Following the second generation AirPods release, Apple has officially unveiled the new Powerbeats Pro headphones. They come with sweat and water resistance, longer battery, an all new design and improved sound quality.
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Apple has owned the Beats brand since 2014. The new headphones are an evolution of the Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones.
Just like the AirPods, the Powerbeats Pro eliminate the neck cord connecting the left and right buds and throw a wireless charging case into the mix. Another similarity is the H1 chip for more power, faster syncing and pairing between devices, as well as “Hey Siri” digital assistant support.
Beats has carried over the earhook design from the previous generation, but the new version is 23% smaller and 17% lighter. The buds lose the power button. Instead they’ll spring to life when taken out of the charging case and power off when put back in. Pulling them out of your ear will pause playback. Physical buttons for controlling volume and track playback are still there, on each earphone f0r easy access.
There are four sizes of ear tips to choose from which should ensure they stay in place during high intensity activity. The buds are not fully water-proof but they are sweat and water resistant.
Another improvement over the previous generation is the voice enhancing technology. The headphones fit a speech-detecting accelerometer in each earbud and two beam-forming microphones per side. These combine to isolate your voice and filter out external noise. Ideal for a quick call on the go.
Beats says sound was the highest priority in the development of Powerbeats Pro. Users can expect a more powerful acoustic response, low distortion and great dynamic range across the entire frequency curve.
Battery life is pretty good, too. On their own the buds offer up to 9 hours of playback. This climbs to 24 hours with the charging case. Unlike the Airpods, the magnetic closure case doesn’t support Qi wireless charging. The buds support the Beats’ Fast Fuel tech which means 5 minutes of charging will enable 1.5 hours of playback and 15 minutes up to 4.5 hours.
“Powerbeats Pro is a harmonious blend of premium sound, fit and functionality. Powerbeats are already the #1 fitness headphones in the world and they are now untethered, with all the benefits of the Apple H1 chip,” said Luke Wood, president of Beats.
“No longer do you have to choose between performance and practicality—it delivers the best on both fronts.”
The Powerbeats Pro headphones are scheduled to go on sale in May in the US and 20 countries. Other countries and regions will follow soon after. The buds will be offered in four colour variants (black, ivory, navy, and moss). They will carry a $250 price tag, quite a bit more than the $160 AirPods.
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