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Beats Pill review: Two is better than one

Published Jun 25th, 2024 10:00AM EDT
Beats Pill review
José Adorno for BGR

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Beats Pill

Rating: 4 Stars

The new Beats Pill offers an iconic look with brand new features and powerful sound.


  • Amazing sound
  • Great battery life
  • IP67 resistant


  • Lacks Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos
  • Better with two speakers
Buy FromList PriceSale Price
Apple$149.99$149.99See It

Beats went back to its roots. After revamping its headphones and earbuds lineup, it’s safe to say the Los Angeles company has never had a better product lineup than it currently does. Now, Beats is improving another classic, mixing nostalgia with high-end materials.

After a week of testing, here’s my Beats Pill review with everything that could make these speakers you’re go-to for pool parties, easy listening, and more.

Beats Pill specs

Audio TechnologyRacetrack woofer and tweeter with two-way crossover
Acoustic Comparison
(vs. Beats Pill+)
N50h neodymium magnets vs. N42h magnets (Pill+)
1.9x more air volume displacement
28% stronger motor force
20-degree upward tilt (improved on-axis listening)
DurabilityDust and water-resistant with an IP67 rating
BatteryUp to 24 hours of continuous listening time
Fast Fuel: 10 minute charge = 2 hours of playback
ControlsCenter Button:
Press once to play, pause, or answer a phone call
Press twice to skip forward
Press three times to skip back

Power Button:
Press for power on/off
Tap once for battery feedback
Double-tap for voice assistant
Listening ModesAmplify Mode: two speakers joined to one device with mono output
Stereo Mode: two speakers joined to one device with stereo output
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.3, Class 1 Bluetooth
Size and WeightDimensions: 21.9 cm (l) x 7.1 cm (d) x 7.0 cm (h)
Weight: 681g (24 oz)
In the boxBeats Pill
Removable carry lanyard
USB-C to USB-C charging and audio cable
System RequirementsiPhone: latest version of iOS for full system compatibility
Android: Fast Pair requires the latest version of Android OS, location enabled, and
access to Google Play services; Beats app requires Android 8.0 or later

Design: An ode to the beginning

Beats Pill design offers a fresh look to a classic portable speaker.
Beats Pill design offers a fresh look to a classic portable speaker. Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Twelve years separate the original launch of the Beats Pill, the company’s first non-headphone product, from today’s Beats Pill. Still, it’s possible to see Beats DNA in this product. It resembles the form factor of the original speaker while featuring new, premium materials, including a metal grill and silicone over-molding. It includes soft-touch buttons for easy usability and a 20-degree upgraded tilt for better on-axis sound projection while minimizing reflected sound.

It’s lighter than its Pill+ predecessor and comes in three colors: Matte Black, Champagne Gold, and Statement Red. For this review, Beats provided BGR with the Matte Black and Champagne Gold options, which blend well with any environment, whether in the office or outdoors.

As you have seen in the past few weeks, the new Beats Pill has appeared in the hands of several celebrities. Most were walking with these speakers, holding them by the lanyard. While I don’t think I have the attitude to carry these review units outdoors like this, the lanyard is handy for taking these speakers with me whenever I need them.

In general, the new Beats Pill is pretty, easy to hold, light, and well-made. It’s obvious how it shaped the industry of these carriable speakers so many years ago, and now the company is back to reclaim its spot.

Redesigned internals for a fuller sound experience

The most important part of this review is how good the Beats Pill sounds. I tested it as a solo speaker, and two of them paired in both Amplify and Stereo Modes. But first, let me go through what’s new with this product.

Beats says it offers an improved woofer system with “more powerful, louder bass output,” which is also more precise and has lower total harmonic distortion than the previous general. Its bass capabilities can go below 70hKz.

Beats Pill reviewImage source: José Adorno for BGR

In numbers, the company says that the Beats Pill offers 53% more piston area than the dual circular woofers on Pill+. Coupled with an increased magnet grade (N50H) and more energy capability, the Pill’s woofer enables a 28% stronger motor force. It is capable of 90% more air volume displacement
when compared to the dual-woofer system in Pill+. It also has a new tweeter design and support for lossless audio via USB-C with a max sample rate of 48 kHz/ 24-bit.

Beats also says it has improved its Pill with three new features:

  • Noise-learning algorithm: It uses machine learning and Beats’ proprietary noise-learning algorithm to help suppress unwanted noise around the speaker.
  • Two-way, intelligent communication: The new Beats Pill enables a full duplex, aided by the noise-learning algorithm, so both sides can intelligently converse with each other. At the same time, the speaker suppresses unwanted ambient noise.
  • Voice assistant ready: You can double-tap the Power Button to activate Siri, Google Assistant, or other voice assistants on your device.

What does it mean in real life?

In my tests, a single Beats Pill unit is enough for small ambients. You get the company’s signature bass with clear vocals and a nice balance overall. That said, I think this speaker shines as loud as you can play it. Above 50%, you get a great listening experience, and after 80% of the max volume, it feels like you’re actually using everything this product offers.

Even at 100%, it impresses me how you can’t hear distortions, which means you can use the speakers however you like. Most of my listening experience was with Apple Music using a Bluetooth connection. I also tried pairing the Beats Pill via USB-C with my iPhone 15 Pro to try its lossless capabilities. Still, as I mentioned in previous reviews, I feel this streaming quality only helps me notice a few details that get clearer, but I don’t think it’s going to be a deal-breaker decision for anyone.

Beats Pill gets better with a pair – and this should be your go-to

Image source: José Adorno for BGR

However, I think a deal breaker could be choosing two speakers instead of one. I tried these speakers at a party, and I was impressed with the sound quality combined with the stability of the connection and how great the sound spread through the ambient, even with more than 20 people in the ambient.

From Brazilian funk to old pop/rock songs and bossa nova, Beats Pill shined through the genres, and it really was the soul of the party – and, more impressively, we didn’t have to use the pair’s full potential.

That said, I think Beats lost an excellent opportunity to support Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio with its Pill speaker. It sounds way more powerful and louder than Apple’s HomePod mini, and it’s a shame that we can’t get the immersive Dolby Atmos experience Apple has been heavily promoting through the years.

While Beats offers Amplify Mode and Stereo Mode, I only thought the first listening experience was more worth it, as it streams the audio in mono for both devices. Stereo Mode didn’t impress me after so many years of enjoying Dolby Atmos in headphones and speakers. Also, stereo feels like a lonelier experience since you have to place the portable speakers close to each other to listen and feel nuances like John Lennon’s harmonica on the left side of some old Beatles songs.

Still, it’s important to highlight how well Beats makes a pair of Pill speakers work together. It’s a seamless experience, and old Beats Pill+ owners will love to know that, especially after several people complained about their Amplify Mode. Combine this with Apple Music SharePlay, and you can have a ball with several people adding songs to the queue in a strong and reliable connection while music plays nonstop.

Great battery life

Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Beats promises a full day of listening time with a 24-hour battery performance. While I could stream songs close to maximum volume for up to eight hours, I was left with a bit more than 40% of charge after that.

Beats isn’t clear about that, but a 24-hour battery performance should probably be of a single Beats Pill speaker with around 50% volume. Still, even combining a pair, I think most people will discover it has enough time for an entire party experience.

If you need some extra juice, Beats says a 10-minute charge can get you a two-hour playback, thanks to its Fast Fuel charging technology. In addition, the company is so confident about its speaker battery that if you plug your iPhone into it, you can charge your smartphone.

Price and conclusion

Image source: José Adorno for BGR

The Beats Pill really impressed me during the review period. It offers a lot more than the 2015 Beats Pill+, from IP67 resistance to double battery life, an all-new sound system, dual-native ecosystem compatibility, and lighter and thinner weight while costing less.

People will love using this speaker with their iPhone or Android devices. That said, I still recommend you get a pair for a complete party experience, or at least make sure your friends also buy it, as you can later pair them with Amplify Mode.

I love my Apple HomePods, but taking these smart speakers with me for parties or gatherings with friends wasn’t ideal. Now, I have just the right portable speakers.

Beats Pill costs $149.99, and it’s available for pre-order now. Users can find it in selected Apple Stores starting June 27.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.