Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods: Price, Specs, Features and Design Comparison

Apple is dropping AirPod-inspired Beats.

Apple might have just dropped a new pair of AirPods less than a month ago, but it released a new set of wireless earbuds Wednesday. Say hello to the the Beats Powerbeats Pro: It’s the Apple subsidiary’s most notable release in years, and potentially the leveled-up AirPods that audiophiles were hoping for.

Beats announced its new earbuds in a press release, which confirmed previous leaks by 9to5Mac. The publication unearthed renders of the Powerbeats Pros hidden in Apple’s iOS 12.2 software update. And the final product seems to be a fusion of Beats’ more athletic designs with Apple’s signature wireless audio technology.

The earbuds are very similar to the Powerbeats 3 that were released in 2016 and retail for $200, but with a few distinct AirPods characteristics. The combo could be a match made in heaven, as the Powerbeats line remains a popular alternative to the AirPods for users with a bigger focus on fitness.

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Here are breakdown of how the leaked earbuds square up to the new AirPods:


Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods: Price and Release Date

The new Powerbeats Pro will go on sale for $249.95 and will be available in the United States and 20 other countries starting in May. This make the new Beats earbuds $91 more than the $159 AirPods.

Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods: “Truly Wireless”

Unlike the previous Powerbeats Pro, the new headset moves one step closer to the AirPods by ditching the connective wire that tethered the Powerbeats 3’s two individual buds together. That means that the previous Powerbeats were only technically wireless: While you could obviously use Bluetooth to play audio instead of a physical connection, the Powerbeats Pro 3 was still encumbered by a necklace-like cord.

Apple has indeed done away with this setup completely, making each an individual earpiece much like the AirPods.

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Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods: Color

The new Powerbeats will come in four colors: Black, Ivory, Moss and Navy.

The AirPods only come in a single, white color giving Powerbeats Pro customers a bit more customization options. It is notable that they don’t come in white, which could be a way for Apple to draw a clear line between Beats-branded and Apple-branded products.

Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods: Ear Hook

The most notable difference between the Powerbeats Pro and the AirPods series are the Beats’ ear hooks. These rubber grips are one of the Powerbeats’ major selling points as they ensure that the buds won’t slip out during a run or some other kind of workout.

By eschewing the hooks, the AirPods opt for a less-practical, but ultimately sleeker and more comfortable look that’s better for casual use or wearing for your commute. This has turned the AirPods into almost more of a fashion or office accessory than a piece of workout gear.

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Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods: Ear Tips

The PowerBeats Pros opted for soft, rubber ear tips as opposed to the AirPods’ hard, plastic shell. This design choice allows for a more comfortable fit compared to the AirPods, wrote The Verge’s Chris Welch.

Apple’s AirPods make use of an outside-the-ear tip that rests on the outer area of users’ ear canals. The Powerbeats Pros use replaceable in-ear tips that The Verge says comes close to a perfect seal, which prevents noise leakage. The tips come in four different sizes.

Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods: Charging Case and Battery Life

Beats’ latest pair of headphones does not come with a wireless charging case — unlike the recently released AirPods charging case. Users will need to charge the case using its Lightning port. It takes about 15 minutes of charging to get four hours of juice. That’s slightly faster than the AirPods, which Apple claims provides three hours of use after a 15 minutes charge.

Each earbud has up to nine hours of listening time, that’s notably more than the AirPods’ five hours of listening time per charge. But if you include the total battery life of each of their cases, AirPods round out to about slightly more than 24 hours total.

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Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods: Specs and Features

The Powerbeats come with Apple’s H1 chip, which has given them handsfree “Hey Siri” support which lets users summon the voice assistant without tapping the buds. It also enables better wireless connection so users won’t have to worry about dropped BlueTooth connection.

The Powerbeats 3 came with Apple’s W1 chip, the same chipset that was inside of the original AirPods that also launched in 2016. So these updates were all expected.

Media via Beats, Apple, Apple/9to5Mac/Danny Paez