Powerbeats 3 are the latest neckband-style earphones from Beats, using Apple’s W1 chip that already powers the cable-free AirPods. The chip promises better Bluetooth connectivity and easier pairing across iOS devices.
Bass Lovers Beware! – Powerbeats 3 Review
Powerbeats 3 comes with:
Soft shell carry case
Short micro USB charger cable
4 pairs of silicone ear-tips in different sizes.
Powerbeats 3 are at the top end of the price range for exercise-focused, connected earphones. There’s a premium to pay, as usual, for the Beats and Apple brands. The cost is justified a little by the design with its water resistance and secure fit, and an intense, distortion-free audio experience for bass lovers.
A lightweight neckband with built-in ear hooks secure and stabilize the ear canal fitting earpieces. They really do feel exceptionally secure, and once you’ve chosen the right size for you out of the 4 pairs of ear-tips, it’s difficult to imagine even the most energetic workout shaking them loose. The Powerbeats 3 are fully sweat and water resistant.
The neckband features a cable clip to help tidy the slack around the back of your neck, and a three-button inline remote is located on the neckband near the left earpiece. The outer two buttons are volume controls, while the middle button starts and pauses playback, navigates tracks via multiple taps. It also controls calls and Siri voice commands.
On the left earpiece is a power button that also activates Bluetooth pairing mode. The Bluetooth performs strongly for users of any compatible device, with a stable connection and impressive range.
It’s got the new Apple W1 Chip – Only for Apple device users though –
The Powerbeats 3 pairs and connects automatically with on-screen confirmations, and iCloud users can switch seamlessly between their registered devices as their Powerbeats 3 remains paired with all of them. You also get an indication on the screen of remaining battery life. The battery is good for 12 hours, but that will vary depending how much volume you use.
Sound quality is good enough to compete with anything else in the sports Bluetooth earphones category at the moment. There’s plenty of fine detail and a notable lack of distortion, even if you turn them up really loud.
The Beats signature punchy bass is present but is not overwhelming, as critics of many of their previous products have found. The wireless Powerbeats 3 may be their most successful product yet for overall sound quality, but it still favors bass-heavy music.
The microphone performs well too, particularly for active users. It’s capable of maintaining a phone conversation while out on a bike and does a great job shielding your voice from wind and background noise.
Powerbeats 3 Verdict
- Audio quality is much improved. I think their reputation for expensively marketed, poor sounding earphones has shifted. You’ll need to like their mega-bass sound to enjoy these, though. They’re ideal for pumping bass to motivate you while you workout.
- The design is very effective: they stay fitted securely in your ears during exercise.
- The W1 chip doesn’t bring any real must-have features, particularly if you don’t use Apple devices so bear that in mind.