The Powerbeats Pro are, in my immodest opinion, the best true wireless earphones yet. They have Apple’s latest and best wireless chip — the H1 that stars in the second-gen AirPods — and they offer great noise isolation, a secure fit, and some of the best audio quality from any wireless earbuds. iFixit has this week taken a closer look at the innards of these latest Beats earphones, prying apart the multiple logic boards and ribbon cable interconnects to show us how the magic is made.
One of the unexpected things that emerges from this teardown is that the Powerbeats Pro use the same coin cell battery as Samsung’s Galaxy Buds do. It’s a 200mWh unit, soldered in place on the Pros, and from my review experience with both pairs of buds, I can vouch for its comparatively long endurance. The Galaxy Buds can go for six hours on a single charge, and the Powerbeats Pro last even longer. It’s a testament to the efficiency of modern engineering that products can derive such long running times from such a frugal battery.
On the other end of the Powerbeats Pro entrails is the sound driver, which iFixit says is reminiscent of the one inside the AirPods. The sound signature and quality difference between the two pairs of Apple earphones would lead me to think they’re using different drivers, but even if identical, the construction of the earphones around the driver is substantially different. Beside the basic audio hardware and H1 chip, the other commonality the Powerbeats Pro share with the AirPods is that they’re terrible to repair. Just taking everything out requires a heat gun and the cutting of an internal ribbon connector. So they don’t score highly on the repairability ranking, but what recent Apple product has?