Wireless Sports Audio Part 1 - Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

April 24, 2016

The Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless was initially launched in June 2014, just weeks after Apple announced the Beats acquisition. Since then, these SGD 310 wireless earphones still headline Beats' sports in-ears and have recently spruced up the product with the Active Collection three color lineup. 

As Part 1 of the Wireless Sports Audio series of articles, we give a full breakdown of what the Powerbeats2 Wireless offers.
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

Pros (+): Iconic design; Thumping bass; Snug fit around the ears.
Cons (-): Not for audio purists; Pricier than its peers.

As usual, we start with a fav segment - the unboxing!

While the initial launch saw 3 colors (white / red / black), there's now a full suite of 10 colors to choose from, including the Active Collection (Shock Yellow / Siren Red / Flash Blue), added in late 2015. We were kindly provided the Flash Blue variant.
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless packaging

After peeling the strip at the bottom, flipping open the cover unveils the earphones beneath a layer of transparent plastic with clear details on how to charge 'em up. Flipping the tab, with the arrow, upward gives you access to unwind the cord. 
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless packaging

On taking out the cardboard backing and peeling out the eartips, you finally have the product at your disposition.
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless packaging

The packaging content comprises:
- Powerbeats2 Wireless
- 4 x Earbuds (S / M / L / M double-flange)
- Charging cable
- Carrying pouch

Update (27 Jun 2016)
We had mentioned that there was an XS earbud size. This has been corrected to state 'double-flange'

The Powerbeats2 Wireless look great and I daresay, iconic in their design. To illustrate the point, I visited Phuket recently and it was the only headphone brand where imitations were peddled every 300 metres. Copying is indeed the best form of flattery. 

Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

At 24g, the Powerbeats2 Wireless is not as featherweight as the Jaybird X2 Wireless (13g) though it's worth noting this is a clip-on type as opposed to the conventionally lighter under-the-ears models. For ideal placement, push the tip of the earhooks and slot them behind your ears.
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless with Comply Foam
For the record, the grey buds (sold separately) are Comply Foam Isolation tips.
Will we review them? Damn right but only in the Wireless Sports Audio Verdict :)

The already attached but easily removable circular cable management clip is useful to tighten the cord around your neck to reduce microphonics.
Beats Powerbeats Cord Clip

The sturdy oval-shaped carrying pouch was a highlight for me. It was solid and protected the Beats earbuds within incredibly well. And oh, there's a band to hold the zip from dangling about. Nice touch.
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless carrying pouch

Its IPX4 rating means it's sweat resistant. We'll put that to the test shortly :)

Bluetooth pairing is a breeze. After holding the power button for 4 seconds, the blinking LED prompts you to initiate pairing with your device. Select 'Powerbeats Wireless' from your source and you're good to go. Only niggle is it only connects to a single device.
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless status LED

The in-line remote, aka RemoteTalk, lies on the left side and comes with the usual volume up / down buttons that flank a multi-function switch. Really liked the rubberized feel that made it easy to grip while on the move.
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

The voice commands, or lack thereof, were sorely missed. To give an example, I was using the Powerbeats2 Wireless casually and it just powered off...just like that! Sure there is an LED indicator that shines white / red (under 1 hour playback), but when you're using it, you ain't gonna be taking off the unit just to check how much juice the earbuds still have.

We tested these sports earbuds in three areas when jogging:
1. Fit - Did it fit into the ears snugly? Did the weight of the cord tug on ears causing it to fall out?

2. Noise Isolation - We checked out if the degree to which external noise is blocked. This is what you'd deem as 'passive noise cancelation'. 

3. Microphonics - This is basically the sound of the cable rustle when there's any kind of friction, be it wind friction or the cord swishing when running. 
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

And on to the test run!

Out of the 4 eartip sizes provided, 'M' suited best so this was a constant during the jog. 

I went for a 3km jog around the very scenic Bukit Chermin Boardwalk in Labrador Park facing Singapore's southern islands. 
Jogging along Berlayer Creek and Buket Chermin Boardwalk

For the fit, I'll declare myself as one who wears glasses. While stationery, the ear hooks kinda feel a bit tight at the back of your ears. I appreciated them helluva lot better during the jog on 2 counts - they didn't drop out and neither did my glasses! However, no matter how hard I inserted the earbuds, I could not get an optimal seal for an ideal noise isolation. Apparently, this is to get a balance between ambient sound and music. After adjusting the cable management clip close to my head before the jog, I didn't get the sense the cable rustle was very obvious. Apart from some minor wind swishes, I was pretty satisfied. After the jog, I can safely say they are sweat resistant but I didn't foolishly dunk them into water for the simple reason that they are not water resistant!
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

You'll either love or hate the sound quality. It's all about the bass - an overpowering resonance that ain't the punchy sort. Locust's Aerospace was sublime once the bass kicked in but the mid-range and high frequencies are somewhat flattened out. It's excellent for music types like dub-step and house. Classical? Nahh...you shouldn't even be listening to this during your workouts, yeah?
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless eartip

Charging is a piece of cake - simply pull back a flap under left ear piece and plug the cable to the micro-USB slot. The single LED shines bright red when charging and white when full. For a quick charge of 15 minutes, you get 1 hour of playback and a full charge of 90 minutes gets a moderate 6 hours of juice.
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

The Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless is to me, a enjoyable music device for jogging. If you're an audio purist, this is not for you but if you jog / work out a lot, the heavy bass does a great job in pumping you up to go the extra mile. Even if you simply use this on the streets, it's an iconic looking pair of buds that's a head turner. 
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

Where To Buy
You can purchase the Powerbeats2 Wireless in various retail outlets in Singapore at SGD 310. Alternatively, if you like what you have read, you can support me by buying from Amazon from USD 150 via our affiliate link. This is a much better deal (it's SGD 202!).

Audio Sources
Aerospace (Probspot Remix) - Locust (Spotify 320kbps MP3) on Samsung Galaxy S4

Credit to Apple and Beats for an evaluation unit.

Wireless Sports Audio Series 
Part 1 - Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless 
Part 2 - Sony NW-WS413 
Part 3 - UA Headphones Wireless - By JBL 
Part 4 - Bose SoundSport Wireless
Part 5 - Jaybird Freedom Wireless F5
Part 6 - The Verdict (TBA)

You Might Also Like


  1. Parts for the Powerbeats2 are not available. you have to send them for repair which is very expensive.


Related Posts Plugin for Blogger

recent posts