The Beats BeatsX are good headphones for everyday casual use. They have a great wireless range and a well-balanced sound. They're lightweight, portable and unlike other around-the-neck designs, they can be crammed into your pockets without damaging the neckband. They also block enough noise to be versatile for loud environments, but their Apple-centric design may be slightly limiting to Android users.
- Portable and stable.
- Good, passive isolation.
- Minimal leakage.
- The in-ear fit and around-the-neck design are not for everyone.
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
The BeatsX have a unique design that makes them portable and less noticeable as an around-the-neck model. The "Flex Form" neckband is super lightweight, flexible and can easily fit into your pockets. They also have an efficient control scheme, and they're stable enough to work out with or to take to the gym. However, they have the typical in-ear fit, so if you do not find in-ears comfortable then you may have some of the same issues with the BeatsX.
The BeatsX have a simple around-the-neck style that feels less noticeable than other similarly designed models. The neckband is not much thicker than the flat audio cables, so it seamlessly blends in with the rest of the build quality. This makes them less intrusive once on your neck compared to the QuietComfort 30 or the Level U Pro. The earbuds are also pretty standard but have magnetic covers that stick together which is much better for cable management. They also come in a couple of color schemes to suit your preferences and taste.
The BeatsX have the standard in-ear design that may not be as comfortable for everyone. They have different sized tips to help you find a better fit, but unfortunately, they do not include any foam tips. On the upside, they're super lightweight, and their neckband (flex form) is a lot more flexible than other similar models like the QuietComfort 30 or the Samsung Level u pro. However, this can also be a bit frustrating as the neckband will easily get tangled when you try to put them on.
The BeatsX have a straightforward and efficient control scheme. The buttons are responsive and give you the essential functions for call/play/pause, track skipping, and volume control.
The Beats X are stable headphones to take to the gym and to go running with. They have a wireless design that won't get hooked on anything once you have them on, although the flexible headband can sometimes get tangled when they're not around your neck. They also come with differently sized stability tips (wingtips) to prevent them from falling out of your ears. That and the already stable in-ear tips makes these headphones quite stable for casual and sports use.
Thanks to the unique neckband the BeatsX are a lot more portable than other around-the-neck models. For our measurements, we did not forcibly compress them into a much smaller format but because they're so flexible they fit into the much smaller pouch that is included in the box and could easily fit into most pockets.
Comes with a similar rubber pouch/soft case as the urBeats. It's flexible and portable and should protect your headphones against scratches and minor water exposure, but it will not shield them against impacts or drops.
The build of the Beats X is above-average but not great. They have a nice rubberized design and the flex form cable is flexible enough that the neckband won't get damaged from over-extension. Unlike other similar models. The cables are also rubberized and flat which makes them a bit more durable but they're not as thick as some other models like the Jaybird X3. Also, the inline remote and earbuds feel a bit cheap and plasticky.
The BeatsX are good sounding headphones with excellent and consistent Bass and Mid Range reproduction. They also have very good Imaging and relatively low distortion. However, their Treble lacks a little in detail and clarity and they tend to make vocals and cymbals a bit sharp. Additionally, they don't have the most open and immersive Soundstage, due to their closed-back and in-ear design, which is not ideal for critical listening.
Excellent Bass Range performance. The response is virtually flawless and within 1dB of our target.
Excellent Mid Range performance. Low-mid and mid are nearly flat, within 0.5dB of our target. High-mid however, is overemphasized by about 2.5dB which tends to bring vocals/leads a little bit forward.
Decent Treble Range performance. The 3dB dip between 3KHz and 9KHz has a negative effect on the clarity and detail of the sound, especially on vocals/leads. The peaks in high-treble show that this headphone could sound slightly sibilant and piercing which could be unpleasant for those with overly sensitive ears.
Very good consistency. If the user is able to achieve a proper seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, then they should be able to achieve very consistent results with these headphones every time they use them.
Poor Soundstage. Due to the in-ear design, these headphones don't interact with the pinna and therefore their Soundstage will be perceived to be located inside the listener's head as opposed to in front. Also, the closed-back design means that these headphones isolate the listener from their environment, creating a closed-up and small Soundstage.
Very good Imaging performance. Phase error is minimal, especially for an in-ear and wireless design. Additionally, our test unit performed very well in driver matching tests.
Average distortion performance. The amount of harmonic distortion in the Bass Range is low, even at higher volumes. However, between 500Hz and 3KHz, the distortion response is a little elevated, especially under heavier loads.
The BeatsX have surprisingly good isolation despite only passively blocking ambient noise. Their in-ear fit prevents a lot of noise from seeping into your audio so they're a good option to use while commuting or traveling. The seal they create, once in your ears, also barely leaks any sound even at louder volumes. That combined with their good noise isolation make them versatile headphones to use in both loud environments and quieter settings without distracting those around you.
Good Isolation. Although the BeatsX isolate passively, they outperform some of the active noise cancelling headphones we have measured. They reduce the outside Bass by an average of 8dB, which although average, is impressive for a passive design. However, they excel in the Mid and Treble Ranges by achieving 18dB and 42dB of reduction respectively.
Excellent Leakage performance. Like most other closed in-ears, the BeatsX barely leak below 1KHz which very good. The significant portion of their leakage sits between 2KHz and 5KHz which is a narrow band. The leakage of these headphones will be very quiet and mostly consisted of sibilant (S and T) sounds.
- 100% SpNR
The BeatsX have a great wireless range and decent battery life but lack a good companion app to truly stand out. They have a reliable connection that's remarkable both indoors (when obstructed) and outdoors (in direct line of sight) as well as a competent battery performance that charges quickly. Unfortunately, they have a bit of latency when watching videos and no true app support except for the W1 chip, which gives a few features on Apple devices.
The Beats X have an excellent wireless range especially considering their compact format. In direct line of sight, you will rarely get any connection drops up to 200 ft, and when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room and obstructed by walls, they still managed to maintain a steady and reliable connection up to 40 ft. Unfortunately, they do not have any built-in low latency codecs to help reduce the lag when watching videos or gaming on your non-Apple devices.
The BeatsX have an efficient quick charge mode (Fast Fuel) that gives you a lot of listening time for a relatively short charge. In just 5 minutes they give you above 1.2 hours' worth of continuous playback depending on the volume level. They also fully charge in 40-45 minutes. However, at full charge, they only delivered about 6.5 hours of continuous playtime which should be enough for casual use but if you're a power user who has long listening sessions then they may not be ideal especially if you do not have a lightning cable or access to power source. They're good enough for a casual day's use but they won't be the best headphones to take on a long weekend if you're not able to charge them frequently.
Like some of the other recent Beats headphones, the BeatsX makes use of the W1 chip for better integration into the iOS platform. This gives them a simple popup when connecting to an Apple device that displays battery information and a persistent notification that also provides the details about battery life. However, this is not really a functional app as you don't have any equalizers, room effects or additional features.
In the box
- BeatsX Headphones
- Earbud tips (x4)
- Stability Tips (x3)
- USB charging cable
- Carrying pouch