Apple’s Beats headphones division just unveiled its first truly wireless pair of earbuds, the Powerbeats Pro. Costing $249.95, the headphones will be the first real competitors to Apple’s own AirPods which were just refreshed a couple of weeks ago.
With the Powerbeats Pro, you get a similar design to the Powerbeats 3, just without the cord. Beats says these new headphones are 23 percent smaller and 17 percent lighter than the wired version, and are both sweat and water resistant.
There’s a good chance the Powerbeats Pro will be appealing to those who’ve found AirPods don’t fit. They use around-ear hooks to secure a fit on your ear lobes and prevent falling off. Of course, I have yet to try them myself, but from the looks of them, they should be significantly more secure than typical AirPods.
In terms of battery life, the Powerbeats Pro will offer up to nine hours of playback time which is four more hours than AirPods’ claim. The magnetic charging case included with the new Powerbeats provides an additional 24 hours of playback time. It charges over Lightning and offers 1.5 hours of playback after just five minutes of being plugged. Likewise, you can achieve 4.5 hours of playback after just 15 minutes of charging.
Notably, Powerbeats Pro don’t include wireless charging.
Unlike AirPods, Beats doesn’t include any gesture controls with the Powerbeats Pros. Instead, the company utilizes hardware keys to control playback and volume. They do use sensors to turn on after detecting when you take them out of their case, however. Plus, they use Apple’s in-house H1 chipset to enable “Hey Siri” support, iCloud-based device pairing, and instant pairing with iOS and macOS devices.
For non-Apple users, Powerbeats Pro include Bluetooth connectivity which will work with any compatible device you wanna pair them to, including Android phones.
All in all, the Powerbeats Pro headphones seem pretty promising. Of course, some testing will need to be conducted to determine whether they’re actually worth $250, a $90 premium over the AirPods. They’ll launch next month in the U.S. and 20 other countries around the world. Colors include Black, Ivory, Moss, and Navy.