The Beats Powerbeats 4, formally titled the Beats Powerbeats, look just like the company’s true wireless earbuds tethered by a cable. Despite the current lack of an official IP rating, the earphones are listed as sweat-resistant, meaning they’re built to hold up against most workouts. The company announced the new workout earbuds on Monday, March 16.
Anyone familiar with the previous Beats Powerbeats earbuds will feel at home using these. Design updates include a more streamlined appearance and comfortable, friction-reducing cable for a more comfortable fit. Plus, the ear hooks are thicker than those found on the Powerbeats3, which should accommodate more ear sizes.
The Powerbeats are a great middle-ground pick for athletes who don't want to spring for true wireless earbuds.
Battery life is impressive as Beats touts 15 hours of playback on a single charge. Once the batteries deplete, Fast Fuel technology allows for 1.5 hours of listening after just five minutes of charging. This is great and something that athletes look out for in workout headphones, arguably more so than standalone playtime.
On-board controls are easy to operate. The “b” logo serves as a multifunction button so you can skip songs and take calls straight from the headset. Directly above it on the housing’s edge is a volume rocker, just like the Pro model. Other neat features include multiple integrated microphones which simultaneously optimize voice transmission while filtering out background noise, something we’ve seen with the AirPods Pro. iPhone users benefit from the H1 chip which facilitates hands-free access to Siri.
One of the coolest features supported by the headset — and older Apple and Beats products before it — is audio sharing. Although it’s nothing new, it’s neat to be able to cast audio to two separate wireless devices at a time, something that will be universally supported once Bluetooth LE Audio and the LC3 codec become standard. Seeing how none of us should be sharing earbuds right now, this is a great way to share music with your roommates if you don’t have a shared speaker system. I suspect this feature will get more use as we try to remain social while social distancing.
The Apple Powerbeats are a great option for gym-goers who just aren’t ready to make the leap to true wireless earbuds. Although there are cheaper options available, the Powerbeats are a bargain relative to the Powerbeats Pro and offer much of the same functionality. If you want a great fit, excellent battery life, and a presumably solid microphone system, these deserve to be in your workout bag.
Along with the earphones, you’re afforded four various-sized ear tips, a Lightning cable, and drawstring carrying pouch. The Powerbeats will be available in white, black, and red and retail for $149.95 beginning March 18.