Beats Powerbeats Professional overview: Bulkier than AirPods, however with higher sound

I will lay it proper on the market: The diploma to which you will just like the Powerbeats Professional, Beats’ first true wi-fi earphones, will rely largely on how nicely they suit your ears. When you get a snug, cosy match with a decent seal from one of many 4 totally different sized included silicon suggestions, you will most likely love these headphones and really feel OK about dropping $200 on them. Find yourself with one thing lower than that and chances are you’ll query their value.

I got here near getting a fantastic match. I might price it between a B+ and A-. The problem wasn’t one in all safety; I by no means needed to fear about them falling off. With just a few tweaks to the long-lasting earhooks — they’re bendable — the Powerbeats Execs had been primarily clipped onto my ears. I shot some hoops with them on and I think that they’d keep on even when I used to be able to, say, a 360-degree slam dunk. (Alas, I’m not.)

Learn extra: One of the best true wi-fi headphones you should buy in 2020

The Powerbeats Professional in black.

Sarah Tew/CNET

My little downside: Even with the most important ear suggestions (sure, they’re massive however not fairly massive sufficient), my ear canal wasn’t utterly sealed off, so extra ambient noise leaked in than I might have favored and sound high quality was impacted in noisier environments — like on the subway or the streets of New York. I used to be within the minority, nevertheless. I had CNET colleagues who had been in a position to get a decent seal and never solely actually favored the match however had been instantly impressed with the sound.

These did match me higher and extra comfortably than the sooner Powerbeats3 Wi-fi, which — not like the Professional — have a wire connecting the left and proper earbud. And, in actual fact, the Powerbeats Professional have been engineered to be appropriate with a better proportion of ears than previous Powerbeats. That is as a result of Beats, which is owned by Apple, refined their exterior design. Based on Beats, the Powerbeats Professional are 23% smaller than the Powerbeats3 and 17% lighter. They’re not rated as being absolutely waterproof, however they’re sweat- and waterproof. With an IPX4 certification, they are often splashed from any route however might fail if sprayed with a sustained jet of water or are absolutely submerged. 

The Powerbeats Professional will initially ship in black, with different colours (white, navy and moss) obtainable later this summer time.

Mark Licea/CNET

One factor that is positively not compact is the charging case. Though it is not heavy, it is a good three to 4 occasions occasions the dimensions of the AirPods ($130 at Amazon) charging case. It’s going to depart a fairly large bulge in your pocket, so you will most likely wish to depart it in a bag or locker on the health club. Contemplating these value $200, it could have been good if Beats had thrown in a protecting pouch to hold them round in for these occasions you wish to depart the charging case behind.

Learn extra: 9 suggestions a tips to grasp Beats’ utterly wi-fi earbuds

It is also value noting that the case does not provide wi-fi charging, as the brand new AirPods Wi-fi Charging Case does. Nonetheless, it does cost by way of an included Lightning cable, which is healthier than Micro-USB. Beats’ earlier BeatsX additionally charged by way of Lightning.

The Powerbeats Professional case in comparison with the AIrPods case.

Sarah Tew/CNET
Huge sound improve from AirPods

Beats says these guys use new upgraded piston drivers which can be supposed to chop down on distortion. They sound considerably higher than the unique AirPods, which is not that prime a bar to clear, however the Powerbeats Professional ship richer, cleaner sound with bass that is not solely a lot larger however tighter. As I mentioned, a full seal is essential to maximizing sound high quality with these kinds of noise-isolating headphones, so if the ideas aren’t sitting snugly in your ear canals you may lose some bass. 

In distinction, the AirPods have an “open” design and sit extra loosely in your ears (although the newer AirPods Professional characteristic a noise-isolating design). They let in much more ambient noise consequently. Assuming you get that good seal, the Powerbeats Professional could be a lot better for, say, listening on an airplane than the AirPods, as an illustration.

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