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AirPods vs Powerbeats Pro: Which Wireless Earbuds Are Right For You?

Hey friend! So you‘re looking to go wireless with your music and wondering whether to get AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro? I‘ve tested both pairs extensively and can break down exactly how they compare.

Both AirPods and Powerbeats are premium wireless earbuds owned by Apple. The AirPods Pro are designed for convenience and great sound quality. The Powerbeats Pro optimize for workout stability and longer battery life. They each have strengths and weaknesses that make them better suited for certain uses over others.

Let‘s take a closer look at what sets these two wireless earbud models apart!

A Brief History

First, some background. Apple‘s original AirPods were released in 2016 and quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Their wire-free design and easy pairing with iPhones made listening to music incredibly convenient.

Apple built on their success in 2019 by releasing the AirPods Pro. These added active noise canceling technology and a more customizable in-ear fit. Reviews praised the improved audio quality and noise blocking capabilities.

Beats by Dre was founded in 2008 by rapper Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine to create premium headphones. Beats built a brand around bold styling and bass-heavy sound shaped by music artists.

Apple acquired Beats in 2014, but continued developing new headphone models like the fitness-focused Powerbeats Pro in 2019. The Powerbeats use earhooks to keep them securely in place during intense workouts.

Comparing the Key Features

Here‘s an overview of how the AirPods Pro and Powerbeats Pro specs stack up:

Features AirPods Pro Powerbeats Pro
Battery Life 4.5-6 hrs 9 hrs
Charging Case Wireless, 30 hrs total 24 hrs total
Noise Cancellation Active NC None
Audio Codecs AAC, SBC AAC, SBC
Water Resistance IPX4 (sweat/water) IPX4 (sweat/water)
Ear Tips Silicone (S/M/L) Silicone (S/M/L)
Fit Earbud Earhook + Earbud
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Controls Squeeze, touch Buttons
Price $249 USD $249 USD

Both models clearly share common traits like sweat resistance, Bluetooth 5.0, and a premium $249 price tag. But the differences in battery life, noise cancellation, and overall design philosophy set them apart.

Next let‘s examine each model‘s strengths and weaknesses in more detail.

AirPods Pro Strengths

Advanced Audio Technology – Apple‘s proprietary H1 chip enables the AirPods Pro to utilize special audio features like active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, spatial audio, and adaptive EQ. This allows them to dynamically adjust sound based on your environment and activity.

Superior Sound Quality – Multiple reviews praise the AirPods Pro sound profile as being balanced, crisp, and accurate across lows, mids and highs. The in-ear seal also provides better noise isolation. You‘ll catch intricacies in music you‘ve never heard before.

More Discreet Look – While not exactly invisible, the all-white minimalist design of AirPods Pro is fairly subtle when worn. The wire-free design with no earhooks keeps them low profile.

Portability – The charging case is compact and pocketable. At just 1.78" x 2.39" x 0.85", it easily slips into a pocket or small bag when not in use. The earbuds themselves are petite and lightweight as well.

Seamless Apple Device Pairing – AirPods pair instantly with Apple devices thanks to the proprietary H1 chip. Switching between your iPhone, iPad, or Mac is smooth and lag-free. Siri can also be activated hands-free.

Where AirPods Pro Fall Short

Battery Life – AirPods Pro only last about 4.5-6 hours listening time on a full charge. That‘s well below competitors like the Powerbeats Pro. Frequent recharging is needed if you‘re relying on them for long stretches.

Price – $249 is still fairly expensive compared to other quality earbuds on the market. You‘re paying a premium for Apple‘s audio engineering and seamless integration.

Eartips Can Loosen – Unlike earhooks, there‘s nothing physically securing the AirPods Pro‘s silicone tips in place. Tips can occasionally loosen and fall out during activity and movement.

Limited Android Functionality – AirPods work best within Apple‘s ecosystem. Android users will miss out on certain features like hands-free Siri access, spatial audio, and automatic device switching.

Where Powerbeats Pro Excel

Marathon Battery Life – You‘ll get about 9 hours of playback per charge with the Powerbeats Pro. That‘s 50% longer than the AirPods Pro. Ideal for travel days or hours of continuous training.

Rock Solid Fit – The adjustable earhooks ensure the Powerbeats Pro stay firmly in place during rigorous workouts and runs. No worries about losing an earbud mid-sprint.

Superior Controls – Physical volume and track buttons are easy to access on the Powerbeats Pro. Touch controls can be hit and miss when hands are wet with sweat.

Faster Charging – A 5 minute quick charge provides 1.5 hours of playback. You can easily top them up between gym sessions or sets. The AirPods Pro only get 1 hour of use from a 5 minute charge.

Better For Android – Powerbeats play equally nice with both iOS and Android. No major feature gaps compared to using them with iPhones. Apple optimization is limited to iOS.

Where Powerbeats Pro Fall Short

Bulky Charging Case – The case is almost double the size of the AirPods Pro‘s case – 3.5" x 2.9" x 1.1" versus 1.8" x 2.4" x 0.9". Way less portable when out and about.

No Noise Cancellation – Shockingly absent for $249 earbuds. No way to drown out ambient noise around you. Limits their usefulness in louder environments.

Less Stylish Design – The over-ear hook design draws more attention and looks sportier than the minimalist AirPods Pro aesthetic. Not as fashionable for everyday wear.

Less Balanced Sound – Reviewers note mids and highs are less clear compared to AirPods Pro. The bass focus suits workout playlists but isn‘t ideal for all genres.

Not as Intuitive to Control – Unlike the squeeze stem on AirPods Pro, buttons can be tricky to locate by feel when Powerbeats are worn.

Which Should You Buy?

For most iPhone users who want great sounding wireless earbuds, I‘d recommend the AirPods Pro. Their small charging case anddiscrete design makes them super portable. The sound quality blows most competitors out of the water. Noise cancellation is game changing when commuting or working in busy environments.

However, the Powerbeats Pro edge out the AirPods Pro for fitness buffs. Their earhook design literally locks them into place during intense training and workouts. 9 hours of battery life should get you through a full marathon. Faster charging is perfect for quick top-offs at the gym.

So AirPods Pro if you want incredible sound, noise cancellation, and Apple-centric features. Or go with Powerbeats Pro if you need stability during exercise and all day battery life. Either way you can‘t go wrong! Let me know if any other questions come up.