Apple AirPods vs Beats Powerbeats3 – Who Wins?


Both AirPods and Powerbeats3 come with Apple’s W1 chip, and in this article, we are going to compare those earphones and see which are better. The W1 chip enables automatic pairing to iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch and it allows instant pairing over Bluetooth. Let’s take a look at what we are getting here.

First of all, if you buy yourself a pair of AirPods, you will get two earphones, one plastic charging case which is also used for carrying and storing your earpieces and a standard USB-A to Lightning cable. On the other hand, with the Powerbeats3 you get Bluetooth earphones, a case in which you can carry your earpieces, but which is made of rubber and a short USB-A to micro-USB cable. In addition, you will get three extra ear tips in different sizes.

Each piece of AirPods has a battery, and each of them can be charged individually by putting it in a case. You can use AirPods up to five hours on a single charge, or three hours after they have been in the case charging for only 15 minutes, according to Apple. You need to charge your charging case the same way you do it with your iPhone, by using Lightning. The charging case has reserve for 24 hours before it runs out of power, which is enough for you to charge your AirPods.


On the other side, we have Powerbeats3 which don’t have Apple’s charging port. Instead of that, they use a micro USB port which is located on the left earphone housing and once charged, it offers 12 hours of constant use. After only 15 minutes of charging, you can use your Powerbeats3 for 1 hour thanks to the fast charging feature. You can use the Powerbeats3 for 12 straight hours, while AirPods can last longer, but with breaks because of the separate charging case.

Both gadgets use Bluetooth to connect to sources, but unlike Powerbeats, which have the cord that connects the left with the right one, AirPods come without that cord and are thus completely wireless. However, Powerbeats3 are harder to lose during a workout, because they are connected, and you can adjust the neck cord to your own liking. You can also take off the Powerbeats3 and let them rest around your neck, so this wire on wireless earphones is useful. For AirPods, the gravity is enemy number one.

However, Powerbeats3 can distract you during the workout, and its advantage is a disadvantage at the same time. Because of the earphone angle, it is more difficult to put Powerbeats3 on, and if you wear glasses, that can also be an issue. AirPods may not be suitable for everyone because only one size and shape is offered. However, once you put them inside your ears, you won’t need to adjust them all the time, and they will not fall out.


Powerbeats3 are equipped with playback and volume controls which are located on the neck cord, but these are a bit hard to access when you are using the earphones. AirPods, on the other hand, will pause automatically when you remove one piece and you can activate Siri by a double tap to access other commands. If you want to take off Powerbeats3, you would need to turn them off, while that is not the case with AirPods. Also, you can use only one AirPod if you want and they are better for more casual use.

On the other hand, Powerbeats3 are better if you plan to run in windy and rainy weather, because of its water resistance. In those cases, AirPods are more likely to be damaged (which doesn’t mean they will) than Powerbeats3, so if you are not giving up on your running schedule even if it is raining, Powerbears3 are a better choice. Be that as it may, both gadgets have advantages and downsides, and it is hard to say which one to opt for, and the opinions are usually divided.

Another pair of earphones that will come with the W1 chip is BeatsX which will cost $149, and the shipment of this model will start in February. The AirPods are available for $159 while the Powerbeats3 are more expensive as they cost $199.