They’ve already leaked plenty and Walmart even put them on shelves before an official announcement, but now Apple’s Beats brand is launching the new Powerbeats 4 earbuds. They’re actually just called Powerbeats without a number tagged onto the end. Like past versions, these use a neckband design, though the cable now runs behind the ear.
The new Powerbeats have been upgraded on multiple fronts. They’ve got improved 15-hour battery life (up from 12 hours in the Powerbeats 3) and, like the Powerbeats Pro, are now rated IPX4 for sweat and water resistance. They contain Apple’s H1 chip for quick pairing and hands-free “Hey Siri” voice controls. And Beats says they should sound basically the same as the Powerbeats Pro, which remain among the best true wireless earbuds on the market in terms of audio quality. There’s a power button (on the left earbud), volume rocker, and a multi-function “b” button (on the right earbud only) for controlling music.
Color options are black, white, and red. The Powerbeats charge over Lightning; a USB-A to Lightning cable comes in the box, as does a soft carrying pouch. They’ll be available starting March 18th from Apple, Best Buy, and other retailers that carry Beats headphones.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like true wireless earbuds or are afraid of losing then, these make for a decent (and cheaper) alternative to the Powerbeats Pro. And they can outlast those earbuds at 15 hours of continuous battery life compared to 9 on the Pros. Stay tuned for a full review.