Beats has recently come out with their version of wireless earbuds. That’s no surprise since this style of wireless headphones (A cable connecting both sides of the earbud, with wireless connectivity to device) have exploded in popularity recently, but consumers are asking for more when it comes to sound quality and battery life. So are the new Beats X In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones worth the wait and most importantly its asking price? Let’s find out.
What do the Beats X Include?
Out of the box, Beats has included everything you need to ensure comfort and portability. Inside, you will find a set of matching coloured silicone eartips in four sizes alongside a set of wingtips intended for active use. You will also find a small silicone carrying case for the earphones for easy transportation. Additionally, a short Apple Lightning port to USB cable is included for charging.
How The Beats X Fit
Comfort is without a doubt one of the most important features of any earphone, since if they’re uncomfortable you’re not going to enjoy wearing them no matter how they sound.
Right away, I noticed the Beats X fit great in the ear with the included eartips. With four sizes offered, I suggest experimenting with a few different tip sizes before settling on the one that works best for you. The included eartips had a great seal, but also a good level of noise isolation for a relatively interruption free listening experience. As for active use, the secure-fit wingtips ensure the Beats X do not fall out during a run or workout.
The Beats X are designed with a single cord connecting both sides of the earphone, similar to offerings by JayBird. A stiffer flex-form cable that connects both sides of the earbuds offers a customized fit, but my biggest complaint about the Beats X comes in the length of this cable being simply too long with no option to retract the excess cable. I found it would get in the way quite easily, resulting in a rattling sound as the excess cable moved around while listening.
Beats X also features an in-line remote with volume and play/skip controls, along with a microphone that is useful for making hands-free calls. You can also enable Siri and RemoteTalk directly from the Beats X.
Sound Quality on the Beats X
The Beats X exemplifies many qualities found on previous audio products from the Beats lineup, but to my surprise has been improved. The well-known bass was still prominent enough to rise from the other dynamics, however, the sound was still well balanced with the treble remained quite notable. I tested the earphones through a variety of genres notably including pop, hip-hop, rap, and found the most enjoyable experience in hip-hop and rap due to the emphasized expression on the low frequencies. Bass is often a characteristic that many earphones lack, but Beats is sure to please many on that score.
Wireless audio products often have a misconception for lacking good sound quality. I’ve noticed from extensive testing that options in the recent years have progressively improved, and the Beats X is one of the better-sounding wireless earphones I have tested to date with a crisp sound and prominent bass. One thing that the Beats X lacks when compared to the Jaybird Freedom and Jaybird X3 is any ability to fully customize the sound through custom EQ settings from an application, a feature that I really enjoyed from my previous experiences.
Apple W1 & Bluetooth Connectivity
Perhaps the best feature of the Beats X is the connectivity options through the integrated Apple W1 chip in conjunction with Bluetooth connectivity for non-Apple devices. The Apple W1 chip allows the Beats X to “Magically” connect to an iPhone out of the box, just by turning on the earphone and enabling Bluetooth on your device. A popup with an option to connect the Beats X should appear almost immediately, and just like that your Beats X is not only connected to your iPhone, but any other Apple device that is signed into the same iCloud account.
This process is seamless and eliminates the painful connectivity issues you might have had in the past. The Apple W1 chip integration is specific to the Apple AirPods and newer Beats wireless headphones, but do not have the same play pause sensor capabilities as the AirPods.
As for compatibility with other devices, standard Class-1 Bluetooth connectivity is used and I experienced no problems in connecting reliability whatsoever.
Battery Life & Fast Charging
With an 8-hour battery life, you should have no problems getting through an entire day with the Beats X. From my usage, Beats’s battery life claim was accurate and I found myself getting quite close to the advertised usage time on average. An impressive feature that the Beats X also has up its sleeve is Fast Fuel, giving you 2 hours of playback on just a 5-minute charge. We’ve all had those days where we forget to charge one of our gadgets, without realizing until we are getting ready to use them. Fast Fuel fixes this problem.
Since Beats is owned by Apple, the Beats X uses the proprietary Lighting port to charge via the included mini cable. The port is located directly on the earphone without the need for a separate charging module, but it would have been nice to see a universal port such as micro USB or USB C used for charging especially for non-Apple users.
Are the Beats X Worth It?
Beats X is a great wireless earphone option for a number of reasons including sound quality, comfort, and battery life. When compared to other wireless audio options like Apple AirPods and JayBird X3, the sound quality ranks above the AirPods but below JayBird’s offerings.
As a wireless option, most consumers would be satisfied in the clarity and decent balance in sound while the bass remains prominent. I personally love the Apple W1 chip integration as an avid Apple user, while also being able to appreciate the long battery life and Fast Fuel rapid charge option. Although the price point is high, I still believe Beats has come out with a solid contender as one of the better wireless earphones available at the moment.