Hands-On With Apple's New BeatsX Earphones

Apple's long-awaited BeatsX Earphones became available for purchase this morning, giving Apple customers an alternative to the hard-to-find AirPods.

Priced at $149.95, BeatsX Earphones are wireless like AirPods, but are connected together with a cord that makes them easier to keep track of and better suited to active lifestyles. We managed to get our hands on a set of BeatsX Earphones to give MacRumors readers a closer look at Apple's latest product.

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BeatsX Earphones feature the same W1 chip that's built into the AirPods, which makes pairing to any iOS device quick and simple, and because the BeatsX Earphones are connected via a cable, there's a space for an in-line remote for controlling media playback, something missing from the AirPods.

The earphones charge via Lightning, and ship with four interchangeable eartip sizes and secure-fit wingtips to keep them in place. With a full charge, users can expect eight hours of playback from the BeatsX, and a five minute "Fast Fuel" charging feature offers two hours of playback.

BeatsX Earphones are now available from Apple's online store and from many Apple retail stores around the world. Black and White models can be purchased starting today, while the Blue and Gray versions will be available later in the month. Online orders placed today in the United States will be delivered next week.

Tag: BeatsX

Top Rated Comments

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43 months ago

Got those, they are excellent.

I have the Airpods, Bose Soundsport Wireless, Beats X, shall I continue? :)

Yes, continue telling us which ones you like best as you telling us your list of purchases helps no one.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
43 months ago

Just try any reputable brands like B&O or Klipsch. That is what sound quality should sound like not muddy bass like your beats.

Oh yeah??? Well my daddy can beat up your daddy any day of the week!!!

That's basically what people with all these upturned noses sound like. Just let people buy and enjoy what they want. FFS people - it's not that hard to do!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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43 months ago
Already loving my pair!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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43 months ago
Okay, my own review of both the AirPods and the BeatsX!

AirPods
[LIST=1]
* Love the design! Lightweight, slightly thicker than the EarPods, but do NOT fall out.
* The W1 chip is great at switching seamlessly between devices. I've gone from my rMBP to iPhone SE/Watch Series 1, and back, without issue.
* 'Remove to play/pause' works with iTunes & music Apps, but not Netflix on Safari.
* 'Double-tap for Siri' works with both iOS and macOS.
* While the case does, indeed, look like floss, it is remarkably sturdy in design. Truly, an Apple product.
* Audio seems a bit better than the EarPods, and they get equally as loud.
* OVERALL: Love 'em! So dope!

BeatsX
[LIST=1]
* The cords are, indeed, somewhat long, but I see why they were designed that way. It makes for a straight-down angle with the buds. Similarly, from the box, the buds-to-neckband cords take a bit of reshaping with your hands in order for them to NOT stick out at awkward angles.
* The variety of ear tips + different sizes of ear wings helps them stay in my ears without issue. I think they will be very customizable for most users.
* With the W1 chip, switching between devices was not as seamless as with the AirPods, but it was pretty quick nonetheless. Had a bit of an issue connecting to the Watch, despite them being connected to the iPhone, but that was remedied by cycling through Airplane Mode on the Watch.
* They seem to get loud enough for my tastes.
* NOTE: I have yet to workout with them. I like my earbuds to get LOUD when working out, and I don't sweat too much, so I suspect these will do. However, I won't know until I take them for a spin.
* OVERALL: Seem to work just fine! I think many people will like them!

Feel free to ask any questions! I'll do my best to answer them.

[UPDATE]

AirPods

* Floggin' AMAZING! Had to pay 1.5x the normal price to get them (eBay + impatience with shipping = go figure. :rolleyes:), and they're worth EVERY DAMN PENNY! 'Nuff said.

BeatsX

After using the BeatsX for a week, and taking them on a run, I've returned them to Apple.

* Throughout the normal day, I found I had to place the buds in my ears just so in order for the cords to not stick out at foolish angles from my face; it took some shaping of the cables, as well as twisting slightly, in order for them to curve in under my chin before arcing back to the neckband. Relatedly, in 'necklace mode', the whole device was long (really long, to me, and I'm average height), and the magnets were just not strong enough, IMHO. Sure, the buds clicked together, but it was too easy to separate them.

* Now, I liked that they got louder overall than the Jabra Sport Paces that I had been using, but the BeatsX lacked any kind of bass, which was extremely noticeable at higher volumes, as well as right after using AirPods.
* Finally, on a 5K run, racing leeward was fine, but as soon as I faced windward, the neckband seemed unstable around my neck, as if it was going to fly off at any moment.
* OVERALL: These issues combined to make me return the Beats. Now, they're marketed as an everyday, during-the-day, set of earphones, and for some people they may be great. However, I think I prefer the over-the-ear style, with a small connecting cord behind the neck, which is exactly the design of the Jabras. My next thought is to try the PowerBeats3 (yay, W1 chip!), but I'm not about to drop $200 on them; if I find a great deal on CL or Ebay, I may give them a shot.

Hope the helps everyone!


Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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43 months ago
They must be making a killing with these. $150? Jesus. My Brainwavz wired earbuds (with mic and controls) were $10 and have excellent audio quality (I know -- hard to believe for $10, but the Wirecutter agrees). And the "pairing" is easy, I just plug them into the audio jack on my iPhone 6s+. Seriously, how the heck are these BeatsX worth $140 more?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
43 months ago

YMMV here. I wouldn't say that the Bose crushes the PowerBeats3.

I'm listening to streamed music (High quality [160 kbits/s] when streaming, Extreme quality [320 kbits/s] when downloaded [on Spotify] 95% of the time) so maybe I could tell the difference a *tiny* bit more if I were listening to lossless files.

I tried both of them over the course of a week. *I* found that they were pretty close in sound quality. Bose maybe slightly better, but I typically use earphones/headphones across a MBP, iP7+, and 2 other iPads -- and the convenience of the W1 chip make the PowerBeats3 edge out the Bose Soundsport Wireless for me.

I went to way too many raves to be an audiophile at this point, that's for sure. I'm sure the BeatsX will be good enough for me, especially given the majority of what I listen to is compressed/streamed electronica. But the convenience of the W1? Just look at my .sig -- that's going to be really, really nice. :)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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