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$50 Beats Flex Wireless Earphones Now Available in Two More Colors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Back in October, Apple introduced Beats Flex wireless earphones, which offer improvements over the previous BeatsX earphones yet come with a much lower $49.99 price tag.


The wireless Bluetooth earphones have a cord between the two earpieces that drapes around the neck and provides access to some physical controls.

They were initially only available in Beats Black and Yuzu Yellow color options. However, as spotted by 9to5Mac, two additional colors – Smoke Gray and Flame Blue – are now available to order on the Apple online store.

Beats Flex include Apple's W1 chip that supports quick pairing with iOS devices, iCloud syncing for seamless switching between devices, Audio Sharing to allow two sets of compatible Beats or AirPods earphones to listen to connect to the same device, and more.

They offer up to 12 hours of listening time on a single charge, and they recharge using USB-C to help provide maximum compatibility for Apple and Android users. A 10-minute Fast Fuel charge when the battery level is low will provide up to 1.5 hours of playback.

Beats Flex are the cheapest way to get into Apple's wireless earphone ecosystem, which is especially important now that Apple is no longer including earphones in the box with its iPhones.

Article Link: $50 Beats Flex Wireless Earphones Now Available in Two More Colors
 
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smoking monkey

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2008
1,534
552
I HUNGER
How do they actually sound? My 0G airpods are totally dead and 50 bucks is way cheaper than airpods. Don't need anything that sounds great, but certainly don't want them if they are tinny garbage.
 
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AvisDeene

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2017
142
490
How do they actually sound? My 0G airpods are totally dead and 50 bucks is way cheaper than airpods. Don't need anything that sounds great, but certainly don't want them if they are tinny garbage.
I tried them and didn’t think it was anything special. Sound was similar to other $50 Bluetooth headphones I’ve tried and call quality was just “okay”. I’ve had a few people say I’ve kept cutting out here and there, but not enough to really ruin the conversation.

I ended up returning them because I didn’t just want “okay” call quality. They also felt bulkier than I liked. They were thicker than I expected as well, and I just didn’t like how they felt hanging around my neck.
 
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macdisciple

macrumors member
Feb 27, 2016
84
74
USA
How do they actually sound? My 0G airpods are totally dead and 50 bucks is way cheaper than airpods. Don't need anything that sounds great, but certainly don't want them if they are tinny garbage.
I was using Skullcandy Ink'd wireless earbuds and the Beats Flex sound is much better. Not tinny. About the same as Airpods with a touch more bottom. Not sure why anyone would call them bulky sine they are very lightweight. Very good sound for $50.
 
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dantracht

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2013
602
795
I tried them and didn’t think it was anything special. Sound was similar to other $50 Bluetooth headphones I’ve tried and call quality was just “okay”. I’ve had a few people say I’ve kept cutting out here and there, but not enough to really ruin the conversation.

I ended up returning them because I didn’t just want “okay” call quality. They also felt bulkier than I liked. They were thicker than I expected as well, and I just didn’t like how they felt hanging around my neck.
I take it not worth an upgrade from the X?
 
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Spidder

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2012
69
42
I take it not worth an upgrade from the X?

I tried the Flex as a potential replacement/upgrade for my X, that broke after 3,5yrs. The Flex feels significantly cheaper in the hand. And although I liked the less harsh trebles in the Flex, the sound stage is wider on the X. So you can't upgrade from X, because it's not an upgrade, its a downgrade imo.
 
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PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 603
Mar 7, 2007
5,567
2,339
Midwest America.
Do they still have a power button to turn them off? They almost had me at the look, but USB-C? Okay... It's such a short charging cord too.

But my BeatsX aren't holding a charge for very long, and, well, hmm...
 
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PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 603
Mar 7, 2007
5,567
2,339
Midwest America.
I tried the Flex as a potential replacement/upgrade for my X, that broke after 3,5yrs. The Flex feels significantly cheaper in the hand. And although I liked the less harsh trebles in the Flex, the sound stage is wider on the X. So you can't upgrade from X, because it's not an upgrade, its a downgrade imo.

:confused: Oh. Bummer... Guess these are off the list for replacements for my 'X's'...
 
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davidwes

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2004
301
128
Do they still have a power button to turn them off? They almost had me at the look, but USB-C? Okay... It's such a short charging cord too.

But my BeatsX aren't holding a charge for very long, and, well, hmm...
I've never once used the included charger because its way way to short. I simply use my Macbook Pro plug.

As for everyone else's comments - I don't think I've ever been so disappointed in a mac product before. I had the hardest time getting the earbuds to work in the first place. They still don't automatically connect, I always have to go to settings to do so. The band itself is so cheap and stiff. I thought it might loosen a bit as I used it but no.
 
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lovehateapple

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2015
70
81
USA
The audio sharing feature is compelling. Would love it if it were possible to connect two sets of AirPods to my 2015 MBP. Was very disappointed to find out that wasn't possible.
 
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PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 603
Mar 7, 2007
5,567
2,339
Midwest America.
I've never once used the included charger because its way way to short. I simply use my Macbook Pro plug.

As for everyone else's comments - I don't think I've ever been so disappointed in a mac product before. I had the hardest time getting the earbuds to work in the first place. They still don't automatically connect, I always have to go to settings to do so. The band itself is so cheap and stiff. I thought it might loosen a bit as I used it but no.

I can say the same about the PowerBeats Pro earbuds. So much drama. And now, the right one has refused to charge at least 4 times in the past week. I'll pull them out,and not get the *ping* then I put it in my ear, and my heart sinks... Oh no, not again...

Dealing with their support was pretty much 'try this', and then 'We'll send you refurbished ones, but send yours first'. They blamed the case, they blamed moisture, they blamed me (holding it wrong), and finally just threw up their hands and said that was all they could do. They were just more than a month old, as I remember when I was trying to get service for them. Disappointed isn't quite accurate. But they do seem durable. I've thrown them a few times across my office in frustration. At least they have that going for them. They bounce off walls, and survive. (I haven't thrown them with much force, so...)

EDIT: The 'neck band' is stiff on the 'X's' too. I guess it has to be at some point, but it's a little annoying on my bike. *shrug* But when the PBP's are flaking out, I reach for whatever might work.
 
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darkharbour

macrumors member
Nov 12, 2020
38
33
Unceded Wolastoqey Territory
They're definitely not as nice in build quality as the BeatsX I had before (which stopped holding much of a charge after 3 years), they don't seem to be quite as smooth with switching between my Apple devices as the older design, and I'd say the sound quality is still comparable, as in better in some frequencies and worse in others. I do think the mic is better though, which is a nice bonus for working from home.
 
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reubs

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2006
1,760
62
How would these work out for exercising? I've got some Jlabs that are just very uncomfortable, and something like this would be a nice way to retire those.
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,045
2,815
The new colors are nice but I will stick to black as I prefer mine to be as unnoticeable as possible when I go out with them on.

The flex was the only Apple product I bought last year and I use them constantly all day every day. I love them, especially because of the battery life and the W1 chip and because they’re always around my neck ready to go. My broken beatsX that they replaced had a little bit better sound and build quality but also cost 3x more and had maybe half the battery life, and a terribly designed power button which ultimately failed. The flex is an upgrade or downgrade from the beatsX depending on what’s important to you. For me, definitely an upgrade. I would pay more for better audio quality, but it’s not a dealbreaker for me for my uses.

There are a couple software things though I really wish Apple would change. For one, allow Siri to make general inquiries like battery level without having to unlock the device that the headphones are connected to (but still locking more sensitive inquiries). Second, whenever you turn on the headphones, or while they’re on and you short press the power button, there is a pop up window on all your devices showing the battery level of the headphones, which is awesome, but LET THERE ALSO BE A “CONNECT” BUTTON IN THE POP UP WINDOW SO THAT YOU CAN QUICKLY CONNECT TO ANY DEVICE! The latter especially seems like such low hanging fruit, I don’t know why it’s not already implemented.

edit- also, sometimes you’ve been wearing the headphones around your neck for awhile and you don’t know if they’re on or off, and it’s cumbersome to take them off to see if the led light is on, so there should be a small beep sound when you short press the power button.
 
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Ybersetzer

macrumors member
May 3, 2019
68
38
Germany
Do they still have a power button to turn them off? They almost had me at the look, but USB-C? Okay... It's such a short charging cord too.

But my BeatsX aren't holding a charge for very long, and, well, hmm...
Yep, can be turned off completely. 12 hours battery life. I have been using them for a month now and like them a lot for the money. I'd improve some minor handling haptics, and the newer generation chip would be nice, but they do everything they are supposed to do and they do it very well. I have had AirPods, and while they have advantages in specific situtations, for my use case the Beats Flex are better, even though they are significantly cheaper.
 
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Ybersetzer

macrumors member
May 3, 2019
68
38
Germany
And wanna add: no, they don't have ear detection, but you now what, I don't miss that. I have had AirPods pausing (did not happen TOO often, but it did happen) because they thought they were outside my ear when they were not. Sometimes "dumb" is good.
And I use the volume control and especially the skip forward/backwards function (can be customized via Overcast for example) all the time. Glad I bought them.
 
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