July 2, 2019
In this weeks Talking tech amongst other topics, is David’s review of the new Powerbeats Pro from Apple.
Here is David’s full review.
Powerbeats Pro draft review notes
The Powerbeats Pro consist of two Bluetooth ear phones, charging case, and lightning cable to plug the charging case in to power. The ear phones can be used separately or together to maximise use.
The ear phones of the Powerbeats Pro consist of each ear phone unit being rectangular in shape with a volume rocker on top and a tactile Beats button on the rear of the outside face, a moulded angled ear hook which fits over the left or right ear, and an angled ear piece to deliver sound more in to the ear canal.
Powerbeats Pro last up to 9 hours on a single charge.
Charging case is square and quite chunky,, about 4 times the size of the AirPods charging case. Has a hinged lid. When open, has two slots with charging connectors to take each of the ear phones. In front of these slots in the middle at the front of the case when open, there is a connect button which allows connection to other Bluetooth devices.
The top of the charging case has an indented raised Beats symbol, and the bottom of the charging case is concave.
I appreciate the size of the charging case, given its size, a lot less chance of getting lost in my computer bag.
Charging case offers 24 hours of recharge for the Powerbeats Pro. If ear phones low on charge, 5 minutes in the charging case will give another 1.5 hours of use.
Check the charge of the charging case by opening the case up near the iPhone to have the popup come up and give the charge state of both the case and the ear phones.
To connect the Powerbeats Pro, similar to AirPods. Open up case near iPhone, choose connect when presented with the popup dialog.
As soon as you put the Powerbeats pro on, they connect with an audible tone straight away. Take them off, and they turn off. When wearing the Powerbeats pro, they are in an intelligent standby mode when audio is not playing, saving battery.
As the Powerbeats last up to 9 hours, I tend to use both ear phones at the same time, only needing to charge at the end of the day when home. Unlike the AirPods, where I need to swap one in and out of the charging case to give me a full day of use.
There is something nice of having physical controls for volume (rocker), and the Beats button to control audio as well as answering/hanging up on a phone call on each of the ear phones. As the Beats button is tactile, easy to locate with touch.
The actual microphone that is used for Hey Siri, phone calls, and recording is located on the bottom side of the Powerbeats Pro, the opposite end to the Beats button.
As I mainly use audio for VoiceOver, listening to eBooks, podcasts, radio, and mainly chill out music, I find the audio quality for me is excellent.
Volume of the Powerbeats Pro is certainly louder than the AirPods plus the fact that they are more in your ear, means that in a noisey environment they work well.
Very responsive when using Voiceover gestures, doesn’t feel like you are using BT ear phones, especially when using the on-screen keyboard.
Hey Siri is great with these now wireless Powerbeats Pro. However, I find my HomePod jumps in if I am near by, unlike the AirPods.
Like the AirPods, Powerbeats Pro work with Live Listen.
Phone call quality is reasonable with the Powerbeats Pro, seem to be slightly clearer than if you were using just hands free on the iPhone.
As the Powerbeats Pro has flexible ear hooks, no chance of having them just drop out of your ears.
The Powerbeats Pro are available in various colours - ivory, moss, navy, and black.
Simple control operation of Volume rocker and Beats button:
Hold down or keep pressing front of Volume rocker to increase volume.
Hold down or keep pressing back of Volume rocker to decrease volume.
Hold down Beats button to invoke Siri (remember Hey Siri).
Press beats button once to start/stop audio or answer/hang up a phone call.
Whilst playing music - Beats button twice for next track or 3 times for previous track.
As I wasn’t used to having a rubber ear hook over my ear or the ear piece more in my ear then the AirPods, has taken several days to get use to the feeling. As the Powerbeats Pro come with 3 extra sets of ear tips, important to find the correct size for comfort.
It took a bit of time of getting used to putting the Beats on, and positioning in the case. However, after a week or so don’t even think about either process.
The ear phones only slightly block sound coming in to your ear. Need to be aware of the size of the ear tip in use.
A bit disappointing that the Powerbeats Pro do not work with Find My iPhone, and unlike the AirPods, do not come up as a used device across Apple products.
The charging case of the Powerbeats Pro is not a wireless charging case.
Recording quality with the Powerbeats Pro is ok. However, no where near the clarity of the internal iPhone microphone.