Powerbeats are a pair of sporty in-earphones that live up to the marketing hype of the Beats by Dr. Dre franchise with high quality all-round sound and rugged stability to boot.
Made for sports, these water-resistant earphones deliver a high quality music experience on and off the field. Though they’re not as durable as claimed – after a few weeks of use, the in-line play/pause controls failed to work for a short time.
With an over-ear coil, the earphones hook onto the ear to avoid shaking and loosening without tugging at the ear. In fact, the earphones are pretty unnoticeable to wear despite their slightly obtrusive ‘hearing-aid’ design.
This seems to be thanks to the outer on-ear driver that both boosts the sound and helps the earphone anchor itself in the ear cavity.
An on-ear and in-ear driver combine to deliver the whole sound spectrum in immense clarity, housing a midrange tweeter as well as its own miniature subwoofer. The tweeter delivers sharp high-range tones and vocals with high clarity, without any harsh peaking or overshadowing of the deeper sounds.
On the other hand, the subwoofer delivers punchy bass without flooding the rest of the sound. The bass is disappointing for a pair of earphones that is supposed to be designed by a hip hop producer though.
While the sound is immensely clear, these earphones don’t push any boundaries in their price range. Though as a sports earphone, they perform at top game while you’re in the game. You can comfortably run and work out with the earphones in and barely realise they’re on. The over-ear coil is adjustable to latch onto multiple ear sizes.
Tested in the gym and on the track, the earphones fared well with little quality loss in sound and without feeling uncomfortable. As said earlier though, the in-line controls did falter at one point – and that wasn’t even while running.
Inline controls are simple to use, but the pop-out button for play/pause makes for a hassle in your pocket where your music will start and stop as you walk around if you don’t unplug the earphones. Otherwise, it’s a handy add-on for music on the move and for answering calls on iPhones.
For $229, these earphones are pricey (not much of a surprise for a Monster ‘By Dr. Dre’ pair) for the gym but their high performance even when running and high comfort factor are massive pluses. Reliability in the long run is questionable though.
Powerbeats are distributed in Australia by Convoy International at ehifi.com.au.