Published on April 6th, 2017 | by Greg0
BeatsX Earphones: Apple’s Exercise-Friendly Wireless Buds
Wireless headphones were a pretty simple idea a few years ago- most all of them were essentially regular headphones with Bluetooth functionality, and often you could use them in a wired fashion. The next generation were closer to a set of big earbuds with a cable going from ear to ear; the latest upgrade removed the cable entirely so each earbud can function in a true wireless fashion. But the smaller and more portable they get, the easier your pods are to lose, and typically battery life suffered in turn.
The new BeatsX Earphones from Beats by Dre (now owned by Apple) attempt to split the difference in a way- they do have a wire running from ear to ear that , but they are incredibly tiny, charge very quickly (more on that in a bit), and run for up to eight hours. One big advantage the BeatsX offer over, say, AirPods is the in-line controls and better microphone, allowing you to communicate with Siri and easily change tracks too. Plus, they offer a unique selling point over the competition in their special chipset, allowing you to simply power on and hold near your iPhone for an instant connection that’s similar to NFC. And if you’re a serious Apple fan, you can simultaneously connect to your Apple Watch, iPad and Mac too. Actually, these are clearly built for use with Apple devices, and Android users will be missing out on some of the best features.
The cable is the lay-flat, no-tangle variety, and we liked the magnets in the buds that allow the buds to clasp together for convenient carrying and storage. These are also some of the lightest earbuds we’ve seen, with a cord that doesn’t drag the buds down, and that helps to make them very comfortable too. Especially for jogging, running, and other exercise, these are pretty much perfect- water-resistant if not waterproof, with two sizes of wings included to help keep them stable (we didn’t really need them). Four sizes of tips are also in the package so you can find the best fit, important for isolation, and a carrying case is in the box as well.
One of the coolest features is what they call RapidFuel, a way to charge these to a decent level in only five minutes using a Lightning cable. And we shouldn’t pass up the chance to talk about the acoustics- balanced, and surprisingly neutral for a pair with the Beats moniker, these still are bass-forward but don’t throw too much of it at your ears. The cable seemed a bit long for some folks, and these didn’t impress with their warmth or dynamics, as the sound was just a bit flat. But workout users, and especially iOS users, will likely be quite happy with the BeatsX- available now, online and in stores, in white, blue, black, and gray for around $149.