When famous rapper Dr. Dre broke into the tech industry with his Beats headphones, the impact was significant. To this day, the Beats line of audio tech devices is some of the most popular among young music fans. Whether it’s a pair of beefy headphones, low-profile earbuds, or portable speakers, Beats has attracted a devoted following for their impeccable style and bass-heavy sound.
Since their inception over 12 years ago, Beats has refined their most popular products with numerical iterations. While the difference between the first and second generation, or the second and third generation, may not seem so drastic, the changes that were made are thoughtful and improve the entire experience for the customer. It is along this same vein of iterative design that the Powerbeats3 Wireless earbuds follows, as they offer improvements over the Powerbeats2 that are thoughtful without being bombastic.
- Fantastic visual design
- Wide range of colorways
- Bass-rich sound
- Versatility for different exercises
- Amazing battery life
- Excellent smartphone functionality
- Extremely disappointing durability
- Costly with limited justification
In addition to being perfect for walking, jogging, and running, these earbuds can serve as a valuable accessory when training in the gym. The lack of obtrusive wires means that weightlifters won’t need to worry about tangling them around their barbells. Additionally, the comfortably snug fit provided by the differently sized ear tips will perfectly accommodate calisthenics enthusiasts since the Powerbeats3 won’t fall out of their ears while performing inverted situps. Finally, the water and sweat-resistant nature of this product render them usable in environments that are snowy or extremely warm, although they aren’t water resistant enough for swimming.
After being charged to a sufficient level, these earbuds will allow wearers to pipe audio through them that is broadcast through any listening device with Bluetooth functionality. The benefit to this design is that the lack of long wires allows for a wider range of motion without running the risk of disconnecting or damaging these headphones. However, this design facet is a double-edged sword, since it means that the Powerbeats 3 will only work when it carries a charge and can only be used with a handful of smart devices. Despite just about every smartphone and modern MP3 player supporting the nearly ubiquitous Bluetooth connectivity, the handful of legacy music player users will be excluded from using these earbuds.
In addition to physical activity, the Powerbeats3 were designed to be used on modern listening devices such as a smartphone. To further reinforce this fact, these earbuds have a microphone that was added to the inline remote. Thanks to this small addition, wearers of these headphones can use them as a handsfree headset when using their phone to make a call. Speaking of smartphones, the smart devices that these Beats earbuds work best with are the ones made by Apple, since the Powerbeats3’s included W1 chip is designed around their architecture. Because of this, iPhone and iPad users will enjoy increased functionality and faster charge times when using the two in tandem.
However, the easiest way to fix this issue is to ensure that the ear tips properly fit inside the wearer’s ear and form a tight seal. Once that seal has been established, wearers will find that these earbuds offer a level of sound quality that blows most similar models out of the water, even beating some of the bulkier over-the-ear headphones in terms of quality. This is the major benefit to having a professional music producer design an audio listening device; the range of highs, mids, and lows are potent enough to allow wearers to experience the entire sonic landscape of their music.
The benefit to this connectivity is a convenience, but the drawback of it is an inconvenience. It may sound confusing, but it just depends on the customer whether or not the inconvenience is greater than the convenience. For example, some customers will find it inconvenient that these headphones will need to be charged before they can connect at all, while others may be used to charging all of their accessories and have no problem with this fact. Others will find it inconvenient that they need to use Bluetooth, a notoriously fickle and sometimes difficult manner of pairing two electronics. However, a tech-savvy customer with Bluetooth experience and minimal interference will likely find the Powerbeats3 to offer a perfectly reasonable form of connectivity.
In addition to providing an excellently shaped and aesthetically pleasing design, the Powerbeats3 comes in a variety of colors. This isn’t something customers are likely to find when shopping for high-end earbuds; normally, the manufacturers of products like these will have their listening accessories come in basic black or white palettes. With these headphones, however, customers have the ability to choose black, white, and three other colorways, making these the ultimate accessory for fashion-conscious and music-loving fitness freaks.
In addition to the limited lifespan offered by its earbud design style, these Beats headphones have been the focus of many complaints from dissatisfied customers. Many of these angry users have stated that their headphones stopped working within a few months of regular use, with no clear cause for their dysfunction. Fortunately, the Powerbeats3 comes with an excellent support program, but many of the same reviewers have stated they simply swap out the first pair of earbuds with another refurbished model that is just as likely to break.
Ease of Use
However, as far as Bluetooth devices go, these Beats earbuds manage to provide one of the most user-friendly experiences. When pairing through Bluetooth, many smart devices will come with a stock passcode that needs to be entered in order to connect to a computer or smart device. This can be the most confusing part of the process, especially if the manufacturer doesn’t include the passcode in the product’s documentation or the product was purchased secondhand without the included instructions. The Powerbeats3 doesn’t come with a passcode, which is part of the reason why they’re so user-friendly. The other important factor in its ease of use is the fact that it is optimized for modern Apple devices, meaning that anyone pairing these earbuds with an iPhone or iPad can do so easily.
- Choice of five different colorways
- Battery life of approximately twelve hours
- Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth
- Includes W1 chip for increased functionality with Apple products
- Different sized eartips for a custom fit
- Decent warranty with mediocre results
For the group of customers who are more selective, however, the Powerbeats3 is a hard sell. This has mainly to do with the fact that they don’t offer much to justify their cost besides the strength of their branding. The only exclusive feature this product offers is being able to choose between different colors, which isn’t really a big deal. Ultimately, these customers may want to do some more research before coming to a purchasing decision, because there are certainly better options out there.