Beats Powerbeats2 (RM1,030)
What’s the story?
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had buds fall (or tugged) out of your ears during exercise? Yes, us too.
Beats sympathizes and, to show some compassion, has come up with these sport-friendly in-ears. Bluetooth playback means no wires (except from the short, discreet one linking the two buds together), and ear hooks make sure they stay burrowed deep.
In fact, Beats seems to have thought of everything: they’re a true featherweight (a pinky-finger-liftable 24g) and sweat and water-resistant – though we wouldn’t swim lengths wearing them. Even the in-line remote has a ‘no-slip’ moulding for extra grip, so you’ll never miss a meal call from your mum again. The hard shell carry case, the size of a large pebble, won’t take up room in your man bag, nor will the dinky USB charging cable.
It goes without saying that the Powerbeats2 look every bit the fashion accessory – they are a pair of Beats, after all. The logo is big enough to catch the judgmental eyes of passers by, and they come in everything from two-tone black and red or yellow and grey to single green, pink and blue. Those who mean business can get straight up black or white.
There’s a change of buds to suit your clappers, and we reckon they’ll sit tight and comfy for marathon duration. The 6 hour battery wouldn’t get in the way, although that’s still a little stingy – remember that, unlike with on-ears, it’s game over when the juice is up.
Getting us in the mood is Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger (if it’s good enough for Rocky…) and the Powerbeats2s bask in the brand’s signature sound: show-stealingly rich bass and clear vocals. They have the clarity and energy to take the punchbag bassline right to you, and the knockout riff has enough punch to kick you into gear.
They take no prisoners; any Eminem rap will bully you into getting your legs going. We’d trade some aggressiveness for an ounce of finesse and subtlety, though – both of which are nowhere to be seen. Highs lack detail and sparkle too. A case of good but not good enough? You betcha.
For £170, the price of a healthy six-month gym membership, we’d take our chances with a less bank-breaking, more sound-centric pair.