Powerbeats 3 Reviewed and Tested in 2021

When famous rapper Dr. Dre broke into the tech industry with his Beats headphones, the impact was significant. To this day, the Powerbeats 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.

It is along this same vein of iterative design that the Powerbeats 3 Wireless earbuds follow, as they offer improvements over the Powerbeats 2 that are thoughtful without being bombastic. Since its inception over 12 years ago, Beats has refined its most popular products with numerical iterations. The difference between generations may not seem so drastic, but the changes have improved the entire experience for the customer.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Fantastic visual design
  • Wide range of colorways
  • Bass-rich sound
  • Versatility for different exercises
  • Amazing battery life
  • Excellent smartphone functionality
  • Cons
    • Extremely disappointing durability
    • Costly with limited justification
    • Key Features
      Since these headphones are designed with a minimalist and wire-free style, they are perfect for use in a wide range of activities. With the ability to pair the Powerbeats 3 with any smart device that has Bluetooth functionality, wearers can easily listen to their favorite playlists while engaging in even the most intense forms of exercise.

      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 Powerbeats 3 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.
      Basic Features
      At its most basic level, the Powerbeats 3 are wireless earbuds. However, referring to them as ‘wireless’ is a bit of a misnomer since they do still have a wire connecting both buds to each other. As seen in our Powerbeats 3 wireless review, calling them wireless refers to the fact that they don’t need to be connected to a listening device in order to receive audio from it.

      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.
      Advanced Features
      Since these headphones were designed for use in physical activity, the one wire left in its design was intended to be as low-profile as possible. However, due to the need for the Powerbeats 3 to fit different head sizes, a bit of slack is a high possibility when using them. To alleviate this issue, Beats included a small clip for cable management.

      In addition to physical activity, the Powerbeats 3 was designed to be used on modern listening devices such as a smartphone. If you were wondering do Powerbeats 3 have a mic, 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 Powerbeats 3’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.
      Sound Quality
      Aside from the comfort factor, major problem audiophiles have with earbuds over traditional over-the-ear headphones is a disappointing audio quality. This is the reason why headphones are almost always used in lieu of earbuds when recording professional audio. In the case of the Powerbeats 3, carelessness on the part of the wearer can result in the same disappointing quality of sound.

      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 Powerbeats 3 sound quality that blows most similar models out of the water, even beating some of the bulkier over-the-ear headphones in terms of Powerbeats 3 microphone 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.
      This aspect of the Powerbeats 3 is the one that is most likely to polarize prospective customers. These earbuds are wireless, which means that they are designed to connect to the wearer’s listening device through Bluetooth. This is the only form of connectivity they support, with no option for an analog connection through a headphone jack or Lightning cable.

      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 Powerbeats 3 to offer a perfectly reasonable form of connectivity.
      In an attempt to provide excellent comfort for the wearer, Beats included four different ear tips with this product. These detachable nubs come in different sizes, with the aim of providing at least one shape that can create a comfortable seal in the wearer’s ear.
      It should come as no surprise that a pair of headphones from Beats would have a fantastic sense of style. As one would expect from this manufacturer, the Powerbeats 3 look sleek and fashionable, making them as much of a status symbol as they are a pair of headphones. Unfortunately, this seems to be the primary motivation for the high price of these earbuds.

      In addition to providing an excellently shaped and aesthetically pleasing design, the Powerbeats 3 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.
      When evaluating the durability of a music listening accessory, earbuds have a disadvantage over traditional over-the-ear headphones. This is because the low-profile design of these products makes them more susceptible to damage; a limited amount of resources are used in order to keep their weight and size small, meaning that there is usually no room in their design for durability. The Powerbeats 3 is sadly susceptible to the same shortcomings.

      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 Powerbeats 3 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
      In order to accurately determine the ease in which these earbuds can be used, it is important to determine whether or not the user can overcome the technological hurdle presented by its wireless nature. Because the Powerbeats 3 are designed to connect via Bluetooth, individuals who are not familiar with this method of wireless communication will find this product more difficult to 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 Powerbeats 3 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.
      Power Source
      These earbuds will require a power source aside from whatever device they are connected to in order to properly function due to the fact that they are wireless. Moreover the beats Powerbeats3 wireless earphones review, this can be seen as a negative, especially for people who are sick of purchasing devices that need extending charging time in order to work. However, the Powerbeats 3 makes the most of whatever power is used to charge it. This is because not only do these earbuds take a fairly short time to fully charge, but they also last for up to 12 hours on a single charge. Because of this, these Beats headphones are some of the most convenient and least frustrating wireless devices that need a power source.
      For comparison, the cost for a new pair of Powerbeats 3 is roughly on par with the cost of a high-end trail running shoe. This is well above $100 and may be a bit much for budget-conscious individuals to spend on a pair of earbuds, although the price is well within the average cost for most high-end earbuds like these.

      Considering the Powerbeats 3 release date, when comparing the Powerbeats 3 specs to other earbuds on the market, many reviewers have stated that these are comparatively more expensive. It’s difficult to justify purchasing a pair of these headphones at full price when a different product with nearly identical features can be bought for much cheaper. However, the vast majority of customers will be willing to pay this cost solely on the strength of Beats as a brand.
      Key Features

      • 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

      Bottom Line
      There are two types of people who shop for high-end consumer electronics; those who carefully read product specifications and reviews in order to find the best product for the lowest price, and those who have a more casual understanding that simply wants a decent product from a reputable brand. For the latter group, the Powerbeats 3 are an excellent purchase. If they’re bought new, these customers should expect to receive a well-made and great sounding pair of earbuds that can handle all of their physical activities.

      For the group of customers who are more selective, however, the Powerbeats 3 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.
      Where to Buy
      By Mike Valverde
      Last updated:
      Brian Price
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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