Powerbeats Pro Preview: Everything AirPods aren't... nearly

2019's iPhones could wireless charge AirPods

Here's a new generation of Powerbeats, wireless headphones I've honestly never loved, that does everything AirPods does. It comes with four sizes of ear tips and a redesigned, adjustable earhook-an iconic part of the Powerbeats line since its launch in 2010. But the freshly announced Powerbeats Pro earbuds are actually the first Beats-branded product in quite some time, suggesting the market has evolved and matured enough to accommodate different wireless options at different prices catering to different target audiences.

The Powerbeats Pro have an in-ear ear hook design which means they have a more secure fit than the 2nd gen AirPods. The case charges with a Lightning connector but they come with a Lightning cable, in case you plan to use them with your Android device. While we obviously can not judge the audio performance of the Powerbeats Pro until properly reviewing them, it's certainly exciting to hear sound was the "highest priority" in their development.

What differences, you ask?

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The first truly wireless Beats earbuds have finally arrived.

Now that we have new AirPods, stock of existing AirPods has to be cleared to make space.

Along with sounding better, they should also be much more comfortable to wear with Beats saying fit and stability is paramount to its Powerbeats Pro.

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The H1 chip also enables the new AirPods to offer hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality.

Also, the H1 chip means that the Powerbeats Pro headphones can be controlled with "Hey Siri" commands.

We found this feature worked really well, and the built-in microphone was adept at picking up our voice, even in loud environments. You'd be better off pouring your money on a cheaper and better alternative, like the Brio True Wireless Earbuds. They also play and pause automatically when inserted or removed, thanks to optical sensors. You can only assign one double-tap control to each earbud, which can be slightly limiting. While you don't get the automatic pairing you get with an iPhone, Bluetooth pairing is still pretty quick. You can tell as soon as you put them on, too. They power on when taken out of the case and power off when placed back inside (they don't have an actual power button, so don't lose that case).

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