At a glance, the new BeatsX wireless earbuds look like any other in-ear wireless earphones in the market. Except the fact that the BeatsX is one of the few earphones in the world incorporating Apple’s W1 chip for seamless Bluetooth pairing with Apple devices. While it’s not the first Bluetooth earphones to incorporate this technology (there’s currently the Apple AirPods, Beats Solo3 & Powerbeats3), the BeatsX is the most affordable at S$198.
When Apple purchased Beats by Dre for S$4.2 billion in 2014, many were curious as how Apple will be integrating the brand with its product offerings. We saw how the Beats music streaming service became Apple music and now with the removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, the new Beats Solo3, Powerbeats 3 and BeatsX are starting to fill the gap of wired headphones for iPhone users.
The BeatsX comes in an attractive clear box packaging that shows off the earphones in its full glory. Diving deeper into the box, you will see hallmark of Apple’s clean and clever packaging. Extra earbuds and wingtips are sealed and packed nicely into individual compartments. You can also find the quick start guide, carrying case and lightning to USB charging cable tucked nicely into the box.
Beatsx Package Content
- Beatsx earphones
- Eartips with four size options
- Removable secure-fit wingtips
- Pocket-sized carrying case
- Lightning to USB-A charging cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Card
While the BeatsX are wireless, the earbuds are still connected by a single cable that runs though the back of your neck when in use. On the left side of the earbud, you get the usual mic and control button together with a battery module for charging. Symmetrically, there’s a module on the right side that allows you to power on the earphones and put the BeatsX into pairing mode. When not in used, both earbuds connect magnetically to each other so that you can securely leave it dangling against your chest.
Like the Apple AirPods, the BeatsX earphones are charged via a lightning cable. If you’re already deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem, this might be a bonus for you as you would probably have a few lightning cables lying around. Apple says that a full charge will take around 45-mins and if you’re in a rush, the BeatsX’s Fast Fuel gives you 2 hours of audio playback with just 5-min of charge.
With Apple, it’s all about the magic where everything just works. And thanks to the W1 chip, the BeatsX is no exception. Simply turn on the BeatsX and place it near an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac for it to be auto detected. Tap on the “Connect” button and viola. The earphones are paired. And that’s not where the magic ends. The BeatsX appears in an of your Apple devices that are signed in using your Apple ID. This means that you can simply select the BeatsX under the Bluetooth menu to connect to them without any need to pair manually. For this to work, you would require an iCloud account and macOS Sierra, iOS 10, or watchOS 3.
Fit-wise, it’s good that Beats included 4 different sizes of eartips and 2 sets of wingtips in the box. Without the eartips, the BeatsX could hardly stay in my ears. Eventually I had to switch to smaller eartips together with wingtips to have a good and secure fit. The cables sit comfortably on your shoulders with the battery and control modules on each side which provided a good weight. The earphones are super comfortable and most of the time, you wouldn’t feel it around your neck. However, this design does introduce some cable noise as the modules will brush against your clothing and when used while running, the modules tend to move up and down along with your movement.
Where the BeatsX doesn’t shine is in the audio quality. This is not to say that the BeatsX sounds bad. On the contrary, the BeatsX probably sound better than most branded wireless in-ear earphones at this price point. You still get alot of bass from the earphones – something that is hereditary from the Beats by Dr Dre branding. Yet, the vocals and trebles are overall relatively thin and lacking the punch. While listening to Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You or Adele’s When We Were Young, you will find the vocals to be pretty pronounced especially in some of the high notes. I only wished that there was an app to customize the music a little more to my liking.
|Battery life||8 hours|
|Connection||Class 1 Bluetooth with Apple W1 chip|
|Colors||Black / White / Grey / Blue|
|Charging type||Lightning connector|
|Fast charge||Fast Fuel for 2 hours of playback with 5-min charge|
After using the BeatsX earphones are a week, I have no doubt that Apple (or Beats) has created a wireless earphones that would be well received by the masses. The BeatsX looks great and the W1 chip provides the convenience of streaming from your various Apple devices without needing to manually select and pair it every single time. The 8 hours battery life is also significantly longer than many of the other wireless earbuds in the market and for its price, it’s a steal for a Beats brand product.
At the end of the day, if you could put up with the less than stellar audio and is deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem, at S$198 the BeatsX earphones are literally hard to beat.