PowerBeats Pro vs BeatsX: Which should you buy?

PowerBeats Pro
PowerBeats Pro

PowerBeats Pro and BeatsX are both made by Apple's Beats. However, this is where their similarities end. Time has provided the former with better specs than the older product. Still, there's a considerable price difference between the two which many will consider.

Breaking down the differences

In one corner you have truly wireless earphones that share the same H1 chip as the recently released AirPods 2 earphones. In the other is a pair of headsets that rely on traditional inline controls and include a neck cord.

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Header Cell - Column 0 PowerBeats ProBeatsX
Battery life9 hours, 24 hours with charging case8 hours
Charging caseYesNo
Fast charge5 mins = 90 minutes5 mins = 2 hours
Custom fitYesYes
Auto pauseYesNo
Hey, Siri (handsfree)YesNo
Noise isolationYesYes
ReleasedMay 2019February 2017

Despite its higher price, we recommend the more expensive and newer PowerBeats Pro over the BeatsX. Our decision is based on three factors: convenience, voice control, and battery life.

The PowerBeats Pro earphones are truly wireless in that they don't rely on cords to get the job done. In doing so, they are easier to use, as they wrap around your ears (like a hook) for a comfortable and secure fit. With no cords, the PowerBeats Pro offers a modest footprint when traveling in the chargeable carrying case. Speaking of that chargeable case, it provides 24 hours of combined playback courtesy. The BeatX only offers 8 hours in total and doesn't include a charging case. The BeatsX earphones are also comfortable and come with different sized ear tips, but because they include a Flex-Form neck cord, are much bulkier.

In recent years, Apple has put a lot of its resources into making Siri a better voice assistant. Part of this transformation has included adding the ability to activate Siri with only your voice on key products such as Apple Watch, AirPods 2, and now, PowerBeats Pro. Just say "Hey Siri" to get started. For this to be possible on the PowerBeats Pro, Apple has installed the new H1 chip that's also on the AirPods 2. This chip makes it quicker to pair the earphones with other Apple devices, maintain the Bluetooth connection, and more.

With the older W1 chip, the BeatX earphones can't do this. Activating Siri on the BeatsX means pushing a button on the inline controls, which is much less convenient.

Did we also mention PowerBeats Pro are sweat and water resistant, while the BeatX are not?

Beyond this, both products include similar features. Each product, for example, provides noise isolation and are available in multiple colors, although they are different. The PowerBeats Pro comes with ear tips in four size options, just like the BeatsX. Having different tip options allows for a customized fit.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.