Review: Powerbeats3 with Apple W1 chip are the most reliable Bluetooth headphones we've ever used

24

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 74

    polymnia said:
    the Beats acquisition looks smarter everyday. 
    You're kidding...right? I've never heard Beats marque headphones sound anything but truly dreadful. They don't remotely come close to being of audiophile quality.
    What on earth do audiophiles have to do with building brands and raking in money?
    baconstangrandominternetperson
  • Reply 22 of 74
    I think the analogy about driving two cars at once is a bit off and here's why. Bluetooth multi-link will allow you to pair with more than one device, then if listening to one input, music on your iPhone for example and a call comes in from another device, say a desk phone that supports bluetooth or soft phone on a computer, you will get an alert and have the choice to either take the call or ignore it. If you take it, the music stops and you take the call, if you ignore it the music keeps playing. I have been doing this with my Plantronics Voyager headsets for years and multi-link is a requirement for me in any headset at this point. I don't want to have to pair and unpair every time I want to use a new device. 
  • Reply 23 of 74

    mac_128 said:
    I returned my set, despite the W1.
    Exercising while listening to music was OK, sound OK, didn't fall off
    Pairing was OK too, but switching sound source from macbook / apple watch /iPhone was very fussy - and several times headphones shoed up on phone, but I couldnt select them as source for making a phone call. Had to power them down and re-power - re-pair.
    biggest complaint, about 20 % of time, whover i was talking to on Beats, cmplained of awful quaility, tinny or muffled ? sometimes breaking up
    The second time that my wife hung up on me in frustration was the day i re-boxed and returned.

    Not a complaint - i knew this when i bought them - but still - why not let them charge from a lightening port (female)? 
    Apple stremline connections which is great, (usb-c and lightneing) except when they dont.

    hope your experience goes better
    I too find it interesting on a pair of headphones about which one of its strongest selling point is the cross-compatibility with Apple products via simple pairing, uses a charging cable that no other Apple branded device uses.
    The reason is plainly obvious. Beats as a brand is cross platform, thus USB. Apple branded gear are more tailored to apple ecosystem interfaces.
    well - except that they use the W1 chip - its suposed to be a big deal - but the W1 chip is only for apple devices... so again why not put the lightning (female) to charge.
    of course - offer two versions for the few that would pay this much (for the W1) who then doeasn't use the W1 bacuase they are not pairing it with apple devices.

    its pretty silly IMO (of course) to put a charging connector that they dont use on any apple device. - 
    blastdoor
  • Reply 24 of 74

    razormaid said:
    Ok as an owner of 7 yes SEVEN pairs of PowerBeats2 wireless Bluetooth head phones (This isn't Apple. This is BEATS!  

    .....

    SUMMARY:
    unpair all devices before attempting to pair to a new one
    translation:  stop driving one car before you start driving another car!


    translation: don't put the cable that controls the damn headphones behind your head trying to use it like  A contortionist and they will actually work correctly 
    ok - why only pair with one device - supposed to be a key feature of W1 chip it can be 'paired' automaticalaly with all your apple devices

    great that your so happy - bit of course you have 7 pairs of powerbeats2 but this thread is about powerbeats3

    last - put the little box in fron near your mouth, behind you neck - whatever - frequently i complaints - so maybe i had a defective set, but too many complaints - basically they sucked -
    oh and yes I read the "awesome" manual that came with them
    ireland
  • Reply 25 of 74
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,806member
    right_said_fred said:
    ...but the W1 chip is only for apple devices…
    It's not. The Apple designed W1-chip has features that only benefit the Apple OS and iCloud ecosystem, but it has benefits for every device that connects via BT. Most notably seems to be a more efficient use of BT connectivity, but on the Apple AirPods it also looks like the W1-chip also helps determine when you tap for voice commands and which ear or ears have an AirPod in place by obtaining data from the accelerometers and proximity sensors.
  • Reply 26 of 74
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 611member
    I got a pair because I just couldn't wait for the AirPods, but I wanted something I could wear all day and switch among my 6 devices, they paired with all of them which was great (even BT 2.1), but the comfort level just wasn't what I was hoping for, to wear all day, with the 12 hour battery and probably 2-3 day stand by time. I had to take them back because I know I can wear the AirPods (if they get here in the next few weeks) with no pain or irritations...
    ireland
  • Reply 27 of 74
    wozwoz said:
    Seriously - who would put a radiating device INTO their head?? Does this model cause less brain damage than other Bluetooth headphones?
    You do know that there is no real scientific evidence to link wireless devices including cellphones to brain tumours et al right?

    There's tonnes of specious evidence but nothing from real science.
  • Reply 28 of 74

    mac_128 said:
    I returned my set, despite the W1.
    Exercising while listening to music was OK, sound OK, didn't fall off
    Pairing was OK too, but switching sound source from macbook / apple watch /iPhone was very fussy - and several times headphones shoed up on phone, but I couldnt select them as source for making a phone call. Had to power them down and re-power - re-pair.
    biggest complaint, about 20 % of time, whover i was talking to on Beats, cmplained of awful quaility, tinny or muffled ? sometimes breaking up
    The second time that my wife hung up on me in frustration was the day i re-boxed and returned.

    Not a complaint - i knew this when i bought them - but still - why not let them charge from a lightening port (female)? 
    Apple stremline connections which is great, (usb-c and lightneing) except when they dont.

    hope your experience goes better
    I too find it interesting on a pair of headphones about which one of its strongest selling point is the cross-compatibility with Apple products via simple pairing, uses a charging cable that no other Apple branded device uses.
    The reason is plainly obvious. Beats as a brand is cross platform, thus USB. Apple branded gear are more tailored to apple ecosystem interfaces.
    well - except that they use the W1 chip - its suposed to be a big deal - but the W1 chip is only for apple devices... so again why not put the lightning (female) to charge.
    of course - offer two versions for the few that would pay this much (for the W1) who then doeasn't use the W1 bacuase they are not pairing it with apple devices.

    its pretty silly IMO (of course) to put a charging connector that they dont use on any apple device. - 
    W1 is a bonus to Apple gear owners, but the devices are cross platform via BT thus use the lowest common denominator (micro USB) for android smartphones. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 74
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,806member
    W1 is a bonus to Apple gear owners, but the devices are cross platform via BT thus use the lowest common denominator (micro USB) for android smartphones. 
    The question I have: Will USB-C replace micro-USB for device that need small ports interfaces, usually for charging, or will USB-C be used, even though it's larger?

    There are pros and cons of the USB-IF allowing—for lack of a better term—a micro-USB-C port interface. The pros are to get rid of micro-USB, but if it can do exactly what the USB-C can do, the way that mini-DisplayPort was a port interface than DisplayPort, then it could just make the future of USB complicated again, albeit to a lesser degree than it has been in the past.
  • Reply 30 of 74
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,428member

    mac_128 said:
    I returned my set, despite the W1.
    Exercising while listening to music was OK, sound OK, didn't fall off
    Pairing was OK too, but switching sound source from macbook / apple watch /iPhone was very fussy - and several times headphones shoed up on phone, but I couldnt select them as source for making a phone call. Had to power them down and re-power - re-pair.
    biggest complaint, about 20 % of time, whover i was talking to on Beats, cmplained of awful quaility, tinny or muffled ? sometimes breaking up
    The second time that my wife hung up on me in frustration was the day i re-boxed and returned.

    Not a complaint - i knew this when i bought them - but still - why not let them charge from a lightening port (female)? 
    Apple stremline connections which is great, (usb-c and lightneing) except when they dont.

    hope your experience goes better
    I too find it interesting on a pair of headphones about which one of its strongest selling point is the cross-compatibility with Apple products via simple pairing, uses a charging cable that no other Apple branded device uses.
    The reason is plainly obvious. Beats as a brand is cross platform, thus USB. Apple branded gear are more tailored to apple ecosystem interfaces.
    So why does the Beats X have a Lightning port instead of micro USB?
    baconstanggatorguy
  • Reply 31 of 74
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,806member
    mac_128 said:
    The reason is plainly obvious. Beats as a brand is cross platform, thus USB. Apple branded gear are more tailored to apple ecosystem interfaces.
    So why does the Beats X have a Lightning port instead of micro USB?
    I think it's obvious. BeatsX is a newly developed product category which brings Beats closer into Apple tailored ecosystem by way of including the Apple-designed W1 chip, as he stated.

    So why not the Solo 3 which also contain the W1 chip? Well those shipped a couple months ago. Being the first and the largest headphones it may have been easily to alter the engineering to allow for that BT chip over what they had previously had. Not everything needs to be all-or-nothing, and when you have a worldwide conglomerate, it's probably not a great idea to always go that route.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 32 of 74
    polymnia said:

    Ive said it before: the Beats acquisition looks smarter everyday. 
    Jonathan Ive said it before, or I've said it before?
    Soliirelandwatto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 74
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
      Where the hell are the Beats X earbuds?
    ireland
  • Reply 34 of 74
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    mac_128 said:
    I too find it interesting on a pair of headphones about which one of its strongest selling point is the cross-compatibility with Apple products via simple pairing, uses a charging cable that no other Apple branded device uses.
    My Beats Solo2 Wireless use micro-USB to charge, as do my daughter's Solo3 Wireless.
  • Reply 35 of 74
    I was really excited to get these headphones. Unfortunately, I had a terrible experience on calls with them. They would drop connection frequently making them unusable for conference calls. I was forced to return them and try out the Bose wireless ones. So far they work better than the PowerBeats3
    ireland
  • Reply 36 of 74
    trumptman said:
    I'll never buy these and this is coming from a guy who owns two sets of bluetooth headphones and uses them daily.

    These are simply not worth $200. The Apple or Beats premium isn't worth that in my view. Perhaps the predecessors were priced at that but like many things Apple related lately, Apple stands still and the world moves on.

    The high end for bluetooth headphones is around $100 right now and there are loads of great sounding headphones in the $20-40 range.

    These are items that are sweated on. The earbuds can get pulled off. They can simply get misplaced or lost. In the past you sucked it up perhaps and gave Apple $30 for a new pair of wired headphones when everyone else was charging half that. Now not so much.

    Beats were so hot a few years ago. I don't think I've seen a kid wearing a pair in the last year though.
    That's why your "feelings" aren't what dictates Apple's business decisions.  Beats, under Apple, has grown to own 60% of the worldwide market for premium headphones.  They have also grown to now be the largest, in the entire world, seller of wireless headphones.  They are an enormously profitable part of Apple and it was an extraordinarily smart business decision from a revenue and profit perspective, not to mention the enormous benefits of the brand value, music streaming business, and personnel.
    Soli
  • Reply 37 of 74
    wigbywigby Posts: 689member
    Good point.  Does seem like the review should mention how well they work for phone calls.
    Aren't these workout headphones? Of course it would be nice to know how well they handle phone calls but if I'm only using them for workouts, I don't care about phone calls because I'm not taking them while working out.
  • Reply 38 of 74
    I think the analogy about driving two cars at once is a bit off and here's why. Bluetooth multi-link will allow you to pair with more than one device, then if listening to one input, music on your iPhone for example and a call comes in from another device, say a desk phone that supports bluetooth or soft phone on a computer, you will get an alert and have the choice to either take the call or ignore it. If you take it, the music stops and you take the call, if you ignore it the music keeps playing. I have been doing this with my Plantronics Voyager headsets for years and multi-link is a requirement for me in any headset at this point. I don't want to have to pair and unpair every time I want to use a new device. 
    I was referring to the article where they made a big deal about it pairing. Audio pairing is not like other bluetooth devices. Yes in my car without TOUCHING my iPhone, my music starts playing and phone calls override my iPhone too. That's true. 

    However I was referring to people always complaining about pairings when switching devices. "I have it paired to X and now it won't pair to Z". I hear this complaint all the time.

    So I was explaining the process of remove current pairing before attempting to re-pair to another. Just like driving: stop driving this car (iPhone A) before you start driving a different car (iPad B" until you tell it "don't go here - go there". 

    My discussion had to do with devices specifically. I don't consider a "car" a device but Apple may yet make one and turn it into a device. LOL. 

    But youre correct bluetooth with cars and non devices feature an "over ride" function. Since it does this on its own I didn't think I needed to mention it but you are are correct. However after your phone call it does not suddenly jump to your iPad from your iPhone. It's still "paired" to that "device". I guess had I not used a car driving (something your busy doing) and chose a different function it would have been less distracting. Let's use this:  you have to get off your bicycle before you can ride a different bicycle. Since bycycles don't ship with Bluetooth does that help you? (The car was the shiny object in the room that caught your attention I guess - my fault too shiny)
    edited December 2016 baconstang
  • Reply 39 of 74
    "provided no strain or irritation on our ears"
    Do you guys share ears or earphones with one another?
    edited December 2016 randominternetperson
  • Reply 40 of 74
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,428member
    john.b said:
    mac_128 said:
    I too find it interesting on a pair of headphones about which one of its strongest selling point is the cross-compatibility with Apple products via simple pairing, uses a charging cable that no other Apple branded device uses.
    My Beats Solo2 Wireless use micro-USB to charge, as do my daughter's Solo3 Wireless.
    Are they the only Apple products you own? Otherwise it's an extra cable you have to carry with you.

    i suppose it's good from the standpoint that you and your daughter can travel together and only share one other cable between you. But otherwise, I don't see any compelling reason to stick with micro-USB if they have already started switching Beats products to Lightning, including the Pill and Beatsx ... it's not as if these headphones weren't all introduced at the same time with the iPhone 7 and airpods. The fact they haven't shipped at the same time is meaningless. In fact that was the perfect time to switch from micro USB to lightning.

    its not like Apple doesn't make wholesale changes across the board for customers who use something else -- heck they just replaced all ports on the Mbp with USBc ... and removed the headphone jack on all iPhones ... and Apple can do that because of its strong brand identity ... something beats also has. At the peak of its popularity is exactly the time to switch to Lightning, especially when a huge selling point of the otherwise identical bears models is the W1 being custom tailored to work seemlessly with Apple products.

    one of the reasons I haven't bought either the Solo3 or powerbeats 3 -- the only available headphones with W1 -- is because I would need to carry an extra cable or adapter I don't need now.
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