Beats gearing up to launch own take on AirPods in April

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 22
The Apple-owned Beats may be preparing its own take on the AirPods concept, as the luxury headphone brand is reportedly preparing to launch a cord-free version of its eponymous PowerBeats, potentially within the next month.

Beats PowerBeats3
Beats PowerBeats3


Apple revealed a second-generation model of its AirPods this week, along with a Wireless Charging Case, but while most of the audio attention has been on Apple's wearable device, Beats is said to be gearing up its own attempt at the wire-free accessories.

A version of the Beats PowerBeats that lacks the cord connecting the two earphone sections together is apparently close to launch, according to a retail channel source of CNET. The product, likely to retain the PowerBeats name, will allegedly be announced sometime in April, though it is unclear when it will take place.

Pricing for the accessories is unknown, but it is likely to be in line with other similar products, such as the PowerBeats3 priced at $200. That model has been spotted at lower price points at some retailers, which may be a sign a replacement premium-end model will be shipping soon.

There is also no word on what the design of the earphones will be like, except for the lack of wiring. One possible design is that it could look like the current PowerBeats3, complete with over-ear clip, making it an alternative to AirPods for those who use them while active, minimizing the risk of the earphones being dislodged or damaged during exercise.

It is highly likely the product will borrow most of the technology used by the new AirPods, including the H1 wireless chip. Replacing the W1 wireless chip, the H1 is designed for headphone usage, offering performance and connection improvements, longer battery life, and enables hands-free "Hey Siri."
patchythepirate

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    thttht Posts: 3,324member
    If it has hooks for around the ears like now, no buy from me. Interferes with my glasses too much. If it is in-ear or canal headphones, with noise isolation, serious consideration. 
    caladanian
  • Reply 2 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,403member
    I'm likely a buy if it has the H1 chip and it's in-ear without the ear-hooks or other bulk.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 617member
    buy for me...

    I've have powerbeats 2 (extremely short battery time....2-3 workouts),

    I've have airpods... great for beach or lounging by pool (i'm the person who for some reason my left ear doesn't hold the airpod as well...)

    Currently use powerbeats 3 daily and love them. Great battery life. Obviously I would love a wireless version but my only negative would be I don't want to be that guy with headphones on constantly and sometimes like to just quickly remove them and drape them around my neck. I would definitely buy bc this is technology advancing.


    watto_cobraAppleExposed
  • Reply 4 of 20
    As long as they're as reliable as the Airpods (PB3's aren't exactly known for their stellar track record there) but add isolation while keeping all the good points of Airpods (eg H1, battery life, good mic, etc) then I'd give them serious consideration.

    But chances are good that I'll be disappointed and will end up with Airpods.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 617member
    would apple just release this as a website refresh? or is it possible they announce on Monday and ship in April?
  • Reply 6 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,403member
    NY1822 said:
    would apple just release this as a website refresh? or is it possible they announce on Monday and ship in April?
    I’m not expecting any new HW on Monday.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    Hack the hell out of that H1 to direct it to any other assistent than Sirri (sorry I mean Siri and don’t go look for me at the Apple website)
  • Reply 8 of 20
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,741member
    More options are good - typically beats use silicone for sound isolation as opposed to AirPods, so they may be a good alternative for people who want a snugger fit or more isolation than they can get AirPods
  • Reply 9 of 20
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 372member
    NY1822 said:
    buy for me...

    I've have powerbeats 2 (extremely short battery time....2-3 workouts),

    I've have airpods... great for beach or lounging by pool (i'm the person who for some reason my left ear doesn't hold the airpod as well...)

    Currently use powerbeats 3 daily and love them. Great battery life. Obviously I would love a wireless version but my only negative would be I don't want to be that guy with headphones on constantly and sometimes like to just quickly remove them and drape them around my neck. I would definitely buy bc this is technology advancing.


    Exactly - the Powerbeats are great for cycling or other workouts where the ear hooks are almost mandatory.

    Spigen and a few other companies make neck straps for the AirPods. Somebody is likely to make something for these.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,203member
    With the limited battery durability of totally wireless headphones this category of product is effectively a subscription. Why not sell them as such?
  • Reply 11 of 20
    tht said:
    If it has hooks for around the ears like now, no buy from me. Interferes with my glasses too much. If it is in-ear or canal headphones, with noise isolation, serious consideration. 
    Every "ear speaker" I've tried falls out of my ears in less than 10 seconds, even if I'm stationary. Thanks for pointing out that the ear hooks interfere with glasses (I had been planning to get one, now I won't.) I guess my only option is "over the head" technology.
    dtb200
  • Reply 12 of 20
    cjcoopscjcoops Posts: 70member
    My headphone dream would be for Apple to sell off the Beasts hardware division, and buy Klipsch.

    Develop some genuinely excellent (in audio terms) wireless earphones - a wireless version of their X20i at the top end and wireless x12i in the middle.

    Klipsch already do Wisa gear for home audio, so a wisa soundbar and optional surround wisa speakers to go with homepods for wireless audio from upcoming Wisa Tvs, without having to pay B&O prices.
    https://www.wisaassociation.org

    Meanwhile Master Dynamic MW07 are good.
    edited March 23
  • Reply 13 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,323member
    So, what do the Beats offer that AirPods don't?   Is it more than just the color?  Or the name?
  • Reply 14 of 20
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 686member
    "just the color"? This is a wearable. What would you think if Apple Watch bands only came in white?
  • Reply 15 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,323member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    "just the color"? This is a wearable. What would you think if Apple Watch bands only came in white?
    "So, what do the Beats offer that AirPods don't?   Is it more than just the color?  Or the name?"

    It was a serious question dude.   Are you trying to say that color is the only advantage Beats offers?
  • Reply 16 of 20
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,463member
    So, what do the Beats offer that AirPods don't?   Is it more than just the color?  Or the name?
    Its the virtual coolness and its counter trend blackness.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    I hope Beats offer the soft silicon or foam in-ear buds - if it’s the hard plastic like the Apple product I sure won’t buy it. Hello JayBirds.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,323member
    knowitall said:
    So, what do the Beats offer that AirPods don't?   Is it more than just the color?  Or the name?
    Its the virtual coolness and its counter trend blackness.
    Ummm,   Interesting...
  • Reply 19 of 20
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,529member
    I'm not too familiar with the Beats IEC lineup but there are three things they offer that the AirPods do not:

    8, 12hr playback time (Beats X, Beats PB3)
    fitment for virtually every ear, potentially more comfortable than AirPods
    far less likely to fall out or be lost
    isolation from ambient sounds
    improved sound ? (possibly, based on sealing the ear canal)

    I have and like AirPods very much, but might consider these new Beats depending on the execution and audio quality.

    I find the AirPods extremely convenient and comfortable. I can easily wear them longer than the batteries last. But they're a little light on a really good musical experience, and when out and about, traffic noise can easily overpower them. I can crank the AirPods up, but they still come in second, and that's not good for what's left of my hearing.

    I don't want to completely block out traffic sound, obviously, but some major attenuation would be appreciated. However I can't wear IECs nearly as long as the AirPods. Memory foam instead of silicone tips would help me in that respect.


  • Reply 20 of 20
    kiowavtkiowavt Posts: 81member
    I bought a pair of the sports version of the PowerBeats 3. Mid workout as sweat gathered they would jump songs, pause videos, etc. Returned. Sports? I almost think my AirPods could handle sweat better. Maybe they have improved but I am not drawn to experiment again at that price. Costco took them back. Not sure I would be so lucky again.
    edited March 24
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