True wireless for workouts
The PowerBeats Pro is a great choice for workout enthusiasts who want a true wireless earbud experience. The around-ear design is snug and secure, though it may cause some issues for those who wear glasses. It also has the new H1 headphone chip by Apple for faster connecting and voice-activated "Hey, Siri." Unfortunately, unlike the new AirPods, there is no wireless charging for the PowerBeats Pro Charging Case.
- Snug and secure around-ear design with four ear tip sizes
- No neck string, multiple solid color options
- Faster to connect and has voice-controlled "Hey, Sir" with H1 chip
- Battery life up to 9 hours
- Playback button controls along with Play/Pause sensors
- No wireless charging case, still uses Lightning
- Fairly expensive
- Around-ear design isn't comfortable for eyeglasses
Everything's more fun with color
The PowerBeats 3 have excellent battery life that will last pretty much all day before you need to charge again. While the neck string does make it harder to lose your PowerBeats3, it's still a neck string and can be a bit cumbersome to deal with, limiting your wireless earbud freedom. The W1 chip is fast and gives you seamless switching between Apple devices, and you can activate Siri with a push of a button on the in-line remote.
- Comes in a lot of different colors
- Up to 12 hours of battery life
- Neck string makes it harder to lose, earhooks provide secure fit
- Uses Apple's W1 chip for seamless setup and switching between Apple devices
- In-line RemoteTalk control lets you control music and activate Siri
- Neck string can be cumbersome
- The carrying case does not charge the PowerBeats3
- Around-ear hook design also gets in the way for glass wearers
- No voice-activated "Hey, Siri" or Play/Pause sensors
While the PowerBeats3 and PowerBeats Pro have the same moniker, they're very different from each other. Let's take a closer look.
Let's break it down
The PowerBeats3 is the older product here, but it's still a good option for those who need a wireless pair of earbuds for exercising. However, the new PowerBeats Pro exceed them in almost every way.
|Header Cell - Column 0||PowerBeats Pro||PowerBeats3|
|Design||Around-ear, no wires||Around-ear hook design with neck string|
|Colors||Ivory, Black, Moss, Navy||Pop Indigo, Pop Magenta, Pop Blue, Pop Magenta, and limited edition colors|
|Chip||New H1||Old W1|
|Battery life||Up to 9 hours||Up to 12 hours|
|Auto On/Off sensors||Yes||No|
|How fast does it charge?||5 minutes gets you 1.5 hours of playback||5 minute charge nets 1 hour|
|"Hey, Siri" Support||Voice-activated||Requires RemoteTalk|
|Water and sweat resistant||Yes||Yes|
While both the PowerBeats Pro and PowerBeats3 are wireless, the latter uses a neck string to connect to the two earbuds together, which may be annoying to some. However, the PowerBeats Pro is wireless without any neck strings, so you have complete freedom.
Plus, there are Play/Pause sensors in the PowerBeats Pro, so it automatically starts or pauses your music by determining when they're in your ear or not. The Auto On/Off sensor also puts your earbuds into standby when they're idle for a certain amount of time.
The PowerBeats Pro also contains Apple's latest and greatest headphone chip, the H1, which is also in the new AirPods 2. This means even faster connecting and seamless switching between Apple devices, and you can activate "Hey, Siri" with just your voice. The PowerBeats3 only has the older W1 chip, so it's not as fast at connecting and switching as the H1. Also, you can only bring up "Hey, Siri" by pushing a button on the RemoteTalk control.
When it comes to charging, the PowerBeats Pro is also superior. The carrying case that it comes in is also how you charge up your earbuds. All you need to do is drop them into the case, which holds another 24-hours of charge capacity on it's own, and plug the case in with a Lightning cable. It's much more streamlined than the PowerBeats3, where you plug in the micro USB cable into the earbuds themselves.
However, while the PowerBeats3 has better battery life at 12 hours, and the PowerBeats Pro only lasts up to 9 hours, the latter more than makes up for it with the charging case. It's much more convenient to drop your earbuds into a case that holds another 24 hours of charging capacity than it is to plug your earbuds into a micro USB cable. Plus, that 9-hour battery life isn't anything to scoff at, when other true wireless buds, such as AirPods and Jabra Elite 65t, usually only last around 5 hours on a single charge.
Overall, we think the PowerBeats Pro are a worthy successor to the PowerBeats3, and a great alternative to even AirPods 2 due to the more secure and comfortable fit of the around-ear design (unless you wear glasses). The battery life is also very impressive compared to the competition. This is a true wireless earbud experience for the workout enthusiasts.
True wireless earbuds for working out
The PowerBeats Pro is a game-changer in the wireless earbud market for the workout enthusiasts. It has a secure fit that you can adjust with different sized silicone ear tips, and there's no neck string. It uses Apple's H1 chip for faster connecting and switching between devices, voice-controlled "Hey, Siri," and Auto On/Off and Play/Pause sensors. The charging case can hold another 24 hours of charge, and it works with any Lightning cable. The PowerBeats Pro will last about 9 hours on a single charge.
A good budget pick
Still a great option for working out
The PowerBeats3 are still a good, affordable option for those who need wireless earbuds for workouts. It uses the W1 chip by Apple for seamless connecting and switching between Apple devices, and you can use Siri with RemoteTalk. The battery lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge, and you can get another hour of playback with just a quick 5-minute charge.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.