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Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

Intelligible fitness buds with customizable ANC and sound

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Regan Coule/Future)

Our Verdict

The Amazfit PowerBuds Pro is a true wireless bargain for gym rats and those seeking relatively affordable buds with solid ANC and sound.

For

  • Energetic, customizable sound
  • Adaptive noise cancellation
  • Dust and water resistance
  • Stacked with features
  • Doubles as an activity tracker

Against

  • Loose fit
  • Fitness features lack accuracy
Amazfit PowerBuds Pro specs

Price: $149

Color: Frost White

Battery life (rated): 5.5 hours (ANC on), 9 hours (ANC off), 19 hours (with charging case and ANC on), 30 hours (with charging case and ANC off)

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

Processor: Not stated

Size: 1.3 x 0.7 x 0.9 inches (per bud), 2.3 x 1.8 x 0.9 inches (charging case)

Weight: 0.2 ounces (per bud), 1.48 ounces (charging case)

Unless you’ve done some bargain bin diving on Amazon, the name Amazfit probably doesn’t ring a bell. Well, that might change because the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro has the features, performance, and price point to make this indie tech brand a household name. The original PowerBuds were impressive and continue to rank high on our best workout headphones list, and this upgraded version is a worthy replacement.

The PowerBuds Pro comes with an ambient listening mode, four-level ANC, strong sound and durable protection, thanks to its IP55 certification. If that isn’t enough, Amazfit equipped its flagship buds with a plethora of features that range from audio customization to activity tracking to hearing enhancement. If you’re intrigued, dive deeper into our Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review to see why these are the sleeper wireless buds of the year so far.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review: Price and availability

  • $149 MSRP
  • Only available from Amazfit's store

You can purchase the Amazfit PowerBuds Pro for $149 directly from Amazfit. This is the same MSRP as one of the best noise-cancelling earbuds out there, the Beats Studio Buds. It’s also listed lower than category leaders like the AirPods Pro ($249) and Sony WF-1000XM4 ($279), as well as our favorite wireless sport earbuds, the Jabra Elite Active 75t ($179).

Sadly, it is only sold in one color: Frost White. Bundled with the purchase are a charging case, USB-C charging cable, user manual, and four pairs of silicone earplugs.

For all of the latest wireless earbuds sales, bookmark our best headphones deals page.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review: Design and comfort

  • Comfy, but loose
  • Good water and dust resistance

These buds won’t thrill you in the looks department. They’re basically a longer and thicker version of the standard Apple AirPods, but with far better build quality. The exterior boasts a sturdy plastic casing with matte finish and comes IP55-rated for dust and water resistance. These buds are bigger than other long-stem models, but judging from the specs sheet that's probably because they're stuffed with so much circuitry.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The charging case takes on the same shape as the AirPods Pro case, as well as the same details: the LED in the front, the pairing button in the back and the charging port at the bottom. Amazfit’s version is taller and wider, but it’s lighter and just as compact as Apple’s case. The magnetic closure is also stronger on the PowerBuds Pro case.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Comfort can best be described as pleasant. The elongated sound port makes inserting the buds simple and the front cavity rests gently on the concha during long workouts. I wore the buds mostly during office hours and didn’t feel any soreness until the 4-hour mark.

For wireless earbuds marketed towards fitness buffs and those living active lifestyles, the PowerBuds Pro should have a better fit. Slippage occurred no matter what silicone ear tip sizes I wore; they don’t form a tight grip around the canal. Moisture and sweat exacerbate the problem.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

While most earbuds makers are creating ear tip fit tests to help users determine the best tips for optimal fit, Amazfit developed its own unique test called Cervical Protection. This cool feature minimizes the risk of cervical disease by analyzing and calibrating your posture when wearing the buds. It’s informative and even sends “relax” prompts to give your spine a breather.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review: Controls and digital assistant

  • Range of inputs, though sensors are small
  • Digital assistants work well

Amazfit created its own haptic sensor control system for operation, which is located near the bottom of each stem. It works similarly to the AirPods Pro’s force sensor controls, only instead of an indentation, there is a tiny, elevated line that you touch to execute functions.

Multiple input methods were programmed, including single, double, and triple taps, as well as a press and hold gesture. I found it tough to pull off some of these actions (triple taps are the worst) due to the tiny sensors being difficult to locate. My advice is to employ swipes instead of taps.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The PowerBuds Pro comes with a wide range of media controls that consist of playback, call management, listening mode activation, and digital assistance. On-ear detection can also be switched on to automatically pause music when removing the buds and resume playback when placed back on, though the sensors don’t always detect motion accurately.

Siri and Google Assistant are compatible on these buds and work flawlessly. Amazfit’s 3-mic technology captures every syllable spoken, while both AI bots register and respond to verbal commands quickly. My only wish is that voice activation came part of the package; using the “Hey Google” or “Hey Siri” wake-word commands is always more convenient.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review: Sound quality

  • Bass-rich, but with high clarity
  • 10 sound profile presets to try

Sound is neutral right out of the box, but it can be adjusted via custom EQ in the companion app, Zepp. I don’t believe it’s necessary since the PowerBuds Pro’s sound profile is already bass-heavy, though it’s always nice to have that luxury of tweaking audio directly on your smartphone. 

On top of that, Amazfit created 10 different presets for specific music genres: Pop, Dance, Blues, Classical, Jazz, Smooth, Electronic, Rock, Country, and Vocal. Pop is the most useful of the bunch and complements contemporary music best (e.g., EDM, Hip Hop). You’ll also get some decent performance from the Jazz and Smooth presets; the latter is better for podcasts than Vocal.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

But let’s get back to the default EQ, which is geared towards bass lovers. Pressing play on Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE,” the 808 drums smacked my eardrums and had substantial rumble that rattled my skull at max volume. Mids and highs also received attention with the rapper’s vocals sounding clear and articulate, while the striking piano stabs blended well with the boomy production.

The PowerBuds Pro shouldn’t be overlooked for casual listening either. Both the clarity and reproduction were satisfying on Jazz classics such as Chet Baker’s “But Not For Me – Vocal Version.” I felt the detail and reverberation were slightly better on the PowerBuds Pro than the AirPods Pro, but not audiophile alternatives like the Bowers & Wilkins PI5 or WF-1000XM4.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Listening with ANC on tightens the bass. You can take it up another notch by enabling Motion Beat in the app, a special mode designed for exercising that automatically raises the low end for a livelier presence. It won’t reach Beats-like levels, but it’s something to please bass fanatics that require a bit more oomph to stimulate a second wind when depleted of energy on 5K runs.

There is also a Hearing Health toggle in the app that displays the decibel levels of your current earbud volume to better curb bad listening habits and preserve your hearing.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro  review: Active noise cancellation

  • Not the best, but still effective
  • Thru mode useful for running

Amazfit isn’t a brand you think of when discussing ANC, and even if the PowerBuds Pro isn’t made to battle heavyweights like the AirPods Pro or WF-1000XM4, it neutralizes ambient sound better than most sub-luxury models. There are four ANC modes designed for specific purposes: Adaptive, Travel, Workout, and Indoor. Most of my time was spent in Adaptive mode, which automatically adjusts ANC based on your surroundings, and it worked well, for the most part. 

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Common household distractions like loud chatter, kitchen appliances and the humming from my ceiling fan went silent. Avoiding my baby’s crying wasn’t so easy, but the volume at which it entered the buds wasn’t so blaring. I was also able to block out much of the fracas that took place outside during runs. Powerful machines like bulldozers and leaf-blowers were audible, as well as high-frequency sounds like sirens and whistles. The good news is that these buds reduced those noises well enough not to break my concentration.

Workout is designed for urban outdoor scenarios, whereas Indoor helps balance human voice and environmental noise, and Travel is best suited for train/aircraft operation noise. Truthfully, I couldn’t tell much of a difference when testing all four modes. If there was any difference, it likely occurred when switching from Adaptive to Workout, as speeding cars sounded less harsh.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Thru mode is Amazfit’s ambient listening feature. When turned on, environmental awareness is heightened with the mics piping in lots of external sounds. I could hear joggers, whisking cars, and the barge work taking place on the waterway near our house, while also giving my baby boy some attention when he was fussy on strolls. Using the feature in the house was just as rewarding, especially for communicating with the missus in our tiny home office about baby-watching duties.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review: App and special features

  • Health-tracking features interesting, but can be inaccurate
  • Versatile app overall

I already touched on numerous special features such as ANC, ambient listening, EQ, Motion Beat, Hearing Health, and Cervical Protection. That’s probably 60% of the functionality on these buds. The rest consists of fitness features and other tiny extras to maximum maximize performance.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Like the original PowerBuds, this version doubles as an activity tracker to automatically detect when you’re running and save workout data directly on the buds, which is then transferred to the app. Users can also connect and sync their data to third-party apps like Runtastic, RunKeeper, and MapMyRun. Heart-rate monitoring is even built into the product and will play a tone if your heart rate is too high; you can adjust the BPM. The accuracy on these features won’t come near what your Apple Watch or Fitbit delivers, but they’re available if you need something to gauge performance when you’ve forgotten your fitness watch at home.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Battery level indicators for both earbuds and the charging case, control customization, toggle controls, and firmware updates round out the app.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review: Battery life and charging case

  • About 5 hours with ANC
  • Big boost from charging case

ANC playtime is rated at 5.5 hours, which is realistically 5 hours when accounting for volume, streaming, and fitness features. This is more than what the AirPods Pro (4.5 hours) gives you and about the same as the Elite Active 75t (5 hours), but much less than the sporty Sony WF-SP800N (9 hours). Not the best, nor the worst. You can extend playtimes to 9 hours when disabling ANC, though it drops to 8.5 hours when factoring in the same variables.

One interesting stat Amazfit shares is that the PowerBuds Pro has 3.5 hours of continuous call time with ANC on, which is great for business users and chatty iPhone owners.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The charging case holds between 19 to 30 hours, depending how you use the buds. For comparison, the AirPods Pro and Studio Buds cases fall somewhere in between this range (24 hours), whereas the WF-1000XM4 holds more battery life (35 hours) when disabling ANC. No matter how you slice it, the PowerBuds Pro gives you plenty of portable power for weekly workouts or an international trip. If only the case supported wireless charging.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review: Call quality and connectivity

  • Great mic quality indoors
  • Supports Bluetooth 5.0 with Android Fast Pair

The Powerbuds Pro is one of the better calling headsets in the wireless earbud category. Indoors, Amazfit’s mic technology works superbly, and picks up vocals clearly on phone or video calls. My best experiences came from inside the house, where my wife thought I was speaking directly from my smartphone. Using the buds outside was also serviceable, though I had two friends mention that wind caused muffling at times.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Bluetooth 5.0 is reliable and maintains a steady and lengthy range (40 feet), while also pairing instantly to iOS/macOS and Android devices. Google Fast Pair expedites the process for Android users with one-touch access. Auto-connect is even quicker to pair to your last recognized device, though unfortunately there's no multipoint support.

Amazfit PowerBuds Pro review: Verdict

For $149, the Amazfit Powerbuds Pro offers remarkable performance and more functionality than you’ll find on just about any other pair of wireless earbuds. To call it impressive would be an understatement. The design won’t thrill you, nor will its fitness features, but these buds make up for the drawbacks in so many other ways. 

The PowerBuds Pro beats the Elite Active 75t in noise cancellation, while offering quality sound that rivals some of the best sport headphones out there. Its feature set is also longer than sporty competitors like the Beats Powerbeats Pro, while nearly matching what other category leaders (e.g., AirPods Pro, WH-1000XM4) offer. If the loose fit and inaccurate activity tracking seem like deal-breakers, you can try the fitness-centric Jabra Elite Sport ($79), though the trade-offs are sound and extra features.