Apple’s AirPods were the first headphones on the market with the W1 chip, which Apple designed specifically to address some of the most annoying shortcomings of Bluetooth technology, such as the slow pairing process or the limited battery life of most Bluetooth headphones. But the AirPods are now two years old, and there is a new pair of W1-equipped headphones available: the BeatsX.
|Apple||Apple MMEF2AM/A AirPods Wireless Bluetooth Headset for iPhones with iOS 10 or Later White||Buy on Amazon|$144.98(Price as of 10/19/2018 18:50 ET)|
|Beats||BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones - White (MLYF2LL/A)||Buy on Amazon|$89.99(Price as of 10/19/2018 18:50 ET)|
Costing $10 less than the AirPods, the BeatsX are available in six colors and look a lot more like traditional Bluetooth headphones than the AirPods do with their polarizing truly wireless design. The cable that connects the left and right earbuds of the BeatsX provides all-day comfort, easy pocket portability, and in-line controls that allow you to control your music without issuing commands to Siri.
While the AirPods don’t have replaceable eartips, the BeatsX not only come with four different pairs of silicone eartips, but also with removable earwings for an extra-secure fit. What the BeatsX don’t come with is a charging case. The charging case that comes with the AirPods extends the battery life of the headphones beyond 24 hours and makes the entire charging process seamless and easy to forget about. But the BeatsX also last a very long time—8 hours on a full charge—and it takes just 5 minutes of charging to get extra 2 hours of playback. The BeatsX also come with a handy carrying case that does a good job when it comes to protecting the headphones from damage.
Because both the AirPods and the BeatsX feature Apple’s W1 chip, they are always ready for use and allow you to take calls with a built-in mic, play music, adjust volume, and activate Siri, provided you have macOS Sierra, iOS 10, or watchOS 3.
The BeatsX have inherited the unique sound signature of Beats headphones. Without distorting your music too much, they deliver thrilling bass and clean treble response. They also isolate outside noise much better than the AirPods, which are generally better suited for inattentive listening and phone calling throughout the day. That’s not to say that the AirPods don’t sound great—they really do! It’s just that workouts call for something they don’t have: blood-pumping bass and the ability to block out the horrible selection of electro-pop hits most commercial gyms like to blast at full force.
To sum it all up, the BeatsX are a fantastic addition to Apple’s offering of W1 headphones. They are a great choice for people who listen to music mostly when working out, and they are also great for everyone who has never fallen in love with the truly wireless design of the AirPods. The price difference between the two pairs of headphones is marginal, so we don’t see too many people going with the BeatsX just because they cost $10 less than the AirPods—there are a lot more better reasons to buy them than that.