There’s no scarcity of wi-fi earbuds available on the market for the time being, a few of which appear virtually impossibly low-cost. However shopping for an off-brand pair of buds could be 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 a number of weeks with them, I’m pretty impressed with their efficiency.
The Beats Flex are the observe as much as the BeatsX, which initially price $149 once they hit the market. The Flex decide for the same setup to its predecessor, attaching the earbuds along with a twine meant to drape round your neck. As a result of they’re hooked up by way of twine, they don’t cost within a case like true wi-fi earbuds. As a substitute, a USB-C port on the cable lets you plug them immediately right into a charger or laptop.
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, if you happen to don’t have a pc with a USB-C out port or a USB-C brick, you gained’t have any solution to really 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 would possibly anticipate at this worth level, the Flex buds don’t embody the newest Apple H1 headphone chip, however you do get the older W1 chip, so that they join extraordinarily simply and reliably to an iPhone. Energy them on close to your machine 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 middle so that you’ll know the way a lot cost you’ve 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 machine switching characteristic that hyperlinks as much as no matter Apple gadget you occur to be utilizing on the time. Nonetheless, the straightforward setup and rock-solid connection are good.
I discovered the sound high quality above what I anticipated. The bass is as punchy as you possibly can anticipate from a pair of wi-fi buds, and the mids and highs are clear sufficient that you simply don’t need to crank the quantity to listen to what’s happening. I used to be happy with the low-end listening to “Issues Performed Modified” by The Infamous B.I.G. and the rapid-fire technical enjoying 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.
In the event you run, I discovered that the cable flops round somewhat, but it surely’s not extreme. Because the Flex buds aren’t rated for water or sweat, you most likely shouldn’t be doing an excessive amount of heavy operating with them on anyway. If that’s your main use case, it’s virtually definitely price spending the additional cash to improve to the PowerBeats Professional, that are actually glorious general and sufficiently old now that they regularly present up on sale effectively under their lofty $250 worth.
The quantity management and energy buttons work advantageous, however they don’t really feel notably responsive. I didn’t have any bother with them, although. The buds even have magnets inside, so if you don’t wish to put on them, you possibly can loop them round your neck and type a surprisingly safe loop.
In the event you’re an iPhone consumer and also you’re on the lookout for an inexpensive set of wi-fi headphones, these are a strong wager. In the event you’re utilizing them with an Android machine, the Apple extras gained’t actually do a lot for you and also you could be simply as effectively off getting one thing even cheaper, like an answer from the Anger Soundcore household.