Should you buy the Powerbeats Pro or Powerbeats 4?

Wireless Power

Powerbeats Pro

$249 at Apple


  • Totally wireless
  • Charging case
  • On-ear controls on both ears
  • Apple H1 chip
  • Lots of color choices


  • Not pocketable in their case
  • Only up to 9 hours of continuous battery life
  • No wireless charging
  • No active noise cancellation

The Powerbeats Pro are the first Beats earbuds to feature a completely wireless design. A charging case is included as well as on-ear controls on both ears. If you like to have your choice of colors, you will want the Powerbeats Pro.

Affordable Beats

Powerbeats 4

$149 at Apple


  • Up to 15 hours of battery life
  • Same great sound as Powerbeats Pro for less money
  • Apple H1 chip
  • Good value


  • Limited choice of colors
  • On-ear controls only on one ear
  • Not completely wireless
  • No charging case

The Powerbeats 4 feature 15 hours of battery life and the same great sound as the Powerbeats Pro for less money. You get a choice of three colors, and there are on-ear controls on the right ear.

The Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 offer many similar features as well as some very distinct differences. What makes one better than the other, and which one is the best one for you? Let’s find out.

Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 4: The similarities

If the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 sound like very similar devices, that’s because they are. So, should you spend an extra $100 on the Powerbeats Pro, or should you save some money and give up some features? Let’s take a look.

Powerbeats ProPowerbeats 4
DesignWireless Over-Ear HooksWired Over-Ear Hooks
Wireless ChargingNoNo
Wired ChargingLightningLightning
Charging CaseYesNo
Continuous Battery LifeUp to 9 hoursUp to 15 hours
Active Noise CancellationNoNo
Transparency ModeNoNo
Choice of Colors6 Colors3 Colors
Integrated On-Ear ControlsBoth EarsRight Ear Only
IXP4 Water ResistantYesYes

Both the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 feature the same great sound and an over-ear hook design. They both have the Apple H1 chip, which allows for easy pairing and device switching on Apple devices. It also allows for hands-free “Hey Siri” control. Both feature IPX4 sweat and water resistance, so you can work out and sweat without worry. However, neither set of earphones contain wireless charging or active noise cancellation. Now that we’ve covered the similarities, let’s look at what sets these two apart.

Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 4: Wire or wireless?

The most significant visual difference between the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 is the wire that connects the Powerbeats 4’s earbuds. The Powerbeats Pro gives you truly wireless use. There are no wires at all.

Although the Powerbeats 4 are not tethered to your device with a wire, making them technically wireless, the earbuds are connected by a wire. In regular use, the wire could get twisted, especially when stuffed in your pocket or bag. Since neither set of earbuds contains a transparency mode, you may want to use it with only one ear when you are out for a run or walk. The Powerbeats 4 has a disadvantage here; if you want to use only one, the other will have to dangle.

Both the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 contain on-ear controls, but only the Powerbeats Pro has the same controls on both ears. Each ear has dedicated volume controls. You press the “beats” button to answer calls, play and pause your music, or activate “Hey Siri.” This allows you to use the Powerbeats Pro with one ear and have the same controls no matter with ear you wear.

In contrast, the Powerbeats 4 has controls only on the right ear. Just having the earbuds wired makes them difficult to use in only one ear, but since the controls are only in the right ear, you can’t just wear the left earbud and use all of the features.

Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 4: Plenty of juice and style

On the surface, the Powerbeats 4 with up to 15 hours of battery life looks like they certainly beat out the Powerbeats Pro’s 9 hours of battery life. However, the Powerbeats Pro come with a charging case that will give you more than 24 hours of listening time while away from an outlet. A five-minute fast charge in this case will give you 1.5 hours of use. The Powerbeats 4 do not have a charging case; they must be charged directly with a lightning cable. If the battery dies while you are away from an outlet, you are out of luck.

However, be aware that the charging case for the Powerbeats Pro is not a pocketable size. These are not AirPods Pro that you can slip into your pocket and move about your day. The case is rather large and bulky, so you will need to have a bag with you to take along the case. Also, inserting the Powerbeats Pro into the case can be a little tricky at first, as the earbuds and magnets have to be perfectly aligned for them to be seated properly.

When it comes to look, you get your choice of colors with both, so you can pick your favorite. However, the Powerbeats Pro currently comes in a choice of six colors, black, ivory, navy, glacier blue, cloud pink, and lava red. You may also be able to find past colors such as moss and spring yellow.

The Powerbeats 4 choices are much more limited, but you will be happy if you want black, white, or red.

Powerbeats Pro vs. Powerbeats 4: Which should you buy?

The choice between the Powerbeats Pro and Powerbeats 4 comes down to budget and features. If you have the extra $100 to spend, you will get truly wireless earbuds, on-ear controls on both ears, a charging case that will get you 24 hours of listening time, and your pick of color. This makes the Powerbeats Pro the winner for me.

If you are on a tighter budget, the Powerbeats 4 is still a great choice, as you will get the same sound and basic features as the Powerbeats Pro for less. If found on sale, it can be a great value, just without all of the advanced Pro features.

The winner

Powerbeats Pro

Pro Wireless

$199 at Amazon
$249 at Apple
$249 at Best Buy

The Powerbeats Pro are truly wireless, and they include a charging case for 24 hours of listening time. You get on-ear controls on both ears and a wide variety of colors to choose from.

Runner up

Powerbeats 4

Good value

$119 at Amazon
$149 at Apple
$149 at Best Buy

With the same basic design and features as the Powerbeats Pro, the Powerbeats 4 are a great value if you are on a budget and don’t need all of the Pro features.

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