Reviewed Jul 18, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
6.6
Mixed Usage
6.0
Critical Listening
6.2
Commute/Travel
7.5
Sports/Fitness
6.6
Office
4.8
Home Theater
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Beats 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.

Test Results
Design 7.7
Sound 5.8
Isolation 5.0
Active Features 5.1
Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
  • Minimal leakage.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Uneven bass-heavy sound.
  1. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.0. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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7.7

Design

The Beats 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.

Style

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.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.06 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The Beats Powerbeats2 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.

7.5 Controls
Ease of use : Average
Feedback : Subpar
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : No

These headphones have a decent control scheme. They provide call/music, track skipping and volume controls. Unfortunately, the buttons feel shallow and do not provide a good tactile feedback.

8.5 Stability

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.

8.4 Portability
L : 3.15 "
W : 2.17 "
H : 1.18 "
Volume : 8.06 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The Powerbeats2 Wireless are very portable headphones. They're slightly larger than typical in-ear buds, but They're easy to carry around on your person and will comfortably fit into most pockets.

7.0 Case
Type : Soft case
L : 4.53 "
W : 3.15 "
H : 0.79 "
Volume : 11.16 Cu. Inches

Comes with a stylish soft case that will protect the headphones from minor falls and water damage. However, the case is not robust enough for high physical stress, like accidently stepping on it.

7.5 Build Quality

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.

8.7 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 1.3 C

Cable
Detachable : No

Comes with a USB charging cable.

Front
Angled
Side
Rear
Top
5.8

Sound

The Beats Powerbeats 2 Wireless are a poor sounding pair of closed-back in-ear headphones. They have a mediocre bass, a poor mid-range and a sub-par treble reproduction. Additionally, their bass is excessive and boomy, their mid-range is uneven and cluttered, their treble is lacking presence, and have a poor soundstage. On the plus side, they don't produce much distortion.

6.0 Bass
Std. Err.
:
5.87 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
12.97 Hz
Low-Bass
:
1.78 dB
Bass
:
5.14 dB
High-Bass
:
9.41 dB

5.8 Mid
Std. Err.
:
5.61 dB
Low-Mid
:
7.22 dB
Mid
:
-3.3 dB
High-Mid
:
-4.14 dB

5.9 Treble
Std. Err.
:
5.15 dB
Low-Treble
:
-3.77 dB
Treble
:
-1.38 dB
High-Treble
:
-11.17 dB

10 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.0 dB

3.8 Soundstage
PRTF Error
:
12 dB
Openness
:
7.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
2.7
Correlated Crosstalk
:
-0.36 dB

5.1 Imaging
Phase Error
:
307.6 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
:
0.73 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
:
1.9 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
:
133.16 °

7.8 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
1.162
Weighted THD @ 100
:
1.427

5.0

Isolation

The Beats 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.

3.8 Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
:
-9.1 dB
Bass
:
-0.39 dB
Mid
:
-8.89 dB
Treble
:
-19.92 dB
Self-Noise
:
26.43 dB

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.

7.3 Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
37.97 dB

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.

5.1

Active Features

The Beats PowerBeats2 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.

7.2 Wireless
Type
:
Bluetooth 4.0
Obstructed Range
:
38 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
73 ft
NFC
:
No

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.

0 Latency
Base Latency
:
250 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

5.6 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
5.2 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.45 hrs
Auto-off
:
No
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No

The Beats 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.

0 App Support

No compatible app.

In the box

  • Powerbeats 2 Wireless Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x3)
  • Carrying case
  • Manual
  • USB charging cable

Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless are a good upgrade over the previous Beats Powerbeats 2 Wireless model. While the design is fairly the same, a few performance adjustments were done. The in-line remote now offers decent feedback and buttons are now easy to push. They also have a more neutral-sounding sound with a small bass overemphasis, instead of having a really boomy and cluttered sound profile. The Powerbeats3 also have more than double the Powerbeats 2’s battery life, and take less time to charge fully.

6.6 Mixed Usage

The Powerbeats 2 Wireless are decent mixed usage headphones. They're more geared towards sports with a good, compact and stable design but struggle under other test cases due to poor isolation and sound quality.

6.0 Critical Listening

Not made for critical listening. They have a poor unbalanced audio reproduction and an in-ear design that limits soundstage.

6.2 Commute/Travel

Below-average for commuting. They poorly isolate listeners from ambient noise because of their partially open fit. They won't fare well in loud environments

7.5 Sports/Fitness

The Powerbeats 2 are good sports headphones. They have an incredibly stable hook design. They're also wireless and compact enough to carry on your person everywhere you go. Also, their in-ear fit allows you t o monitor your surroundings while running.

6.6 Office

Average for office use. Minimal leakage but they won't block the chatter of a busty office.

4.8 Home Theater

Subpar for home theater use. They have too much latency for watching videos and movies.

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