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Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats3 Review

Great sounding earbuds that can stand up to the most rigorous workouts
beats by dr. dre powerbeats3 wireless earbud review
Credit: Beats
Price:  $200 List
Manufacturer:   Beats by Dre
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Aug 22, 2017
  • Sound Quality - 30% 8.0
  • Comfort - 20% 7.0
  • Athletic Performance - 20% 8.0
  • Battery Life - 15% 8.0
  • Portability - 10% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 5% 8.0

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a pair of workout headphones that can keep up with the most rigorous routine while still delivering the audio equivalent of fluffy cotton candy to your ear canals, the Powerbeats3 are for you. Their over-ear hooks provide a superbly stable fit, so you can do as many jump squats as your legs will allow, these puppies aren't' falling off. They were also one of the best-sounding pairs of earbuds we tested, so you can rest assured you'll hear every staccato note of Eye of the Tiger as you power through your last set of push-ups. Combine that with a solid 8 hours of battery life and you've got a great pair of Bluetooth earbuds. Our only complaint: the over-the-ear hooks can get in the way of some wide-templed sunglasses, so you may have to adjust your shades a bit if you want to take them on a run.
Secure fit
Great sound quality
Can get in the way of sunglasses

Our Analysis and Test Results

Whether you want something that can handle hard workouts, or just want the best sound quality possible, the Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats3 fit the bill.

beats by dr. dre powerbeats3 wireless earbud review
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison

The Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats3 really set the bar in our testing, scoring at or near the top of all five of our testing metrics, and thus earned one of the highest overall scores.

Sound Quality

The Powerbeats earned one of the top scores in our sound quality testing.

These earbuds pumped out surprisingly powerful bass in our testing, and generally sounded very crisp and well defined. This created a very full bodied sound that lent a heft and overall quality to every type of music. These earbuds are the perfect companions if you demand a high quality listening experience anywhere you go.

In terms of making phone calls the Powerbeats3 were serviceable but not incredible in our testing. You will be able to hear whoever calls you with perfect clarity. Whoever you're talking to will be able to hear you more than well enough to make out what you're saying, but we did find that the microphones on some other models were a bit clearer.

beats by dr. dre powerbeats3 wireless earbud review - the powerbeats' high quality sound is great for any situation.
The Powerbeats' high quality sound is great for any situation.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman


The Powerbeats3 were just off the top score in our comfort testing.

These earbuds provide an impressive 4 different earpieces sizes, so it's very likely you're going to find a size that fits your ear. And even if you don't, the over ear hooks can be bent to contour to almost any ear and provide plenty of stability. The only reason these earbuds didn't get a top score is that those over ear hooks can't bend quite enough to accommodate smaller ears.

Athletic Performance

The Powerbeats3 were again towards the top of the leaderboard in our athletic performance testing.

This high score in athletic performance largely comes from the over the ear hooks. These hooks provide the most stable fit of any of the earbuds we tested. This made the Powerbeats3 the buds we reached for when doing things like mountain biking that demanded a very secure fit. The only downside of these hooks is that they don't accommodate sunglasses with wide temples very well, so they can be annoying if you like big shades. This somewhat limits their usefulness in outdoor sports. If you want something more glasses friendly the JBL Reflect Mini has no ear hooks, yet provides a more secure fit. Once you find a good fit these earbuds can also stay put during bumpy mountain bike rides, but it'll probably take a few rides before you feel confident that they won't fall out.

beats by dr. dre powerbeats3 wireless earbud review - the powerbeats' ear hooks provide an incredibly stable fit.
The Powerbeats' ear hooks provide an incredibly stable fit.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Battery Life

The Powerbeats3 lasted an impressive 10 hours in our battery life testing. While this was a bit short of the advertised 12-hour battery life, it still placed it amongst the top performers. It also means you could work out for 2 hours every day after work and only have to charge these earbuds once a week.


The Powerbeats3 earned a fairly average score in our portability testing. We didn't run into any significant durability concerns, both in our own inspection and in reading many online user reviews. However, the large ear hooks do take away that roll-them-in-a-ball-and-they-disappear quality that you get with smaller earbuds.


The Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats3 are a classic case of you get what you pay for. They do provide top shelf performance, but you also have to pay a top shelf price of $200. We feel that is a fair price given their relative quality to other Bluetooth earbuds, but you definitely have to be willing to pay for performance.


The Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats3 combine high end athletic performance with impressive sound quality to create a near perfect bundle of Bluetooth goodness, but that goodness does come with a correspondingly high price tag.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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