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Beats X Review: The Everyday Earbuds

Dec. 6, 2016
Product Comparisons, Shopping
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Picking a pair of headphones can be tricky: Among over-ear, on-ear and in-ear options, there are tons to choose from.

The Beats X is one of Beats by Dre’s newest earbud models. It touts high-quality sound and advanced features suitable for everyday wear, whether you’re in the office or on the go.

But before you consider a purchase, consider: The high-quality audio output and top-of-the-line attributes of these headphones will set you back $150, which might be more than you’re comfortable with, especially if you’re not well-versed in earbud language. To help you decide, we broke down what you should know about the Beats X earbuds.

Design Beats X review

The Beats X earphones are wireless earbuds designed for flexible all-day wear. The FlexForm cable is designed to hang comfortably over the back of your neck with one earbud hanging in front of each shoulder. The earbuds have a secure ear tip that comes in a variety of sizes and wingtips for a more personalized fit when listening.

The earbuds are also magnetic, so when you’re not using them they can stick together, which secures them in a loop around the neck or helps with coiling and storage in the carrying case. The Beats X are available in black or white; users can expect more color options to be released.

» MORE: Apple iPhone 7 vs. iPhone 7 Plus

Features

Audio playback is just one Beats X attribute worth giving an ear. Here’s a look at what makes these earbuds stand out:

  • Beats sound. The new line of Beats earphones stays true to the bass-centric sound quality. Specifically, these in-ears have an improved clarity across all frequencies and noise isolation in comparison to previous Beats by Dre earbud models.
  • Apple W1 chip. Beats plugged Apple’s W1 chip into their newest models for easy and seamless cable-free pairing. When held close to a compatible Apple product — an iPhone 7, for example — the Beats X syncs with the phone and all other devices linked under the user’s iCloud account.
  • FastFuel charging. Apple’s W1 chip also makes charging quicker. The Beats X FastFuel feature gives the headphones two hours of playback for every five minutes on the charger. On a full charge, the Beats X has a battery life of eight hours.
  • RemoteTalk. Users can adjust the volume, switch songs, answer calls and even activate Siri through the RemoteTalk module. The hub is integrated on the FlexForm cable and has a built-in mic and integrated buttons for easy music controlling.

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Price Beats X black

The sound quality and advanced features make the $150 price more bearable, at least when you compare it to Beats earphone models that climb over the $200 mark. But that can still be a high price to pay, especially if you’re a more casual listener. The Beats X won’t be available until February 2017, but the Apple Store carries Beats products year round like the Beats X headphones. 

The verdict

The Beats X is a pair of simple, everyday earbuds that pack in the latest audio advancements. This model was made with all-day wear in mind, hence the FlexForm cable, multi-sized eartips and simplified look.

Beats fanatics might gravitate toward these earphones, especially if they’re looking for a less conspicuous alternative to the brand’s more popular over-ear headphones. Even though they’re smaller, the Beats X still replicate a clear, booming sound when listening to music and taking calls. 

If you’re balking at the retail price, Amazon is known to carry Beats headphones at a discount, though some patience may be necessary to see a price dip. There are many other headphones, however, that rival the Beats X in sound quality, and some are less expensive. Brands such as Bose, Sennheisner, Shure, Klipsch and Thinksound offer great-sounding earbuds for under $100.   

Buy

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Nina Tabios is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ntabios@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @Nina_NerdWallet.