My first impression with Powerbeats Pro is that they’re super comfortable

I’ve had Powerbeats Pro in my ears nearly constantly for the past five hours straight. Something I could never do with AirPods.

Preorders for the Powerbeats Pro in black went up on Friday. The Beats brand’s first truly wireless headphones (I got no strings on me) will be in stores May 11 (in black only). Beats sent me a review unit this morning, which I promptly stuck into my ears as soon as I opened the box. I haven’t had a chance to make any real audio comparisons against AirPods or any other headphones in my bag of tricks, but I haven’t taken them out of my ears yet since I go them (except to change the tips, but more on that later), and I’ve got a lot to say already.

Beats to beat

PowerBeats Pro

$250 at Apple

Water-resistant and H1 chip truly wireless earbuds.

Powerbeats Pro are the only headphones around with an H1 chip besides AirPods. With water resistance, noise-isolation, Siri voice support, and more. They’re your iPhone’s new best friend.

Comfort level: 👍

I’m one of those people that can’t wear AirPods for more than about an hour without feeling significant pain in the cartilage in my ears. The difference from EarPods to AirPods was much better but still hurt my compact ears. By comparison, Powerbeats Pro feels like I’ve got a soft baby’s blanket in my ears.

Just to test the comfort levels, when I first popped the Powerbeats Pro into my ears, I used the default silicone tips that came attached to the buds, which are the medium sized tips. These are likely the size that fits most people.

After three straight hours in my ears, I felt zero pain from the Powerbeats Pro. “Great,” I thought. “Test complete. Powerbeats Pro wins!”

Then, I pulled them out of my ears and felt searing pain after they were removed. They were so comfortable in my ear that I didn’t even realize I was putting pressure on my cartilage until I’d removed the pressure.

Lesson learned. I switched to the smallest ear tips available, which I’ve now had in my ears for about two hours without pain (even when I remove them).

Form factor: 🤔

Coming from AirPods, Powerbeats Pro are massive in size. These are not earbuds you could accidentally swallow under any circumstance. The ear hooks, while being very comfortable (They don’t rest on the backside of my ear at all), tend to get caught up in my hair.

I’m not used to using earbuds with ear hooks, so this takes a bit of getting used to.

So much of the headphones rest outside of my head that I tend to knock them around whenever I’m fidgeting with my hair. The good news is that they’re so comfortable I forget they’re there. The bad news is that since I forget they’re there, I knock them around more than I do with AirPods.

Convenience: 😍

Just like AirPods, Powerbeats Pro was set up and ready to use within seconds of me opening the charging case. It’s a wonderful experience not to have to go through the rigamarole I normally do with pairing Bluetooth headphones. When switching over to my Mac, the Powerbeats Pro was already listed in my audio options (because it syncs with my Apple ID on both devices). Switching between devices takes about 3 seconds. Much better than AirPods 1 thanks to the faster H1 chip.

For this feature alone, I think everyone should own a pair of headphones with an H1 chip, whether it’s AirPods or Beats.

As far as the convenience of the charging case’s size is concerned; Yes, it’s much bigger than the AirPods Charging Case. You could almost fit two AirPods cases inside the shell of a Powerbeats Pro charging case, but it still fits in the palm of your hand. It will not fit comfortably into any pocket of a pair of skinny jeans, but luckily, the trend is shifting toward the looser grunge style anyway.

Sound: 🤫

I’m not going to go into any real detail about the sound of Powerbeats Pro until I’ve had a few days with them, but I can say my first impression.

Beats tends to EQ a bass-heavy sound in its headphones, but I don’t find this to be true with the Powerbeats Pro (so far). I purposefully listen to music I’m very familiar with when I review headphones so I can pay attention to sounds I expect to hear or not hear.

With Powerbeats Pro, I was impressed with how clear the sound quality is on my iPhone. Listening to standard pop-rock tracks (They Might Be Giants, to be specific), it didn’t seem bass heavy at all. I also noticed sounds that I never had before on songs I’ve listened to hundreds of time in my life. It reminds me of how I felt the first time I listened to music on the HomePod. No, I’m not comparing Powerbeats Pro to a HomePod, but I’m saying that I’m impressed with Powerbeats Pro’s overall EQ balance.

Battery performance: 🔋

I haven’t done deep-dive testing of Powerbeats Pro’s full battery performance. Within the past five hours, I’ve listened to music on my iPhone, watched YouTube videos on my Mac, and had two hours worth of meetings where I used Powerbeats Pro with Google Meets (does that count as talk time?). When I first paired Powerbeats Pro, the headphones were at 84% out of the box. About five hours and a lot of use later, they were at 35%. I dropped them into the charging case and about 20 or so minutes later, they were back up to 98%. That’s a pretty good performance for truly wireless headphones.

More to come…

This is not my review of Powerbeats Pro, but it is a quick first impression of my first day with them. Stay tuned later this week for a full review.

Beats to beat

PowerBeats Pro

$250 at Apple

Water-resistant and H1 chip truly wireless earbuds.

Powerbeats Pro are the only headphones around with an H1 chip besides AirPods. With water resistance, noise-isolation, Siri voice support, and more. They’re your iPhone’s new best friend.