New AirPods Pro rival can track your runs — and fix your posture

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro
(Image credit: Amazfit)

Fitness brand Amazfit has announced its newest pair of true wireless earbuds, the noise-cancelling Amazfit PowerBuds Pro.

In addition to adopting a new design with AirPods Pro-style stems, the PowerBuds Pro offers the kind of built-in health monitoring features that have been rumored for the AirPods Pro 2. It even has the currently-unique ability to detect the angle of your cervical spine, and alert you if you’re sitting in an unhealthy position.

The original Amazon PowerBuds earned a spot in our best running headphones rankings, thanks in part to its integrated heart rate monitor. The PowerBuds Pro builds on this significantly, adding an accelerometer that enables distance, speed, time and calorie burn rate tracking on runs and bike rides. If you’re a regular exerciser and don’t want to carry a smartphone out on runs, or none of the best fitness trackers take your fancy, the PowerBuds Pro could make a lot of sense.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro: Sit up straight!

The accelerometer is also used to detect the sitting angle of you spine, with your position showing in the mobile companion app. This will supposedly help you adjust to a more ergonomic position, and if you stay still for 40 minutes, the PowerBuds Pro can play a musical reminder for you to move your neck and prevent stiffness.

Built-in health monitoring is something we’ve repeatedly heard that the upcoming AirPods Pro 2 will support; we don’t know the specifics of these capabilities, but it could involve using onboard sensors in tandem with sensors on an iPhone or Apple Watch for more accurate results. In any case, the AirPods Pro 2 isn’t expected to launch until 2022, so the PowerBuds Pro has comfortably beaten Apple to the punch.

The PowerBuds Pro also has a few treats for music lovers: it has true active noise cancellation (ANC), another major upgrade on the original PowerBuds, and its “Smart Hearing Protection” can monitor the decibel level of playback and warn you if it exceeds the World Health Organization’s recommended levels.

It’s also rated for up to 30 hours of battery life, another win over the current-gen AirPods Pro, and it costs less too: just $149, same as the Beats Studio Buds. A full launch date wasn't announced, but pre-orders will open on July 15.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.