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At todayApple didn’t announce its long-rumored, highly anticipated full size . But it offered a small consolation prize: The once popular neckband style headphones have been updated and renamed Beats Flex. The price was lowered to USD 50 (GBP 50, AU $ 80).
Apple-owned Beats since 2014, says Beats Flex are “the most affordable premium wireless earbuds to date,” offering “a high quality audio experience at a fraction of the cost of their predecessor.” When they launched in February 2017, the BeatsX was priced at $ 150.
With the newModels Headphones in the box, the Beats Flex becomes an affordable Apple-friendly wireless headphone alternative to the AirPods that start 24/7 . However, that’s still $ 50 more than “included” which has been the case with headphones (and power adapters) for every iPhone since it was launched in 2007. And if you want to use old fashioned wired headphones, this is what you’re going to need .
The Beats Flex earbuds look very similar to their predecessor, but there is one notable design difference: the in-line microphone and control module have been removed and integrated into a module at the bottom of the cable (on the left side) that is at the base of your neck . As a result, the headphones should feel better balanced.
Some of the other major improvements include new acoustic drivers for improved sound, an improved microphone for improved voice calls, magnetic auto-play / pause earbuds, and 12-hour (up from 8-hour) battery life. The Flex is also the first Apple headphone to feature USB-C charging. Get 1.5 hours of playback time on a 10-minute charge.
The Beats Flex has the older W1 chip from Apple, not the H1 of the AirPods and AirPods Pro of the second generation and the. With the W1, you can easily pair Apple with all Apple devices that are synced with iCloud. You can switch between Apple devices, check battery status, or use audio sharing with a friend through Beats or Apple headphones (with the W1 chip). . Android users can download the Beats app from the Google Play Store for additional features like quick pairing, device status (i.e. battery level) and firmware updates.
BeatsX vs. Beats Flex
I liked the BeatsX, but they had a small presence boost (altitude boost) that could cause some listening fatigue. Supposedly the flex won’t have this problem. The new drivers were developed by Apple engineers and, according to Beats, “use a proprietary layered driver with two-chamber acoustics to produce rich, balanced sound with excellent stereo separation.”
Although they come with four different sized ear tips to give you a tight seal, I wish they had a sport fin so you could really hold them in your ears for exercise. However, like the standard AirPods, the earbuds aren’t sweat- or water-resistant (they don’t have an IPX rating). Lots of people run and exercise on the AirPods with no ill effects, but Beats would steer you towards theirsif you want real sports earphones.
The other problem, of course, is that the Beats Flex are “wired wireless” headphones – with a cable connecting the left and right earbuds – at a time when. They may not sound that good and don’t have the fancy W1 features that allow easy connection to other Apple devices, but neither do they have the old-fashioned cables of the Beats Flex.
Beats Flex will ship in two color options on October 21st – Beats Black and Yuzu Yellow – and are available for pre-order now. The colors Smoke Gray and Flame Blue will appear in early 2021. We’ll be posting a full review of the Beats Flex in the coming days.
Beats Flex Key specifications
According to the beats:
- New acoustic drivers
- Magnetic earbuds automatically play music when they’re in your ears and pause the audio when they’re around your neck.
- The improved built-in microphone reduces wind noise
- USB-C charging
- 12 hours of listening time.
- 10 minutes of fast fuel charging gives you 1.5 hours of playback time.
- Use the controls on the device to adjust the volume, manage music, take calls, or activate your voice assistant.
- Beats app for Android users
- Price: $ 50 (£ 50, AU $ 80)
- Four color options: Beats Black, Yuzu Yellow (available now); Smoke gray and flame blue (available early 2021)
- Available for pre-order now, shipping October 21st