Apple’s new BeatsX headphones have received a lot of hype, especially since they are compatible with Apple’s new W1 chip. This makes connections a lot easier, especially in terms of switching between Apple devices. The $149 price tag is high, but you get what you pay for (for the most part).
At first, this author thought that the BeatsX would be his go-to listening device for his iPhone. But after two weeks of use, the BeatsX does show some weaknesses as well. Let’s take a look at some of the most important aspects of the BeatsX earbud set.
While the AirPods set provides a more balanced sound, the BeatsX offers a more heavy sound with a lot of bass. However, unlike previous Beats products, the bass doesn’t overwhelm the listener. The treble sounds a little forced, and if you don’t adjust the equalizer on your device, it might sound too forced. Listening to “Closer” by the Chainsmokers is an absolute pleasure when the iPhone equalizer is set to “Hip Hop,” but that setting is slightly too strong for Journey’s “Open Arms.”
Even though the sound quality is good for wireless, you can easily tell you are listening to a wireless set of earbuds. A higher quality earphone set like the Bose QC35 or Sony MDR-1000X blurs the line between wireless and wired. However, if you are avoiding the BeatsX because of the overwhelming bass-heavy sound of previous Beats headphones, you should at least give these different-sounding ones a try.
Fit and Noise Isolation
The BeatsX fits around your neck comfortably, even though the cord is so big that it could easily get caught up in your shirt or jacket. However, once you put the BeatsX buds in your ears, you won’t pay attention to anything else. The earbuds provide passive noise-isolation better than the active noise isolation some earbuds or headphones provide.
It will be almost scary when you use the earbuds to take a long walk in the city, get lost in the music, and almost get hit by a car. One needs to be very careful and responsible when using the BeatsX. However, if you want to use the BeatsX as sleep-aid, you’ll find that nothing can wake you up — not even a soft alarm clock.
Beats headphones and earbuds have always provided adequate but not excellent quality. The BeatsX buds provide better phone quality than most cheaper headphones, but the listener will still hear some background noise. Still, you’ll never have to repeat yourself. The BeatsX are certainly good enough to talk with in crowded rooms, especially since the buds’ noise isolation allows you to hear yourself and the person on the other line better. However, they are nothing that you would want to use to make a phone call at a loud concert.
Apple is correct when listing in the specs that the BeatsX offer eight hours of battery life. It’s not spectacular, but it is certainly very good — at least good enough so you don’t have to carry a charger with you all the time. In two different tests, the BeatsX lasted seven hours and 50 minutes the first time and eight hours and 10 minutes the second time. You could extend the battery life by turning the sound lower and turning the BeatsX off when you aren’t listening to music.
The BeatsX headset shows how Apple has taken over the Beats brand and refined it. This pair of earbuds shows how far the Beats brand has come in the past five years or so. However, the BeatsX are also the type of ear buds that you’ll fall in love with at first, then — once the honeymoon ends — you’ll realize that there are earbuds and earphones that offer better sound, a better fit, and better phone quality.
Still, for $149, the BeatsX are a recommended buy. Just be expected to wish — at times — that you had spent $100 extra on a more expensive earbud or headphone set.
[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]