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Powerbeats Pro wire-free earphones review – superb audio and a comfortable design

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  • VERDICT

The Powerbeats Pro earphones are comfortable, well-designed and easy to use. They offer superb audio and rank as one of the best wire-free earphones you can buy. They have long battery performance but also one of the largest charging cases as well.

Beats by Dr Dre has cut the cord with the new Powerbeats Pro and offer a wire-free way for users to enjoy their music and audio content in high quality anywhere.

The product brings together the strengths of Beats audio know-how and design as well as Apple engineering (Apple owns Beats remember?) and the result is an impressive pair of earphones that provide a comfortable and high-quality experience.

On the design side – the Powerbeats Pro have the traditional earhook that’s been redesigned and that’s also adjustable for a nice fit.

The actual earbud itself – the part that actually goes in your ear – has also be reconstructed and has an angled acoustic housing that sits in the concha bowl of your ear rather than being jammed into your ear canal.

As a result the device is 23 per cent smaller and 17 per cent lighter than its predecessor.

They are light and comfortable and can be worn for hours at a time.

The earhooks slips nicely over your ears and actually take the weight of the earbuds rather than having to force them further into your ears to keep them secure.

They are really easy to put on as well.

When you grab them out of the charging case, you simply put them gently into your ears and twist them so the earhook goes over your ear and you’re good to go.

Each earbud is also independently functional – in other words – they both have volume and track controls so you have total control whether you’re right or left handed.

In fact they will also still work with just either one in your ear.

What you won’t find though is a power button.

The earphones power up automatically when they are taken out of the case and turn off again when they are placed back inside.

The benefits of including Apple’s H1 chip are apparent especially if you’re pairing the Powerbeats Pro to an iPhone.

As soon as you open the charging case for the first time, an image appears on the iPhone’s screen offering to connect the earphones and also add it to your iCloud profile so it’s ready to pair on any other Apple devices synched with your iCloud account.

iPhone users also have the advantage of “Hey Siri” so you can just summon the voice-activated assistant when you need to by just speaking.

But don’t worry you Android users, they still pair just fine via Bluetooth to other smartphones, tablets and computers. It just takes slightly longer – but the result is the same.

On the audio side, the Powerbeats Pro earphones are amazing.

It’s hard to believe that such a textured and bold sound could come from something so small.

Our music sounded finely balanced and clear and it also had one thing Beats is famous for – extraordinary bass and that’s exactly what you get with the Powerbeats Pro.

Whether you’re listening to classical, rap, pop, hard rock or heavy metal – the Powerbeats Pro handles them all with ease and adjusts on the fly.

There is no companion app with an equaliser or modes – but you don’t actually need it.

The earphones do all the heavy lifting for you and supply great sound.

And they are also loud enough to allow you to hear your content clearly even in high noise areas like a busy road or a train station.

But they also allow users to hear the outside as well because they don’t seal your ear or have any noise cancellation in case you’re using them on a run or a walk with traffic close by.

They are easily one of the best sounding wire-free earphones we’ve ever listened to.

And they’re not just handy to hear your music in superior quality.

They’ve also been designed to offer superior voice quality for phone calls as well.

The people we spoke to said the quality was as good as talking into our phone.

It achieves this with a feature that is new to Beats – a speech-detecting accelerometer in each earbud and two beam-forming microphones on each side that single out your voice but still blocks out external noises like wind and other ambient sound.

Battery life is also impressive at about nine hours on a single charge.

And the good news is the charging case can provide a total of 24 hours of power.

Each time the earphones are placed back inside the case, they are charging.

The case itself closes magnetically and can be charged using a Lightning cable – the same cable that charges your iPhone.

It also has a feature called Fast Fuel which can provide 1.5 hours of playback after just five minutes of charge time.

And if you charge the Powerbeats Pro for 15 minutes that will get you 4.5 hours of listening time.

Now the case is a touch on the large side, much larger than the charging case that comes with the Apple AirPods.

They are bit too big to carry in your pocket so if you’re out all day and require a charge you need to put them in a bag – or a large pocket in your pants or jacket.

When we used the Powerbeats Pro earphones, it was for a walk or run and we were back an hour later.

But if you’re on the go all day you need to work out the best way to carry the larger case so you can recharge the earbuds on the go.

The Beats by Dr Dre Powerbeats Pro earphones are available now in four colours – Black, Ivory, Moss and Navy. They are priced at $349.95.

VERDICT

The Powerbeats Pro earphones are comfortable, well-designed and easy to use. They offer superb audio and rank as one of the best wire-free earphones you can buy. They have long battery performance but also one of the largest charging cases as well.