Beats – by which we mean, Apple – has announced a brand-new pair of wireless earbuds. Dubbed Powerbeats, these new ‘buds are the successor to the Powerbeats3 Wireless, which launched back in 2016. Apple, which bought Beats for $3billion back in 2014, has done much more than just simplify the name of these new earbuds.
The Powerbeats – like their predecessor – are primarily designed for fitness and use a neckband design that connects the two buds. Apple has slightly tweaked the design this time around, with the cable now emerging from the hook that holds each earbud in place behind your ear. The left earbuds has an on-off button, while the right has the multi-function “b” button to control your music. Both ‘buds have volume rockers.
It’s clear that Apple has learnt a lot from its supremely well-received Powerbeats Pro. Just like those pricier ‘buds, which ditch the cable for a true wireless experience, the Beats Powerbeats sport an Apple-designed H1 chip for the same one-tap pairing process with iPhone that you’ll find on Apple AirPods. It also allows for handsfree “Hey Siri” support for those who want to use the chatty voice assistant to change songs, reply to texts, or have their emails read out while they’re working out.
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It also means the Powerbeats will benefit from a Class 1 Bluetooth radio, which should help the earbuds maintain a much steadier connection with longer range, so don’t worry about keeping your iPhone or Android phone too close when you’re working out. Leaving it in the locker should not be a problem with this pair, although, we’ll need to test them out properly to confirm.
Apple says the Powerbeats should match the Powerbeats Pro in terms of audio quality. If you haven’t had a chance to try out the Powerbeats Pro just yet – trust us, this is really good news. Despite the lightweight design, Powerbeats Pro sound really good and boast a surprisingly expansive soundscape.
The new Powerbeats will have a 15-hour battery life, which is a pretty dramatic step-up from the 12-hours in the Powerbeats3 Wireless. They’re also rated IPX4 for sweat and water resistance, which means you’ll be able to run in the rain without any worries about the earbuds cutting out.
There are only a few colour options: black, white, and red. Hopefully, Beats will launch some more variety in the near future – as it has done with the Powerbeats Pro. The new Powerbeats charge over a Lightning connector, so iPhone owners will be able to charge their smartphone and ‘buds with the same single cable. Thankfully for Android users, Apple includes a USB to Lightning cable in the box alongside the material carry case.
Beats Powerbeats hit shelves on March 18, 2020 from Apple and all the usual online and high street retailers. They cost £129.95.