Let me start out by saying I owned two pairs of PowerBeats 2. These were the best wireless headphones I had ever purchased. Very durable, and extremely reliable, and I used heavily for working out on daily basis. I recommended these to everyone I knew. So logically I invested in the PowerBeats 3 when my PB2's microphone and buttons started to give. The market has since exploded with Bluetooth wireless headphones, and the price points have become increasingly competitive, so I expected Beats to really step up PB3 and really improve on an already great brand.
And honestly, they did not. While the PB3 has a 12 hour battery life (compared to the PB2 of 6 hours, and that's a huge upgrade), this is probably the only really pro I can assign to the PB3. The PB3 construction right away I noticed is cheap in design, and Beats clearly cut corners on their product. Some notable flaws in the PB3:
1. Construction - The PB2's had the microphone and volume buttons encased in a rubber protective layer, and this was great because it offered more protection against dirt, sweat, and general wear and tear. The PB3's microphone and power buttons are just straight plastic instead, and besides no longer offering better grip and protection from outside elements, feel flimsy from the get go. Also the PB2's had a tiny rubber flap that allowed you to seal off and protect the charging port. The PB3's does not have this, which is really baffling (how much does a 1/3 cm piece of rubber cost to make???). Again, if you are working out, sweat, water, etc. can easily get in there and if the charging port breaks because of undesired elements slipping in there, well then the headphones are completely useless.
2. Sound quality- While the sound quality is good on the PB3, it's honestly no different then the PB2. After numerous times listening to the same song (I would switch between the headphones to compare), I never felt the PB3 sounded any better. If anything there were a few songs I felt sounded much more full on the PB2.
3. Price - The PB2 I got on sale for $99. I've been able to get the PB3 for about $129 on sale up to this point. The PB3 are flat out $200 with no sale, and that's really pushing it considering what even $100 and under can get you nowadays with Bluetooth headphones. I definitely don't feel the quality of the PB3 warrants the price tag.
4. Functionality - I've had the same phone from the time I was using the PB2 and the PB3, and only with the PB3 have I experienced a few times very odd boot loops (the headphones keep disconnecting even when the battery is full) where I've had to reset the PB3 completely (p.s. you can do that by holding the power button and down button for about 10 secs). Never had that happen with PB2.
5. Carrying case. The PB2 was zip case, with a durable outside shell and offered ample room. The PB3 is a huge flop; it's just a piece of rubber with a slit in the top to slide them in (no zipper), and it's extremely cramped with the cord in the case (I use my old PB2 case to carry my PB3 in, thank god I didn't toss it)
TLDR: You can't market your headphones to be a top competitor for higher quality workout headphones and then take these cheap corner-cutting steps that degrade the product, especially from one generation to the next. And that in my opinion is exactly what Beats did. PowerBeats 3 have taken a step backwards from their predecessor, and with the increased competition (and better price points) from rival brands (Bose, JBL, etc.) I would advise looking elsewhere for a better quality pair of bluetooth headphones for your money.