The new Powerbeats are here. They’re unofficially called the Powerbeats 4, because they’re the fourth generation of Beats’ popular, wireless, gym-ready earbuds, though Apple refers to them simply as the new Powerbeats. Launched on March 16, the earbuds are surprisingly affordable at $149, which is $50 less than the Powerbeats 3. They will be available in black, white, and red.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Powerbeats.
The new Powerbeats take their primary design cues from Apple’s popular Powerbeats Pro true wireless earbuds, with an angled body that sweeps forward cleanly to the base of the earhook. The biggest change from the previous model is the placement of the wire that connects the two earbuds. Instead of dropping down from the front, where it’s more visible and also more likely to interfere with use, it emerges from the backs of the earhooks for a more streamlined appearance.
While some may have been hoping for a true wireless version of the new Powerbeats, Apple has clearly decided to keep this feature for the Powerbeats Pro.
Chief among the Powerbeats 4 features is Apple’s H1 wireless chip, which has been making its way into all of the company’s recently released wireless headphones, including the AirPods Pro and the Beats Solo Pro. The H1 offers excellent wireless connectivity and quick pairing while maximizing battery life. The biggest selling feature, especially for those who find their hands occupied during workouts, is hands-free Siri access. It’s mostly a convenience feature, but given that the coronavirus pandemic has us all rethinking how often we touch our phones, there’s a potential health benefit here, too.
Battery life is rated at 15 hours, a bump up from the Powerbeats 3’s 12 hours. The fast-charge option gives you an extra hour of playback after five minutes. The new Powerbeats 4 are IPX4-rated for decent water and sweat resistance. The previous model was already well equipped to handle workouts, but an official IP rating is still a welcome addition.
Charging is accomplished via a USB-A to Apple Lightning cable.
The new Powerbeats use the “exact same 12mm pistonic drivers” as the Powerbeats Pro, according to The Verge, which means that they should sound nearly identical to Apple’s true wireless sport buds. That’s going to be music to many people’s ears — we were very impressed by the Powerbeats Pro’s audio quality with its pronounced bass and vibrant sound.
A dual-pairing option lets you use two sets of Apple’s wireless headphones with an iOS device at the same time, each with its own volume controls.
As mentioned above, the new Powerbeats cost $149, putting them on par with Apple’s non-wireless-charging AirPods, and $100 cheaper than the true wireless Powerbeats Pro.
The new Powerbeats are available for order right now through Apple’s website and via Best Buy, with a March 19 shipping date.
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