Beats announced today that the company has named the most affordable premium wireless earbuds yet. The new $ 49.99 Beats Flex earbuds are an evolution of the 2017 neckband-style Beats X; They’re now charged via USB-C, have a longer battery life (12 hours), and the internals have been redesigned for better sound quality and improved microphone performance. They will be available in black, yellow, blue or gray from October 23rd.
Like the Beats X, the Beats Flex have a lightweight “flex-form” cable that wraps around the neck when worn, and the earbuds can be magnetically attached to each other when not in use. Beats got a hint from OnePlus this time around: your music will automatically pause when the buds are magnetically linked, and it will resume once you put them in your ears.
As for the refinement of sound quality, Beats says the following new:
Beats Flex uses a proprietary layered driver with two-chamber acoustics to produce rich, balanced sound with excellent stereo separation. Laser-cut micro-ventilation and an optimized driver’s angle ensure relief of ear pressure and precise sound emission. In addition, an advanced digital processor optimizes the audio for precise bass, precise mids, and low distortion across the frequency curve.
The Beats Flex earbuds charge via USB-C, which is a departure from the Apple Lightning connector used on the Beats X. However, the Apple W1 chip is retained for instant pairing with iPhones or iPads and software functions such as audio sharing. If you plug them in for just 10 minutes, you have an hour and a half of listening time.
Beats announces the Flex earbuds the same day Apple will unveil the iPhone 12, which supposedly comes without the earbuds included for the first time. If AirPods aren’t your thing, Beats is happy to try to fill that void with these new $ 50 earbuds.
The switch to USB-C is also a sign that Beats is trying harder to appeal to owners of Android phones. The company offers an Android app that can be used for quick pairing and firmware updates. With Apple expected to launch their own premium noise-canceling headphones in the coming months, it makes sense for Beats to branch beyond the Apple ecosystem.