The Beats Flex makes branded wireless headphones more affordable for the general public, but not without significant compromises to the design and sound quality. The Flex may be a good option if you recently purchased a new iPhone and want a set of reasonably priced Beats earphones to go with it even though we don’t love them as much as the premium AirPods Pro or even the Powerbeats Pro.
Review of the Beats Flex: cost and accessibility
Four colors—Beats Black, Yuzu Yellow, Smoke Gray, and Flame Blue—were available when the Beats Flex first went on sale in January 2021.
Beats Flex cost $69.99, £59.99, or $99.95 in Australia. These are among the least expensive wireless earbuds Beats has ever released as a result.
Nevertheless, you may get a ton of comparable choices from other manufacturers at a lower price. Visit our SoundMagic E11BT review to learn more about this $100 (£69.99) or AU$150 product. Check out our evaluation of the $99/£99/AU$185 Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 for an affordable genuine wireless solution.
Nonetheless, for a brand that is typically more expensive, they are actually quite inexpensive.
It’s also worthwhile to read our assessment of the Beats Studio Buds if you’re looking for an improvement in features and performance. If you’re looking for an AirPods Pro substitute, these more contemporary Beats earbuds have active noise cancellation, superb audio quality, and a stylish appearance, but they cost significantly more ($149.99/£29.99/AU$199.95).
The Beats Flex are the obvious choice for people who need a pair of earbuds now that Apple has removed the built-in headphones from the current iPhones. And if you’re simply buying them for that reason, well, the Flex are a fine alternative to Apple’s typically subpar built-in earbuds.
Review of Beats Flex: design
The Beats Flex appears to be a straight successor to the previous BeatsX Headphones that the company debuted in 2016, even though Beats hasn’t explicitly stated it to us. Both are wireless (albeit not really; for true wireless options, see our reviews of the Beats Powerbeats Pro and Apple AirPods).
Although the earphones are quite light (18.6g), the cord connecting them is around 32 inches long and goes around your neck. The two earphones being connected by a cable isn’t exactly what we’d consider the best option in 2020, and wearing such a long chord around your neck is a bit uncomfortable.
Despite this, the cord has certain benefits, the biggest of which is that they are more difficult to lose than totally wireless earbuds. The second is that the cable connecting the two earbuds can have in-line volume controls, a multi-feature button, and a larger battery, extending the time between charges of the headphones.
Consider adding a play/pause button. You can utilize the multi-feature button, but the Beats Flex also have a sensor that detects when you take them off and when you put them back on, automatically pausing and resuming the music. It is not only practical, but it can also help you save a ton of battery life.
The number of charge cycles that the battery in the Beats Flex is predicted to last is not rated by Apple. They are eventually disposable because neither the battery nor the earbuds can be repaired.
Wherever possible, the earbuds use recycled materials, and the interior components are made of recycled plastic. In addition, they are built to last longer than their predecessors and have fewer, stronger components. The packaging is likewise thinner and has less plastic.
Apple provides free recycling and trade-in options, including for non-Apple products.
The earphones are kept from tangling by magnets, but they don’t coil up very well, making a mess of them in a purse.
Even while it wasn’t nearly as clear as with AirPods, voice quality on both sides of a call was fairly decent.
On request, complimentary replacement ear tips are offered.
As the earphones are connected via cords, you won’t misplace them as frequently as with true wireless counterparts.
The Flex seems to be a decent value. They produced unexpectedly deep bass, good treble, and gentle highs that are conducive to easy listening and handled the majority of musical genres extremely well.
They sound very gritty and raw for Nirvana while yet blasting out electronica at an appropriate volume. Although the Flex can create the incredibly deep notes required for songs like Lindsey Stirling’s Crystallise, the bass can occasionally become a touch too dominant. They have enough oomph to properly perform My Morning Jacket’s Extremely Suspicious.
Well-worn music won’t have any new details, but they sound terrific for a less expensive pair of earbuds with a balance frequently overlooked by competitors.
The Flex’s battery can go between charges for slightly under 12 hours. When the battery is low, a 10-minute rapid charge delivers roughly 90 minutes of playback. It takes roughly 90 minutes to fully recharge.