The only earbuds more recognizable than the tortured white teardrops that are AirPods might be Powerbeats. These things look like rubberized hoop earrings glued to plastic boxes, flipped upside down and strung together with a dorky wire.
Well, at least they used to look like that. Beats just released a new truly wireless model called Powerbeats Pro, and they feel like a revelation. I can’t believe how much I like these earbuds and want to wear them and don’t even feel embarrassed when I do.
The $250 Powerbeats Pro are a more rugged, better-fitting, and better-sounding version of the AirPods. The design is obviously different, with the inclusion of that familiar ear hook as well as the chunky plastic body that contains the device’s battery and guts.
The earbud itself connects to this and rests lightly on the outside of your ear canal, which means there’s no real seal around the rubber bud. (That also means they’re not very good at noise isolation, so a loud subway train would regularly drown out the sound of my music during my commute.) Surprisingly, once you figure out how to put the Powerbeats on your ear, they sort of disappear. During my week of testing, I would regularly forget that I was even wearing them.