When you want the top model of a product these days, you’ll find it is often referred to as the Pro model. This gives consumers the feeling they are purchasing the same product that would be used by industry professionals.
Technically, both of these products are owned by Apple, and they are also both top of the range. So why would Apple compete against itself with two premium products being sold within the same category? And which are the best Apple earbuds?
I have examined both of these wireless earphones to discover the key differences in the hope of seeing which has the edge over the other. So, let’s get ready to rumble with this AirPods Pro vs Beats Powerbeats Pro showdown.
Does one fit better than the other?
The original Apple Airpods are earbuds, while the Airpods Pro are IEMs (In-ear Monitors). “What are in ear monitors?” I hear you ask. This means that instead of sitting within the outer ear facing the inner ear, they are inserting directly into the ear canal using a silicon tip.
When using the original Airpods, they relied on a “one size fits all” design, which actually didn’t fit many at all. Included with the Pro are three different-sized ear tips that provide a much better fit for many. Along with offering improved noise isolation.
Using the same IEM design is the Powerbeats Pro, which also has three different sized silicone ear tips for finding the perfect fit. In addition to being IEMs, the Powerbeats Pro is equipped with ear hooks for an even more secure fit.
If you are worried about losing one of your true wireless earpieces, then there is a distinct advantage here. While they are more noticeable when being worn, I personally feel more comfortable with them being extra secure.
Which is Better for Active Lifestyles?
The Airpods Pro certainly performs well when sweating it up at the gym, going for a run, riding your bike, or any other physical activity. Are AirPods waterproof? Certified with IPX4 sweat and water resistance means they can be worn in almost any condition.
Being an IEM design as opposed to earbuds gives a more confident fit when moving about too. There are force controls fitted, which involves tapping the stems to skip a song or access Siri. Strangely though, you will need to talk to Siri to adjust the volume or use your phone.
So, are Powerbeats Pro good for working out?
Well, they also feature the same IXP4 certification for sweat and water resistance. Having those extra secure ear hooks is a massive advantage here too. That’s because there’s less chance of needing to search for a missing earpiece.
However, the biggest advantage is the touch controls. There is full playback control, without the need to take your phone from your pocket or use voice assistance. Play and pause tracks, answer and end calls, or change the volume up and down.
What About the Features?
Not everyone is worried about their earphones falling out. Either because they fit incredibly well, or they use their earphones in a less active environment. Many of you out there prefer the latest in tech and the most convenient features.
I will start again with the Airpods Pro, taking a look at their standout features. Considering their compact size, the noise-canceling technology works incredibly well. Riding on the back of this tech is another fancy feature too.
Increased hearing ability…
Besides the impressive noise-canceling, these earbuds can also achieve the opposite with their transparency mode. By squeezing the stem, you can activate it, amplifying important sounds like voices while continuing to block out ambient noises.
I have used transparency mode on other brands of earbuds and headphones with mixed results. Like most things Apple does, this feature performs extremely well. It is by far one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with this feature.
Surrounded by sound…
Using what Apple has termed “Spatial Audio” within their Airpods Pro is akin to what you’d expect from a surround sound home theater system. Do Apple Airpods have surround sound? Yes, and they’re compatible with Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 content, along with Dolby Atmos.
It truly is incredible how immersive streaming content or playing a mobile game from your iPhone or iPad can be. Using a combination of gyroscopes and accelerometers makes it feel like you’re part of the action and really there.
Well, I guess you’ve been Beats…
While the Airpods Pro has several awesome features, the Powerbeats Pro doesn’t offer any of this latest fancy tech. There is no noise cancellation, transparency mode, or Spatial Audio, but there is one cool feature.
Fitted with optical sensors, the Powerbeats Pro can sense when they have been inserted or removed from your ears. As soon as you take them out, the audio is immediately paused and then resumes automatically when placed back in.
How is the Battery Life?
This isn’t even really a competition when it comes to battery life between these two products. With both the Airpods Pro and the Powerbeats Pro receiving a full charge, I set out to test which would last the longest.
The sound of silence made its appearance with the Powerbeats Pro after a solid ten hours of audio playback at around 70% volume. Only half of that was possible with the Airpods Pro at the same volume level, giving in after only five hours.
Just in case…
Both products can be boosted with some extra power by placing them in the case. Again, both offer up to 24 hours of total listening time when charging from their respective cases. Yet, the Airpod Pros will need to be placed inside more often.
Additionally, both earphones offer a quick-charging feature. Powerbeats Pro will give you one and a half hours of listening from a five-minute rest in their case, while the Airpods will earn you 1 hour of listening. Considering their larger size, this makes sense for the Powerbeats Pro to have superior battery performance.
How do they sound?
Neither of these earphones has been designed for impressing audiophiles, and to be honest, they’d probably be disappointed with both. However, that is not the main purpose of these products; they are about convenience and everyday use.
The Airpods Pro has a more balanced sound between the two, but with the bass still distinguishable. What they benefit from is the noise-cancellation technology, which makes them sound cleaner than they are.
Pushing the limits…
To get the most from noise cancellation and for improved sound quality overall, you need an almost perfect fit. I recommend upgrading the ear tips to memory foam. It molds to users’ ears much better than silicone while also being sweat and earwax resistant.
Take a look at these Lanwow Premium Memory Foam Tips upgrades that have been specifically designed for Airpod Pros. Available in either black or gray, your earphones will still fit in the charging case. While providing a more comfortable fit and improved sound quality.
Feeling every Beats…
As you might expect, the Powerbeats Pro earphones are a little more bass-heavy, with a reduction in both the mids and highs to compensate. There is little sign of distortion, even when listening at high volume.
Since there is no noise cancellation, having a perfect fit is even more important, as it then helps to block out unwanted background noises. Using Comply Sport Pro Premium Memory Foam Earphone Tips is a great way to improve both the sound quality and comfort of your Powerbeats Pros.
Oh Yeah, These Can Make Calls Too
An area that is often overlooked when examining earphones is their microphone capabilities. Much of the focus is often placed upon the user’s sound quality, but what about the person on the other end during a call?
In examining AirPods Pro vs Beats Powerbeats Pro, both perform well in this regard. And their built-in microphones both offer impressive results. Callers can hear voices clearly from the other end with minimum background noise disturbance.
Wow, that’s deep…
Unlike when listening to the bass-heavy Powerbeats Pro, their microphone goes in the other direction. They don’t perform as well around the lower frequencies when it comes to picking up deeper voices.
That said, the noise rejection on the Powerbeats performs better. The Airpods Pro does a better job in windy conditions and provides a more natural-sounding voice during calls. When recording your voice, the Powerbeats have a more natural playback. So in this area, it depends on what you’re looking for.
Making a Connection
One of the most important areas when it comes to wireless earbuds and headphones is how well they connect. Not only to your audio device but also to each other. Since there are no wires, they need to sync together perfectly.
Both the Airpods Pro and the Powerbeats Pro use Apple’s H1 headphone chip. It works in tandem with Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology. This performs incredibly well and offers a stable and reliable connection.
Making life easier…
Connecting to your audio device, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, or computer, is incredibly easy for both products. Other Apple devices will detect them automatically, while Android or Windows devices will require manual Bluetooth pairing.
Once paired, you will experience no noticeable lag from either product, with both left and right earphones staying perfectly in sync. Since the Airpods Pro and Powerbeats Pro use the same hardware, neither is any better than the other in this regard.
You Make a Good Case
With all true wireless earphones, a great case is essential. In this instance, the Airpods case is smaller and easier to fit in your pocket. Likewise, having more compact earpieces means that the case can also be reduced in size.
The Powerbeats Pro has a larger case that can still fit in your pocket but is going to be a lot more noticeable. If having a slim case that is more convenient to carry around is important to you, then you’ll want the Airpods Pro.
Looking for Great Earbuds for your Apple Device?
Then check out our in-depth Apple Beats Powerbeats Pro Review, our Apple AirPods Pro Review, our Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad Review, our TicPods 2 Pro Review, and our Beats EP Review for awesome products you can buy in 2021.
And don’t miss our useful guide for 3 Simple Tips to Keep Airpods From Falling Out.
AirPods Pro vs Beats Powerbeats Pro – Final Thoughts
In the beginning, I questioned why Apple would compete against itself. After comparing these two premium earphones head-to-head, it is much more apparent that they aren’t as similar as you might expect.
Powerbeats Pro offers a more bass-heavy sound, which is better suited to a more active lifestyle. The Airpods Pro has the more fancy tech and would be more suited for someone using public transport or in an office environment.
Which would I choose? I’d have to go with the Powerbeats Pro, as they are slightly more versatile. If only they had all the Airpods tech.
Until next time, happy listening.