False twins, with intertwined destinies. During the presentation of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in September 2016, Apple also introduced two wireless headsets: the “magic” AirPods and the more discreet and classic BeatsX. Two brothers, whom we have been waiting for a long time, and who have in common to embark on the new W1 chip, responsible for the management of wireless sound transmission and also for the simplification of daily use.
Not as magical as AirPods …
With AirPods, pairing is transparent, activation before use is automatic and recharging is done in the background, as soon as the two earbuds are stored in their case. It’s a comfort more than appreciable in everyday life, which you don’t realize after a while, until you try another Bluetooth headset.
The BeatsX therefore have the same W1 chip but their more classic design deprives them of some of the magic delivered by the Airpods. We are facing an in-ear device with a neck strap on which the microphone is placed, the On / off button and minimalist controls. Less magic, however synchronization is always as easy. We turn on the headset near his iPhone in iOS 10, and a message appears, asking to tap the screen. A few seconds later, the pairing is complete and the connection will be established as transparently each time the headset is turned on within range of the phone. On the other hand, unlike AirPods, you have to think about recharging it and turning it on. Slipping it out of its case and into its ears is not enough. More unfortunate, during our reviews, the headphones did not turn off automatically when we put it on and cut the music, even after several hours of use.
A shortcoming which obviously reduces the rather good autonomy, moreover. If we have not reached the announced 8 hours, our measurements place it at 6:36, which is not ridiculous at all and is even higher than 4:58 of the AirPods.
But much more comfortable…
One might think that the match is folded and that the AirPods won the game, but that would be to forget the listening comfort and the pure audio part. If you can’t stand in-ear headphones, the matter is heard, better get your way. Although BeatsX hold the ears well and isolate them properly from outside noise without giving the impression of “suffocation” that can sometimes cause some headphones.
Apple provides different flexible tips to better stick to the size of the ear canal as well as small plastic arches that keep the headphones even more in the roof. An asset for athletes and especially runners, especially since the BeatsX are “resistant” to water – and therefore a priori to sweat.
Frankly speaking, the comfort is superior to that of the AirPods and the fear of feeling them fall completely absent – since they are retained by a blindfold and always remain well tucked away even when you are doing jump rope or when you are running.
In addition, its designers had the good idea to magnetize the external face of the earphones. When we remove them from his ears, we can therefore bring them together to close the loop formed by the headband, which will avoid making them fall stupidly.
… And pleasant side
The fact that the earpieces isolate well from outside noise allows you to better enjoy your music and even listen to podcasts in noisy environments, such as public transport.
BeatsX produces more powerful sound than AirPods, but also provides better audio unity. The mids are quite present, with pleasant bass and fairly clear treble, which offers pleasant and correct nuances in the bass. Treble, on the other hand, as often with Beats headsets, tends to be a little too discreet or sometimes to saturate slightly. It seems obvious that we are not confronted here with an audiophile headset, but it should satisfy most of the users, including us.