Powerbeats Pro: Apple's Sporty AirPods Alternative

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's Beats brand in April 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.


    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."


    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.

    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.

    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.


    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.


    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.


    The AirPods are only available in white, but Apple is making the Powerbeats Pro available in Black, Ivory, Moss, and Navy. At launch in May, only the Black model will be available, with the Ivory, Moss, and Navy colors set to become available this summer.



    Powerbeats Pro are priced at $249.95 in the United States, which is $50 more than the AirPods 2 with wireless charging case and $50 more than the wired Powerbeats 3.

    Launch Date

    Apple plans to launch the Powerbeats Pro in May with the earbuds set to be available from the Apple online store and Apple retail stores.

    Powerbeats Pro will launch in the United States and in 20 other countries and regions, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

    Powerbeats Pro will expand to additional countries and regions in the summer and fall of 2019.

    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.

    Article Link: Powerbeats Pro: Apple's Sporty AirPods Alternative
  2. tridley68 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2014
    How long is Apple going to keep beating this dead horse of low quality over priced headphones.
  3. NickName99 macrumors member


    Nov 8, 2018
    Nice for folks who prefer ear plug style earbuds. I can’t stand them, ugh.

    AirPods are perfect for me, enjoying my 2nd gen ones.
  4. zeizei macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    Can you use them without the ear hooks?
  5. Remy149 macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2016
    You mean they should stop selling the most popular headphone brand among most millennials.
  6. Onexy macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2012
  7. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    AirPods are fine a 'walking around' solution for me but I find them far too insecure for any moderate to serious activity. I'd get these if I still used ani Phone and hadn't already found the JLab Epic Air Elites--similar size (both case and ear buds), sweat resistance, even better battery life in case (and case includes it's own charging cable) and a customizable EQ. And best part is $100 less.
  8. guyjin macrumors newbie


    Jul 27, 2010

    Jeez, that case is HUGE. I carry my airpods in my pocket all the time. With that thing I'd look like I had a tumor.
  9. Fozziebear71 macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2014
    I have the Beats X earphones for when I run verses using the Airpods which I also own. I have never had a problem with Airpods falling out of my ears I just feel more secure with the Beats X because they have the wire connecting them along with the internal ear hooks and the A1 chip. These are expensive for sure but the added water and sweat resistance without the wire and instead having the hook over the ear to keep them from falling off my ear will probably get me to buy them. Having the A1 chip and now the H1 chip just make it so easy to use with my iPhone, Apple watch, and iPad.
  10. Lordforex macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2018
    My Airpods v1 are getting flacky on me so these will be a nice upgrade.
  11. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Julie, can we get some clarification on what this actually means? Is it BT5? 4.2? Marketing speak for something pedestrian?
  12. tbayrgs, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019

    tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    These are purely for activity/exercise and I was comparing directly to the size of the Powerbeats Pro and their case. The case lives in my backpack or messenger bag most of the time. AirPods were my walking around earbuds, until i recently switched to Galaxy Buds.
  13. jasonefmonk macrumors regular

    May 5, 2011
    An internet search will tell you what you need. In short, Class 1 Bluetooth has greater range. Class-es are independent from Bluetooth version.

    From Wikipedia:
    Officially Class 3 radios have a range of up to 1 metre (3 ft), Class 2, most commonly found in mobile devices, 10 metres (33 ft), and Class 1, primarily for industrial use cases, 100 metres (300 ft).​
  14. dan110 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2013
    Remember when the moniker "pro" actually stood for something other than charging customers a questionably premium (see: high) price?
  15. falconneil macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012

    So I just looked those JLab ones up on amazon. They get truly TERRIBLE reviews. Bluetooth pairing, build quality. All subpar according to people who own them.
  16. miniyou64 macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2008
    Wired powerbeats were so bad they went back for a second pair of Airpods. Not even close to good quality
  17. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    AirPods are great when you want or don’t mind ambient noise, but other times like on public transport, they are lacking.

    I own Shure SE215 BTs for that as they offer excellent noise isolation. However, they still have a cable between the IEMs which is annoying (they do cost only 120€ or so though).

    Previous BeatsX which I owned where the most annoying experience I ever had because of the neckband and because they did not stay in my ears without the hooks. Had those for a year before I got AirPods.

    If I have to use public transport again for my daily commute in the future, I will buy these PowerBeats instantly, they look stunning. Best Wireless experience (like AirPods) plus noise isolation plus (most likely) much better sound.

    The Beats brand definitely caught my attention with the previous gen Beats Wireless headphones (3?), great hardware and sweat sound to my taste (they’re obviously colored as opposed to neutral headphones). I tried a number of high end headphones at the time but these where my favorites even though most people wouldn’t agree from what I gather.
  18. ghost187 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    Wow, you actually got your review unit in this early?:rolleyes:
  19. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Yup...They average 2.7 out of 5 over 100 reviews while the Powerbeats 3 average a 'spectacular' 3.0 out of 5 over 2800+ reviews. :rolleyes: Over at Best buy the reviews average 4.2 vs. the Powerbeat's 4.5 out of 5. I'm not going to apologize for other reviewer's bad experiences, can only attest to my personal experience. I've had no issues pairing to multiple devices, switching between them easily and having no regular connectivity problems. They appear to comparable is most regards to the new Powerbeats Pro as far as form factor and specs for significantly less ($119 at BestBuy presently). Just sharing my $0.02.
  20. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Yeah I did that already and an internet search doesn't really tell me or you anything relevant. That info is pretty useless when discussing Bluetooth if it doesn't anchor to commonly understood term. BT 5, BT 4.2, BT 4.0 that's commonly accepted terminology. Class 1 Bluetooth is not a term anchored in consumer facing language. Heck, it's not even common BT terminology in tech circles.

    I've seen several videos that reference the PBP's as BT 5. If BT 5 is what Beats marketing means with the Class 1 BT reference, they should have just said BT 5.
  21. supertomtom macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2007
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Wish Apple would have just gone the extra mile and added a wireless charging case.
  22. mjoecups macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2017
    You should study up, so you have a clue, and stop blabbing here about what Beats should do. The class of the radio and Protocol version aren't the same thing and they aren't related.
  23. ho0lee0h macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2018
    I am on Android at the moment. Do we know if these will support aptx or ldac? Sony XB80BS support ldac, but they haven't released wireless in-ear phones that support it since they released those in 2016. Jabra Elite, Bose Soundsport do not support aptx/ldac. I am really disappointed. The Sony XB80BS are the only wireless sport (sweat resistance) in-ears that support hi-res audio for Android.

    At this point, I really hope that Apple releases an updated iPod Touch and makes it compatible with Apple Watch and PowerBeats Pro (I assume PowerBeats Pro supports AAC hi-res bluetooth codec).
  24. TomaxXamot macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2009
    Seattle, Washington
    If I can get these for a decent discount i might consider them, as regular Apple earbuds absolutely refuse to stay in my ears, which is why I haven’t bothered with the AirPods. The fact that these have the H1 chip is enticing. But that price in CAD is $300 I’m assuming and that’s about $75 too high for what I would spend on them.
  25. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    That's why I asked the question in the first place. You should be less rude to people you don't know. If you aren't going to contribute, then please kindly go interact with someone else who can appreciate your type of discourse.

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