Now that the AirPods are finally out some people have asked should they get AirPods or Powerbeats 3. To that I say... Well it depends what you want to use them for. Right now you can pick up the Powerbeats 3 on Amazon for $150 if you get the black ones. They're Batman approved. So should you get the AirPods and get teased by the haters or just get the Powerbeats and can it a day?
First thing first, let's get the obvious out the way and that's the form factor. As you can see, the Powerbeats are much larger and have soft touch ear hooks. These ear hooks ensure the Powerbeats stay in place at all times no matter what. The Powerbeats are also tethered together via a flat non tangle cable. The Powerbeats are also in ear earphones that come with a total of 4 eartips. These earphones also charge via micro USB. They also last a full 12 hours on a single. Which is my favorite feature personally. The Powerbeats also feature fast fuel which will get you an hour of playback from just five minutes of charging. These are also water and dust resistant and they can take a beating.
The AirPods on the other hand are truly wireless earphones that are super light weight. So light weight in fact you forget they're in your ears after awhile. They're made of plastic and they only come in one size. Unlike the Powerbeats, the AirPods are not water or dust resistant, so take it easy on them. Each AirPods has a 5 hour battery life and can only be charged when placed inside they're carrying case. Similar to the Powerbeats, the AirPods can get 3 hours of playback time from 15 minutes of charging.
Both earphones use apples new w1 chip. The w1 chip allows for extremely simple pairing across all of your Apple devices. It also creates a very strong and clear wireless connection. Not to mention the w1 chip plays a big part in helping these earphones have such long battery lives. But don't worry, these earphones can still connect to non Apple devices via Bluetooth. And finally both earphones have built in microphones so you can take calls or argue with Siri.
Aside from the form factor, the Powerbeats also have one more crucial design difference and that's the inline controller. With the controller you can control your music playback, accept and end calls and activate Siri. The AirPods on the other hand don't have an inline controller. In order to control your music playback you have to tell Siri by double tapping on either earphone. It's rather annoying to be honest. But at least the AirPods know when they're in your ear and can pause music playback when ever you remove either one. They'll also automatically start your music or video back up when you put the AirPods back in your ear.
At this point you might be asking which sound better. well after listening to the same songs with both earphones one after another i can say that the Powerbeats 3 sound better. now I'm not a full blown audiophile but i do appreciate a pair of good sounding earphones. The Powerbeats have a better sound stage, a stronger bass, and the mid and highs don't get muddled. So if sound quality is what you're interested in then go for the Powerbeats.
So if you thought you were going to get a pair of wireless earphones that work great both in the gym and in the office by buying a pair of AirPods, you're sadly mistaken. Apple is clearly targeting two different consumers with their offerings. The AirPods are best suited for someone whowants to listen to music when they are at work. You wouldn't necessarily wear a pair of Powerbeats while you're at the office, they simply look out of place. And like I said in my initial AirPods review, having truly wireless earbuds gives you a sense of freedom when you wear them. You don't have to worry about having a wire snagging on your clothing or getting caught on the edge of a desk while you're walking in the office for example.
The Powerbeats 3 on the other hand belong at the gym or are meant to be worn when you're working out. Unlike the AirPods they are water and dust resistant and are a little more rugged. If you tried working out with AirPods you're going to have a bad tI'me. And the Powerbeats in ear design provides passive noise isolation as well.
So which should you get, well it depends what you need them for. If you're looking for a hybrid pair of wireless earphones that you can use both in the gym and while you're out and about you might have to wait for the beats X. If not choose either the Powerbeats or AirPods depending on your needs. Personally the Powerbeats3 are still my favorite. And for $150 on Amazon it's a no brainer.