The Powerbeats 2 are available in the established Beats color schemes of red and black or white, both of which are sharp-looking, fitness-style earphone pairs connected by a flat linguini-style cable that rests behind the neck. Stabilization fins tuck behind the top of the ear for a secure fit, while the chunky-but-lightweight eartips stay inside the canal. PowerBeats 2 connection issues iPhone 6!!!
The fit can feel disconcertingly loose until you find the right-sized eartip, and even after I found the right one for my canals, the earphones kept a relatively open, relaxed feeling. This may be due to the over-the-ear loop on each earpiece potentially pulling the earpieces away from the canals a bit. There’s something to be said for this feel when exercising, since the earphones won’t fall out of your ears despite the relaxed fit, and they let you hear your surroundings better. Most in-canal earphones create a firm seal at the canal that blocks out ambient sound and aids in bass response, and the Powerbeats2 Wireless doesn’t create this seal. It’s not a deal breaker, but it took me some getting used to.
An inline three-button remote control and microphone compartment hangs near chin-level from the left earpiece, allowing for easy control of playback, volume, and calls. The Powerbeats2 Wireless ships with a very short USB charging cable, four pairs of eartips in multiple sizes, a clip that fastens onto the earphone cable to keep it secure behind the head, and a hard zip-up carrying case.
Pairing the earphones with an iPhone 5s was effortless and quick, aided by helpful LEDs that indicate pairing status and battery level. Beats estimates the Powerbeats2 Wireless battery life to be about 6 hours on a full charge, but this depends on the volumes at which you listen to your music.
This is not a subtle-sounding earphone pair. On tracks with powerful sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Powerbeats2 Wireless does what it was made to do: fill your ears with gobs of throbbing bass that sound like they’re coming from a club PA. It doesn’t show any distortion on the most challenging deep bass tracks, even at maximum and unsafe volume levels. At moderate volumes, it sounds overly bass-heavy and lacking in high-mid and high frequency definition. This is an imbalance that comes through on other tracks even more prominently.
On tracks that lack super-deep bass content, like Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” the Powerbeats2 Wireless creates some out of whole cloth. Both the drums and Callahan’s baritone vocals, which need no extra bass, get plenty piled on top. The track sounds muddled at times, as if the high-mid frequency range were completely ignored. This is odd, considering the recently reviewed Beats Solo 2 sounds far more balanced, with at least a decent sense of high-mid and treble presence to keep every aspect of the track well-defined against the onslaught of deep bass. Yes, this is comparing headphones to earphones, but the overall Beats sound shouldn’t vary this much.
Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild” suffers from the same lack of high-mids. The kick drum loop’s attack sounds dull and heavy here, without the attack would slice the mix with a sharp treble edge on a more accurate earphone pair. The sustain adds onto the already formidable deep lows, almost masking the sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the drum loop. This should not be happening.
Classical tracks, like the opening scene in John Adams’ “The Gospel According to the Other Mary,” receive far too much boosted bass to have a natural sound. If you exist in the rare subset of listener that sometimes exercises to classical music, you probably already had a feeling these earphones weren’t for you based on the reputation of the brand alone.
Here are some great pairs of Bluetooth headphones for your new Apple Watch
JayBird BlueBuds X
Customers on Amazon have rated the JayBird BlueBuds X Sport headphones 4 out of 5 stars on nearly 4,000 reviews. The consensus is that if you are looking for sport/workout headphones in the $100-$200, or you just really like the in-ear design, you have to seriously consider these. In fact, Sebastien just bought a pair. All of the standard features are here such as an in-line microphone with built-in controls and 8 hours of playback/talk time, as well as impressive additions such as Signal Plus tech for longer connection range and a lifetime warranty against malfunctions due to sweat.
At $25, you obviously shouldn’t expect blow-your-mind sound from these headphones, but customers over at Amazon say they perform much better than other offerings in this price range. They also feature a comfortable behind-the-head design, built-in music controls, a built-in microphone, and battery life of around 10 hours (music and talk time).
If you’re wanting larger, higher quality headphones, but still don’t want to break the bank, you might check out Sony’s DR-BTN200 model. They feature two 30mm drivers for dependable sound, and a large lithium Ion battery that offers up to 40 hours of music playback. These headphones include built-in playback controls, a built-in microphone, and have a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.
The Soundpeats are similar to the BTH240’s in that they’re very inexpensive and receive high praise by customers for being comfortable and sounding great. The key difference here is the in-ear ‘earbud’ design, versus over-the-ear, and the Soundpeats only get around 5 hours of battery life.
Jabra is a veteran in the Bluetooth audio space, so it’s no surprise that their wireless headphones receive high marks. After testing more than 50 pairs, The Wirecutter named the Moves their top pick for Bluetooth on- or over-the-ear headphones, noting that they are “great sounding, moderately priced, and comfortable, with easy to use controls.” The headphones feature a built-in microphone (claims Siri compatibility), built-in playback controls, and 8+ hours of talk and music time.I saw iPhone SE users complain about audio issues with Bluetooth phone calls
As evidenced by a growing thread on the Apple Support Communities, many owners of the new iPhone SE smartphone are plagued with various Bluetooth issues.
Folks are reporting distorted or inaudible calls when the handset is paired with a car or headset.
These issues appear to only affect Bluetooth phone calls, not music playback. Apple had not commented on this problem at post time.
As mentioned, for many affected users playing music or YouTube videos through Bluetooth produces crystal clear audio quality, as expected. Not so much when making phone calls via Bluetooth through a wireless headset or an in-car system: the sound gets distorted, scratchy and constantly cuts in and out.
Unpairing and re-pairing the wireless headset, resetting network settings does, toggling cellular data and changing SIM cars doesn’t alleviate the problem. Restoring the software and setting the device up as new also does nothing to make the bug go away.
According to MacRumors, this issue appears to affect all iPhone SE models running iOS 9.3 or 9.3.1, regardless of carrier or model, in markets like the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and the united Kingdom.
“The issue does not appear to be isolated to any particular carmaker, as customers have reported identical issues with vehicles sold by Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and many other makes and models,” as per MacRumors.
The first iOS 9.3.2 beta also did not resolve this problem.
According to those who’ve contacted Apple Support with the problem, Apple is very much engaged in this issue and is working on a fix.