The new AirPods already have competitors signed Beats, a brand that belongs to … Apple! Indeed, two weeks after the launch of the second generation of AirPods, Apple has announced the Powerbeats Pro, a truly wireless version of the existing Powerbeats 3 and a sportier alternative to the AirPods. At 250 euros, they are not cheap but offer some extra features that are not found on the AirPods.
To help you decide which ones are right for you, we’ve gone through the technical details and outlined the main differences between AirPods and Powerbeats Pro.
You do not want to read the whole article? Here is the spoiler version: buy the AirPods 2 if you need it right now, because these are the only ones you can buy today. Powerbeats will not be delivered until May and only in the United States and Canada, France will be served later. If you are willing to wait, you can resume reading.
Despite the fact that Apple makes both models, its design is totally different. The AirPods are stylish and functional, while the Powerbeats are sporty and more imposing, but with a more secure fit.
If you use them every day during your commute or in the office, the AirPods’ airy feel might be ideal. But to play sports, Powerbeats have the upper hand. Their in-ear earbuds and over-the-ear hooks should help them hold more firmly than AirPods during intense workouts, while their water-resistant outer cover can withstand perspiration.
The AirPods are only available in white while the Powerbeats Pro is available in cream, navy, bottle green and black with a black charging box. And this case is huge. It is about three times the size of the AirPods and will be much larger in your pocket. They both charge with a Lightning cable, but with the AirPods, it is possible to opt for a case with wireless charge, which increases the price from 200.45 to 256.44 USD. Powerbeats Pro does not offer this option.
At 250 euros, the Powerbeats Pro cost 79.51 USD more than the basic AirPods (200.45 USD). The AirPods with the wireless charging box cost 256.44 USD and the wireless charging box alone is sold 99.66 USD. But if audio quality is your main concern, Powerbeats could be worth the extra expense.
Apple AirPods (2019)
The 2019 AirPods are just a light upgrade to Apple’s 100% wireless headphones. They gain some functions but the audio quality, design, and ergonomics are similar. Even if they are rather good, we can, however, find better, and for less.
Although we have not tested them yet, we know that the closed design of the previous Powerbeats3 was good for isolating the sound and we hope that the same goes for the Powerbeats Pro which has a similar design. The more open design of the AirPods allows more ambient noise, which can be convenient when you’re on the move and want to hear what’s going on around you. But it’s not just about ergonomics. Apple says that audio quality was its top priority when creating the Powerbeats Pro.
Both models feature Apple’s new Bluetooth-enabled H1 chip, which provides a fast and seamless connection to iOS devices. You can activate the Siri wizard with a simple voice command and use it to increase the volume or control music playback. AirPods like Powerbeats Pro have sensors that detect when you remove them from the ears to pause and resume playback once you put them back in place.
AirPods can play, pause or play songs by tapping the earphones twice. Powerbeats have physical buttons that do the same thing and also adjust the volume. They both work on Android devices, but you’ll lose some of the pairing and hands-free voice assistant.
If we consider the battery as the combined set, namely the headphones and the charging box, the AirPods give about 24 hours of battery life according to Apple. But if you only take the headphones, the Powerbeats Pro has four hours longer than the AirPods: 9 hours against five hours.
A five-minute charge translates to about an hour and a half of listening for the Powerbeats, while the AirPods will give you an hour for the same five-minute charge. These figures come from Apple and we still have to check them with our own tests. We will also perform other tests under real conditions once the Powerbeats Pro is officially launched.