Apple's Beats division on Tuesday officially launched the Powerbeats3 Wireless, just the second audio product on the market with Apple's W1 wireless chip.
Partly because of the W1, the earbuds feature a battery life up to 12 hours. Like the over-the-ear Solo3 Wireless, a "Fast Fuel" feature offers a basic charge in five minutes — in this case lasting an hour versus the Solo3's three hours.
The W1 chip should enable easier pairing with Apple devices, and much greater range, thanks to its use of Class 1 Bluetooth. Informal testing of the Solo3 Wireless found that it can be used up to a distance of 400 feet — in any case Class 1 devices can officially manage 328 feet, much farther than the 33 feet most Bluetooth products support.
Each Powerbeats3 Wireless comes with four sets of differently-sized eartips. Beats is also promising a better overall ergonomics when compared with the Powerbeats2. Integrated controls let users trigger Siri, take phone calls, and control music.
At the moment, the Powerbeats3 Wireless can be pre-ordered from B&H for $198.46 with free expedited shipping and no tax outside NY, offering shoppers the lowest price available from an Apple authorized reseller. They can also be ordered on Apple's website for $199.95. Black, white, yellow, blue, and red colors are available at Apple — while most options are shipping between Nov. 1 and 3, some deliveries may already be taking 2 to 3 weeks.
Apple announced an assortment of W1-equipped devices at its Sept. 7 iPhone event, but two are still unavailable: the Beats X earbuds and the Apple-branded, fully wireless AirPods.