There are plenty of audio technology options offered by Apple, some of which are not even labeled by Apple itself, especially in the earbuds category. If your choice has come down to the AirPods Pro 2 and Beats Powerbeats Pro, you probably want to know the main differences between the two. Both are highly rated, each receiving 5/5 ratings from our review team.
The Apple AirPods Pro 2 is the newer pair. However, there are a few reasons you might want to skip this option and go with the Powerbeats Pro, which launched about three years earlier.
Even though both earbuds serve the same purpose, they target different audiences. Apple-branded earbuds are suitable for everyday casual listening. On the other hand, Powerbeats Pro is designed for use during workout routines and has a more secure fit.
AirPods Pro vs. Powerbeats Pro: price and release date
The Apple AirPods 2 were unveiled during Apple’s iPhone 14 event held on September 7th, 2022. They hit the market two weeks later, on September 23rd. On the other hand, the Powerbeats Pro by Beats was announced on April 3rd, 2019, and made available for purchase on May 10th of the same year.
The AirPods Pro 2 RRP is $249/£249, while the Powerbeats Pro are $250/(£270.
AirPods Pro vs. Powerbeats Pro: design
Improved comfort is a key feature of the first and second generation of Apple AirPods Pro. These earbuds come equipped with various sizes of silicone ear tips, setting them apart from regular AirPods. In addition, the newest pair has a sleek and compact design, with a round shape and shorter stem compared to the previous model. The carrying case is also more compact and now supports MagSafe, making charging more effortless. Regretfully, you can still only purchase the AirPods Pro in one colour: white.
The Powerbeats Pro boasts a stylish and athletic design with ear hooks that provide excellent security during intense exercise sessions. They are available in black, navy, and ivory. In 2020, Beats introduced four new springtime colours. However, they have since been discontinued.
AirPods Pro vs. Powerbeats Pro: features
The AirPods Pro 2 boasts an H2 chip that enhances its performance and battery life. Regarding the latter, the earbuds provide up to six hours of listening time on a single charge, while the case can hold up to 30 hours of listening or 24 hours of talk time. Furthermore, the fast-charge feature also allows for one hour of listening time with just five minutes in the case.
Digging deeper, the AirPods Pro 2 includes improved noise cancelation with the H2 chip, reducing unwanted noise so you can focus on music or calls. You can make subtle sound adjustments to match the genre of music you’re currently listening to with the adaptive EQ feature. Experience a 360-degree virtual soundstage with spatial audio and dynamic head tracking. Enjoy music from different directions, even while on the move. There’s also “Hey Siri” support for hand-free use. There are multiple touch controls on both earbuds.
More to enjoy
The device boasts Bluetooth 5.3 wireless technology and is designed to resist sweat and water (IPX4). Its advanced controls are powered by dual beam-forming microphones, an inward-facing microphone, a skin-detect sensor, accelerometers, and touch control.
The Powerbeats Pro earbuds are built to endure sweat and water damage. You can enjoy uninterrupted listening for up to nine hours on a single charge, thanks to its H1 chip. The included carrying case provides an additional 18 hours of battery life. In addition, with fast-charging technology, you can get 1.5 hours of playback in just five minutes.
Like the AirPods Pro 2, the Powerbeats Pro work with “Hey Siri,” providing hand-free control. There are also dual audio controls on the earbuds. In our Apple AirPods Pro 2 review, we noted the sound was “beefier and punchier” than the original version. Sound cancellation was also improved. However, we were less impressed with the earbuds’ head-tracking spatial audio.
AirPods Pro vs. Powerbeats Pro: sound quality
In our review, we noted the sound was “beefier and punchier” than what was found on the original version. Sound cancellation was also improved. It was so much improved “you actually need to be careful walking down the street with full cancellation (versus transparency) switched on. It’s actually too good and you end up blocking out sounds you should be hearing.” We were less impressed with the earbuds’ head-tracking spatial audio, saying “we’d rather listen without.”
For the Powerbeats Pro, we found a “well-rounded and refined soundscape” and one that “has grown up” from previous Beats earbuds. We continued: “The low end theory remains, it’s just the bass is no longer so pronounced or as dominating meaning mids and highs don’t feel suffocated. Boss by Little Simz comes alive on these buds – just as they should on a pair of Beats – but the intentional distorted bass riffs are tempered by a delicate dealing of the retro synths.”
Despite their differences, a notable feature exclusive to Apple is present in the AirPods Pro 2 and Powerbeats Pro: effortless pairing. Simply bring the earbuds near a compatible iPhone or iPad to connect, followed by confirming the pairing. Additionally, these devices are compatible with Android smartphones through Bluetooth. Although the pairing process may not be as straightforward, it is still functional. Better still, once you pair them to one Apple device, they’re automatically paired to any device using the same Apple ID.
AirPod Pro 2 and Powerbeats Pro are excellent products that will provide you with years of satisfaction. The AirPod Pro 2, being the newer model, offers more advanced features. These include the Apple H2 chip and active noise cancelation. On the other hand, the Powerbeats Pro has longer battery life, comes in various colours, and is more suitable for outdoor use.
Which should you buy?
AirPod Pro 2 and Powerbeats Pro are excellent products that will provide you with years of satisfaction. The AirPod Pro 2, being the newer model, offers more advanced features, such as the Apple H2 chip and active noise cancelation. On the other hand, the Powerbeats Pro has longer battery life, comes in various colours, and is more suitable for outdoor use.
If you need to buy earbuds right now, the AirPods Pro 2 is the best choice in our opinion. However, if you are leaning toward the Powerbeats Pro and can wait, do so. There could be a next-generation model announced before the end of the year —although there are no guarantees that will happen. Expect a Powerbeats Pro 2 to include nearly the same features as the AirPods Pro 2, including active noise cancelation. Better still, it will no doubt come in more than one colour.