“Bluetooth audio — especially when exercising — has always been ‘good enough,’ but never great,” Neil Hughes writes for AppleInsider. “Apple’s W1 chip in its latest headphones lineup changes that, and the proprietary wireless technology steals the show in its new sports-focused Powerbeats3 headphones.”

“Priced at $199.95, the Powerbeats3 Wireless are one of the more expensive pairs of activity-focused headphones on the market. The external design is largely identical to its predecessor, with a bendable around-the-ear clip for secure fit, and an in-ear portion to hear the audio,” Hughes writes. “The real star here, though, is Apple’s new W1 Bluetooth chip, which offers a number of benefits, including dead-simple pairing, a whopping 12 hours of battery life, and the most rock-solid, reliable Bluetooth connection we have ever seen in a pair of wireless headphones.”


Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones

 

“In fact, the custom W1 Bluetooth chip is really at the center of everything that makes the Powerbeats3 so great,” Hughes writes. “Apple has… tied the pairing data to a user’s iCloud account. This means you won’t need to un-pair and re-pair the headphones every time you want to switch devices. In our use case, sometimes we go to the gym with an iPhone, but we prefer running with just an Apple Watch Series 2 with GPS. With our previous headphones, we’d have to go through the laborious process of placing the headphones into pairing mode and reconnecting them to the desired device each time. With the Powerbeats3, that’s now a thing of the past.”

Read more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Like many millions of others, we’re still waiting for Apple to finally start shipping their new AirPods, so we continue to use our Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones ($169) which offer good sound and rock-solid reliability, but they must be paired each time devices are switched. Since we only use them with our Apple Watch Nike+ units while running, this isn’t an issue for us, but if you’re switching between your iPhone and your Apple Watch for example, you’ll likely want wireless headphones containing Apple’s W1 chip. Hopefully, Jaybird will get in on the W1 action, too.