Testing: Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats 3
When it comes to headphones of the brand Beats by Dr. Dre, people either love it or hate it. One group is amazed by the brand and quality and the other one complains about the allegedly bad sound quality and the high price. We tested the Bluetooth headphones Powerbeats 3 by Beats by Dr. Dre for you and tell you if they are worth your money.
The headphones are delivered in a high-quality package, which would be typical for Apple. The first impression of the Powerbeats is accordingly very good. The assembly convinces, the flat cable is surprisingly flexible and the whole headset seems to be very light. The package includes a 4in-long microUSB cord (10cm), a silicone case and 3 additional earbuds. The headphones are available in the colors black, red, blue, white and yellow. According to the IPX7 certification, they are sweat and waterproof. The control and microphone are integrated into the left earphone. You can use it for example to utilize Siri. The buttons are for the playback control (play, pause, volume up and down, etc.).
The high Apple standard is not just visible in the package, but also in the pairing with the iPhone. The pairing via Bluetooth works automatically without frustration. Connection errors are almost not existent.
The Powerbeats 3 have flexible ear hooks that are supposed to provide a secure fit and stability even for power workouts. That’s at least what Beats by Dr. Dre promise. The material is, in fact, smooth and comfortable in the ear. The earbuds, however, don’t fit in every ear and they could pinch inside and behind the ear. We would not recommend these headphones to a wearer of glasses because the ear hooks will cause an uncomfortable feeling of pressure after a certain time.
A cable clip allows you to adjust the length of the cable in your neck so that it doesn’t bother you.
Outstanding battery life
The battery of the Powerbeats 3 is charged quickly. According to Beats by Dr. Dre, 5min of charging are already enough to use them for a one-hour workout. They integrated an Apple W1 Chip in the headphones, which is supposed to provide a 12-hour battery life. In our test, we reached around 11 hours, which is not the promised time but exceeds the battery capacity of many other headphones of competitors by far. A little icon on your iPhone shows the battery status of the Powerbeats 3.
The brand Beats by Dr. Dre doesn’t exactly have a good reputation in audiophile circles. That’s mainly because the first models were overpriced for a middle-class sound. Unfortunately, the Powerbeats 3 are just in the middle range as well. There are two little sound converters – also called DualDriver – in each earphone. These are responsible for bass and treble – one for each type of tone. The trebles are clear, the tones in the middle are okay, but the bass is just muffled. The voices and singing are presented good, even if they get dubbed by the bass. The maximum volume is also not extremely high compared to other in-ear headphones but should be enough for an everyday usage.
The Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats 3 have strengths and weaknesses. The greatest strengths are the high-quality assembly and the long battery life.
However, the Powerbeats 3 weaken in comfort and sound. If the earbuds are not sitting right, you will also have a decline in the sound quality. The included earbuds have to exactly fit into the ear canal, only then they will be comfortable. It could take a while until you figured out the best way to attach the headphones to your ear. For the relatively high price, you would at least expect more sound quality.
Hint: You prefer completly wireless headphones but the AirPods are a little too expensive? Check out our list of wireless headphones.