The rumors were true: Apple was, indeed, working on new Powerbeats with support for hands-free "Hey Siri" voice commands. And here they are. Today, the company is announcing the latest version of its fitness-focused wireless earbuds, Powerbeats 4, featuring 15 hours of battery life on a full charge, IPX4 rating for sweat and water resistance, five-minute quick charging that gives you one hour of playback, and the same neckband-style as before. Most importantly perhaps, Powerbeats 4 come with an H1 chip that makes it easier to seamlessly pair and switch between Apple devices, as well as give them the, well power, to handle "Hey Siri" without having to press any buttons on the earbuds.
Great sound, lower cost — Apple says that the dual-drivers on Powerbeats 4 offer the same, balanced sound as its $250 Powerbeats Pro, which are designed to deliver "pure sound production, enhanced clarity, low total harmonic distortion, and dynamic range." You're getting all of these specs at a much lower cost than with the Powerbeats 3, too, since that old pair was priced at $200 and the Powerbeats 4 are going to be $150.
The one missing feature, of course, is noise-cancelling, but that would ultimately drive the cost up and what Apple seemingly wants to do is have a pair of quality, budget-friendly earbuds — and that's great for you fitness buffs out there who want some Powerbeats.
So far, so good — I received my review unit over the weekend and, so far, I'm quite pleased with the Powerbeats 4: sound is solid (loud notes, crispy vocals, balanced bass), and they're extremely comfortable on and around my ears. That said, I still want to play with them a little more before I give you my full set of impressions, but for now I like what I'm hearing. Again, I do wish they had active noise-cancelling, though at $150 it's not a deal-breaker for me.
Although Apple has temporarily closed all its retail stores outside of China due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Powerbeats 4 will be available on its website on Wednesday, March 18th for $150. They come in black, red, and white, so there are a few options to choose from on what you want to have around your neck, during your runs or other fitness workouts. We'll have more on the Powerbeats 4 soon. In the meantime, here are a few pictures so you can get early peek at them before they drop later this week.