A second article about the Powerbeats Pro, Apple’s alternative to the Airpod 2

https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/4/3/18292853/beats-powerbeats-pro-true-wireless-earbuds-announced-airpods

Apple’s first real competitor to AirPods has finally arrived: Beats Powerbeats Pro. Apple has owned Beats since 2014, of course, which explains much of the magic behind the latest truly wireless earphones.

So what are Powerbeats Pro? A serious evolution of the wireless-but-with-a-cord version of Powerbeats earphones. Beats describes Powerbeats Pro as ‘totally wireless’, replacing the microUSB-charged corded hardware with a totally cordless version that has its own Lightning-powered charging case.

Powerbeats Pro also retains the connectivity and intelligence of Apple’s new AirPods thanks to the Apple-designed H1 chip inside, driving reliable wireless connectivity and even voice-activated “Hey Siri” control. There’s more to Powerbeats Pro too…

Powerbeats Pro features

  • Color options: black, ivory, navy, and moss
  • Designed for different ear shapes and high intensity activity thanks to “four sizes of ear tips and a redesigned, adjustable earhook”
  • Rated for sweat and water resistance
  • Up to 4 hours longer battery life than AirPods without recharging with “up to 9 hours of listening time and more than 24 hours of combined playback with the magnetic closure case”

Color choices including black (!!!), higher noise isolation with in-ear tips, and even longer battery life. In short, as I suggested in my AirPods 2 review yesterday:

[…]the reported and leaked Beats Powerbeats Pro truly wireless headphones look like a dream come true for AirPods fans who want a little more oomph out of the otherwise stellar AirPods experience.

Powerbeats Pro colors

AirPods-inspired

Like AirPods and Powerbeats3, the new Powerbeats Pro pair instantly with iPhones and pairing syncs to iCloud-connected devices including iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch without pairing on each device (you can still pair manually with Android).

In terms of portability, AirPods are still king, but Beats says the new Powerbeats Pro are “23 percent smaller than its predecessor and 17 percent lighter.” Beats promises an upgraded experience sonically too:

Completely re-engineered from the inside out, the earphones boast an upgraded linear piston driver that leverages an efficient, pressurized airflow to create a powerful acoustic response in a small package. Enhanced sound quality means incredibly low distortion and great dynamic range across the entire frequency curve.

Powerbeats Pro are also the first Beats earphones to use enhanced technology for improving phone call quality:

Powerbeats Pro delivers incredible voice performance for phone calls. A first for Beats, a speech-detecting accelerometer in each earbud and two beam-forming microphones per side target your voice and filter out external sounds such as wind and ambient noise. This means you can answer a quick mid-workout call at the gym with clarity and confidence.

These are also the first Beats to ditch the power button in favor of AirPods-style power management:

No power button means no worries. Powerbeats Pro earphones power on when taken out of the case and power off (and charge) when placed inside. Motion accelerometers detect when the earphones are idle and not in use, automatically entering them into sleep mode.

Hardware control

And even with Apple’s H1 chip and “Hey Siri” voice control, Powerbeats Pro retain physical buttons for controlling volume and track playback, mirrored on each earphone so easy access. The only downside? No wireless charging for powering the magnetic closure case; AirPods now ship with an optional wireless charging case for $80 separately or $40 premium.

Powerbeats Pro availability

All that power will come with a slight price premium over Powerbeats3 ($199) and AirPods ($159-$199) when Powerbeats Pro launch in May on Apple.com and in Apple Stores for $249.95. Beats says Powerbeats Pro will debut in the US and across 20 other countries to start, followed by more countries and regions later this summer and fall. Stay tuned for a full review closer to launch!

Here’s the promo video and official announcement:

Press release

BEATS UNVEILS POWERBEATS PRO: TOTALLY WIRELESS, HIGH-PERFORMANCE EARPHONES

CULVER CITY—April 3, 2019—Beats by Dr. Dre (Beats) today introduces Powerbeats Pro, completely wireless earphones that deliver powerful sound for the world’s most passionate music lovers and motivated athletes. The result of a deep integration between Beats and Apple engineering, Powerbeats Pro features industry-leading battery life, advanced functionality, reliable connectivity, exceptional fit via the signature earhook design and beautiful fidelity.

“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.”

SOUND Sound was the highest priority in the development of Powerbeats Pro. Completely re-engineered from the inside out, the earphones boast an upgraded linear piston driver that leverages an efficient, pressurized airflow to create a powerful acoustic response in a small package. Enhanced sound quality means incredibly low distortion and great dynamic range across the entire frequency curve.

Fit A great solution for comfort, fit and stability was paramount to Powerbeats Pro because of its direct impact on sound delivery. To achieve the best possible fit on the widest array of ears, over 20 configurations were electronically modeled and physically tested. The result is a completely new, ergonomically angled acoustic housing that nests comfortably in the concha bowl of the ear with an off- axis nozzle. It comes with four sizes of ear tips and a redesigned, adjustable earhook—an iconic part of the Powerbeats line since its launch in 2010.

Powerbeats Pro is 23 percent smaller than its predecessor and 17 percent lighter. The lightweight design is also sweat- and water-resistant—built and reinforced for optimal performance.

FUNCTIONALITY Powerbeats Pro features a fully functional, ambidextrous design with identical, physical volume and track controls on each earbud. This means full control over your music and phone calls, regardless of whether you use the left, right or both earbuds.

Long- and short-range optical sensors drive automatic play/pause and call handling when the earphones are placed in or removed from your ears.

Telephony Powerbeats Pro delivers incredible voice performance for phone calls. A first for Beats, a speech- detecting accelerometer in each earbud and two beam-forming microphones per side target your voice and filter out external sounds such as wind and ambient noise. This means you can answer a quick mid-workout call at the gym with clarity and confidence.

Battery Life Each earbud has up to 9 hours of listening time and more than 24 hours of combined playback with the magnetic closure case.2 With Fast Fuel, you get 1.5 hours of playback after just 5 minutes of charging and up to 4.5 hours after 15 minutes of charging.

No power button means no worries. Powerbeats Pro earphones power on when taken out of the case and power off (and charge) when placed inside. Motion accelerometers detect when the earphones are idle and not in use, automatically entering them into sleep mode.

CONNECTIVITY Class 1 Bluetooth® technology offers extended range and exceptional cross-body performance, meaning fewer dropouts. Each earbud independently connects to your device, so you can choose to use one or both. For example, you might wear both earbuds while you’re running on the treadmill at the gym but prefer one earbud at the office for phone calls throughout the day. There’s a Powerbeats Pro configuration for every scenario.

Compatibility Setup made easy. Pairing is done via the Powerbeats Pro case—simply opening the lid for the first time prompts pairing mode. Powerbeats Pro is automatically paired with any of your supported devices that are signed in to your iCloud account.

Powerbeats Pro is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Apple H1 Chip Simply say “Hey Siri” for voice-activated assistance without having to reach for your iPhone.4 Powered by the new Apple H1 chip, Powerbeats Pro delivers a faster and more stable wireless connection to your devices.

Pricing and Availability • Powerbeats Pro will come in Black, Ivory, Moss and Navy for $249.95 (US). • Availability will begin in May from apple.com and Apple Stores in the US and more than 20 additional countries and regions, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. • Additional countries and regions coming later this summer/fall.

About Beats Beats by Dr. Dre (Beats) is a leading audio brand founded in 2006 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Through its family of premium consumer headphones, earphones and speakers, Beats has introduced an entirely new generation to the possibilities of premium sound entertainment. The brand’s continued success helps bring the energy, emotion and excitement of playback in the recording studio back to the listening experience for music lovers worldwide. Beats was acquired by Apple Inc. in July 2014.

© 2019 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Beats and the b logo are trademarks of Beats Electronics, LLC. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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