CNET First Look
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless: Popular sports headphone goes wirelessAt $199.95, it's not cheap, but the sweat-resistant Powerbeats2 Wireless is both comfortable to wear and sounds good, particularly for a Bluetooth headphone.
[MUSIC] This is the Powerbeats2 wireless, successor to Beats popular Powerbeats, which you may remember LeBron James promoting in a memorable television ad. At 199.95, it's a pretty pricey headphone, but that may not bother some people who are looking for a comfortable, lightweight, sports headphone that's wireless and performs well. Hi, I'm David Carnoy and I'm going to give you the quick lowdown on this headphone which is sweat proof but not water proof and comes in white, red, and the black that you see here. In many ways it's reminiscent of the earlier corded Powerbeats, with the same ear hooks that help keep the headphones securely on your head. The hooks have some bend to them, and you can customize the shape to fit around your ear better. A three button inline remote and microphone are built into the cord for making hands-free calls and skipping tracks forward and back as well as adjusting the volume. The headphones come with a few different size silicone ear tips. Beats reps told me that depending on the ear tips you choose, you can opt to go for a tighter seal or leave some breathing room to let ambient noise in for safety reasons. A lot of people, for instance, like to be able to hear cars coming when they're running or biking. That said, because of the way the headphones are shaped and the ways my ears are shaped, I wasn't able to get a really tight seal with any of the ear tips, so I was always left with a slightly more open fit. When that happens you do lose a little bass, but the only time I found the looser fit to be a problem was when I was in an environment where there was a lot of noise, the New York City subway, for example. Overall, I like the way the headphones fit, and you can adjust the cord length with the cord clipper that's included. From a sound standpoint, as I said, despite the inability to get a tight seal, I thought the headphone performed well, particularly for a bluetooth headphone. It plays loud, and has relatively clean, aggressive sound that's filled out with rich bass that, thankfully, isn't overpowering. This is a Bluetooth 4.0 headphone, firmware upgradeable, and charges via micro USB. It gets about five to six hours of playback from a single charge, which isn't great, but that's about what competing products like Plantronics BackBeat FIT deliver. In all, despite a few small short comings, the Powerbeats2 Wireless, is one of the best wireless sport headphones out there, combining strong sound with a fit that should work well for most people. And by well, I mean fit comfortably. That makes it a pretty safe pick, in a category that doesn't have a lot of safe picks. The only problem, of course, is that it's expensive, overall this feels more like a $150 headphone. But hey, Beats has gotta pay LeBron and all those other celebrities, so $200 it is. I'm Dave Carnoy, and that's the Powerbeats2 Wireless. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]