Beats Powerbeats Pro: Everything you need to know about the earphones

Apple subsidiary Beats is rolling out a fully wireless version of its Powerbeats earphones, following the recent announcement of the new AirPods. The new Powerbeats Pro have been re-engineered from the ground up, while still retaining the signature Beats style, including sporty colors and those familiar ear hooks.

The current Powerbeats 3 earphones are already “wireless,” but like many models, they’re connected with a band or tether to an in-line remote. The Powerbeats Pro, announced on April 3, are fully wireless like the AirPods. DT’s Julian Chokkattu spent some time with the new earbuds. His review called them “leaps and bounds more contemporary than their predecessors,” and there’s good reason to believe these will be Apple’s best wireless earbuds. Here’s everything we know so far about the Powerbeats Pro.

Powerbeats Pro in action

As part of the marketing campaign leading up to the release of the Powerbeats Pro in May, Apple/Beats partnered with a host of high-profile athletes, from Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles to NBA legend Lebron James and star NFL receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The marketing team also worked with musician Beck on a song called Saw Lightning and with director Hiro Murai on this teaser video (above) showing the athletes wearing the Powerbeats Pro while practicing.

The video uses impressive stabilizing techniques in the cinematography in an attempt to accent just how well the sports-ready earbuds stay in place under duress. While it’s essentially just a commercial for the earbuds, it is an impressive way to drive home how much the Powerbeats Pro may appeal to those who feel the AirPods just aren’t well-equipped for vigorous activity.


powerbeats pro
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

As referenced above, the latest from Beats are a sportier alternative to the AirPods — perhaps explaining why Apple didn’t deem it necessary to add features like a more secure fit or waterproofing to its latest AirPods. These were among the upgrades expected ahead of the AirPods announcement, but true to the prediction of famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in December, the AirPods received only minor updates.

According to 9to5 Mac, one trait that will be similar to the AirPods is the fact that, at their initial launch in May, the Powerbeats Pro will come in just one color: Black. The earbuds will later come in ivory, moss, and navy colors.

As for design, one of the first things we noticed in our hands-on review is the sheer size of the Powerbeats Pro’s charging case, which will serve as their home when not in use. In part to account for those ear hooks, the case is much larger than the AirPods’ charging case and also trumps those from other competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds.

While you may have trouble fitting the case in smaller pockets, the earbuds themselves are actually a shade smaller than previous Powerbeats models, allowing them to more easily fit on your ears. We quite enjoyed the fit in our initial trial, thanks in part to a 17-percent reduction in weight.

One thankful addition to the Powerbeats Pro’s design is water-resistance, something we were really hoping for with the updated AirPods that didn’t happen (making us wonder, is it worth getting the upgraded AirPods at all?). Apple doesn’t disclose IP ratings for its headphones, but the Powerbeats Pro should hold up against rain and sweat — just don’t submerge them.

Battery life

Perhaps the most impressive stat of all for Beats’ new Powerbeats Pro is their 9-hour battery life, which far outdoes the majority of fully wireless competitors, including the AirPods (which pack just 5 hours per charge). This means that, while the case may be bulky, you likely won’t need to pack it along for most outings. The case itself offers two additional charges for over 24 hours, standing up with the total reserve power of the AirPods and besting most other competitors.

While the charging case won’t charge wirelessly like the $199 AirPods package, it does offer quick charging for a full hour of playback on just a 5-minute charge, and a claimed 4.5 hours of playback on a 15-minute charge. Like the AirPods, the Powerbeats Pro also pause when pulled out of your ears to conserve battery life, thanks to internal accelerometers.

Hardware and controls

The Powerbeats Pro feature Apple’s H1 chip, which is also found in the new AirPods. The new chip is designed to improve the audio experience and wireless synchronization. The H1 chip also enables always-on Siri, allowing wearers to call Apple’s digital assistant with the wake words “Hey, Siri,” instead of having to tap on the earphones.

powerbeats pro
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

As for onboard controls, each Powerbeats Pro earbud sports dual control buttons, including a volume rocker on the top and a multifunction button below. The buttons can be used on either earbud, allowing you to use just one if you choose, and the multifunction key allows you to do things like answer phone calls or call up Siri with a hold.

Sound impressions

While we’ve yet to spend quality time with the Powerbeats Pro, our initial impressions are a good sign. Listening to a couple of songs revealed clear and potent sound, with musical bass that doesn’t cloud the upper registers. You can read more about our initial sound impressions in our hands-on review.

Price and availability

For all they offer, the new Powerbeats Pro do come with a serious price tag of $250. That’s almost $100 more than the original AirPods and over $50 more than the version that comes with a wireless charging case, a feature the new Powerbeats Pro do not include. That hefty premium outpaces the vast majority of true wireless earbuds we review and makes the $130 Samsung Galaxy buds look like an absolute steal.

Still, if you’re looking for serious sports earbuds with impressive specs, the Powerbeats Pro may well be worth the extra money. We’ll know more after our forthcoming full review, so be sure and check back with us soon.

The Powerbeats Pro are expected to be available for purchase in May for $250 in black only, with ivory, moss, and navy versions available later in the summer.

Updated 4-15-2019: Added new information about the Powerbeats Pro’s limited color options at launch.

Product Review

Powerbeats3 wireless headphones are all about that bass, and not much else

With the new Powerbeats Pro grabbing headlines, it’s worth taking a look back at Beats’ previous flagship wireless earbuds. Do these popular, bass-happy workout buds still deserve your consideration?
Home Theater

Need wireless earbuds? The latest Apple AirPods just got a rare discount

Amazon just cut the price on the Apple AirPods 2 with wired charging case, so if you don’t specifically need wireless charging and you’ve been waiting for a deal on these great wireless earbuds, now’s your chance.
Home Theater

Report: Apple AirPods 3 with noise cancellation coming later this year

A report that is decidedly light on details, suggests that Apple could introduce its next generation of fully-wireless earbuds as early as the end of 2019, with noise cancellation as its key feature.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Home Theater

Any night can be a night at the movies with the best home theater projectors

Are you sick and tired of those cumbersome big screen TVs? Don’t want to spend big for a huge TV? These home theater projectors will bring you that big screen experience without breaking the bank.
Home Theater

Don’t cash in that 401(k)! These are the best 4K TVs you can get for under $500

These days, you can land a pretty epic 4K TV for under $500. Still, sorting through the litany of options online can be both time-consuming and overwhelming. Check out our list of the best 4K TVs under $500 to cut through the clutter.
Product Review

Sony’s Z9G paints a bright, beautiful future for 8K TVs

The Sony Z9G 85-inch 8K TV is majestic to behold. No doubt, this TV is a looker, and you’ll know what we mean when you see it. Does this TV make sense, though? Should you buy it? We have the answers.
Home Theater

Roland’s Amazon-exclusive BTM-1 Bluetooth speaker doubles as a guitar amp

Roland, long known for its many digital instruments, has made an Amazon-exclusive Bluetooth speaker for musicians on the go. With a guitar cable input and overdrive effect, it might be the perfect portable rig for guitarists.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Six sensational subwoofers that will shake any room on any budget

Whether you're a film buff or a music junkie, sometimes you just need to go lower. Luckily, we've put together a guide to the best subwoofers, so you can feel your favorite movies instead of just hearing them.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa knows where you live, lab-grown meat, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss how Amazon Alexa's audit team has access to locations, additions to Verizon's 5G road map, the future of food technology, a review of Sony's 8K TV, and more.