I got my hands on the Powerbeats3 Wireless headphones that were released today in the UK. I'm an owner of the Powerbeats2 Wireless headphones, having used them for a couple of years and made the upgrade for a couple of reasons.
The main reason for my upgrade was the addition of the new Apple W1 chip that will feature in the new AirPods when Apple finally release them. The W1 boasts advanced power management and a better Bluetooth experience.
I was getting tired of Bluetooth pairing issues I was experiencing with the Powerbeats2. Something I don't think is a unique issues with those headphones but a Bluetooth issue in general. The W1 chip promises to solve this issue, and also make it easy to switch between different devices. For me, this is really helpful as I have my earphones paired with an iPhone and two iPads.
Thanks to the advanced power management of the W1 chip the battery life of the headphones has doubled in this new version to 12hrs. I never ran out of charge with version 2, though sometimes when I had forgotten to charge then I did come close. So, 12 hours should be more than enough.
The box was weighty and felt like good quality in my hands, with the headphones in nice presentation. I don't remember my Powerbeats2 being so well packaged which maybe a result of Apple taking over Beats.
The headphones come with a few ear inserts to choose from which hopefully means you can find a size that will fit your ears correctly.
It also comes with a rubber case to store the headphones in. I will note that this case is no where near as good as the case that came with the Powerbeats2 headphones. That one was of a more rigid construction and has a zip that went most of the way around.
It also comes with a short USB to mini USB charging cable. I have also noticed another shortcoming compared to version 2, the mini USB rubber plug protector has been removed from version 3. This seems a weird omission given that these are sports headphones, and will likely be used in damp, sweaty and potentially dusty and muddy environments.
So was the pairing experience really as Apple said it would be? Simple answer, yes!
All I had to do was turn on my Bluetooth and turn on the headphones and then the below screenshots show the simple two dialogues that popped up, that was it.
The sound has not changed from the Powerbeats2 unit. I’m not going to dive into the audio as it is such a subjective topic. Personally I like the audio on these headphones. It has a good range of sound, from bass to vocals and sound great when listening in a quiet environment. Like any none noise cancelling headphones their sound quality will be affected by external audio noise.
There have obviously been a few changes between the Powerbeats2 and Powerbeats3 some for the better and some, I personally feel are for the worse. The lack of rubber mini USB protector and a flimsy rubber case are the negatives. On the positive though, the W1 chip and its battery and Bluetooth improvements.
The later far outweigh the negatives. An additional 6hrs battery life and easy connection and transfer of connection make this a worthy upgrade and I’d recommend these headphones wholeheartedly.
Get your Powerbeats3 Wireless now on Amazon.