7, 2011
    I started with the medium tips and was super disappointed in the sound.

    I tried the Comply tips and there was basically no seal.

    I switched to the largest ones that came with the PBP and the are the best for me. The sound quality is quite superb.

    I will say whatever case you choose needs to be about 1” thick min. I wrote a post with my test of a cheap amazon case.
  14. CoriG macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2011

    Thank you for your review. I had one question - how much does your battery go down if you keep your beats outside of the case all day? I was thinking of going this route because I always have my AirPods with me and I like that convienence.
  15. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    I believe I read somewhere that a fully powered set will last 30 hours when idle. That makes me think you will have no problems lasting a full day off the charger with respect to idle usage.
  16. Skunkape123 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2011

    Yeah, the large silicone tips definitely worked best for me. Didn’t really hear any other noise at the gym. I do still wish the volume could go up one, maybe two more clicks, but at least it’s better now.
  17. Cryates macrumors 68020


    Nov 19, 2013
    Chattanooga, TN
    I took mine to work today, without the case, and had 51% left at the end of the work day. With a solid 3-4 hours of listening time.
  18. Renho macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2014
    SR, CA
    Wherever there is a wireless charger, there is a plug. Wireless degrades battery’s faster,
    I kinda don’t get the hype on wireless charging now. Where ever there is a wireless charger there is a cord. It doesn’t make it harder for us or anything for that matter to plug it in vs sit on a stand. Can’t use it while it’s charging and it degrades ur battery faster with all the heat and power being lost during charging and it’s slower.

    Being as that is said, I do get you like what you like as a human being. I just don’t see wirelsss being an advantage or more convenient vs a cord till wireless charging has been refined enough that it can go over the air and not be put on a stand.
  19. GucciGriffinIII macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2013
    Just got them today.

    Long story short, they live up to the hype.

    As a heavy user and critic of Beats' products in the past, Apple made sure these were refined and retuned to a more than respectable place.

    You put them on and forget they're on. And you never have to worry about them falling off regardless of what strenuous activity you're engaged in.

    Only recommendation is finding the right ear cups for you to find the perfect seal. Once you do, you're free to get lost in whatever you're listening to or workout/activity you're doing.

    I would heavily recommend this to anyone. Not just the sporty demographic. If you can tolerate ear hooks and have some expendable income, it's a no brainer.
  20. shootertwist14 macrumors member

    May 2, 2016
    I posted this in the other thread but might get some answers here:

    Just a quick question to those who have the pro already, Do the tips offer passive isolation, or its like the airpods where you can still sort of hear things around you and need to increase volume to drown the noise? I once had the beats x and the powerbeats 2nd gen (not sure if they changed it with the powerbeats 3) but i remember the beats x works like a typical in-ear earphone that gives you passive noise cancellation while the powerbeats 2 was meant not to go fully in your ear, hence you hear some noise... its good when working out i guess and running since you hear what’s around you but i’m curious if the beats pro is more like the beats x that is in-ear or the pb2? Or pb3 for that matter but i didnt get to use that one. Thanks in advance
  21. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    Wireless charging would allow me to simply charge the case every night by plopping it down on a pad. I'm not going to bother charging the case with a cord unless I'm running out of battery life and I need to.
  22. gadgetfreak98 macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2009
    I've had mine since Friday, May 17. My initial impression was underwhelmed / disappointed, but they have grown on me a bit -- largely due to the exact process others have mentioned:

    1. Start at medium silicon -- no seal, tinny sound, low volume
    2. Turn to Comply tips (usually a reliable bet) -- barely any difference, surprisingly
    3. On a whim, put the large silicon tips on -- meaningful improvement in quality of seal and volume

    So were it not for step 3, I would have said these were a bust for me entirely. Now they are back in contention, but there are still a few things to consider for me, so here comes my mandatory pros and cons list:

    1. They are light and secure
    2. Pairing is easy (but frankly, so is regular BT pairing when done right, and you only do this once, right? so a nice to have, not must)
    3. They look pretty good in black and aren't too ostentatious
    4. Sound seal is now decent (but not stellar)
    5. Having "hey Siri"
    6. Physical buttons are always a plus... having a real volume control is key

    1. The sound / seal still isn't great, and particularly when moving into the wind, they seem to capture a lot of wind noise
    2. The interior part of the design (e.g., where the B buttons are) hits my cartilage a bit and can get uncomfortable
    3. They're not the easiest to put on quickly
    4. The case is enormous. Just unwieldy
    5. I guess I should add wireless charging, but I don't really care that much (so feel free to ignore)
    6. They ain't cheap at $249 before tax
    The key issue I face is whether I really prefer these to my Jabra Elite 65t's. I actually do not think I do and therefore, these may end up going back. The benefits (and some counterpoints) of the Jabras are:
    1. Better sound quality -- particularly since Comply tips work as expected in sealing out noise (although you have to really stuff them in the case)
    2. The Bluetooth connection to the device and to each ear piece is super stable (so no incremental benefit from PBPs here)
    3. They are locked into my ears super solidly. I have no concerns of them falling out, unless I knocked one. And if I have to pull one out, it's simple to get back in.
    4. Proven durability and rain protection -- I have done long runs in the absolute pouring rain with no issue (I have the "Active" variant)
    5. The case is much, much smaller and genuinely pocketable. It is a bit larger than an Airpods case, but not much
    6. They are good enough at multipoint. The transition between my iPhone and Apple Watch is seamless. If I also want to use them with a third paired device, I'll have to go into settings on the third device and manually connect (but I don't have to disconnect manually elsewhere). This could be better, but doesn't affect me frequently
    7. They are quite a bit less expensive
    8. Not terribly conspicuous in the ear (unlike the Bose Free)
    I really wanted to love the PBPs. I really disliked them at first, but the large silicon sleeves brought them back into contention. But all in all, I think my experience with the Jabras is just better. So I may put that $271 back into my bank account and save it for the next Apple product I become infatuated with... it won't take long...
  23. JPGR_Fan macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    Two Days to Decide:
    My POWERBEATS PRO arrived right on schedule, May 10, therefore I have two days to decide whether to keep them.

    I enjoyed my AirPods, but because the battery weakened so fast and the sound level has become so low (knowing these items would be better in a new pair) I still ordered the PBP because I wanted more sound on the low end.

    Little did I know, (although having read about a few such cases), that the PBP would be uncomfortable for me, both in the ear canal and from the hook. I stated with the medium size pads, tried the large (much worse) and found some comfort in the small. Right away ordered the Comply premium tips. Started with small, then moved up in size, looking for comfort and a good enough seal to hear the low end (better).

    I told myself that I could get used to the discomfort, or that it would mitigate with use. So just in the past day, including a short run and breakfast this morning, about an hour, there is no longer discomfort, or as it should be, I just forgot they were on.

    I'm still not impressed with the low end, but the decision is pretty much made to keep them, and I recommend them over new AirPods if the $ difference isn't a deal breaker.
  24. pinkoos macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2005
    I've posted my experiences in a few threads, so I'll just copy and paste from my posts into this thread if that's okay. Apologies in advance if my thoughts seem a little disjointed b/c of this.

    I'm having similar issues with these - tinny and very little bass

    I've tried all the included ear tips and did A/B comparisons with my Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3100 true wireless headphones and, in terms of sound quality, the PBP just don't stack up against the 3100, surprisingly

    Yes, the PBP trumps anything else in terms of ease of connectivity with all things Apple (the 3100 actually sucks in this department), but, for sound, and for me, the PBP is severely lacking

    It is truly a bummer for me as I was hoping Apple would release true wireless headphones that are not AirPods since those don't stay in my ears

    I'll keep on giving these a chance for the next few days, but it's not looking like I want to drop $250 for something that doesn't suit my listening profile

    Got mine yesterday and charged them to 100% and played around with them briefly before going to bed.

    Left them out of the case.

    When I got up this morning (about 6 hours later), the battery was down to 76%. I did a 34 min elliptical workout with podcasts playing and battery went down to 70%.

    So, the drop from 76 to 70 is fine. I'm concerned about the overnight drop from essentially 100 to 76 with them just sitting outside the case.

    I left them out of the case when I left for work this morning and will check what they are when I get home in the evening.

    So got home around 6:30 and checked:

    Left 42%
    Right 22%
    Case 96%

    So I'm a little confused - if one is supposed to just store them in the case when not in use, why does battery life (and Apple quoting a battery life of 9 hours) even matter? I'm really asking...not trying to be sarcastic.

    I realize that if you're on a long flight or something like that where you are going to use these for an extended period of time in one sitting then, yes, battery life matters.

    But, I imagine the main use case for these is exercise and, even assuming that the longest session one would do is maybe several hours why, again, would battery life more than that matter if you're supposed to just put them back in the case (where they'll automatically start charging again).

    Seems to me that maybe the spec that matters is the battery "life" of the case or how many full recharges a fully charged case can provide to the headphones. Does Apple quote that anywhere in it's marketing material on the website?

    Got up this morning and the left was at 22% and the right was at 5% (they were not in the charging case overnight). Got on the elliptical and within a few minutes the right died, so my workout was in "mono" (rather than "stereo").
  25. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    I'm now using this pouch when I need to bring my Pro's with me for the day anywhere. Very slim profile. Works great.

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125 May 20, 2019