Can you picture what the above true wireless earbuds would look like with wires coming out of them? Well done: you have just worked out what Beat by Dr. Dre's Powerbeats 4. And if you need confirmation, here is the FCC filing that has brought about this earth-shattering leaked revelation. The filing is by Apple, Beats' parent corporation, and maker of the iPhone.
Intended to be running headphones or workout buds for those who either can't afford Powerbeats Pro, or are not yet convinced by true wireless, Powerbeats 4 would logically take the innovations around in-ear fit and audio drivers that Beats introduced with the Powerbeats Pro and put them in the same Bluetooth-connectivity-but-wired-together format as Powerbeats 3.
It's that improved fit and sound quality – perhaps even more than the convenience of true wireless – which made Powerbeats Pro such a hit. They are almost impossible to dislodge from your ears during even the most strenuous workouts, and the sound is good enough to be really motivational – and drown out all the grunting going on in your gym, from people who don't care for fancy-pants ideas around gym etiquette.
Known on the regulatory filing as 'A2015', the new Powerbeats are described, logically enough, as 'wireless headphone with integrated battery, microphone, and antenna. It can play music from a Bluetooth audio source. It has Lightning connector port for charging. It has red and white LEDs, volume up, volume down buttons'.
The long-established Powerbeats 3 already has quite impressive battery life at 12 hours but presumably Beats will be able a squeeze a bit more in to the follow-up. Perhaps reaching 20 hours per charge? That'd be nice.
One big plus with this type of headphones over true wireless is that a carry case won't be required. The one for Powerbeats Pro was excessively large. They'll also be more affordable than Powerbeats Pro, which have an RRP of £220/$240 and are seldom discounted below £200/$200. Powerbeats 3 usually retail for a lot less – Amazon.com has them for just $79.99 right now. In the UK, the best – indeed, only – good deal is at eBay, where black Powerbeats 3 are £70. We'd expect Powerbeats 4 to be in line with that.
We'd still just spend the extra money and get Powerbeats Pro, all things considered, but it's a free country.