Apple dominated the news cycle yesterday with its iPhone 12 press event. While Apple was unveiling new phones and a smart speaker, its subsidiary Beats took the wraps off the Beats Flex, the company’s latest wireless headphones.
The Beats Flex turns heads, but mostly because of the sub-$100 price tag.
The new Beats Flex replaces the three-year-old BeatsX wireless headphones.
Unlike the AirPods, which are “true” wireless headphones, the Beat Flex uses a small wire to connect two earphones together.
The wire is meant to lay across the back of your neck when you are wearing them. This wire does more than just help secure the earphones, it also contains a microphone and call/music playback controls.
Beats is promoting the sound quality of its Beat Flex headphones, noting that they have greater clarity and improved sound thanks to a redesigned driver.
The new headphones also are eight percent lighter than the previous BeatsX model.
Like the older the BeatsX, the new Beats Flex can connect magnetically, making them easy to store when in use. They also now have an automatic play and pause function that’ll pause your music when you take out the earbuds and resume playing when you put them back on.
Though lighter, the new Beats Flex boasts 12 hours of battery life compared to 8 hours for the older BeatsX.
Keeping with Apple’s trend, Beats replaced Lightning on the BeatsX with USB-C in the Flex model. The USB-C connector is a welcome addition for Android and iPad Pro owners who already use that cable type.
Adopting Apple’s technology, the Beats Flex has the company’s W1 wireless chipset that allows it to seamlessly switch between devices linked to the same Apple ID. It also supports Apple’s new Audio Sharing feature that lets two people listen to an audio stream from a single iPhone.
Perhaps the most compelling feature of the Beats Flex is its price. At $49.99, it is about $100 less than the BeatsX, which debuted at $150. It’s also significantly less expensive than Apple’s AirPods, which retail at $159 for the model with a standard charging case.
Pre-ordering for the Beats Flex is underway, with orders shipping as soon as October 21.