I’ll lay it right out there: The amount to which you’ll just like the Powerbeats Pro, Beats’ first true wireless earphones, depends largely how well they can fit your ears. If you get yourself a comfortable, snug match a tight seal in one of the four different sized included silicon tips, you will most probably love these headphones and feel OK about dropping $200 on them. End up getting something significantly less than that and you’ll question their worth.

I came near to obtaining a great fit. I’d rate it between a B+ and A-. The problem wasn’t among security; I never really had to worry about them falling off. With a few tweaks to the iconic earhooks — they’re bendable — the Powerbeats Pros were essentially clipped onto my ears. I shot some hoops with them on and I suspect that they’d stick to regardless if I was with the capacity of, say, a 360-degree slam dunk. (Alas, I am not.)

My little problem: Despite having the major ear tips (yes, they’re large however, not quite large enough), my ear canal wasn’t completely sealed off, so more ambient noise leaked in than I’d have liked and sound quality was impacted in noisier environments — like on the subway or the streets of NY. I was in the minority, however. I had CNET colleagues who could actually get yourself a tight seal and not just really liked the fit but were immediately impressed with the sound.

These did fit me better and more comfortably compared to the earlier Powerbeats3 Wireless, which — unlike the Pro — have a wire connecting the left and right earbud. And, actually, the Powerbeats Pro have already been engineered to be appropriate for an increased percentage of ears than past Powerbeats. That’s because Beats, which is owned by Apple, refined their exterior design. According to Beats, the Powerbeats Pro are 23% smaller compared to the Powerbeats3 and 17% lighter. They’re not rated to be fully waterproof, nonetheless they are sweat- and water-resistant. With an IPX4 certification, they might be splashed from any direction but could fail if sprayed with a sustained jet of water or are fully submerged.

One thing that’s not at all compact may be the charging case. Though it isn’t heavy, it’s an excellent 3 to 4 times times how big is the AirPods ($129 at Amazon) charging case. It’ll leave a fairly big bulge in your pocket, so you will most probably want to leave it in a bag or locker at the fitness center. Considering these cost $200, it could have already been nice if Beats had thrown in a protective pouch to transport them around set for those times you need to leave the charging case behind.

It is also worth noting that the case doesn’t offer wireless charging, as the brand new AirPods Wireless Charging Case does. However, it can charge via an included Lightning cable, which is preferable to Micro-USB. Beats’ earlier BeatsX also charged via Lightning.

Big sound upgrade from AirPods
Beats says this business use new upgraded piston drivers that are likely to lessen distortion. They sound drastically better than the initial AirPods, which isn’t that high a bar to clear, however the Powerbeats Pro deliver richer, cleaner sound with bass that isn’t only much bigger but tighter. As I said, a complete seal is vital to maximizing sound quality with these kind of noise-isolating headphones, so if the tips aren’t sitting snugly in your ear canals you can lose some bass.

On the other hand, the AirPods have an “open” design and sit more loosely in your ears (although newer AirPods Pro include a noise-isolating design). They let in far more ambient noise due to this fact. Assuming you get that good seal, the Powerbeats Pro will be far better for, say, listening on an airplane compared to the AirPods, for example.

The knock against Beats headphones used to be that these were too bass-heavy and that the bass was boomy and lacked definition. The Powerbeats Pro also accentuate the bass, but I didn’t are having issues their bass performance. Actually, the bass is among these reasons you’d buy this over something similar to the AirPods or Jabra’s Elite 65t (or the Elite Active 65t). But I did so notice some treble push — sometimes known as existence boost — that may make sure they are sound a tad too bright with certain tracks. The BeatsX had the same issue, even though it might not exactly be something regular persons will be too perturbed about, audiophiles will most likely take issue.

The Powerbeats Pro’s sound will probably compare favorably with almost every other premium true wireless models, that may sound quite decent but in the end don’t measure to a good group of wired earphones. Having said that, I thought the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless, which retails for $300, sounded better. It’s simply a bit more detailed and smoother sounding. Likewise, the UA True Wireless Flash by JBL sound as effective as the Powerbeats Pro for approximately $40 less. However, the Powerbeats involve some advantages over both, including far better battery life.

Because of their larger design when compared to AirPods, Apple and Beats engineers have already been able to add a larger battery. The Powerbeats Pro are rated at 9 hours for music listening in comparison to 5 hours for the AirPods, and the charging case gives 15 extra hours of juice. With the quick-charge feature, a 5-minute charge gets you one hour . 5 of playback while a 15-minute charge are certain to get you four . 5 hours. The headphones automatically switch off when you drop them in the event and will fall asleep in the event that you leave them sitting on a table.

Apple’s H1 chip up to speed
Just like the AirPods, these likewise have Apple’s new H1 chip that supports Bluetooth 5. Which means Apple users get the same fast-pairing feature and always-on Siri which allows you to activate Siri by simply saying, “Hey, Siri,” instead of touching a button. You can ask Siri to improve and lower the quantity, and Apple Music users can tell Siri to skip tracks forward and back.

Obviously, Siri features only use Apple devices, but there’s the right news for Android users: There are buttons on the earpieces that provide you control of playback and volume levels. I thought they worked well within my two days of experimenting with the merchandise. Each earpiece gets the same buttons, to help you control playback from either earpiece.

If you look closely, you will see there are optical sensors included in the buds. They find whether you have the buds in your ears or have removed them, which means that your music will automatically pause and resume. Just like the AirPods, each bud can be utilised independently of the other, so if you need to go with one bud — left or right — you can.

The AirPods are excellent to make calls, and Apple’s engineers have brought a few of the same technology to the Powerbeats Pro. There are two beam-forming microphones in each earpiece, plus a speech-detecting accelerometer that helps grab your voice better — be it for calls or speaking with Siri. And just like the second-generation AirPods, they are supposed to do an improved job filtering out external sounds such as for example wind and ambient noise during calls.

I thought they worked aswell and maybe better still than the AirPods to make calls because they don’t really have an open design which allows sound to leak in (which makes them better for noisier environments). Callers said I sounded clear plus they didn’t have trouble hearing me when I made calls from the streets of NY.

Worth the price?
Folks have gotten used to spending $300-$350 on a set of full-size noise-cancelling headphones, but $200 appears like a lot to invest on a couple of true-wireless earbuds, particularly with the second-generation AirPods starting at $130 for the version with the typical charging case. However, as I said, if the Powerbeats Pro fit you well, you are going to be quite pleased with them.

Yes, their large charging case is a notable drawback. However the mixture of incorporating all of the features that produce the AirPods great while delivering richer sound and better battery life, in a design that wont fallout of your ears, is in the end an absolute proposition. Just be sure to buy them somewhere which has a good return policy in the event you’re in the tiny minority which has ears that aren’t a significant match for them.