The Powerbeats 2 Wireless are stable headphones great for the gym but disappoint with their sound quality. They're comfortable and are easy to carry around. Unfortunately, they have a skewed audio reproduction and don't block noise well, which is not ideal for loud environments.
- Comfortable and stable fit.
- Minimal leakage.
- Poor noise isolation.
- Uneven bass-heavy sound.
The Powerbeats 2 are well-designed, stable headphones you can use at the gym. Their sturdy rubber ear hooks pin the headphones to your ears even during high-intensity exercises. The in-ear tips do not fully enter the ear canal which makes them a little more comfortable than regular in ear buds. They easily fit into most pockets and come with a sturdy, hard case. Sadly, their build quality feels a little too plasticky.
The Powerbeats 2 Wireless are well crafted in-ear headphones. They have a stylized in-ear bud design with flexible ear hooks that fit around the ears. They come in a variety of two-tone color schemes that are eye-catching and sporty-looking. However, the tips are a little larger than typical in-ears.
The Powerbeats 2 Wireless are surprisingly comfortable for an in-ear design. The in-ear tips rest on the edge of the ear canal, reminiscent of an earbud, and do not exert any painful pressure. They would be a good alternative for those who find typical in-ear wireless models uncomfortable. They also come with a variety of tips to help listeners find a better fit.
These headphones feel remarkably stable. The relatively thick ear hooks add a high amount of stability that some other in-ear headphones don't provide. They will stay in place even during high-intensity exercises at the gym. Their wireless design also makes them less likely to be yanked out of your ears because the audio cable got hooked on something.
The build quality of these headphones is above-average. The in-ear buds are lightweight and dense enough, to not get damaged by a few falls. The ear hooks are made of a rubber-like material that's flexible and won't break easily from regular use. However, the cable that links the two earbuds is susceptible to wear and tear and the inline control module feels cheaply made and not durable.
The Powerbeats 2 Wireless have a poor, unbalanced audio reproduction. Bass is overemphasized and extends into the mid-range. That combined with the underpowered high frequencies of treble, results in a skewed sound quality that's too dark and muddy for most listeners. Instruments and vocals lack detail and clarity, and the closed back in-ear design sounds even less open because of the lacking high tones. These headphones should not be your first choice for critical listening.
Poor Bass Range performance. The overall response is quite hyped, between 5dB to 10dB depending on the frequency. This results in an overly bass-heavy sound that tends to be boomy and muddy. On the up side, the response is well extended down to 10Hz.
Poor Mid Range performance. Except for low-mid, which is continuing on the Bass overemphasis, the rest of the Mid Range is underemphasized by about 5dB. This, combined with the hyped bass, pushes the vocals/leads to the back of the mix
Poor Treble Range performance. Low-treble, which is responsible for clarity and detail of vocals/leads, is underemphasized by more than 8dB, which is the continuation of the high-mid dip. This, combined with the hyped bass and dipped mids, causes the low frequency sounds to significantly overpower the high frequency content.
Poor soundstage. Due to their in-ear design, these earphones do not interact with the outer ear, and therefore their soundstage may be perceived to be located inside the listener's head. Also, these headphones isolate the listener from the environment noticeably, which results in a closed-up and small soundstage.
Poor performance. These headphones produce a lot of phase shift which affects the transparency and accuracy of the reproduction. This is probably due to poor wireless/codec design. Additionally, the drivers are our test unit were decently matched, but could have been better in terms of frequency response matching.
Very good harmonic distortion results. The overall amount of harmonic distortion at 90dB SPL and 100dB SPL is low.
The Powerbeats 2 Wireless are not actively isolating headphones. They won't be able to block the noise of a busy commute or a loud office. Their noise isolation is especially poor because, unlike some other in-ear headphones, they don't create a sufficiently tight seal in the ear canal, to passively block some of the ambient, high-frequency noise. On the upside, they don't leak much and are barely audible to the people around you even at higher volumes.
Poor Isolation. Although in-ears usually provide very good Treble isolation, the amount of Treble isolation provided by the Powerbeats is below average. This is due to their loose seal. Additionally, they fail to achieve more than 7dB of isolation in the Mid Range, and provide none in the Bass Range.
Good leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage is distributed between 4KHz and 7KHz, which is narrow and typical of most in-ears. The overall level of the leakage is relatively low too.
The PowerBeats have a relatively slow wireless connection that's just passable for audio streaming but would be less than ideal for gaming or watching videos. They also have a subpar battery life and no power saving features, but on the upside, they charge relatively fast and have a decent wireless range for their compact size.
The Powerbeats have a decent wireless range. They're quite far reaching for an in-ear model and won't drop the wireless connection up to 30+ ft when the Bluetooth source is another room. As long as they are not too many walls between the headphones and the source. Their range in direct line of sight, however, is not the best so if your often outdoors or on an open field running laps the audio might cut out a lot sooner than the Soundsport Wireless. Unfortunately pairing them to your Bluetooth device is a bit tedious, and they don't offer NFC. On the upside, the auditory chimes provide a decent feedback when pairing.
The Powerbeats 2 have a below average battery life. They provide just above 5 hours of continuous playtime, and they don't take too long to charge via USB. However, they won't be the ideal headphones to take on a long road trip or a particularly lengthy flight. They also don't have any battery saving features, like an auto-off timer, so they will quickly run out of power if you forget to turn them off.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Powerbeats 2 Wireless Headphones
- Earbud tips (x3)
- Carrying case
- USB charging cable