Beats By Dr. Dre PowerBeats 3 Review

May 20, 2018
Beats By Dr. Dre PowerBeats 3
PowerBeats-2
PowerBeats-6
PowerBeats-5
PowerBeats-4
PowerBeats-3
Beats By Dr. Dre PowerBeats 3 PowerBeats-2 PowerBeats-6 PowerBeats-5 PowerBeats-4 PowerBeats-3
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
86
Sound Quality
8
Comfort & Fit
7
Ease of Use
8
Versatility
7
Features
6

The Good

  • Most secure fit
  • Good sound quality
  • Simple, straightforward design

The Bad

  • Connecting cord catches
  • Difficult to remove from carrying case
  • Carrying case isn’t protective
THE VERDICT
The PowerBeats 3 are a solid set of earbuds that are comfortable to wear and deliver excellent sound quality. The connecting cord design inhibits using only one earbud at a time, but this feature combined with the earhooks makes the PowerBeats the most secure fitting of any of the earbuds in the test.
FULL REVIEW

Sound Quality

PowerBeats have a solid reputation for delivering high quality sound in a durable package designed specifically for for intense athletes, and it’s a reputation that’s well-deserved. The sound quality of the PowerBeats 3 didn’t quite match the Bose SoundSport Free, but it did keep up with several of the other top-ranking earbuds in the test. They were by far strongest in the mid-ranges. They don’t quite have the same capabilities of the SoundSport Free or the Run in the high range, and while the bass is good, it’s not quite as strong as the low range of the Elite Sport.

Comfort & Fit

The PowerBeats 3 have the same wrap-around ear guard that the brand is well-known for. This feature gives the PowerBeats the most secure fit of any of the earbuds in the test. Like all the other earbuds in the test, the PowerBeats came with three sizes of wings and buds. And while the Bose SoundSport Free and Jaybird Run were both slightly more comfortable in the ear, the PowerBeats were still surprisingly comfortable given how secure they fit, though they did begin to get uncomfortable after wearing them continuously for about 3 hours. The downside to the comfort and fit is the connecting wire. When it’s hanging loose on the back of your neck, it tends to catch on your shirt or skin (especially if you’re sweating) and pulls the buds out of your ear when you turn to look over your shoulder. You can tighten the cord so it’s snug against the back of your head, but this pulls the bottom of the buds down and causes them to swivel out of your ears. However, while this connecting wire is a downside in this regard, when it comes to a secure fit, it’s still a positive feature and users who are engaging in especially rigorous activities might be better off opting for the PowerBeats rather than a true wireless option.

Ease of Use

The PowerBeats 3 have a design simplicity that makes them incredibly easy to operate. The controls are on the connecting cord and are intuitive and easy to access whether you prefer the cords in front of your neck or behind. The biggest challenge with the PowerBeats is getting them into and out of the newly designed carrying case.

Versatility

Because of the extremely secure and comfortable fit, the PowerBeats can be used for a wide range of activities. Their versatility is limited, however, to activities that lend themselves to having both earbuds in at once while the truly wireless earbuds can be used individually to keep one ear open to the world. The design that sticks out from the ear slightly, along with the ineffectiveness of single-bud play, makes them difficult to use for activities when you’re wearing a helmet.

Features

The appeal of the PowerBeats is the simple, straightforward design that isn’t complicated by an abundance of features. The PowerBeats 3 do have a new Apple W1 Chip that allows users to connect easily to Bluetooth and toggle between devices, but arguably the best feature of the earbuds is the wraparound earhooks that keep them securely in place no matter what kind of activity you’re engaged in. The W1 chip provides an impressive 12 hours of playtime, which is by far the longest of any of the earbuds in the test, and it also includes a rapid charge feature that provides an hour of playtime after 5 minutes of charging. Only the Jaybird Run had a rapid charge feature that was as powerful.

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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$199.95
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