Apple's revamped Powerbeats Bluetooth workout earphones take what was great from the firm's true wireless earbuds and add a cable, longer battery life and cheaper price. Powerbeats replace the older, more expensive Powerbeats 3, with redesigned ear hooks, cable guides and Apple's H1 chip, which simplifies Bluetooth connectivity and gives them all the AirPods-like features Apple's headphones have with iPhones. The design of the Powerbeats is pretty simple. Each earphone's body has an earbud sticking out of one side with a traditional silicone ear tip that twists into your ear canal. The other end has an hook that loops over the back of your ear, holding it in place and neatly guiding the cable backwards rather than in front of your ear like its predecessors.
The PowerBeats Pro are Apple-owned Beats' first true wireless Bluetooth earbuds that cut the cable and seek to be the ultimate running and gym earphones. As with Apple's original AirPods, which looked like a set of the firm's standard EarPods with the cables cut off, the £220 PowerBeats Pro are basically the firm's popular PowerBeats 3 neckband Bluetooth earbuds without the cables joining the pair. That includes the signature ear hook, which tucks behind the top of your ear to hold the earbuds in place. As such the PowerBeats Pro are neither small nor subtle. They come in black, but also a series of attractive colours such as a dark green.
Apple's true wireless earbuds have gone "pro" and in doing so deliver on the promise of the 2017 originals. The new AirPods Pro are worth the wait. Apple managed two pieces of magic in 2017 with the original £159 AirPods. They just worked without the skips, blips or audio delay, and came in a tiny battery case that kept them charged and safe – a combination that competitors still find hard to match. But they had one big problem: no isolation from the outside world.
Beats by Dre's Powerbeats earphones have been a mainstay in the wireless headphone genre for years, and things have only gotten more interesting since Apple took over. With the Powerbeats Pro, Beats stepped into the true wireless market alongside other fully wireless earbuds like Apple's own AirPods, offering impressive new features and the best sound from Beats earbuds yet. Enter the Powerbeats, which knock a full $100 off the price of their "Pro" sibling, while offering most of the same features. Unlike the Powerbeats Pro, the Powerbeats are connected by a small wire, similar to 2016's Powerbeats3, and other models. There are other differences too, so read on to get the goods on what's new in the latest Powerbeats, what's missing, and which pair is right for you.
The Beats Solo Pro are a great set of on-ear noise-cancelling headphones. They sound good, have solid noise cancelling and are comfortable and stable on your head. Bluetooth connectivity is rock-solid and the battery lasts long enough for the weekly commute or flights. Apple's H1 chip enables a whole host of convenient features with the firm's devices, while the Beats app brings some of them to Android, too. It is disappointing that a 3.5mm to Lightning cable is not included in the box, and they are certainly expensive. But at least you are not just paying for a big flashy brand any more. If you like on-ear headphones and want a good-sounding, noise-cancelling set, then you can't go far wrong with the Beats Solo Pro – particularly if you use Apple gear.