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

The new Powerbeats price tag $150.

David Carnoy/CNET

When Beats launched the genuinely wireless Powerbeats Professional very last year, it was a kind of desire products for Beats headphones enthusiasts. Besides for the downside of its cumbersome charging situation, the Powerbeats Professional had been basically AirPods on steroids, with richer, far more dynamic sound and greater battery lifetime — and they stayed in your ears far more securely, specifically in the course of athletic routines. 

Table of Contents


  • Greater crafted than Powerbeats3 Wireless, with greater sound top quality
  • Thicker, rounded cord between buds
  • Demand through Lightning (cable integrated)
  • Greater battery lifetime than Powerbeats Professional — up to 15 hours
  • Very same options as the 2019 AirPods
  • Cellular phone phone top quality is great

Do not Like

  • A great deal of really great genuine wireless earbuds in this selling price variety
  • May well not in good shape some ears correctly (tight seal is very important to finding ideal sound)

Now Beats has absent retro on us and brought back again the standard “wired/wireless” Powerbeats. (Indeed, the name of the 2020 model is just “Powerbeats,” but virtually everyone is calling these fourth-era types the “Powerbeats 4.”) These are essentially the Powerbeats Professional, but there is a cord between the buds, which are still wirelessly linked to the mobile phone. At $150 (£130, AU$220), or $one hundred significantly less than the listing selling price of the Powerbeats Professional, they are a reliable athletics headphone and a decent enhance in excess of their well known predecessor, the Powerbeats three Wireless. Their only difficulty is that they are a bit driving the moments, which can make you query regardless of whether they are really worth the selling price Beats is asking for them.

If you seem carefully, you will see they are a bit greater than the Powerbeats Professional. I got the white variation, but they also occur in black and red, and you will in all probability see far more shades in the long term. I suspect they are a minimal greater since as an alternative of charging wirelessly in a charging situation like the Powerbeats Professional, these cost through an integrated Lightning cable, which implies Beats experienced to put a Lighting port in the correct earbud. That can take up a particular amount of area.

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Apart from the lessen selling price, just one of the Powerbeats’ primary selling points in excess of the Powerbeats Professional is greater battery lifetime — 15 hours as opposed to nine hours for the Powerbeats Professional. Some men and women also like to be capable to leave their buds dangling around their neck when not utilizing them — it is easy. And I did like that these in good shape into a compact nylon carrying pouch as an alternative of a cumbersome charging situation. I would have preferred to have observed Beats incorporate that same low cost pouch with the Powerbeats Professional.    

As it did with the Powerbeats Professional, Beats has improved the total Powerbeats design so they in good shape far more ears greater. But I still experienced a tough time finding a tight seal with the integrated eartips — I experienced to use my individual excess massive foam suggestions that had been integrated with a set of Shure genuine wireless earbuds I was tests. But they really should in good shape most people’s ears properly and if you do get a tight seal, they sound fairly great.

These are definitely greater crafted than the Powerbeats three. Their cord is rounder and thicker than the Powerbeats 3’s cord, creating it far more sturdy and lessening the snag variable (it isn’t going to capture as substantially on your outfits or pores and skin). As far as the design goes, these are a significant enhance. That explained, the Powerbeats Professional do occur throughout as a bit far more quality and offer that excess feeling of liberty you get from a genuine wireless model.

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The new Powerbeats are a minimal greater than the genuinely wireless Powerbeats Professional. 

David Carnoy/CNET

You get largely the same options as the Powerbeats Professional. These are IPX4 sweat-resistant and splashproof. They have the equivalent piston drivers and digital signal processing that Beats suggests provide the same balanced audio as the Powerbeats Professional, with “pure sound copy, improved clarity, low complete harmonic distortion and dynamic variety.” The same Apple H1 chip that can make it uncomplicated to pair and swap between all your iCloud-connected Apple equipment is on board. These also have the same dual beamforming microphones and a speech-detecting accelerometer that Beats suggests targets your voice and filters out external noise for “improved phone top quality and improved voice select-up” whilst utilizing your voice assistant. And certainly, these have arms-free Siri, so if you have an iOS unit, you can just say, “Hey, Siri,” to activate Apple’s voice assistant. (There is no equivalent characteristic available on Android.) 

Apart from the Lightning port, there are a few of other smaller design dissimilarities from the genuine wireless versions. These have a electrical power/Bluetooth button on the still left bud since you have to bodily flip them on. (The Powerbeats Professional earbuds quickly flip on when you take them out of their charging situation.) The correct bud has the quantity manage rocker and the “b” button. 

The headphones in red.

Beats by Dre

Like the Powerbeats Professional, these are undoubtedly dynamic-sounding headphones, with effective bass, organic-sounding mids and great clarity. Not amazingly, they have an fascinating sound profile that’s geared to present-day pop and hip-hop new music. I swapped back again and forth between these and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Furthermore and uncovered that the Powerbeats have far more energy in the bass and far more forward sounding mids (vocals). The Galaxy Buds Furthermore is a minimal far more laid-back again and nuanced. I favored its sound (and undoubtedly favored the lack of wires) but, as I explained, if you get a great in good shape with the Beats, you is not going to be let down by the sound. 

A tight seal is very important to finding ideal sound.

David Carnoy/CNET

I also considered headset efficiency was great. The noise reduction is reasonably powerful and callers explained they could listen to my voice properly, even in noisy environments. As far as I could explain to, the headset efficiency was on par with that of the Powerbeats Professional, which also works properly for creating calls. It’s possible not fairly as great as the AirPods Professional, but still properly earlier mentioned ordinary.

If these arrived out a few of decades ago, I would be a whole lot far more enthusiastic about them. Now, as I explained, they are a more durable sell irrespective of the reality their listing selling price is $fifty significantly less than what the Powerbeats three price tag when they arrived out. (Indeed, men and women had been having to pay $two hundred for these, whilst they are selling for significantly less than $90 currently.) Even though they are undoubtedly a great enhance in excess of the Powerbeats three and a reliable wireless athletics headphone, the issue for me anyway is that after you go genuinely wireless it can be tough to go back again, and there are plenty of great genuine wireless earbuds in this selling price variety. Those aforementioned Galaxy Buds Furthermore, for case in point. Heck, you can even select up a Geek Squad-recertified Powerbeats Professional from Ideal Obtain for $a hundred and forty. And never ignore that the road selling price of the standard AirPods is essentially $a hundred and forty.