Over the last few years, I’ve been fortunate to review a number of different sets of headphones and earbuds. Used to be, those were just for workouts at the gym, but now they’ve become an integral part of my morning jogs, and of course throughout the work day for getting on any number of Teams calls. One of the latest pairs to grace my desk -and ears – are the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro.
Now, you might remember Amazfit from our review of their quite-excellent fitness-oriented smart watch (which, yes, actually supplanted my previous top champ from Polar quite handily). Well, they’re not just about the watches, friends. Just as the T-Rex Pro can help quantify your workout, the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro can help keep your mind off how interminably boring pounding out those miles can be.
The hook with the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro that caught my eye was the fact that it’s got some heart rate detection built into them. This is something that I think folks would be curious about, particularly if your workout watch doesn’t already have a HR sensor in it. I will say, this is not something I would consider a replacement for a HR sensor in a watch or even chest strap. Now, this is more for additional information, something you can get without needing to look at a screen.
Via the Amazfit app, you set what you want your HR warning level to come at. With that enabled (and exercise detection turned on), you’ll get a chime and heartbeat noise coming over the headphones, letting you know when you might be pushing a little too hard. Given it’s reading from your ear, though, I don’t think it is as accurate as a wrist-mounted sensor. By that, I mean, I had the warning chime coming on when the T-Rex Pro was reporting a heart rate a good 10 BPS lower. So, your mileage may vary.
Also, with that sensor, you can use the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro to get a readout on the go as to your current heart rate. At least, you’re supposed to be able to. This is done by doing a single tap on the stem of the earbud, and it should read out where you’re at. In my testing, I never got that to happen. I think the problem is that the single tap is also the play/pause pattern, and that’s all I was able to get it to do.
That’s worth calling out as well – how you interact with the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro. They are touch sensitive, but it’s not on the part of the earbuds that you’d press on to seat them into your ear. No, instead, it’s on the stems of the earbuds. And this, you actually need to use two fingers to interact with the patterns. Basically, one finger holds the stem still, and the other taps on to get the action you want. And, with that, while there are default patterns, you can adjust those in the app.
One other thing you can adjust – either via taps or in the app – is the active noise cancellation of the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro. As you recall, I’ve been generally disappointed with that in earbuds (until these Anker ones). Well, friends, these Amazfit ones ALSO have some pretty awesome noise cancelling to them. You can set it to it’s max, to an adaptive level (so it adjusts to what your environment is producing), or you can do more of an ambient mode, which should keep you safer in the outdoors, while still allowing you to hear your music or podcast.
Those mics work to keep the noise out, but the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro also can help cut down on the noise going out on a phone call. With my super unscientific test of calling a voicemail box (and then listening to the recording), the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro delivered clear audio; it wasn’t anything you could necessarily tell that there was a wireless headset in the mix.
While that’s handy for calls, for me, earbuds like the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro are more for listening as I’m doing something else. I found them delivering clear sound to my eardrums, and the ANC made it all that much easier to hear. There’s also a mode where it can boost the beat as you exercise, but I really didn’t notice much of a difference. Still, with runtimes of up to 9 hours (with ANC off), and another 3 full charges in the included charging case, you’ll be set to keep the tunes flowing for quite awhile. You can pick up your own Amazfit PowerBuds Pro directly from the brand for $149.99. amazfit.com / amazon.com