Apple-owned Beats’ latest pair of wireless headphones come in the form of the Powerbeats Pro, which offer many of the same features as the second generation of Apple’s AirPods and the latest AirPods Pro.
To help you work out which wireless headphones might be the right ones for you, we’ve compared the Beats Powerbeats Pro against the AirPods 2 and the AirPods Pro. You can also read how the AirPods compare to each other if you don’t think the Beats are for you.
What’s the same?
- H1 chip for simple setup with Apple devices
- Automatic ear recognition
- Use one or two
- Hey Siri support on iOS devices
- Answer calls
The Apple AirPods 2, AirPods Pro and the Beats Powerbeats Pro all run on the H1 chip and they all offer one-tap setup with Apple devices. The AirPods and the Powerbeats Pro will be automatically recognised by an Apple device when you open their charging case. After one tap, all headphones will connect seamlessly across any other Apple devices associated with your Apple ID.
All headphones will also automatically pause when they are taken out of your ear, and play when they are put back in and you can opt to wear one AirPod or one Powerbeats Pro, or both. They also all offer Hey Siri support and it’s possible to answer calls on all pairs of headphones too without touching your phone.
What’s different between Beats Powerbeats Pro and Apple AirPods Pro?
The Apple AirPods 2 start at $159 or £159 for the standard charging case. This price increases to $199 or £199 for the AirPods with the wireless charging case.
The Beats Powerbeats Pro cost £219.95.
The Apple AirPods Pro cost $249 or £249 and they come with a wireless charging case as standard.
Both pairs of Apple AirPods and the Beats Powerbeats Pro look completely different. The Beats headphones have a sportier look and they feature an adjustable ear hook, which makes them more secure for working out compared to the AirPods 2 especially. They have physical controls at the top of each ear piece and the “b” can be pushed for activating voice control.
The AirPods 2 have a small earpiece with a stem below, resembling a very small electric toothbrush head. They have no physical controls on them, with volume controlled via the connected device instead. You can double tap the side for to play/pause a track, skip a track, go back a track or launch Siri though – depending on what you have setup.
The AirPods Pro look similar to the AirPods 2 but they have a silicone ear tip – which comes in three sizes – and they have a smaller stem. There are no physical controls again but the stem has a force sensor built in that allows for more controls than the AirPods 2, such as pressing and holding to switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes.
The Apple AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro are available in white only. The Beats Powerbeats Pro come in four colours comprising, Black, Ivory, Moss and Navy.
Apple doesn’t say the AirPods 2 are sweat or water resistant, though we’ve worn them running and we haven’t had any issues. The AirPods Pro are sweat and water resistant with an IP rating of IPX4.
Beats says the Powerbeats Pro are sweat and water resistant, though it doesn’t provide an official IP rating.
The second generation of Apple AirPods promise three hours of talk time and five hours of listening time, which is similar to the AirPods Pro that claim 3.5 hours of talk time and 4.5 hours of listening time. The Beats Powerbeats Pro promise a huge nine hours of battery life though.
All headphones being compared here come in a charging case that offers multiple charges up to 24 hours of listening time. These charging cases are all charged via Lightning. The AirPods 2 also have the option of a wireless charging case, though this costs extra, while the AirPods Pro come with a wireless charging case as standard.
The AirPods 2 don’t offer anything too fancy when it comes to audio quality, though they are much better than the standard wired options that come with iPhones.
The AirPods Pro have Active Noise Cancellation on board though, as well as Adaptive EQ. They also have a Transparency mode that allows you to hear your surroundings, whilst still listening to your favourite tracks.
The Beats Powerbeats Pro have dynamic sound and noise isolation on board.
Declining a call
While it is possible to answer a call on the Apple AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro by tapping the side of one of the AirPods, you cannot decline a call. On the Beats Powerbeats Pro headphones you can decline a call though. Pressing and holding the “b” will allow you to carry on listening or working out without interruptions.
The Apple AirPods 2, AirPods Pro and Beats Powerbeats Pro are similar in terms of some of the features they offer, including super simple setup for Apple users and Hey Siri support.
The AirPods Pro are the most expensive of the three wireless headphones being compared here, but they come with Active Noise Cancellation, various silicone tips for a secure fit, sweat and water resistance and advanced on-device controls.
The Powerbeats Pro sit in the middle in terms of price and they offer physical controls, sweat and water resistance, more colours and a better battery life.
The AirPods 2 are the cheapest option of the three headphones in this feature but they don’t offer as many features as the other two. For those looking for headphones to workout in, the Beats Powerbeats Pro or AirPods Pro are likely to be the devices you’re choosing between, while if you just want some wireless headphones, the AirPods 2 might suffice.