There’s no scarcity of wi-fi earbuds in the marketplace in the intervening time, a few of which appear nearly impossibly low cost. However shopping for an off-brand pair of buds generally is a gamble. That’s a part of what makes the brand new Beats Flex wi-fi earbuds so fascinating. For simply $50, they provide handy AirPod-like options for iPhone customers, however their USB-C charging makes them related for Android customers, too. After just a few weeks with them, I’m pretty impressed with their efficiency.
The Beats Flex are the observe as much as the BeatsX, which initially value $149 after they hit the market. The Flex choose for the same setup to its predecessor, attaching the earbuds along with a wire meant to drape round your neck. As a result of they’re connected by way of wire, they don’t cost inside a case like true wi-fi earbuds. As a substitute, a USB-C port on the cable permits you to plug them straight right into a charger or pc.
It’s price noting that the $50 price ticket on the Beats Flex will get you a charging cable, which works effectively and can get you 90 minutes of play time with simply 10 minutes of charging. It doesn’t, nevertheless, include a charging brick, very like the iPhone 12 fashions. So, in case you don’t have a pc with a USB-C out port or a USB-C brick, you gained’t have any option to truly cost the Flex when you’ve depleted the battery. If that applies to you, you’ll need to consider the price of a charger, which makes the $50 price ticket barely much less spectacular.
As you may count on at this worth level, the Flex buds don’t embrace the most recent Apple H1 headphone chip, however you do get the older W1 chip, in order that they join extraordinarily simply and reliably to an iPhone. Energy them on close to your system and a immediate will pop as much as pair them instantly with out having to dig into any settings menus. That chip additionally will get you audio sharing between Apple gadgets and battery standing within the iPhone management heart so that you’ll understand how a lot cost you have got left.
The expertise isn’t as seamless as you get with one thing just like the PowerBeats Professional or the AirPods, however that’s to be anticipated. It gained’t at all times be listening so that you can give Siri instructions, and it doesn’t have the extraordinarily useful computerized system switching function that links as much as no matter Apple gadget you occur to be utilizing on the time. Nonetheless, the simple setup and rock-solid connection are good.
I discovered the sound high quality above what I anticipated. The bass is as punchy as you may count on from a pair of wi-fi buds, and the mids and highs are clear sufficient that you just don’t need to crank the amount to listen to what’s happening. I used to be happy with the low-end listening to “Issues Achieved Modified” by The Infamous B.I.G. and the rapid-fire technical taking part in on Meshuggah’s “Bleed” didn’t get too muddy to make out the complicated rhythms.
The way you reply to the wire connecting the headphones will rely in your private style. I like the additional safety it gives on buds with no ear hooks—if one falls out, you’re unlikely to lose it on the road.
When you run, I discovered that the cable flops round just a little, however it’s not extreme. For the reason that Flex buds aren’t rated for water or sweat, you in all probability shouldn’t be doing an excessive amount of heavy operating with them on anyway. If that’s your main use case, it’s nearly definitely price spending the additional cash to improve to the PowerBeats Professional, that are actually glorious general and sufficiently old now that they steadily present up on sale effectively beneath their lofty $250 worth.
The amount management and energy buttons work superb, however they don’t really feel significantly responsive. I didn’t have any bother with them, although. The buds even have magnets inside, so once you don’t need to put on them, you may loop them round your neck and type a surprisingly safe loop.
When you’re an iPhone consumer and also you’re searching for an inexpensive set of wi-fi headphones, these are a stable wager. When you’re utilizing them with an Android system, the Apple extras gained’t actually do a lot for you and also you may be simply as effectively off getting one thing even cheaper, like an answer from the Anger Soundcore household.