Beats is a subsidiary of Apple since 2014. That means Beats gets to access Apple resources and vice versa. The second-gen AirPods have little improvements over the first generation AirPods. Now Beats announced their new lineup called Powerbeats Pro with the new H1 chipset, longer battery life, and “Hey Siri” support. To be sure which one you should pick up to get the most out of your $200+, here is the comparison of the Powerbeats Pro vs the AirPods 2.
Powerbeats Pro is completing the checklists that don’t exist in AirPods 2.
Comparing Powerbeats Pro to the AirPods, AirPods targets people that want to use it in a casual manner and for everyday use. While Powerbeats Pro is targetting towards athletes or sports enthusiast more. Pricing it for $250, you will get almost all the AirPods 2 rumored features. Longer battery life, rain/sweat resistant, more customizable fits. You will also still get the same AirPods’ intuitive pairing to your iPhone.
1. One size fits all is not a great idea for working-out
Everyone has been asking for AirPods with ear tips because some people’s ears are too large for the AirPods to fit in. With Powerbeats Pro you get 4 ear tips size options and adjustable ear hooks. For working out, it is an important feature. You will not want to run while adjusting the fits of your earbuds constantly. Additionally, along with a better fit to your ears, there will be an improvement in the sound quality as well.
2. Get your sweat on!
AirPods 2 is rumored to be rain resistant at least. It is quite disappointing. Apple said that Powerbeats Pro is water and sweat resistant officially, although they don’t disclose the IPX rating. Compared to AirPods 2, which can withstand a bit of water but Apple doesn’t announce this officially means that it is not recommended to use your AirPods in the rain or while working out.
3. “Hey Siri, how many kilograms is 25 lbs?”
Probably this is what I think how Siri is useful when you work out. With the inclusion of H1 chip, Powerbeats Pro also supports “Hey Siri” features. It borrows the same voice accelerometer to detect when you are speaking and also dual beamforming microphone to filter out the background noise from the AirPods. Don’t expect to have a good phone call quality like AirPods though. AirPods has a stem that brings the microphone closer to your mouth.
4. Longer listening time
Powerbeats Pro has 9 hours of battery life beating its sibling, AirPods, that has been winning this category for so long with 5 hours of battery life. It is quite an achievement for true wireless earbuds. Powerbeats Pro also comes with a charging case that will provide 24+ hours of listening time similar to the AirPods 2. The dental floss carrying case in AirPods 2 now looks cooler in Powerbeats Pro with black color instead of white.
5. Class 1 Bluetooth
Class 1 Bluetooth is Bluetooth that has 100mW transmit power. Technically, Bluetooth 5 supports Low Energy Bluetooth that is also capable of Class 1 Bluetooth. However, there are other factors that can make it considered as Bluetooth 5, such as the peak power consumption, bit rate speed, data channels, and the range as well. Normally, Class 1 Bluetooth is capable to transmit data over 100 meters, while Bluetooth 5 can communicate over 240 meters. Apple probably sacrifices something other than transmit power, that’s why they don’t use the Bluetooth 5 certification.
6. Physical buttons for volume control
AirPods second generation includes “Hey Siri” features, so you can adjust your volume while still having both access to the double-tap function on each earbud. On the first generation AirPods, if you want to adjust the volume you have to sacrifice one earbud to summon Siri and ask her to lower or increase the volume instead. Many people want the AirPods to have a capacitive touch that we can slide up or down just to adjust the volume. Powerbeats Pro seems to want to answer this but by having physical buttons instead.
7. Black lightning cable
I won’t call this a feature. Currently, you have to buy space gray iMac Pro to get the official black lightning cable. Powerbeats Pro include this. If you are the one who likes to go all black. This is a very welcome addition. Apple includes this cable because you will need this cable later to charge the Powerbeats Pro since it doesn’t support wireless charging as an alternative charging method.
Comparison of Powerbeats Pro vs AirPods 2
|Feature||Powerbeats Pro||AirPods 2|
|Battery Life (Music)||9 hours||5 hours|
|Bluetooth||Class 1 Bluetooth®||Bluetooth 5|
|Size||4 sizes ear tips + adjustable earhooks||One size fits all|
|Water & Sweat Resistant|
|Hey Siri support|
|Auto Play/Pause Sensor|
Should you buy Powerbeats Pro over the AirPods?
It really depends on what will you use it for. Casual commuters will find AirPods is easier to use because you don’t need to adjust the ear hooks or carrying the larger carrying case for Powerbeats Pro. The open design without noise canceling also helpful when you are walking so you will be more aware of your surroundings. However, if your ears cannot fit the AirPods then this is your best alternative if you really want “Hey Siri” support, intuitive pairing process, and auto play/pause when you remove 1 earbud.
For athletes or more active individual, you will want Powerbeats Pro more because it has water & sweat resistant coating and more secure fit on the ears. The fact that it also provides passive noise canceling is great for going to the gym without hearing people grunting. It has physical control that can be useful for adjusting volume as well, so you don’t have awkwardly summon Siri just to control the volume. Powerbeats Pro design is not boring also, they have several colors that you can match to your liking.