Ever since Apple released their AirPods, in-ear headphones have taken over the audio market.
In-ear headphones, commonly known as earbuds, are the new wave and for good reason. Having your headphones fit into your pockets without needing to deal with the tangled mess of wires, is very convenient.
Today we are going to be taking a closer look at two earbuds that have broken the audio game since their release to see which one is better. The AirPods Pro and PowerBeats Pro, sold by the same company, Apple.
The Main Differences
In this article, we are going to split them up into separate sections, including battery life, design, comfort, features, audio quality, and more.
Whats In The Box?
Let’s talk about what we are getting in the box from each of these products.
With the AirPods, we get the actual AirPods and charging case (obviously), two sets of different ear tip replacements, and a USB-C to lightning charging cable. Unfortunately, you do not get a USB-C power adapter or any power adapter. So to charge your earphones, you’re going to need to already own a wall adapter, or buy one.
Let’s move on to the Beats. The Beats packaging is almost identical to that of the Airpods. You get the case, and the earphones, three sets of replacement ear tips, and a USB-A to Lighting charging cable. Now once again, Apple does not supply the user with a power adapter, so you are going to need to buy one, or already own one.
Now obviously, like with any tech product, both of these include manuals in the box. They just weren’t really exciting enough to put in the picture.
Let’s keep track of the score for this showdown. So far it’s PowerBeats Pro: 1 and AirPods Pro: 1.
Design and Comfort
Let’s first talk about the design of the two different cases. Now obviously the PowerBeats Pro have a much larger case in comparison to the AirPods Pro. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing for you. If you are someone who constantly loses things, and can’t seem to be able to keep track of where your stuff is, maybe the Powerbeats are a better option for you. Being so much larger, they would be much harder to lose than the Airpods Pro.
That being said, if you are someone who has grown to love the minimalistic form factor of most wireless earbuds, small and slim, then you are probably going to like the AirPods Pro more than the Powerbeats.
About the earbuds themselves, the AirPods have a much smaller design. Unlike their predecessor, the Airpods, the AirPods Pro actually have silicone tips that make sure that no matter how hard you shake your head, they won’t fall out. They also greatly improve comfort and help support compatibility with many more ears.
The Powerbeats Pro have a sort of double protection from falling out. They have the ear tips that the Airpods Pro have, as well as wingtips to guarantee that no matter how hard you are working out, the earbuds stay in your ear. The wingtip might not be favored by all, however, as they stick out a bit more than the AirPods Pro.
For this round, it looks like a tie between the Powerbeats Pro and Airpods Pro. Let’s give them each a point. After this round, its PowerBeats Pro: 2, AirPods Pro: 2.
Now, this is where it gets a bit more complicated in the comparison. Sound quality is obviously a really important aspect of any audio device. But if you are buying these as an audiophile and need the absolute best sound quality, I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re in the wrong spot.
Ok so let’s get one thing straight, these two pairs of earbuds are not to be bought if you are strictly looking for the best sound quality. These are two great pairs of earbuds when it comes to design, convenience, but not for the optimal sound quality.
Also in this comparison, we won’t use the special audio features that the Airpods pro have in mind, just to make it fair. But do remember when you’re buying either one to remember the features when you click to check out.
The PowerBeats Pro have the typical emphasis on the low-end frequencies, giving users a higher bass while exercising. The mids are more recessed, but if you listen to bass-heavy music primarily, that may be what you are looking for. The highs are nothing too special and being much more predictable with a sharp dropoff, to avoid users from experiencing ear pain while listening to their music.
Now for the AirPods Pro, they have a much more consistent sound profile but still have that fun V-Curve among Bluetooth earbuds. Now the only thing that can possibly edge the AirPods pro over the Powerbeats Pro is the ANC isolation system. Asides from that, it’s mostly subjective.
Overall the main takeaways are that the AirPods Pro have a bit cleaner sound but it is not a huge improvement. Both have similar sound signatures too and will sound great with Pop, Rap, or EDM genres.
At the end here the AirPods Pro come out ahead at 3 to 2.
Battery life can be one of the most important aspects of any sort of technology, but you definitely don’t want your headphones dying on you as you are only halfway through your commute to work.
The PowerBeats Pro supply 9 hours of playback on a full charge. With the charging case, however, users can enjoy another 24 hours of playback. If by somehow, you managed to completely discharge your charging case, don’t despair, as just 5 minutes of charge gives the earbuds 1.5 hours of playback.
The AirPods Pro are a bit of a different story. On a full charge, you can only expect 4.5 hours of playback on each pod. Just like the Beats Pro, users can expect 24 hours with the Airpods pro charging case. When it comes to fast charging, a quick 5-minute plug-in can give you another hour of playback.
Apple users also have the luxury of checking the battery status of their device through the use of the batteries widget, which was introduced in the release of IOS 14.0.
So at the end of this round, I felt that PowerBeats had a minor step up just taking the lead. At this point, its PowerBeats Pro: 3, AirPods Pro: 3.
Even though the Powerbeats are sold for about $30 less, you would think that two products sold by the same company would have a similar caliber of features right? Well, you would be wrong. The Airpods Pro absolutely blow the PowerBeats Pro out of the water in this aspect.
On the Airpods Pro, you have ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), Transparency mode, and Spatial Audio. ANC is pretty self-explanatory, activate it to block out noise from the outside. Transparency does the opposite, it allows noise in so you can hear your surroundings. Spacial audio essentially provides users with 3D audio when watching supported TV shows or movies. Not only that, but the Airpods Pro have tests to ensure that the ear tip that you have chosen makes a proper seal in your ear. Another great feature the Airpods have is the ability to activate Siri or toggle ANC and Transparency mode, by holding the end of the earbud.
Let’s move on to the PowerBeats Pro. They basically have none of the cool audio settings the AirPods Pro have. With the PowerBeats, you can activate Siri by holding the button on the side. Aside from that, the only better thing about the PowerBeats over the AirPods is the ability to change the volume of the media with a button on the actual earbud.
I think it’s obvious that the AirPods Pro took that round with ease, so the score is now PowerBeats Pro: 3, AirPods Pro: 4.
Conclusion: Which Is Better?
So what is the final verdict? Well, each of these products have their separate pros and cons, and it really depends what you want out of an audio device. Are you looking for the ideal workout device, or something more low-key?
Well, let’s answer these questions. The only thing that the Powerbeats pro have that is objectively advantageous in comparison to the Airpods Pro is the greater battery life, and the only thing the Airpods Pro have that is objectively advantageous to the Powerbeats Pro is the onboard features. They both have different designs and comforts, one isn’t completely better than the other, and they both have virtually the same components in the box.
Now all of this comes at a price, obviously, and the PowerBeats Pro can often be found for a bit cheaper. The PowerBeats are often found for a bit under 200 while the AirPods Pro are often 200 or more. Now which one is better, well we can’t make that decision for you as the best option depends on your situation. If you mostly work out then the PowerBeats may be the best option for you but if you want an all-rounder the AirPods Pro may be the one for you.