A modernized (and extra reasonably priced) tackle the model’s extremely well-liked BeatsX earphones, the all-new $50 Beats Flex borrows a number of cues from its predecessor, whereas welcoming new enhancements.
These buds have a horny design, regular playtimes, seamless pairing to iDevices, and a few fairly good name high quality, largely making them a number of the greatest low cost earbuds you should buy. Nevertheless, they don’t seem to be excellent as a result of inconsistent audio efficiency and a few design omissions like lack of water resistance.
Nonetheless, it might be silly to miss the Beats Flex at such a discount value, be it out of curiosity or as a vacation present for family members.
Beats Flex specs
Colours: Black, Flame Blue, Smoke Grey, Yuzu Yellow
Battery life (rated): 12 hours
Dimension: 0.66 ounces
Weight: Four x 0.6 x 34 inches
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Processor: Apple W1 chip
Beats Flex: Value and availability
Bundled with the earbuds are a USB-C cost connector, fast begin information, guarantee card, and 4 units of ear ideas, in varied sizes. A carrying pouch would have been enormously appreciated.
Beats Flex: Design
I get it, wires aren’t horny, but when this can be a product that you just’re contemplating proudly owning, then the idea of wires isn’t going to sway your choice. The Beats Flex shares an analogous silhouette to the BeatsX, although there are some noticeable adjustments.
Beats retains the complete plastic development intact, together with the tangle-free wire and magnetized earbud housing, all of which nonetheless really feel premium. You’ll discover the inline mic and multifunctional button on the left module have been modified for enhanced usability; no extra pulling the mic near your mouth on cellphone calls.
By way of type, these are a number of the most engaging buds in any value class or class, due to Beats’ portfolio of daring, eye-grabbing colours. Flame Blue and Yuzu Yellow will certainly be the 2 hottest choices for ornate music listening. Black and Smoke Grey look fairly primary, however what’s primary for Beats headphones remains to be fashionable; the signature B brand is virtually synonymous with aspirational way of life.
Since Beats has been on an IPX4 kick with its final two wi-fi earbuds releases (Powerbeats 4, Powerbeats Professional), we had been anticipating some type of water resistant/waterproof safety on the Beats Flex. Sadly, there isn’t any IPX ranking. Beats did point out the USB-C connector is waterproof and that the buttons are sealed to forestall liquid from seeping in. Whether or not that’s sufficient assurance to train or swim with the buds, properly, that’s a danger you might or might not wish to take. Personally, I believed the buds staved off extreme sweat properly throughout cardio exercises.
Beats Flex: Consolation and match
At 0.66 ounces, the Beats Flex is light-weight and isn’t cumbersome to put on across the neck when not in use. Your ears gained’t really feel weighed down when sporting them throughout workout routines. I might say the consolation degree is reasonable, as I seen the inside casing was including slight stress to the concha. This may solely trigger points if in case you have a low ache threshold or use the earbuds for longer than two hours.
The inclusion of 4 ear tip choices gives a wide range of suits to accommodate completely different ear shapes. Positive, it might have been superior if Beats added a number of the wing ideas bundled with the BeatsX, however that doesn’t take away from the Beat Flex’s acceptable match. When you’re anxious about them slipping out throughout runs, don’t, as a result of the information grip onto the ear canal and the modules on both sides do a unbelievable job with weight distribution to maintain the buds stabilized.
Beats Flex: Controls and digital assistant
The Beats Flex makes probably the most of its actual property, having an unlimited variety of programmed controls which might be shared between two modules. The left module takes on nearly all of performance, carrying quantity rockers on the facet, together with a large microphone grille and MF button to execute the next instructions: play/pause (1x press), skip monitor (2x press), earlier monitor (3x press), and digital assistant (lengthy press). All you want to know is that the buttons are extremely responsive and produce wonderful tactility. Great things right here, Beats.
These buds even have their very own computerized playback/name administration system that may pause/resume music or reply/finish calls when snapping the buds collectively. No, this isn’t the identical as put on detection, the place all you would wish to do is take away the buds out of your ears to cease music. It’s intuitive and serviceable for whenever you wish to cease songs to have interaction briefly chats.
As with all Apple audio merchandise, Siri operates flawlessly on the Beats Flex. Beats’ superior mic is able to selecting up vocals in loud environments, letting Apple’s AI work its magic. One of many largest surprises was how properly Google Assistant labored on these buds, awarding me the identical correct efficiency as Siri, solely on my Google Pixel 3XL. You’ll be capable of shout out voice instructions and handle widespread duties like establishing calendar invitations or voice-to-text associates with ease.
Beats Flex: Audio high quality
Beats has proven nice dedication to enhancing sound on its audio merchandise, starting with the well-received Studio3 and carrying that momentum over to its revamped Powerbeats lineup. The Beats Flex doesn’t comply with go well with or reside as much as its “highly effective sound” claims, boasting a flat signature that favors video content material and podcasts over music.
Beats says it developed new acoustic drivers to supply “correct bass and precision throughout the frequency curve,” although the outcomes are extra miss than hit. Oftentimes, I heard some hissing on older recordings, or the reverberation on sure tracks (ex. Chaka Demus & Pliers “Homicide She Wrote”) created semblances of distortion. The reside bass on A Tribe Known as Quest’s “Black Spasmodic” didn’t land the identical because it did on extra warm-tuned earbuds just like the Powerbeats Four or Jaybird Tarah, and it even hindered readability, which made the rappers’ vocals sound filtered.
When discovering the suitable tracks, these buds confirmed me the kind of sound high quality Beats got down to engineer. Pull up The Police’s “Roxanne” to listen to what I’m speaking about. The staccato guitar chords hit their mark and can immediately stimulate rhythmic foot faucets, whereas the regular hi-hat and Sting’s remoted vocals are reproduced fantastically. I used to be additionally impressed by properly how the Beats Flex handed the synth basslines on Frank Ocean’s “Swim Good” and opened up the soundscape for the singer to flex his harmonizing abilities.
Once more, the very best sound is skilled outdoors of music, with Beats’ drivers emphasizing vocals to listen to dialogue higher. I cherished utilizing these buds to soak up my every day dose of political information by way of CNN clips, together with different YouTube content material I usually binge throughout downtimes. Even poorly recorded podcasts like The Sport Informer Present obtained a lift in readability.
I attribute the cleaner audio presentation and small glimpses of bass resonance to the Beats Flex’s nice isolation. A correct match establishes a decent seal that blocks out ambient noise from coming into the soundscape, so you may get pleasure from full sound to the very best of the buds’ capabilities.
Beats Flex: App and particular options
The Beats app (iOS, Android) will get zero promotion, and for good cause, because it has only a few options. There are solely two toggle controls, that are tied to computerized playback and name administration. Apart from that, you may rename the buds, register them on-line, view the battery degree indicator, or expertise a fast tour of the controls. Firmware updates can be found too.
The place the actual performance comes into play is in Apple’s W1 chip. It’s the older sibling to the extra highly effective and quicker H1 chip discovered within the AirPods Professional and up to date Powerbeats fashions, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a smoother operator. Apple’s easy-pairing characteristic will get you immediately related to any iPhone or iPad linked to your iCloud account. Bluetooth 5.Zero integration additionally makes it less complicated to pair with Android smartphones, which is a significant plus since Apple has made it frustratingly troublesome to become old Beats headphones and AirPods working on Google’s cell OS.
Audio sharing is on the market too, which means you may stream audio from one gadget onto a second pair of Beats headphones or AirPods. That’s about it. You don’t get any of recent software program perks that H1-equipped gadgets at present have like computerized switching or commonplace options (e.g. adjustable EQ, customizable controls) discovered on competitor fashions.
Beats Flex: Battery life
If there’s one factor that Beats has gotten proper with each new wi-fi earbuds’ launch, it’s battery life. The Beats Flex doesn’t disappoint, rated at 12 hours on a full cost. Based mostly on my testing, it’s actually about 11 hours, which remains to be extremely ample for individuals who need a week’s price of playback earlier than charging. I used the earbuds for about 1.5 hours every day over the course of 5 days and nonetheless had 30% energy left within the tank. That was sufficient to leap on two very lengthy Skype calls earlier than charging.
Battery administration is spectacular too. I noticed battery life drop from 60% to 55% when utilizing the buds sporadically throughout a two-hour span. You’ll be able to even go away them paired to a tool for hours, inactive, and the battery ranges will barely drop.
The Beats Flex delivers larger playtimes than well-liked fashions in its value vary just like the Jaybird Tarah (6 hours) and Jaybird X4 (eight hours), even the BeatsX (eight hours). On the flip facet, you have got newer fashions just like the JLab Epic Sport2 crushing it with 20 hours. This isn’t a deal-breaker, particularly since Beats’ buds come outfitted with USB-C and Quick Gasoline charging to web you 1.5 hours of use on a 10-minute cost. You’ll both have to hold round a USB-C charger or an influence financial institution with a USB-C port to recharge on the go, however that is a small compromise.
Beats Flex: Name high quality and connectivity
Beats’ upgraded mic array does present improved voice calling, although the Beats Flex’s name high quality stays a degree beneath any of the Powerbeats fashions and the BeatsX. When taking my spouse’s calls outdoors, she may hear my voice clearly, but in addition heard the exterior noises round me; the development happening subsequent door and wind had been unavoidable. She did reward the amount ranges and preferred that even with such distractions, I used to be nonetheless audible. Being on Zoom calls inside the home was extra rewarding, with just a few shoppers complimenting how loud and clear I sounded.
Connectivity is a trademark on all Apple-related merchandise, and as I beforehand talked about, the W1 chip does a stable job of pairing to gadgets on a number of platforms. What about wi-fi vary? I’m glad you requested. The usual secure connection for many true wi-fi earbuds is about 30 to 35 toes away from an audio supply, and these buds surpass that mark by about 10 toes. It felt joyous and liberating to stream music round the home whereas my cellphone was charging within the bed room. I didn’t expertise any dropout throughout calls, nor was there any stuttering when streaming Spotify.
Beats Flex: Verdict
Irrespective of the strengths or weaknesses, the truth is that customers are going to contemplate shopping for the Beats Flex primarily based solely on one issue: value. It’s the reality. So, is Beats’ latest launch well worth the $50? Undoubtedly. And with that stated, you may relaxation assured realizing there shall be loads of goodness that comes from the acquisition.
This features a fashion-forward design with customized match, prolonged battery life, robust mics for efficient name high quality and Siri use, and distinctive connectivity on each iOS and Android. You simply need to bear in mind that whereas audio is first rate, there are different better-sounding, feature-laden fashions out there on the identical value level.
Nonetheless, the general efficiency the Beats Flex provides it’s best to warrant the next value, so take into account these buds an uber-generous provide from the trailblazing audio model.