MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
53,026
14,771


Apple's Beats brand today is introducing Beats Flex wireless earphones, which add some upgrades to the previous BeatsX earphones yet come with a much lower $49.99 price tag. The new price makes them 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.

beats_flex_colors.jpg

As with BeatsX, the new Beats Flex earphones are wireless Bluetooth earphones with a cord between the two earpieces that drapes around the neck and provides access to some physical controls. Beats Flex will be available in four colors, with Beats Black and Yuzu Yellow available for pre-order today ahead of an October 21 launch and Smoke Gray and Flame Blue coming in early 2021.
Beats Flex employs a proprietary layered driver with dual-chamber acoustics to achieve rich, balanced sound with outstanding stereo separation. Laser cut micro-venting and an optimized driver angle ensure ear pressure relief and accurate sound delivery. Additionally, an advanced digital processor fine-tunes the audio for accurate bass, precise mids, and low distortion across the frequency curve.
On the design side, Beats Flex feature a lightweight and comfortable Flex-Form cable made of durable Nitinol to connect the earpieces, and as with the previous BeatsX, the Beats Flex earpieces magnetically click together to keep them secure around your neck when not in use. Overall, Beats Flex are 8% lighter than BeatsX.

beats_flex_closeup_accessories.jpg

Beats Flex also have automatic play/pause support, starting up playback when they are inserted in your ears and stopping playback when they are attached around your neck. Four sizes of eartips offer a personalized fit.

As with the previous BeatsX, 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.

beats_flex_lifestyle.jpg

On-device controls on the cable of the Beats Flex offer a built-in microphone with wind noise reduction and voice clarity optimization, as well as controls for adjusting volume, controlling playback, taking phone calls, and accessing Siri.

Beats Flex 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.

Article Link: New Beats Flex Earphones Take BeatsX to the Next Level for Just $49.99
 

Friscochris

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2009
56
33
BeatsX are horrible products. 3 of them down the drain. Same crap... just decided to stop working, flashing red/white light of death. They don’t last and are not worth the price of admission.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JBaby and realpras
Comment

trellus

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2007
159
171
Plano, TX
I'm definitely buying this as I prefer neckband to "true wireless" which are more work to keep "at the ready" for me. I already have the PowerBeats Pro, but I've never bought AirPods because they don't fit my use case. I usually wear my Jabra Elite 75e around my neck but I'm looking forward to the W1 chip convenience. $50 is great for what these are!

EDIT: And I've already pre-ordered them for delivery on October 22.
 
Comment

Peepo

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2009
1,087
534
Strange they are using USB-C to charge, my Beats-X use lightning. Come on Apple... when are you going to put USB-C port in iPhones?
 
  • Like
Reactions: imola.zhp
Comment

subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,434
3,255
Everything was amazing until I saw W1. Why wouldn’t they use H1?? There’s always something! But it looks like they moved the mic and controls off the wire to the neck base, which is great for when running, it won’t bounce around and pull the earbud out of your ear anymore. The power button looks a little improved, like you can actually feel it and press it more easily now. Though a slider switch would have been more ideal. The crazy lower cost is mind boggling. It’s hard to imagine it’s that low only because they reused the W1 chip. I welcome the price of course, but at the same time I was ready to pay more for the H1 chip. I guess H1 isn’t make or break, so overall it’s still good news. I’m ecstatic to be able to finally replace my beatsX.

edit- I forgot about the 12 hour battery life! I believe beatsX was 8 hours, so that’s a dramatic increase. That’s almost as perplexing as the dramatically decreased price. These headphones perplex me, in a mostly good way.
 
Last edited:
Comment

subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,434
3,255
I'm definitely buying this as I prefer neckband to "true wireless" which are more work to keep "at the ready" for me. I already have the PowerBeats Pro, but I've never bought AirPods because they don't fit my use case. I usually wear my Jabra Elite 75e around my neck but I'm looking forward to the W1 chip convenience. $50 is great for what these are!
Yeah I love the neckband, always at the ready. I keep them around my neck at all times when at home, which is always now. Much faster to start and stop using them than AirPods that you have to keep in a battery case in your pocket. Not to mention I don’t always have pockets, but I always have a neck.
 
Last edited:
Comment

imola.zhp

macrumors 65816
Jun 1, 2010
1,076
770
Mud Island (Memphis), TN
Still W1? So it's basically a refresh of the BeatsX at a lower price.

LOL WUT?

" As with the previous BeatsX, 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. "

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've had BeatsX since they came out, LOVE them. EarPod's never really fit my ear right so I was never interested in a wireless version. I love traveling with my BeatsX, they "click" magnetically when not in use around my neck; I never worry about losing them. This update represents an incredible value.
 
Comment

GrumpyCoder

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2016
675
1,100
Have to check these out. It's almost winter and I don't want to use my Powerbeats or Sony 1000XMs in pouring rain. For $50 might be worth a try to see how much rain they can take.
 
  • Like
Reactions: trellus
Comment

MICHAELSD

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2008
4,255
1,491
NJ
The internals sound impressive for $49, but I’d like to see it in a truly wireless format factor.
 
Comment

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,439
38,512
BeatsX are horrible products. 3 of them down the drain. Same crap... just decided to stop working, flashing red/white light of death. They don’t last and are not worth the price of admission.

I considered the BeatsX months ago as an alternative to the AirPods. I like the idea of the buds that’s with the rope around the neck and then the earbuds snap together with a magnetic fasteners , but as you said; the reviews are atrocious with the hardware quality suffering, and then others saying that one earbud would usually fail was another common issue. It’s to bad, because this product looks like it has a lot of potential, but the X falls short in the construction/quality for my readings. I’m not sure if this new version will rectify anything that’s been problematic in the past, But the price point seems to be more on par versus the $90 price point for the original BeatsX.
 
Comment

bodonnell202

macrumors 68000
Jan 5, 2016
1,942
2,394
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
LOL WUT?

" As with the previous BeatsX, 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. "

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've had BeatsX since they came out, LOVE them. EarPod's never really fit my ear right so I was never interested in a wireless version. I love traveling with my BeatsX, they "click" magnetically when not in use around my neck; I never worry about losing them. This update represents an incredible value.
I know it's still W1. I was expressing surprise rather than seeking clarification. I'm surprised because the W1 is a very old chip and I thought they would've at least upgraded it to an H1 like the rest of their bluetooth headphone lineup.
 
Comment

Yellowbean12

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2008
113
293
Bought Beats X on day one and got about 3 years of life out of them before they flaked out a few months ago. I've been teetering on getting AirPods Pro to replace them, but they are so expensive for someone like me who doesn't actually need noise cancelling, etc. These Beats Flex are an instabuy for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: imola.zhp
Comment

anson42

Contributor
Mar 13, 2014
766
583
Oakland, CA
$50 is a really great price for these if they sound anything like the BeatsX. I went through two pairs of those before giving up because of the poor quality in the cabling system leading to audio disconnects and inactive buttons. If the build quality is improved and audio quality is good or better, this is indeed a steal.

Someone asked if these sound better than AirPods. YES. These and the BeatsX can create a tight seal for sound isolation and better bass response. AirPods are not designed to provide that kind of experience while AirPod Pros are. IMO AirPods outright SUCK for music in comparison. I've been using in-ear, sealed earphones for over 20 years and they are the only style of earphone I can actually enjoy (along with over-ear open headphones). However, many people don't like in-ears so prefer AirPods and the like.
 
Comment

CIA

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2003
595
298
For active sports where I worry about losing AirPods, BeatsX are perfect. Mostly listen to podcasts so quality of audio isn't a huge deal either.

I will say BeatsX break constantly. I go through about a pair a year, but at this new price point that makes it much better. Hopefully the build quality of the new 'Flex' model is better than the older X version.
 
Comment

subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,434
3,255
The internals sound impressive for $49, but I’d like to see it in a truly wireless format factor.
Snip snip, easy peasy.

But seriously, isn’t that just airpods? Unless you just mean you want airpods to be $49. I imagine it costs more to cram all the tech into those little “pods”. Though I’ll admit, for this price, it’s amazing they included pretty much all the same tech.
 
Comment

satchmo

macrumors 68040
Aug 6, 2008
3,509
3,533
Canada
$50 is a really great price for these if they sound anything like the BeatsX. I went through two pairs of those before giving up because of the poor quality in the cabling system leading to audio disconnects and inactive buttons. If the build quality is improved and audio quality is good or better, this is indeed a steal.

Someone asked if these sound better than AirPods. YES. These and the BeatsX can create a tight seal for sound isolation and better bass response. AirPods are not designed to provide that kind of experience while AirPod Pros are. IMO AirPods outright SUCK for music in comparison. I've been using in-ear, sealed earphones for over 20 years and they are the only style of earphone I can actually enjoy (along with over-ear open headphones). However, many people don't like in-ears so prefer AirPods and the like.

That was me.
I keep hearing how a cheap pair of $20 wired earbuds sound better than the Airpods (don't have Airpods myself).
I once bought wired JVC Xtreme earbuds on sale for $10 and they sounded amazing. Hoping these will be similar.
 
Comment

subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,434
3,255
Ordered mine in black! Arrives October 22.

I had no idea the beatsX’s issues were widespread. Like others, one of the earbuds on mine stopped working, and there were issues with the power button. On mine, the button became more and more difficult to press and eventually went haywire and melted. I hope they fixed these issues for the flex. For $50, I’ll be less upset if they have the same issues, but I’ll still be upset. $50 isn’t nothing, and I expect better from an Apple-owned company.
 
  • Like
Reactions: arComp
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.