Apple’s Beats subsidiary today announced an updated version of its Powerbeats 3 headphones, with the new version simply called “Powerbeats” with no number. Version wise, though, these are the rumored Powerbeats 4 headphones that we’ve been seeing in iOS 13 for the last few months, and they’ll be officially available to purchase this Wednesday, March 18.
Design wise, the Powerbeats look similar to the Powerbeats 3, but have an angled earpiece that’s closer in design to the Powerbeats Pro and a cord that trails down from the earhook rather than the opposite side. Apple says this makes for a natural, ergonomic contour around the neck.
Like the Powerbeats Pro, the new Powerbeats have an angled in-ear fit and wraparound earhooks, but there is a wire between the Powerbeats that connects the two earbuds to one another. Apple ships the Powerbeats with eartips in four sizes for optimal sound and comfort for each user.
Physical playback controls are included on each earbud for doing things like adjusting the volume, skipping songs, declining or accepting incoming calls, and playing and pausing music.
Apple has included an H1 chip in the Powerbeats for faster pairing with iOS devices, quick switching between devices that are signed into the same iCloud account, and hands-free “Hey Siri” support. Powerbeats work with Apple’s audio sharing feature that lets two sets of Apple-designed headphones connect to one iPhone or iPad.
When it comes to sound, Powerbeats deliver the same rich audio as the Powerbeats Pro with pistonic drivers that offer clean sound reproduction with low distortion across the frequency curve and enhanced clarity and dynamic range.
The Powerbeats have an IPX4 water resistance rating, which is the same water resistance rating as the Powerbeats Pro. IPX4 means the new Powerbeats will be able to hold up to sweat and splashes of water, though keeping them as dry as possible is always preferable.
There are dual beamforming microphones inside of the Powerbeats for enhanced call quality along with Class 1 Bluetooth for extended range and fewer dropouts. Powerbeats will last for 15 hours on a single charge (3 hours longer than Powerbeats 3), plus there’s a 5-minute Fast Fuel feature that provides an hour of listening time after a five-minute charge.
Unlike the Powerbeats Pro and the AirPods, the standard Powerbeats do not have a charging case and will need to be charged using a Lightning cable.
Powerbeats are a significant upgrade over the existing Powerbeats 3, but Apple is also dropping the price. While the Powerbeats 3 were priced at $199.95, Apple is charging $149.95 for the new Powerbeats.
The Powerbeats will be available in Black, White, or Red and can be purchased from Apple’s online store starting this Wednesday, March 18.