Some truly wireless earbuds toe the line between everyday use and active wear. One look at the endorsers in the promotional video for the Powerbeats Pro—Simone Biles, Lebron James, Serena Williams—and it’s obvious they’re designed to be gym ready and workout approved.
- Secure and comfortable fit
- Long battery life
- Intelligent functionality
- Impressive sound quality
- Bulky Case
The Powerbeats Pro has an earhook design. It gives it more weight (20.3 grams) and conspicuousness than a true in-ear model, but there’s the added security that it won’t dislodge without a perfect seal. It’s offered in four different colorways—ivory, black, navy, moss—as variety in appearance is common in the Beats universe.
The headphones are housed in a sturdy, chunky and somewhat slippery case. Connection to your device requires nothing more than opening the case and checking the Bluetooth menu. Battery life is definitely a strength of the Powerbeats Pro. A full charge yields up to nine hours of playback, with nearly 15 more from the charging case.
The downside is the case is bigger than many other models—it’s the size of chubby Altoids tin—and might be too large to carry around comfortably in your pocket.
There are four sized silicone ear tips to discover the most secure seal. The offset acoustic nozzle positions securely on the concha, but not with the depth into the canal that other ear buds do. That makes it more comfortable to wear, especially for longer periods of time, but results in some sound leakage and less surrounding noise cancellation.
But the real star in this category is the adjustable earhook. It has been a part of the Powerbeats line since its launch in 2010, and it has been redesigned and refined to provide optimal stability during dynamic movement.
The earphones have a clever, ambidextrous design; both perform identical tasks, so there’s no need to remember which one does what. Busy with the right hand and need to hear someone? Hit pause with the left. In terms of sound quality, I had no complaints. I’m not audio savvy enough to distinguish the warmth and character of music at its different frequencies. Connectivity was also a highlight thanks to the Apple H1 chip in the headphone. Not once during use did a bud lose contact or experience any distortion.
The negatives in performance were quite minor. The function button is subtle in the landscape of the bud, and can be both occasionally tricky to find and too easy to click if you’re only adjusting your ear and not attempting to alter playback. While the earhooks are secure and comfortable, they do take a little effort to put on and take off. There’s also no equalizer.
If you’re in the market for truly wireless workout earbuds, the Powerbeats Pro are a great choice. And that goes double if you’re an Apple user. Simply put, they check all the necessary boxes: great functionality, comfort, absolute security, with long battery life and top-notch playback.