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Best wireless earphones for running and other workouts: A Powerbeats Pro review

Best wireless earphones for running and other workouts: A Powerbeats Pro review

Raising the roof

Text: Janice Sim


Once upon a time, the humble sport of running was carried out without any accessories. None of those jazzy trainers, sweat-resistant tights, or wireless headphones we're seeing on the streets today.

The evolution of the trusty sport earphones has now led to the newly-released Powerbeats Pro, birthed from the audio maestro Beats by Dr. Dre. And funnily enough, after decades' worth of innovation and advancement, what would be dubbed the world's number one fitness earphones was made to function like it didn't exist during your daily sprints. Almost like striving towards the better, only to unknowingly reverse back in time; just that the final product now comes with sublime audio booming in your eardrums — sans the physical weight.

Powerbeats Pro

Let us clarify: The Powerbeats Pro is shockingly lightweight, and designed with ergonomical flair that at times, we forgot it was even there. That meant while we were getting crushed by the impact of feet-against-granite and lungs gasping for air, the in-ear devices felt comfortable, instead of doubling down on the burden.  This could be the most considerate pair of earphones we've ever tried — because God only knows how hard clocking in those precious miles are.

Word on the street is that to achieve this ideal fit, over 20 configurations were electronically modelled and physically trialled. As compared to its predecessor, the Powerbeats Pro is 23% smaller and 17% lighter. Its shape marks an entirely new one — boasting an ergonomically angled acoustic housing that snuggles perfectly in the concha bowl of your ear, with an off-axis nozzle. Plus, a redesigned adjustable earhook that feels like second skin. Definitely unlike the weight we felt back when ear cuffs were all the rage. Not all ears were created the same, so don't fuss — choose from four sizes of ear tips that come in the box.

Powerbeats Pro

Crafted in Beats fashion, the sound was the device's top priority. That its re-engineered form eventually comprised of an upgraded linear piston driver, one that leverages an efficient, pressurised airflow. In return, you'll get formidable acoustics from an electrifying playlist ranging from AC/DC to The Carters. Its noise isolation feature also blocked out the rampant chatter from a group of boys playing football. Turns out, when you're fighting the good fight of keeping your legs in a vicious cycle, any sound as meagre as an innocent sneeze might send you over the edge. Though, that might just be us.

Whether you choose to have both buds fitted in, or either of the left and right, you'll still be able to receive sounds seamlessly. Alternatively, if you need to engage in occasional banter with your jogging partner, removing one earbud also means your current song will naturally be halted, before it starts again once the bud has been fitted back in. Calls are also easily picked up, with the device cleverly recognizing your voice, while filtering external sounds like wind and ambient noise. Kudos to the speech-detecting accelerometer in each earbud and two beam-forming microphones on each side. Alternatively, they can also be easily declined — just by pressing and holding the b button on either side. If you need immediate assistance, Siri (with the Apple H1 chip inserted) is also on call with the magic words of 'Hey Siri', without you fumbling for your smartphone.

Powerbeats Pro

Add to that, nine hours of playtime and a quick boost inside the charging case (where five minutes inside equates to 1.5 hours of playtime) gives good reason to why you should shell out a handsome sum of $328. After all, this could mean great, plausible changes for your inactive lifestyle.

Powerbeats Pro is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Available now at Apple.

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