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Review of Beats Powerbeats Pro headphones

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The good

    The best battery life in its class Water resistant Comfortable modes Great connectivity Sound well balanced and clear in low tones

The bad

    Expensive Not all features work on Android phones Huge case

If the second generation AirPods did not thrill you, Apple Beats has released a pair of larger, more durable and more expensive wireless headphones that could be ideal for people looking for a better fit, especially athletes.

The Powerbeats Pro are the latest Beats wireless headphones, and have been redesigned from scratch, although they retain Beats' characteristic style with the ear hook. The highlight? That these are the first truly wireless headphones of the brand.

GREAT ADJUSTMENT, MS COMPACT DESIGN

The look Powerbeats Pro is much more contemporary than that of its predecessors, Powerbeats 3. There is no longer the clip-style design that houses the main components; It has changed for something much thinner and less prominent. I will not say that Powerbeats Pro are subtle. I will reserve that adjective for a product like the Samsung Galaxy Buds. The ear hooks don't help, but although I can't imagine using the Powerbeats 3, you can use the Powerbeats Pro.

The clip looks much more elegant and does not cover the ear completely. That is largely because the Powerbeats Pro are smaller. With a weight reduction of 17 percent, and 23 percent less in internal volume, its design is much more efficient. Best of all, of course, is that there is no longer an awkward cable that holds them together. Beats has finally reached the era of the truly wireless.

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The acoustic case in each earpiece is slightly inclined, and this, together with silicone tips of the precise size, helps to give a comfortable fit. I didn't feel any pressure on the sensitive areas of my ear, the headphones felt light and comfortable.

Batall a little more with the ear hook, but that was largely due to my lack of experience with this type of headphones. After putting on and taking off the Powerbeats Pro several times, I quickly learned to put them on the outside of my ear before inserting the silicone tips.

The fit feels great, and there are four other silicone tips to choose from, so there are options in case the tips that come by default are too big or too small for your ear. When listening to music, the outside world is almost completely blocked thanks to its adjustment, although, you should keep in mind that you tried them in a quiet hotel room during the Apple press event. A true test will have to wait until you have a pair that can take out the real world.

There are two buttons on each earphone: a volume control on the top edge, and a multifunction button (with the Beats logo). As in the case of AirPods, its presence in both headphones allows you to use the hand you want to control playback and volume. You can also use the multifunction button to handle phone calls, and you can leave it pressed to talk to Siri.

During the limited time you used the headphones, I didn't make any sudden movements, but the hooks should help keep the Powerbeats Pro in your ears. After all, they are designed for athletes, and that is why they are also resistant to sweat and water. The company has not revealed an official IPX rating, but Beats said you have nothing to worry about if you sweat heavily or use them while it rains; Just don't submerge them underwater.

THE CHIP H1

A great advantage of being owned by Apple, of course, is the access to the company's technology. The recently launched AirPods 2 are powered by the latest Apple H1 processor, and that same chip is inside the Powerbeats Pro. This is an evolution of the W1 chip that comes in the original AirPods and other Beats products, and It offers a slight improvement in connectivity and efficiency in general.

Apple boasts benefits of the new AirPods such as 50 percent more talk time, the ability to activate Siri only with voice, more stable connections and more. Many of those things also apply to the Powerbeats Pro. You can simply say Hey, Siri, instead of pressing the multifunction button for a long time.

powerbeatsJulian Chokkattu / Digital Trends

What I loved is that now each headset connects individually to the source device. That means that, if you want, you can use only one (no matter what). If you want to go jogging with a headset, go ahead. Do you want to use one while the other charges? No problem. That's why there are physical controls in both offering much more versatility.

The company also mentioned better call quality. Inside the Powerbeats Pro there is a voice detection accelerometer that identifies through vibrations when the user's jaw moves. Two beam-forming microphones work in coordination with this sensor to filter outside noise and focus on the user's voice. I did not have the opportunity to make a call while using them, but we will definitely try this.

To top it off, in the Powerbeats Pro there are long and short range optical sensors that automatically play or stop the music when you put or remove the headphones from your ears and are linked to an iOS device. This also works with calls.

AUDIO QUALITY

How do Powerbeats Pro sound? I could only listen to some songs, so you'll have to wait for the full review to see a detailed analysis, but I was impressed by the way the headphones handled the bass tones. The bass in songs like Get lucky Daft Punk is impressively clear. It is easy to hear everything that happens in the low register, where things often become confusing. This is due to a new piston controller that can expel more air through a smaller acoustic chamber, with less distortion; There is also a ventilation chamber on the back of the headphones to decrease the pressure in the ear, which also helps balance the bass.

The basses sounded excellent, but not overwhelming. The music is well balanced in the Powerbeats Pro, and I insist on the issue of clarity. There is enough power in the bass tones, but the rest of the frequency range was balanced.

CASE AND BATTERY

Like most wireless headphones, the Powerbeats Pro come in a case that increases battery life. Unfortunately, here the case is so large that it is almost comic.

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This photo appears next to the latest Samsung Galaxy Buds. You don't want to put this in your pants. This shows what the target consumer is people who are likely to carry a gym suitcase. I wish there was a way to decrease the size a bit, but this is not possible if the hooks are part of the design. Most women will probably have to put them in their bag, or simply leave the case at home.

There is a good reason to leave it at home. Beats mentions a battery life of nine hours of headphone playback. In comparison, Apple AirPods 2 only offers five hours of playback. Carrying the case with you will give you more than 24 hours of battery life (it offers two full recharges) but most likely that is not a daily necessity and that the headphones alone are sufficient.

The case does not recharge wirelessly, unlike the new optional AirPods case

The case is not wirelessly recharged, unlike the new optional AirPods case. You will have to charge it with a Lightning cable, because there is only one Lightning port on the back. It is a pity that it is not a USB-C port, which is more universal outside the Apple ecosystem.

Beats Fast Fast Charging technology is back, offering an hour and a half of playback with only 5 minutes of charging. A 15 minute charge will give you a presumed time of four and a half hours of reproduction. To help conserve the life of the battery, the headphones also have a motion accelerometer that detects when you put them on a table (or they are only motionless and not in your ear) which activate an energy saving mode so you don't lose battery.

What the case has is an LED light that indicates when they have little battery, but if you link the Powerbeats Pro with an iPhone, when you open it you will automatically see a notification on your phone that will inform you about the battery that is left to the headphones and to the case. Sadly, this, along with other functions such as Hey, Siri, does not work when the Powerbeats Pro are connected to an Android phone.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

For headphones with such a long-lasting battery and the fact that they are water resistant you will pay more than the AirPods: the Powerbeats Pro will cost $ 250 dollars.

That is an increase of $ 50 dollars compared to its predecessor and, just to compare, the second generation AirPods with the wireless charging case cost $ 200 dollars. In any case, the quality of the audio and the duration of the battery make it seem that the increase in price is worth it, although you will have to decide if the design with ear hook and the adjustment are what you are looking for.

You can get them in black, ivory, moss or navy blue, and they will be available sometime in May. They seem to be an attractive option but more tests will give us a stronger opinion of these headphones, so stay tuned.

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