Powerbeats Pro has powerful battery and good ear fixation
At this point in the championship, the fashion for wireless headsets is largely settled, thanks to the push that Apple's AirPods gave to the category. Numerous brands followed the trend, including rivals Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi. And the frisson for the segment is so great that even Apple itself has launched a rival to the AirPods. Or almost: since 2014, the iPhone maker that owns the Beats brand, has become famous for the headsets worn by football players. Now, the company founded by Steve Jobs has also put Beats to the game in the world of foninhos.
In December, Apple launched the AirPods 2 for R $ 2,250. Before that, in April 2019, Powerbeats Pro showed up here for R $ 2,150. With prices so similar and even a chip for equal voice recognition, is it possible to find something unique about Powerbeats and ignore the company's main phone? Well, we spent a lot of time with Powerbeats and the conclusion is that yes. Spoiler: if you are a fitness class, it will be yours!
One of the main points for any wireless headset, the Pro's battery stands out. Beats speaks of up to 9 hours of autonomy and the promise was fulfilled in our tests. In the first one, we spent 6 hours and 40 minutes over the course of an entire day listening to music and playing games. And they reached the end of the day with 42% (right ear) and 30% (left ear). What was most surprising was that, in the first 3 hours of playing music without any pause, only 25% of the battery was consumed.
On our second day, more than 7 hours, including three straight hours of playing, were insufficient to dry the load. If the idea spends even more time with the Pro in operation, Beats promises 24 hours of autonomy with the charge provided by the case that comes with the headphones. The extra food, after all, is fast: in 50 minutes, he loaded the pair that was completely unloaded.
The disadvantage is that to offer so much load, the bulky case. It is not possible to carry it in any pocket, especially in the smallest ones, so it is recommended to keep it in a bag.
To recharge the battery of the case, and the headphones, I need to connect it to a Lightning / USB cable, a solution that Apple makes clear to demonstrate that it owns Beats. Such a cable comes with the case, but for those who have the Android phone it becomes a small disadvantage. This implies charging another cable, in addition to the cell phone charger, in case the user wants to eliminate any possibility of running out of battery. It is good to make it clear: it is not possible to shelter the cable inside the case there is only room for the headphones, as they are also where they are recharged.
Design and comfort: not for every ear
Unlike many in-ear models, which fit only inside the ear, the Powerbeats Pro has a silicone rod that runs behind the ear. This hugging ensures a firmer fixation of the device, in addition to allowing a deeper fit of the speaker in the ear canal. The transition between the rod and the part of the housing that houses the components passes invisibly through the eyes. It is almost a unique piece with a design that does not leave the aspect of having a cigarette hanging from your ear, as with AirPods.
In a pre-pandemic world, we tested the Powerbeats Pro in different gym situations and it remained steady even when gravity played a lot against it. This, however, does not always guarantee comfort. After about 40 minutes, the ears started to ache in the areas of contact with the stem and with the eraser region of the ear canal.
Could it be a design flaw in my ears? Certainly. The discomfort did not pass even after weeks of use. I tested new sizes of the rubber in the ear canal to try to alleviate part of the problem as a whole, four different sizes are offered, but I had already found the one that is supposedly ideal. Conclusion: I discovered that ear leather does not lace and I prefer softer silicone rods, like those used by brands like Bose.
Powerbeats Pro works well in partnership with the iPhone
In-ear headphones, which fit inside the ear, usually lose quality at low frequencies, not to mention that most of the time the sound is stunted. On the other hand, Beats is recognized for recording its products. It was to be imagined, therefore, that the brand would pay attention to this issue in Powerbeats.
The mixed result. In fact, the company manages to bring a good design for the most serious tracks, which eliminates the vagabond font syndrome. However, the work affects the average frequencies, removing the drawing from them and giving the impression that the songs are flat, without shine. The accessory raises some high frequencies, but this is insufficient to add more brightness to the sound.
For some styles of pop music, the bass broth with small high-pitched touches does not affect the experience. Now, for the audio nerds, the quality can disappoint a little even though, it is worth remembering, we are talking about an in-ear headset.
Regarding noise cancellation, Powerbeats do not have the feature like AirPods 2, which, perhaps, is reflected in the small price difference. Given the fitting of the device with the ear, the power of the speakers and the audio equalization, I did not miss the feature, remembering that I tested the device in a full gym well before the covid-19 determined its closure (this means that there was a lot of noise in the environment!).
Powerbeats Pro can cause discomfort in some ears; sound falls short at mid frequencies
Pairing and features please
The line that divides the Beats of the AirPods is very tenuous after all, they are brothers accessories. Just like the headphones that bear the name of Apple, Powerbeats allows some physical commands on the device itself. A tap on the b pauses the audio; two strokes skip the track and three back strokes return to the music. That AirPods do, too.
What the proprietary headphones from Apple do not have are physical volume buttons on the body of the device each of the units in the pair has the feature. This ensures more agility to the Powerbeats. The headphones are also filled with sensors that work very well.
If you have them in your ears and take only one unit, Powerbeats pauses the audio playback and cuts off the connection with the device (but don't forget to disable the Bluetooth on your cell phone, if you don't want it to waste energy for good). The reverse is also true. The set of sensors also determines when the headphones go to sleep until the next time it is used it does not have an on / off button.
Operation with the iPhone, of course, smoother from the first instant. When opening the case, the phone already identifies and connects the headphones. To see the battery index of both the headphones and the case, just place the headphones in the open case and go to the iPhone search screen by sliding your finger on the home screen from left to right. On Android, you need to install a Beats app.
The connection to Android is also not immediate. In our tests, we need to open the Bluetooth menu of the cell phone and press the search button three times so that the headphones are identified. Both in the case of pairing and not in the battery level, there is nothing to spoil the experience. But, yes, it is easier with the company mobile phone.
And is it worth it?
The Powerbeats seems to be the ideal wireless headset for those who attend gyms or exercise in this regard, it certainly surpasses AirPods. Its fixation in the ear is good, the sound quality meets the majority of those who are not audio nerds and drums will not leave it at hand. The physical boats guarantee agility and operation with any cell phone, whether Apple or Android, smooth even though the treatment given to the company is even better for me.
It is, however, no longer comfortable after a short time of use, and would not be the desired accessory to spend the day working with it on the ear or to make a trip even because noise cancellation can be an important weapon in the plane. In that case, there are other models that can fulfill this role, including the AirPods themselves.