Apple-owned Beats have a new pair of wireless headphones - the Powerbeats Pro - that offer many of the same features as the second generation of Apple's AirPods, including Siri and the H1 chip.

With only £20 price difference if you buy the AirPods with wireless charging case, what are the differences between the AirPods and the Beats Powerbeats Pro and which should you choose?

What's the same?

  • H1 chip for simple setup with Apple devices
  • Automatic ear recognition
  • Use one or two
  • Hey Siri support on iOS devices
  • Answer calls

The Apple AirPods and the Beats Powerbeats Pro both run on the H1 chip and they both offer one-tap setup with Apple devices. The AirPods and the Powerbeats Pro will be automatically recognised by an Apple device when you open their charging case. After one tap, both headphones will connect seamlessly across any other Apple devices associated with your Apple ID.

Both headphones will also automatically pause when they are taken out of your ear, and play when they are put back in and you can opt to wear one AirPod or one Powerbeats Pro, or both. They also both offer Hey Siri support and it's possible to answer calls on both pairs of headphones too without touching your phone.

What's different between Beats Powerbeats Pro and Apple AirPods?

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Price

The Apple AirPods start at $159 or £159 for the standard charging case. This price increases to $199 or £199 for the AirPods with the wireless charging case.

The Beats Powerbeats Pro will cost £219.95 when they launch next month.

Design

The Apple AirPods and the Beats Powerbeats Pro look completely different. The Beats headphones have a sportier look and they feature an adjustable ear hook, which makes them more secure for working out compared to the AirPods. They have physical controls at the top of each ear piece and the "b" can be pushed for activating voice control.

The AirPods meanwhile, have a small earpiece with an extra part below, resembling a very small electric toothbrush head. They have no physical controls on them, with volume controlled via the connected device instead.

Colours

The Apple AirPods are available in white only. The Beats Powerbeats Pro come in four colours comprising, black, ivory, moss and navy. Black will be available in May, while the other three colours will arrive in summer 2019.

Sweat resistance

Apple doesn't say the AirPods are sweat or water resistant, though we wear them running and we haven't had any issues. Beats has said the Powerbeats Pro are sweat and water resistant, though it doesn't provide an official IP rating.

Battery life

The second generation of Apple AirPods promise three hours of talk time and five hours of listening time. The Beats Powerbeats Pro promise a huge nine hours of battery life though.

Both come in a charging case that offers multiple charges up to 24 hours of listening time. These charging cases are both charged via Lightning. The AirPods also have the option of a wireless charging case, though this costs extra.

Declining a call

While it is possible to answer a call on the Apple AirPods by tapping the side of one of the AirPods, you cannot decline a call. On the Beats Powerbeats Pro headphones you can decline a call though. Pressing and holding the "b" will allow you to carry on listening or working out without interruptions.

Conclusion

The Apple AirPods and Beats Powerbeats Pro are similar in terms of the features they offer, including super simple setup for Apple users.

The Powerbeats Pro are more expensive, especially if you're considering the AirPods with the standard charging case, though they do offer physical controls, sweat and water resistance, more colours and a better battery life.

The AirPods are excellent and they will be a great fit for many if you like the design. The Beats Powerbeats Pro are likely to be a winner for those looking to use their headphones to workout though and from our first impressions, they sound great too.