Beats Flex Review: Bigger Bass, Bigger Battery, Tiny Price

Flex beats

Beats Flex Review: More Bass, More Battery, Half Price

“12-hour battery life, great sound, and the price of a killer are hard to beat.”

  • great price

  • Comfortable

  • Very good sound quality

  • Very good call quality

  • Easy Pairing with Apple Products

  • Quick charging is slower than BeatsX

  • Controls may be a bit finicky to use

  • USB-C charging cable does not fit regular USB ports

  • No official IPX rating

By far, the cheapest set of Beats Wireless headphones was $ 100 BeatsX. With their balanced sound, easy pairing with iPhones and excellent call quality, they were a good choice for fans of Beats who wanted something smaller and less expensive than the brand’s classic folding wireless headphones.

But BeatsX was released in 2017, and the wireless headphones market has changed a ton since then. True wireless earbuds have become very inexpensive and connection problems that once plagued these devices have largely been eradicated. This made the effect of the design of the neck, behind their bulk design, to make BeatsX unnecessarily expensive.

Apple’s response: $ 50 Beats Flex. They have all the features as the BeatsX, which replaces the Flex, but at a dramatically lower price that keeps them running, when people are considering a new set of earbuds.

Did Apple have to cut a lot of corners to get the Beats Flex at its remarkably low price, or are these beats to beat?

let’s find out.

What is in the box

Flex beats
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

BeatsX is already one of the most responsibly packaged headphones I’ve come across, and Flex goes even further. The simple black cardboard box is no larger than a deck of cards, there is virtually no plastic inside or outside, and all of this can be easily recycled. In this way all our technology should come.

Inside the box, you’ll find some paper documentation including Beats Flex, a USB-C to USB-C charging cable, three sizes of silicone ear tips (other than those installed at the factory), and a D. Hardness Beat Sticker.

The design

Beats Flex comes in four colors: Beats Black, Flame Blue, Smoke Gray and Yuzu Yellow.

They use the same hybrid cable design as BeatsX, which combines a flat, tangle-free wire and a thick, rubberized surround neck section that springs back into its U-shape, no matter how much you Fold and twist it. It is slightly thinner on the flex, but still equally strong.

You never have to worry about losing earbuds, there is no heavy charge to bang in your pocket or purse.

The U has long plastic housings on either end with batteries, electronics (including the Apple-designed W1 Bluetooth chip), as well as a USB-C charging port and power / pairing buttons. These are plastic houses where Apple has focused its redesign (cost reduction) efforts. Instead of holding the microphone and the controls in an inline pod on the left earbud wire, these are now contained in the left housing.

The earbuds themselves are BeatsX-sized, though Apple claims to have a new proprietary layered driver inside.

They can actually last a full day before needing to be plugged in.

It may seem a bit strange that the Beats brand is still making wireless headphones on the back of the neck, while every day true wireless earbuds see a new set of hit store shelves, but there is still a market for this style. You never have to worry about losing earbuds, there is no heavy charging case to get stuck in your pocket or purse, and when you want to interact, just pull the buds out of your ears and let them hang. . For those who need to move back and forth between regularly listening to music and listening to the world around them, this is a much more convenient design.

battery life

With only eight hours of battery life, BeatsX was being crushed not only by other wire-connected wireless earbuds, but also by some new true wireless earbuds. For example, JLab’s Epic Air ANC can achieve eight hours of life with ANC and a huge life of 12 hours with it. And before you consider the extra juice in their charging case.

The Beats Flex may not have a charging case, but with 12 hours of continuous operation, they can actually last an entire day before needing to be plugged in.

The strange thing about Flex is that while the overall battery life is better than their predecessor, fast-charging is actually worse. Now you need 10 minutes to get a 1.5-hour lead, while BeatsX can take two hours of extra time after five minutes of charging.

Perhaps it is somehow related to Apple’s Lightning port on BeatsX with a USB-C port on Flex.

Switching to USB-C makes a lot of sense if you’re after the Android community with Apple Flex, but the choice of how to do it.

Incorporating USB-C to USB-C charging cable creates an immediate problem for anyone who does not already own another USB-C device. There is no way to plug the cable in any way, but the USB-C charging port and the USB-C charger are not included in the Apple box. If you own a recent MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, there is no problem – both machines have ports that can be used for this purpose. But if you’re still shaking an old computer or virtually any iPhone, there’s a good chance you don’t have (or can buy) a way to charge Flex without an Amazon order Apple’s USB-C charger For $ 20).

Comfort, Control and Connection

Flex beats
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Very good sound coming from a set of earbuds depends a lot on how they seal against your ear canal. With four sizes of silicone tips to choose from, most people should be able to have a safe and comfortable fit with the Beats Flex. The default set of suggestions is of medium size, and these proved to be very comfortable for me.

The back neck design is also very comfortable. You hardly notice its presence and the rubbery texture prevents it from moving around as you move about it.

As long as you hold the earbuds properly, their flat cables keep themselves away from your face. Turn them over and the opposite happens.

Keeping the controls in the plastic housing (versus inline control of BeatsX) makes them a bit harder to use. The volume rocker is easy to use, with well-defined clicks. But the multifunction button that controls play / pause, track skip forward / back, call answer / end, and access Siri (or Google Assistant) have only a small amount of travel and virtually no clicks.

This can make it difficult to know if you pressed it correctly. Because it is mounted on the inner side of your housing, you need to press it with your index finger – until you reach your neck with your right hand – than to use your thumb accurately. Found something difficult for You get used to this arrangement quickly and adequately on the bright side, you will never accidentally take out the left earring when you use them.

Flex beats audio sharingWith all Apple wireless headphones that use the company’s W1 or H1 wireless chips, pairing Flex to an iOS device is a snap. Just turn them on and wait for your iPhone to show you a one-tap pairing animation. If you own more than one Apple device, changing Flex from one to another is also a breeze.

It is also almost as intuitive on Android devices as before you download the free Beats app.

When you take out an earbud, the Flex doesn’t have a wear sensor to automatically stop its sensors, but they have the next best thing: a sensor that stops and rings when The earbuds magnetize and exit each other. It does not help when you just remove a bud, but it is easier than stopping manually.

The Beats Flex is also compatible with Apple’s Audio Sharing feature, which allows listening to headphones or earbuds equipped with any two W1 or H1 simultaneously from an iOS device.

This proved to be a great way to compare the sound quality of Beats Flex and BeatsX (more on that in a minute).

The BeatsX Class 1 missed out on being a Bluetooth device, but Flex also has this feature, meaning a much longer wireless range – up to 300 feet.

Sound quality

Flex beats
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Given that the Beats Flex is half the price of BeatsX, I was prepared to decline the sound quality, but that’s not the case: they sound great.

For the price, these things rock.

Not only do they compare very closely to the BeatsX, with an even more bass-forward sound signature, but they also sound much closer to the AirPods Pro, which is five times more expensive.

They don’t quite match AirPods Pro in terms of the width and depth of their soundstage – keeping flex things a little closer to your head – but again, for the price, these things rock. To get a truly noticeable improvement in audio quality, you will need to spend between $ 200- $ 300.

I still wished that Apple offered at least some basic EQ adjustments for bass and treble. The flex is tuned in such a way that the vocals are not pronounced as much as I would like, which I think can fix some short EQ tweaks, but this is simply not an option.

Some people may like the way Flex tunes in, thanks to a more pronounced lower register than BeatsX, which lends itself specifically to rap, hip-hop and a variety of clubs and EDM subgenres gives.

Call quality

Flex beats
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

One of the things I loved about BeatsX was their call quality. They really were the next best thing to having your phone on your face, to separate the crystal clear and brilliant sounds from the background sounds.

Raj was mic placement. Located on the left earbud wire, it was ideally positioned to capture speech. The Beats Flex is almost as good, but the mic’s location on the Flex neckband is of slightly poor quality.

In most circumstances your voice will still be very clear, but are not as well filtered as background noise. They don’t freak you out as it does with true wireless earbuds, but they are more noticeable than BeatsX.

One thing that improves calling on flex (other than moving the mic) is a listening medium that allows you to hear your own voice better.

Take us

If you like the design of the headphones-behind-the-neck set, the Beats Flex offers everything you could want at an amazing price.

Is there a better option?

If you need longer battery life, Sony makes many back-to-neck models with 15-20 hours of battery life, such as bulkier C400 And this Y-C310.

But if you’re an iPhone user, Flex is still a better option due to its excellent integration with Apple’s ecosystem.

How long will they last?

The Beats Flex are well constructed with durable materials and connections. They come with a one-year warranty from Apple, which can be extended with an optional AppleCare purchase.

And despite not having an IP rating for dust or water conservation, a source of beats tells me that flakes are actually quite capable of dealing with sweaty workouts. The USB-C charging port is waterproof and all controls are sealed against moisture.

Should you buy them

Absolutely. For the price, the Beats Flex is a killer price that, in particular, Apple owners should strongly consider if they are looking for a great alternative to purchasing a set of true wireless earbuds.

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