Beats Powerbeats 4 review: Big upgrade over its predecessor but behind the times

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The new Powerbeats value $one hundred fifty.

David Carnoy/CNET

When Beats launched the really wi-fi Powerbeats Professional past calendar year, it was a variety of desire product for Beats headphones admirers. Apart from for the downside of its bulky charging case, the Powerbeats Professional were being primarily AirPods on steroids, with richer, more dynamic audio and much better battery daily life — and they stayed in your ears more securely, especially all through athletic activities. 


  • Improved built than Powerbeats3 Wi-fi, with much better audio top quality
  • Thicker, rounded twine in between buds
  • Charge by means of Lightning (cable incorporated)
  • Improved battery daily life than Powerbeats Professional — up to fifteen hrs
  • Similar capabilities as the 2019 AirPods
  • Cell phone phone top quality is excellent

Really don’t Like

  • Lots of incredibly excellent true wi-fi earbuds in this cost vary
  • May perhaps not match some ears correctly (restricted seal is crucial to finding optimal audio)

Now Beats has absent retro on us and brought again the common “wired/wi-fi” Powerbeats. (Of course, the title of the 2020 model is just “Powerbeats,” but almost absolutely everyone is contacting these fourth-era designs the “Powerbeats four.”) These are in essence the Powerbeats Professional, but there is certainly a twine in between the buds, which are nevertheless wirelessly related to the cellular phone. At $one hundred fifty (£130, AU$220), or $100 a lot less than the checklist cost of the Powerbeats Professional, they’re a strong sports headphone and a first rate enhance more than their preferred predecessor, the Powerbeats three Wi-fi. Their only difficulty is that they’re a little bit guiding the times, which will make you dilemma irrespective of whether they’re really worth the cost Beats is asking for them.

If you glimpse intently, you will see they’re a little greater than the Powerbeats Professional. I received the white version, but they also come in black and crimson, and you will possibly see more shades in the foreseeable future. I suspect they’re a minor greater due to the fact in its place of charging wirelessly in a charging case like the Powerbeats Professional, these cost by means of an incorporated Lightning cable, which usually means Beats experienced to place a Lights port in the ideal earbud. That requires up a specified volume of home.

Study moreMost effective true wi-fi earbuds of 2020

Apart from the lower cost, just one of the Powerbeats’ primary promoting details more than the Powerbeats Professional is much better battery daily life — fifteen hrs compared to 9 hrs for the Powerbeats Professional. Some men and women also like to be able to leave their buds dangling about their neck when not making use of them — it is hassle-free. And I did like that these match into a compact nylon carrying pouch in its place of a bulky charging case. I would have appreciated to have noticed Beats consist of that exact same inexpensive pouch with the Powerbeats Professional.    

As it did with the Powerbeats Professional, Beats has enhanced the in general Powerbeats structure so they match more ears much better. But I nevertheless experienced a really hard time finding a restricted seal with the incorporated eartips — I experienced to use my own additional massive foam recommendations that were being incorporated with a established of Shure true wi-fi earbuds I was tests. But they must match most people’s ears very well and if you do get a restricted seal, they audio very excellent.

These are definitely much better built than the Powerbeats three. Their twine is rounder and thicker than the Powerbeats 3’s twine, producing it more sturdy and decreasing the snag issue (it isn’t going to capture as a lot on your clothing or pores and skin). As considerably as the structure goes, these are a substantial enhance. That mentioned, the Powerbeats Professional do come across as a little more top quality and offer you that additional perception of freedom you get from a true wi-fi model.

Study more: Most effective wi-fi sounds-canceling headphones for underneath $100


The new Powerbeats are a minor greater than the really wi-fi Powerbeats Professional. 

David Carnoy/CNET

You get primarily the exact same capabilities as the Powerbeats Professional. These are IPX4 sweat-resistant and splashproof. They have the similar piston drivers and digital sign processing that Beats states deliver the exact same balanced audio as the Powerbeats Professional, with “pure audio reproduction, enhanced clarity, small complete harmonic distortion and dynamic vary.” The exact same Apple H1 chip that will make it simple to pair and swap in between all your iCloud-connected Apple units is on board. These also have the exact same dual beamforming microphones and a speech-detecting accelerometer that Beats states targets your voice and filters out exterior sounds for “enhanced phone top quality and enhanced voice choose-up” when making use of your voice assistant. And indeed, these have hands-cost-free Siri, so if you have an iOS gadget, you can just say, “Hey, Siri,” to activate Apple’s voice assistant. (There is no equivalent feature out there on Android.) 

Apart from the Lightning port, there are a pair of other little structure variations from the true wi-fi variations. These have a energy/Bluetooth button on the left bud due to the fact you have to physically convert them on. (The Powerbeats Professional earbuds immediately convert on when you choose them out of their charging case.) The ideal bud has the volume regulate rocker and the “b” button. 

The headphones in crimson.

Beats by Dre

Like the Powerbeats Professional, these are unquestionably dynamic-sounding headphones, with impressive bass, organic-sounding mids and excellent clarity. Not amazingly, they have an remarkable audio profile which is geared to present day pop and hip-hop songs. I swapped again and forth in between these and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Additionally and discovered that the Powerbeats have more electrical power in the bass and more ahead sounding mids (vocals). The Galaxy Buds Additionally is a minor more laid-again and nuanced. I chosen its audio (and unquestionably chosen the deficiency of wires) but, as I mentioned, if you get a excellent match with the Beats, you won’t be unhappy by the audio. 

A restricted seal is crucial to finding optimal audio.

David Carnoy/CNET

I also assumed headset overall performance was excellent. The sounds reduction is reasonably effective and callers mentioned they could hear my voice very well, even in noisy environments. As considerably as I could inform, the headset overall performance was on par with that of the Powerbeats Professional, which also operates very well for producing calls. Perhaps not very as excellent as the AirPods Professional, but nevertheless very well above typical.

If these came out a pair of a long time ago, I would be a whole lot more enthusiastic about them. Now, as I mentioned, they’re a more challenging sell despite the truth their checklist cost is $50 a lot less than what the Powerbeats three value when they came out. (Of course, men and women were being shelling out $two hundred for those, though they’re promoting for a lot less than $90 today.) Although they’re unquestionably a excellent enhance more than the Powerbeats three and a strong wi-fi sports headphone, the problem for me anyway is that at the time you go really wi-fi it really is really hard to go again, and there are a good deal of excellent true wi-fi earbuds in this cost vary. People aforementioned Galaxy Buds Additionally, for case in point. Heck, you can even choose up a Geek Squad-recertified Powerbeats Professional from Most effective Get for $one hundred forty. And never ignore that the avenue cost of the common AirPods is in essence $one hundred forty.