Beats Pill Bluetooth speaker lands, with twice the stamina of the old Pill (and it's cheaper too)

Beats Pill in Champagne, on a table with cologne
(Image credit: Beats)

It's been leaked, it's been seen around the wrists of celebs, and now it's finally here! And although it's not a particularly earth-shattering design on the outside (if I asked you to draw me a picture of a Beats Pill Bluetooth speaker, you'd probably draw something very similar to the image above) under the hood it's been "completely redesigned and reengineered" for 2024. Well, you've got to keep the calling card capsule shape, haven't you? 

So what's new? You now get louder sound (more on this in a minute); IP67 dust and water resistance; Bluetooth 5.3; USB-C for both audio passthrough and charging; a removable lanyard; a slightly angled build (the drivers are on a 20-degree upward tilt), iOS and Android compatibility plus up to 24 hours of battery life – which is double that of the Beats Pill+. And it arrives for $149.99, ie. $50 less than the 2015 Beats Pill+ (which superseded the inaugural 2012 Beats Pill). In Australia it arrives for AU$249.95 (the same as the Beats Pill+). UK pricing is incoming, bear with us. 

The 2024 Beats Pill is also 10% lighter than its predecessor (a difference of 68g / 2.4oz) and it will start shipping on June 27, in your choice of Matte Black, Statement Red and Champagne Gold. 

Beats Pill: upgraded speakers and USB-C audio

Beats Pill in Statement Red on a table, with wired USB-C audio to a smartphone

Wired USB-C audio too…  (Image credit: Beats)

What of the upgraded acoustic architecture? There's a single, reengineered racetrack woofer (rather than the dual woofers found in the Beats Pill+) and it's now coupled with stronger neodymium magnets. According to its makers, this helps the Beats Pill drive 28% more motor force to "displace 90% more air volume", alongside "radial ribbing" to minimize low-end distortion. What they're saying is, it'll sound bigger, but without distortion. There's also a redesigned tweeter (note, one, not two again) secured in its own housing for the high notes. 

The Beats Pill also doubles as a speakerphone for phone calls (bit of a blast from the past, eh?) but by deploying Beats’ proprietary noise-learning algorithm, Beats says this Pill can better target the user’s voice.

The Beats Pill also gives you instant one-touch pairing on either Android or iOS, plus Find My (iOS) or Find My Device (Android). Of course, this is essentially an Apple product, so certain Apple walled-garden stuff also feature: iCloud pairing to every device on your iCloud account; the ability to hand off audio to your Apple Watch if your iPhone's out of range; customising the Pill's name in your Bluetooth menu. For extra features on Android, you can download the Beats app (requires Android 8.0 or later) but for iOS users, Beats believes its integration with iOS is sufficient, in the same way as your AirPods don't have dedicated app support on your iPhone. 

And now, you can easily sync two Beats Pill speakers for double the audio, in either Amplify Mode (mono) or Stereo Mode – although connecting up to 100 Pills (in the way you can with JBL PartyBoost, say) is not a feature. 

If you find your Beats Pill low on power, Fast Fuel promises two hours of music playback from a 10-minute charge, but there's another ace up the Pill's sleeve: you can use the included USB-C cable to charge your phone or enjoy lossless audio from your laptop or other devices. And that's unusual. 

How does it perform against the likes of the Sonos Roam 2 – and is it one of the best Bluetooth speakers we've heard? We'll let you know soon. But Beats has certainly priced it competitively… 


♬ Rock and Roll Session - Canal Records JP

You may also like

Becky Scarrott
Audio Editor

Becky became Audio Editor at TechRadar in 2024, but joined the team in 2022 as Senior Staff Writer, focusing on all things hi-fi. Before this, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.