Although these headphones share similar technology, they're designed for different markets. The AirPods are great for everyday use at home or in the office, while the Powerbeats Pro are more for use at the gym.
Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods 2: All the important specs
|Category||Powerbeats Pro||AirPods 2|
|Battery life||Up to 9 hours of listening time
24 hours with charging case
|Up to 5 hours of listening time
24 hours with charging case
|Features||Adjustable, secure-fit earhooks
Sweat and water resistance
|Wireless charging case
Why you should care about the Powerbeats Pro
If you're dissatisfied with the battery life of the AirPods, you'll want to check out the Powerbeats Pro. Beats claims its new wireless headphones can get up to nine hours of continuous listening, which is four more than AirPods.
The Powerbeats Pro are also listed as being sweat and water resistant, although the exact specs haven't been revealed. Regardless, you shouldn't have to worry about the Powerbeats Pro wigging out if you get them wet during an intense workout or in a downpour.
On Apple's official specs page for the AirPods, there's no mention of sweat or water resistance, because the headphones weren't designed to be worn in the gym or in inclement weather. In my personal experience, however, I've worn the AirPods at the gym without issue and have seen plenty of other people do the same. Your mileage may vary.
Speaking of wearing the Powerbeats Pro at the gym, Beats' new headphones feature an adjustable, secure-fit that supports multiple eartip options, so you can find the fit that works best for you. The AirPods feature a more generic design that either fit comfortably in your ear or don't. There's really no in-between.
If you're a gym rat, then fit is as important as battery life. When it comes to these features, the Powerbeats Pro clearly have a leg up on the AirPods.
You'll get different audio experiences
From a purely audio perspective, the Powerbeats Pro and AirPods offer different experiences.
While the audio pumped out by the AirPods is decent, the headphones don't do a very good job of blocking out ambient noise. So, if you're in a noisy office, the AirPods won't completely block out the conversations going on around you.
Not everyone considers this a bad thing, however. While noise-cancellation is great in certain scenarios, there are times when you want to hear what's going on around you, like if you're out in public and need to be aware of traffic and other hazards.
If you want a more immersive audio experience, the Powerbeats Pro will give it to you. Here's the official description, courtesy of Apple:
Powerbeats Pro boast powerful, balanced audio thanks to an entirely redesigned acoustic package that delivers pure sound reproduction, enhanced clarity, and improved dynamic range.
Most importantly, Powerbeats Pro feature noise isolation, which means they do a better job of blocking ambient noise. That's great when you want to be in the zone during an intensive workout. But if you're casually wearing them in public, it might be beneficial to hear what's going on around you.
Should you get PowerBeats Pro if you own AirPods?
Unless you're a fitness junkie or you abhor the fit and finish of the AirPods, you should stick with what you have. The AirPods are great because of their size, and they provide a decent audio experience and respectable battery life. And although they weren't designed for the gym, I've had no issue wearing them during workouts.
The Powerbeats Pro are more expensive than the AirPods, and they don't support wireless charging. They do, however, feature noise isolation, sweat and water resistance, and a more comfortable fit, so they'll be a good companion during runs and other intensive workouts.
Powerbeats Pro will be available in May for $249, while you can pick up the new AirPods for $159.
Hit the gym
Long battery life and a comfortable fit
If you're unhappy with the battery life of the AirPods or if Apple's wireless headphones can't seem to stay in your ears, then the Powerbeats Pro are a great truly wireless alternative.
Small but mighty
Apple's great headphones are even better
Apple's newest AirPods feature improved talk time, Hey Siri support, and an upgraded chip for better connectivity. Apple's headphone are still the best truly wireless headphones experience on the market.
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