Apple on Wednesday officially announced the impending release of their Beats-branded Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones. The wire-free earphones are totally wireless like the AirPods, but feature up to nine hours of listening time.
Apple says the new earphones will hit shelves in May, and will cost $250. Apple says the Powerbeats Pro deliver “powerful, balanced sound with dynamic range and noise isolation for a premium listening experience.”
The new Powerbeats Pro are water and sweat resistant, and include earhooks and tips in four sizes to keep the earphones in place during workouts. Apple says Powerbeats Pro are 23% smaller and 17% lighter than the Powerbeats 3.
Apple tested more than 20 configurations to arrive at an “ergonomically angled housing” designed to nest “comfortably in the concha bowl of the ear with an off-axis nozzle.”
“Powerbeats Pro is a harmonious blend of premium sound, fit and functionality. Powerbeats are already the #1 fitness headphones in the world and they are now untethered, with all the benefits of the Apple H1 chip,” said Luke Wood, president of Beats. “No longer do you have to choose between performance and practicality–it delivers the best on both fronts.”
Physical controls on each earbud include dedicated volume control buttons, a button for answering and declining incoming phone calls and changing the current music track. Just like Apple’s AirPods, the new earbuds detect when they are in a user’s ears and can play/pause music accordingly.
A clamshell-style charging case is also included, which provides an additional 24 hours of listening time to the nine hours of playback you’ll get from each earbud. A 5-minute “Fast Fuel” feature provides up to 1.5 hours of playback with a 5-minute charge.
The Powerbeats Pro use Class 1 Bluetooth technology” for extended range and fewer dropouts. The buds use the same H1 chip that’s in the second-generation AirPods.
Powerbeats Pro will be available in Black, Ivory, Moss, and Navy. And will launch in May in The U.S., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.