How to control playback on the PowerBeats Pro

Powerbeats Pro are a lot like souped-up AirPods. They have longer battery life, support "Hey Siri," and are actually in-ear earphones. And unlike AirPods, the Powerbeats Pro have physical controls, so controlling audio playback and volume is different than on AirPods. You're not forced to rely on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch for control.

Products Used In This Guide

How to control audio playback on the Powerbeats Pro

  1. Press the Beats "b" logo on the side of either the left or right earphone, known on the Powerbeats Pro as the MFD button, to pause or resume audio playback on your connected device.
  2. Double-press the MFD button to skip to the next track or skip forward in a podcast.
  3. Triple-press the MFD button to go back to the previous track or skip back in a podcast.
  4. Press and hold the MFD button to activate Siri.
  5. Press the volume rocker on the top of the Powerbeats Pro to adjust the volume up or down. Pressing the front half of the rocker increases volume, while the back half decreases volume

The physical buttons of the Powerbeats Pro offer you more control options than you have on AirPods, letting you control basic functions without invoking Siri. Siri can be useful, but for many, quickly tapping the volume rocker is going to be a lot better than saying, "Hey Siri, volume up."

How to control audio playback on the Powerbeats Pro with Siri

Controlling playback with Siri is a relatively simple matter, and works just like it does with any other headphone or device, except you can invoke Siri without using your hands if you so choose.

  1. Press and hold the MFD button to activate Siri, or say "Hey Siri" to activate Siri.
  2. Say something like "Play my Favorites Mix," "Play Love is Dead," or "Play Vector" to play a playlist, album, podcast, or other pieces of media.
  3. Say "Volume up" or "Volume Down" to raise and lower the volume.
  4. Say something like "Skip this song" or "Go back" to sky forward and back between songs.
  5. If you're listening to a podcast, you can say things like "Skip forward 10 seconds" or "Jump back 30 seconds" to seek through the episode.
  6. Also, for podcasts, you can set the playback speed by saying something like "Play twice as fast."

When it comes to more advanced functions like starting a playlist, the Powerbeats Pro's physical controls just won't cut it. Siri shines here, and the headphones pick up your voice reasonably clearly.

Pick up that Beat(s)

These are the mandatory or core equipment selections. Optional or ancillary equipment will follow.

The Powerbeats Pro are powered by the same H1 chip found in the second-generation AirPods. They support both "Hey Siri" and easy pairing and switching between Apple devices signed in to the same iCloud account. In addition to their in-ear nature, the ear hooks allow them to remain securely in your ears and the sweat resistance.

Other things to pick up

If you're picking up Powerbeats Pro, you might also take a look at these products that could enhance your experience.

Westone Wax Loop

(Image credit: Amazon)

Westone Wax Loop ($5 at Amazon)

This tool is purpose-built to remove earwax from headphone ear tips, and it'll serve you well with the Powerbeats Pro.

Comply Foam eartips

(Image credit: Amazon)

Comply Sport Memory Foam eartips ($20 at Amazon)

If you don't like the Beats tips, check out these comfortable memory foam replacement tips from Comply.

Torotop Silicone Case

(Image credit: Amazon)

Torotop Silicone Case ($10 at Amazon)

Keep your Powerbeats Pro even safer with this protective layer that fits around the charging case, complete with a carabiner for easily clipping it somewhere.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.