Powerbeats Pro Rant / Review post

If you're looking for PIC32 information today, I'm sorry to say there's none. I haven't posted anything in a while and I'm on vacation but I've become so frustrated with the lack of information on these earphones that I had to say something.

If anyone is reading this, I'll be back from vacation in two weeks. I'll try to keep answering PIC32MZ questions in the comments until then.

Using the Powerbeats Pro with the Galaxy Watch

TL;DR version: If you want to buy the Powerbeats Pro and use them with the Galaxy Watch, don't! At the very least, know what you're getting yourself into.

A short bit of background

I enjoy running outside and have been doing so for many years. I can't stand the constant pace the treadmill forces me into and I find my legs hurt. Now despite running for almost 20 years I still run like a drunk hippo with a limp. You can feel me coming. I like running with music because it blocks the wheezing sounds and allows me to imagine I look super cool. I've used the Jaybird Bluebuds X, X2, X3 and X4 and enjoyed them. I found the cable that gets stuck on my neck a massive pain and the horrendous proprietary charging clip to be another large concern. So now that I'm on vacation I bought myself the Powerbeats Pro, my first truly wireless earphones. They look so good, I'm sure they'll be excellent for running and will go perfectly with the Galaxy Watch I bought 10 months ago, also for running. Right?

The Powerbeats Pro according to Internet reviewers

Wow! These things are amazing! Completely coincidentally every reviewer has the exact same list of pros and cons. They fit well, have a long battery life, a good seal and pause when you take them out. Good! But the charging case is large, much larger than the airpods and airpods 2. Bad! Apart from that, the concensus is that gee golly they're the best exercise earphones ever!

Enter the Galaxy Watch

They do work great, with my phone. The problem is the average phone size and price has increased over time and I find I no longer want to strap my $1000 phone to my arm when I go for a run or a walk just to listen to music. So I use my Galaxy Watch which, again, got super awesome reviews when it came out.

But it seems that nobody ever tried the Powerbeats Pro with the Galaxy Watch. Presumably because they're 10 months old they no longer exist. So every review I saw tested them with the very latest Android phones, iPhones and Apple Watches. The story is very different with my Galaxy Watch, and with old Android phones too.


Whenever you pause a song or have any dead air for about a second or more (and this seems to include gaps between playback of songs), the powerbeats adjust their volume to the volume of the Watch's media player. So if you've cranked that up to 15/15, welcome to eardrum busting hell. Strangely enough, if you press a volume key the Powerbeats immediately revert to the volume they were supposed to be at. Needless to say, the eardum busting is undesirable at best. Why would I have the volume so high? Because I like to vary the volume during my run at fast and slow sections and I want to be able to control the volume with my earphones, not have to go back to the music app on the watch and adjust it there every single time.

Nightmare 2: Your earphones won't turn off

The Powerbeats Pro have this awesome (?) feature that all reviewers make sure to mention - if you take one of them out, the music pauses. Great! Oh you didn't put them straight into their case and close the case? Well, welcome to them randomly turning themselves on in your pocket, or even in your hand if you go into a slightly dark room and trick the built-in light sensor into thinking they're in your ear. So what, just disconnect them from your watch, right? Sure, and then they'll reconnect themselves when they wake up. Because they don't have a power button they cannot be turned off. They "just work", except when they don't. The only way I've found to shut them up is to turn off the bluetooth on my watch or put them in their charging case. Maybe this is why every single reviewer made such a big deal about the charging case size but I doubt it.

Oh and when they restart, thanks to the volume bug they restart at MAXIMUM VOLUME so be prepared for giggles as your embarrassing running playlist starts blasting out of your pocket at all sorts of hilariously inappropriate locations.

Nightmare 3: Poor connection and the volume bug

The Galaxy Watch's Bluetooth connection sucks. When I'm running and my arms are raised the connection seems fine but if I'm going on a walk it's a whole 'nother story. My arms are fairly long, clearly too long for the signal to reach the Powerbeats Pro. So they start to stutter, maybe even have different audio in each earbud. If I raise my arm, the connection is fine again but who wants to walk with their arms up by their side like a T-Rex? So I pause the music, let the watch catch up and then resume. MAXIMUM VOLUME again! Rock on! It's an unbelievably poor experience.

In summation

Who are tech reviews written for? Do I have to own all the latest tech in order to make use of them? Why does nobody mention these problems which, as I've said, I've encountered old Android phones (a few years old) too? Anyway, I hope this rant helps someone out there avoid an unnecessary purchase.

Categories: reviews

Tags: review, rant, moaning, audio