AirPods vs Powerbeats3 Best Wireless Headphones for Running in 2020

Apple’s wireless W1 chip has become a huge hit, and the company now offers four headphones that use it, two of which are suitable for workouts and active listening: the AirPods and the Powerbeats3.


At A Glance: AirPods vs Powerbeats3 Best Wireless Headphones for Running in 2020


ProductBrandNamePrice
BeatsPowerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear HeadphonesCheck Price on Amazon
AppleApple AirPods Wireless Bluetooth HeadsetCheck Price on Amazon
AppleApple AirPods with Wireless Charging CaseCheck Price on Amazon

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The price difference between the AirPods and the Powerbeats3 is by no means marginal, especially since only the AirPods are truly wireless. Not sure which one you should pick up for yourself? We pit the two against each other and hopefully help you make a buying decision.

AirPods vs Powerbeats3 Comparison

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AirPods vs Powerbeats3 Design and Build

The AirPods are designed for the urban music enthusiast who listens to music on and off throughout the day and relies on headphones for communication. With their 24-hour battery life with the provided charging case, one-tap setup for all Apple devices, and the absence of a wire, the AirPods are one of the most comfortable headphones we’ve ever used.

The AirPods themselves last about five hours on a charge, but the beautiful thing about these is that just 15 minutes in the case gives you a three-hour charge.

One of the beautiful things about the newer model of the AirPods is that the wireless charging case got an upgrade. Now, you can set the AirPod case on a charging pad, and the Qi charging pad will juice up your Apple AirPod case — no wires necessary.

The Powerbeats3 have a lot in common with other fitness-oriented headphones, including their design and fit. They feature integrated earwings to keep them in place during exercise, and the built-in lithium-ion battery can last for up to 12 hours on a charge. What’s more, 5 minutes of charging replenishes enough power for 1 hour of playback.

While both the AirPods and the Powerbeats3 can hold up great to the wear and tear that comes with daily use, only the Powerbeats3 are sweat- and water-resistant to handle tough training sessions. They are also far more stable thanks to the integrated earwings, and they ship with four different sizes of replaceable eartips, whereas AirPods take the one-size-fits-all approach.

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AirPods vs Powerbeats3 Sound Quality

Beats headphones are famous for their bass-heavy sound signature, and the Powerbeats3 are no different. Compared to the AirPods, the Powerbeats3 are significantly more impactful and work great with such music genres like EDM, hip-hop, or modern pop.

That said, the copious amount of bass produced by the Powerbeats3 tends to spill to other parts of the sound spectrum and make mids and highs sound muffled and muddy. When listening just for fun, you probably won’t notice or care. But don’t expect the Powerbeats3 to rival similarly priced headphones from Sennheiser or Grado; most money went to their wireless technology.

The AirPods are fairly well-rounded and work great with all music genders. But their sound doesn’t have the same impact as the Powerbeats3 do.

AirPods vs Powerbeats3 Comparison Verdict

In summary, both the AirPods and the Powerbeats3 are excellent wireless headphones, but the Powerbeats3 are, in our opinion, the best W1 headphones for workouts and active use. The AirPods are, on the other hand, the best W1 headphones for everyday use and communication.

Don’t get us wrong — the AirPods can be great for a workout, but we love the extra security of the loop on the PowerBeats3.

ProductBrandNamePrice
BeatsPowerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear HeadphonesCheck Price on Amazon
AppleApple AirPods Wireless Bluetooth HeadsetCheck Price on Amazon
AppleApple AirPods with Wireless Charging CaseCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.