Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.
The journey to finding the perfect set of headphones can be time-consuming, expensive, and frustrating, depending on how tangled your current pair is after living in your pocket. Cheap headphones are okay for a few weeks, until they give up. Mid-grade headphones are only marginally better, and then you’re out 50 bucks for fine enough sound quality and durability. You settle on an eternity of replacing subpar headphones with slightly more efficient headphones, and the cycle continues until you die. It’s a crippling defeat.
Okay, maybe it’s not that dark. But a good set of headphones—especially wireless headphones—isn’t the unicorn you think it is. The best on-the-go buds are already on the market. If you’re willing and able to invest in great audio for your workouts and daily commute, the Powerbeats Pro from Beats by Dre is the ticket.
They’re so user-friendly, they’re practically magic.
When it comes to headphones, I want to be able to throw them on before a run or when I’m headed to work, and not have to do much more. The Powerbeats Pro were essentially designed for just that. After connecting the wireless set to your device via Bluetooth, you’re ready to go. I’ve found that some wireless headphones prompt you to connect and reconnect to Bluetooth, but Powerbeats Pro connect once and stay locked in, even if you have a couple types of headphones you like to use. An AutoPlay sensor on the inside of each headphone lets the earpieces know that you’ve fitted them on your ears, prompting whatever you were listening to last to start up again. You can control music (and calls) from there with small volume buttons or the main B button. No unnecessary steps or excessive buttons—just wear and go.
You have to try to run down the battery.
The battery life on these bad boys is a little insane. Outside of their self-charging case, the headphones are good for nine hours of continuous play. I’m fairly confident that’s longer than my phone stays charged, to be honest. But if you’re a headphone warrior, the wireless charging case provides an additional 24 hours of battery life, meaning there’s really no way you are going to run out of juice. When the charging case needs a boost, hook it up with any iPhone 7 (or more recent) charging cable. Five minutes of charge gives you an additional hour-and-a-half of playtime. If you want to run out of battery life, you literally have to try.
You’re investing in long-term quality.
Even with these features, a $250 price point is understandably a little high. But when you think about those intermediate headphones you’ve bought in the past, that cost likely compounds to the price of a pair that isn’t going to let you down. The Powerbeats Pro were designed to be worth the money. On top of an adjustable ear piece and four different color options, Beats prioritized durability with this pair. After all, these were made with athletes in mind—sweat and moisture shouldn’t be a worry. And of course, the sound is that clear quality you’ve come to expect from Beats. If the first three months of wear are any indication, this pair of headphones and I are going to be together for awhile.
You don’t buy the Powerbeats Pro to get you to your next pair of headphones. You get these when you’re ready to settle in for the long haul.