Beats Pill (2024) review: small speaker, big attitude

The updated Pill is loud, proud, and fully waterproof

T3 Platinum Award
Beats Pill (2024) review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
T3 Verdict

The new Beats Pill marks a significant upgrade from its predecessor, maintaining its iconic shape while introducing lighter construction and IP67 dust and water resistance. Sound quality is bolstered by a redesigned woofer system, delivering powerful, distortion-free audio across various music genres. Priced competitively, it offers long battery life and dynamic performance, making it a compelling choice in today's portable speaker market.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Powerful, well-rounded sound

  • +

    Durable, waterproof construction

  • +

    Classic Beats styling

  • +

    Long battery life with quick charge

  • +

    Stereo pairing

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    You have to press the button for a bit too long to turn the speaker on/off

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People usually associate Beats with two products: the Solo headphones and the Pill portable speakers. The company recently updated the former, so it was only a matter of time to release the updated version of the beloved Beats Pill.

It was teased for a little while, so we knew the new Pill would come with a lanyard. However, we didn’t know how the speaker would sound, how much it would weigh, its connectivity, or how it compared to the best Bluetooth speakers currently available on the market.

I’ve been testing and reviewing all the new Beats releases for the last year and a bit, so I expected a lot from the Pill. Considering how important the speaker is for Beats, I knew they would pull out all the stops so the Pill would hit hard when it landed.

And you know what? The Beats Pill delivers. It’s sexy, loud and highly portable; it’s also robust and plays well with both Apple and android devices. It even doubles up as a power bank for your smartphones and headphones. Want to know more? Read my full Beats Pill review below.

Beats Pill (2024) review

Price and availability

The Beats Pill launched in June 2024 and is available to order now at Beats and Apple in three distinct colours—Matte Black, Statement Red, and Champagne Gold—all for a competitive price of $149.99/ £149.99 (AU price TBC).

For comparison, the original Beats by Dr Dre Pill, which launched in 2013 (!), was sold for £144.99, while 2014’s Beats Pill XL cost £269.99, so the new Pill is very competitive. Of course, the market has changed a lot in the last 10+ years, and the competition is fiercer, but still – the Beats Pill is seriously affordable for what it has to offer.


  • Dimensions: 21.9 x 7.1 x 7.0 cm/ 8.6 x 2.8 x 2.75 in
  • Weight: 681g/ 24oz
  • Durability: IP67-rated
  • Battery life: up to 24 hours
  • Fast charging: yes, 10-minute charge = 2 hours of playback
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3, Class 1 Bluetooth, USB-C

Design and build quality

Beats Pill review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

One of the good things about releasing products as rarely as Beats did in the last decade is that the difference between the predecessor and the current product is quite significant. Today’s Beats Pill is very different from 2013’s Beats by Dr Dre Pill.

The company redesigned the speaker from the ground up, keeping only the shape of the Pill intact. The new Pill is lighter than the Pill+, the speaker's closest predecessor, by 10% (Pill: 24oz, Pill+: 26.4oz). Surprisingly, it’s ever so slightly larger, adding a couple of millimetres here and there.

One of the big physical upgrades is the Beats Pill's dust and water rating. The new model is IP67-rated, which means it can cope with some rough handling, including exposure to dust and water—not a bad feature for a portable speaker.

The Pill's styling is more subtle, with a smaller logo on the grill. Well, I'm not sure how subtle the bright red colourway is, but it seems Beats didn’t add many unnecessary trims to the speaker.

The cover is made of soft silicone, which is smooth to the touch. The grill looks more solid; you can’t really see the speakers hidden behind it. The four buttons are depressed and easy to locate, and there is only a single USB-C port at the back. Understated design at its best.

Beats also considered that people don’t often place portable speakers on plinths, so the Pill is now tilted up 20%. This is excellent for people like me who carry their Pills around and drop them on the desk/table when they work.

As mentioned above, the Pill added a lanyard, making it easier to carry the speaker around, even with your hands full. Do you usually keep your Pill in a prominent position and don’t like the lanyard dangling around? No problem, as it can be removed if not needed.


Beats Pill review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Before I explain how the Beats Pill sounds, I wanted to discuss the speaker's features. First and foremost, you can connect two Beats Pills, for example, when you want to play music in two rooms simultaneously. This is called Amplify mode.

You can also connect two speakers and turn them into left and right speakers for a stereo listening experience. This is called Stereo Mode. Admittedly, not quite Sonos levels of multiroom functionality, but a nice addition to a comparatively affordable speaker.

The Beats Pill can be used for phone calls. Beats claims the new Pill leverages machine learning and the brand’s proprietary noise-learning algorithm to help suppress unwanted noise around the speaker and better focus on the user’s voice.

Better still, the Pill enables full duplex functionality, so both sides can converse with the speaker, suppressing unwanted ambient noise. For transparency, I haven’t had the chance to explore this feature fully, but I will update this review once I do.

In line with the latest cohort of Beats products, the new Pill delivered seamless connectivity with both Apple and Android devices. This includes one-touch pairing and Find My on Apple and Find My Device on Android.

You can connect the Beats Pill to an audio source via USB-C and enjoy lossless audio with a max sample rate of 48 kHz / 24-bit while charging the speaker! Not bad.

Finally, and quite impressively, the Beats Pill has charge-out capability for any battery-powered device via the same USB-C connector.

Beats says the Pill automatically supplies power to smaller devices (e.g., smartphones or headphones) and determines whether to draw power from or supply power to larger devices like tablets or laptops.

This feature can be reversed (e.g. you can charge your laptop’s battery with the Pill) or turned off if preferred.

Sound performance

Beats Pill review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

In its marketing materials, Beats emphasised the power of its portable speaker. To achieve a more robust sound, Beats’ sound engineers reimagined the bass performance and completely redesigned the woofer system.

The new single racetrack neodymium woofer boasts 53% more pistonic area and a stronger N50H magnet grade, enabling 28% more motor force and 90% greater air displacement compared to its predecessor, the Pill+. This is said to minimise distortion with 16 radial ribs and venting in the woofer basket.

The new tweeter design complements the woofer, which is housed separately for stability and features a larger rear cavity to optimise crossover and improve mid-range and treble clarity. To accompany the new woofer architecture, the design moved from a dual-tweeter system to a single tweeter.

Moving from a dual-woofer, dual-tweeter design to a single-woofer and tweeter system might sound like a downgrade. Luckily, the new Beats Pill sounds just as powerful as the Pill+ used to – and then some.

Before testing the unit, I listened to music on my headphones (my current favourite is the Beats Solo 4) or just on the phone like a caveman. I often used to associate portable speakers with people blasting music on the streets (absolute idiots); not anymore, though!

Listening to audio on the Beats Pill is like opening the floodgates to a more immersive music experience. You hear the same songs as always, but they sound better, which makes you move and almost appreciate them more.

If you're a fan of Beats’ peppy, energetic sound profile, you’ll feel right at home listening to music on the Pill. There is no distortion – at least I couldn’t hear any – and the power is just overwhelming. Considering how small the speaker is, I was impressed with the clarity and robustness of the sound.

The speaker’s dynamic sound profile caters well to a wide range of music genres, from pop to hip-hop, and it provides a satisfying listening experience with detailed vocals and distinct instrument separation.

Of course, the Beats Pill won’t replace a full Dolby surround system, but it has enough oomph to help you enjoy at-home listening experiences, whether it’s music, gaming or movies.

Battery life

Beats Pill review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

The Beats Pill+ had a 12-hour battery life; the new Beats Pill doubles that. That’s a full 24 hours of uninterrupted listening, even at considerably high volumes. Of course, if you run the speakers near full volume, this might reduce.

I’m yet to fully drain the battery, as I accidentally topped up the Pill once when I connected it to my Macbook, trying out the USB-C connectivity. Thanks to its quick charge feature, which adds two hours of music playback with just 10 minutes of charge time, I ended up replenishing the battery quite a lot.

It’s great that you hardly ever have to charge the battery of the Beats Pill, and it’s even better that you can take it with you anywhere, use it to listen to music all day, and also top up your phone using the USB-C charge-out functionality.


Beats Pill review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

The Beats Pill made me appreciate portable speakers a lot more, thanks to its vibrant and lively audio performance, compact form factor, and impeccable build quality. It’s the perfect update over 2015’s Pill+ and offers a lot more bang for your buck for a lot less money than its predecessor was sold for.

And that’s important; today’s portable speaker market is more saturated than it was 10 years ago, so the fact that the Beats Pill feels as premium as it is without the hefty price tag makes it all the more appealing for Beats users, old and new.

Plus, similar to the latest Beats offerings, the speaker’s operating system compatibility opens up the Beats audio experience to a whole new crowd. Don’t miss out on this, people, especially not at this price point!

Also consider

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 is a compact yet powerful Bluetooth speaker known for its 360-degree sound and deep bass. Similar to the Beats Pill, it features an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance but offers only up to 13 hours of battery life. Its unique "Outdoor Boost" mode enhances audio for open-air environments. Read our full Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 review.

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen is a premium portable Bluetooth speaker renowned for its luxurious design and impressive sound quality. It features True360 omnidirectional sound, up to 18 hours of battery life, and robust dust and waterproofing (IP67). It includes integrated Alexa for voice control and seamless connectivity. Read our full Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen review.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.