CNET First Look
Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless: Improved but still priceyHow much better do some design tweaks and Apple's energy-saving W1 chip make Beats' bestselling Bluetooth sports headphone?
This is the POWERBEATS3 WIRELESS, the next generation of Beats best selling bluetooth sports headphone, which looks a lot like its' predecessor but does have small but important changes. Beats has slightly altered the design in an effort to improve the fit of the headphones and allow more people to get a tight feel. This new model did fit me a little better, but I still couldn't get a tight seal from one of the four included tips. So I tried a few I had lying around from other headphones and ended up with a foam comply tip that worked for me. it's important to get a snug seal because if you do this is one of the better sounding Bluetooth sports headphones out there, with good detail, strong bass and pretty open sound, however if you don't it will sound thin and mediocre and you will be disappointed, particularly since this headphone costs $200. As for other changes, you get a new protective carrying case which I liked. And the RemoteTalk inline remote has been redesigned and the buttons are more responsive. On the inside, the headphone's equipped with Apple's new W1 custom BlueTooth chip. While the headphone works just fine with Android and other BlueTooth enabled audio devices, the W1 chip makes pairing automatic with Apple devices. And the battery life is improved. It's up from about 8 hours to about 12 hours. Also with Beats fast fuel feature, a five minute charge gives you one hour of playback. I prefer Beats' cable management system to J Bird's, and it's easy to adjust the cable and cinch it around the back of your head for a tighter fit if you want it that way. Unlike Beats new BeatsX headphones this model charges via microUSB not lightning. And I think some people will prefer the BeatsX, which is coming soon and cost 50 dollars less. There's also plenty of competition from the likes of Jaybird, BOSE, All those new models make this a tougher sell at $200, and yes it is overpriced but at least it is improved. I'm David Carnoy for cnet.com, thanks for watching.