The release of the new Powerbeats gives Apple fans a nice alternative to more expensive wireless earbuds that have been released recently. Technically the Powerbeats 4, these Beats earphones have a clear target audience, but it can appeal to the same crowd eyeing the AirPods for their iPhones. Here’s a rundown of the best reasons to choose one over the other.
Powerbeats 4 vs AirPods Wireless Earphones Comparison Chart
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Ear Tip Sizes||4||1|
|Audio Chip||Apple H1 Chip||Apple H1 Chip|
|Sweat and Water Resistant||Yes||No|
|Active Noise Cancellation||No||No|
|Battery Life||15 hours||5 hours|
|Charging Case||None||Adds up to 24 hours|
|Colors||Red, Black, White||White|
|Compatibility||Android, iOS||Android, iOS|
The designs of these wireless audio accessories will likely influence your choice the most. Some might find the adjustable looping earhooks of the
Clearly the wraparound design of the
One notable hurdle with the AirPods is that it only has a universal fit which can’t seal your ears properly. Actually, some will find that the shape of the AirPods just won’t fit comfortably in their ear, causing it to constantly pop out or simply hurt around your ear canals. If you’re lucky enough that they fit you fine, you’d need to be careful of how you move to avoid dislodging them accidentally.
We’d rate the AirPods very high on portability though, mostly thanks to the charging case. They’re invaluable at keeping the AirPods secure when you’re mobile. It also adds more value to other aspects of the earbuds, which we’ll tackle below.
If you owned the first couple of Powerbeats by Dr. Dre released many years ago, you’d be glad to learn that the latest one isn’t all just about the bass. With Apple’s steady hand, the Beats brand has evolved from its signature boom-heavy sound quality to offer a more refined tone with its current product line. The
You get a well-balanced sound from the
It’s more of a mixed bag with the AirPods, and it’s largely due to, once again, how the earbuds themselves are shaped and designed. Without securely-fitting ear tips to seal sound in, you get a lot more outside noise filtering in. Turn the volume loud enough and people sitting near you will easily hear what you’re playing too.
Under perfect conditions, the AirPods has a slightly bass-heavy response that should appeal to the mainstream market. It pumps the bass and low-mid ranges more with a slight peak at the highs, resulting in acceptable levels of detail and clarity. Vocals come out quite clear, which is definitely a plus, especially during phone calls.
If you wanted the plug-in-and-forget feature of standard wired earphones without the wire, the
Meanwhile, the AirPods only has a listed battery life of 5 hours, which is likely enough for casual everyday use. Now the big thing is how much runtime the charging case can give you, as it can store multiple charges. You can get more than 24 hours of juice just by ensuring you’ve fully charged it beforehand. It also has a quick charge feature which gets you up to 3 hours of listening time after 15 minutes in the case.
The AirPods has sensors to detect whether you’re wearing it or if you’re talking. Meanwhile, the
Pairing either the AirPods or the
Furthermore, the AirPods packs optical sensors and accelerometers to detect whether you’re wearing them or not. Taking out either earbud will pause music playback automatically, which is nifty and quick. A pair of beamforming mics will also home in on your voice when you’re speaking, filtering out external noise for clearer calls.
The downside is you’re limited to a double tap for on-device controls on the AirPods. You can set what the double tap will do on your phone settings, but to control volume you’ll have to tell Siri to do it or manually adjust levels on your phone. In contrast, you get on-ear controls for all of these functions on the
We’d have to go with the Beats Powerbeats 4 in this comparison, since it offers impressive sound quality and you’ll find it much easier to find a comfortable fit with the included ear tip sizes. Its improved wraparound design minimizes the risk of misplacing what could otherwise be an easy-to-lose device. Finally, the sweat-resistant design along with gigantic battery life make the latest Powerbeats very easy to recommend for people with active lifestyles.
Those who find the earhooks and wires of the Beats model something they’d rather not deal with will find plenty to love about the Apple AirPods. You might want to first check out whether they fit snugly in your ears, but if they do, you’ll get a pretty nice wireless earbuds experience especially when paired with an iPhone.