Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 4: Which should you buy?

Powerbeats Pro
Powerbeats Pro (Image credit: Beats)

The Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 offer many similar features as well as some very distinct differences. What makes one better than the other, and which one is the best one for you? Let's find out.

Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 4: The similarities

If the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 sound like very similar devices, that's because they are. So, should you spend an extra $100 on the Powerbeats Pro, or should you save some money and give up some features? Let's take a look.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Powerbeats ProPowerbeats 4
DesignWireless Over-Ear HooksWired Over-Ear Hooks
Wireless ChargingNoNo
Wired ChargingLightningLightning
Charging CaseYesNo
Continuous Battery LifeUp to 9 hoursUp to 15 hours
Active Noise CancellationNoNo
Transparency ModeNoNo
Choice of Colors6 Colors3 Colors
Integrated On-Ear ControlsBoth EarsRight Ear Only
IXP4 Water ResistantYesYes

Both the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 feature the same great sound and an over-ear hook design. They both have the Apple H1 chip, which allows for easy pairing and device switching on Apple devices. It also allows for hands-free "Hey Siri" control. Both feature IPX4 sweat and water resistance, so you can work out and sweat without worry. However, neither set of earphones contain wireless charging or active noise cancellation. Now that we've covered the similarities, let's look at what sets these two apart.

Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 4: Wire or wireless?

The most significant visual difference between the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 is the wire that connects the Powerbeats 4's earbuds. The Powerbeats Pro gives you truly wireless use. There are no wires at all.

Although the Powerbeats 4 are not tethered to your device with a wire, making them technically wireless, the earbuds are connected by a wire. In regular use, the wire could get twisted, especially when stuffed in your pocket or bag. Since neither set of earbuds contains a transparency mode, you may want to use it with only one ear when you are out for a run or walk. The Powerbeats 4 has a disadvantage here; if you want to use only one, the other will have to dangle.

Both the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 contain on-ear controls, but only the Powerbeats Pro has the same controls on both ears. Each ear has dedicated volume controls. You press the "beats" button to answer calls, play and pause your music, or activate "Hey Siri." This allows you to use the Powerbeats Pro with one ear and have the same controls no matter with ear you wear.

In contrast, the Powerbeats 4 has controls only on the right ear. Just having the earbuds wired makes them difficult to use in only one ear, but since the controls are only in the right ear, you can't just wear the left earbud and use all of the features.

Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 4: Plenty of juice and style

Powerbeats Pro

Powerbeats Pro (Image credit: iMore)

On the surface, the Powerbeats 4 with up to 15 hours of battery life looks like they certainly beat out the Powerbeats Pro's 9 hours of battery life. However, the Powerbeats Pro come with a charging case that will give you more than 24 hours of listening time while away from an outlet. A five-minute fast charge in this case will give you 1.5 hours of use. The Powerbeats 4 do not have a charging case; they must be charged directly with a lightning cable. If the battery dies while you are away from an outlet, you are out of luck.

However, be aware that the charging case for the Powerbeats Pro is not a pocketable size. These are not AirPods Pro that you can slip into your pocket and move about your day. The case is rather large and bulky, so you will need to have a bag with you to take along the case. Also, inserting the Powerbeats Pro into the case can be a little tricky at first, as the earbuds and magnets have to be perfectly aligned for them to be seated properly.

When it comes to look, you get your choice of colors with both, so you can pick your favorite. However, the Powerbeats Pro currently comes in six colors: black, ivory, navy, glacier blue, cloud pink, and lava red. You may also be able to find past colors such as moss and spring yellow.

The Powerbeats 4 choices are much more limited, but you will be happy if you want black, white, or red.

Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 4: Which should you buy?

The choice between the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 comes down to budget and features. If you have the extra $100 to spend, you will get truly wireless earbuds, on-ear controls on both ears, a charging case that will get you 24 hours of listening time, and your pick of color. This makes the Powerbeats Pro the winner for me.

If you are on a tighter budget, the Powerbeats 4 is still a great choice, as you will get the same sound and basic features as the Powerbeats Pro for less. If found on sale, it can be a great value, just without all of the advanced Pro features.

Mark Goldschmitt

**Mark Goldschmitt** is the father of three boys and loves anything Apple. Born and raised in Queens, NY, and currently residing on Long Island, Mark is a lifelong New York Mets fan. {.end}