- Beats has introduced Flex wireless earbuds that offer Apple tech for $50.
- They support audio sharing and easy pairing, and charge over USB-C.
- They start shipping on October 21.
Apple tends to charge a premium for its wireless earbuds, even under the Beats brand, but you’ll have to reset expectations after today. It’s introducing Beats Flex earbuds that offer some (though not all) of Apple’s cleverer wireless audio technology at a much more modest price of $50.
The Beats Flex are a behind-the-neck design like the BeatsX and reportedly deliver a “high-quality sound experience,” just at a lower cost. The highlight, however, is an Apple W1 chip that enables audio sharing between iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV boxes using AirPods and Beats headphones, not to mention easy pairing. These features make the most sense if you’re deep in the Apple ecosystem, and you won’t find high-end features like spatial audio, but you no longer have to splurge for some perks.
You can still see some benefits if you’re an Android user. The Beats Flex promise up to 12 hours of listening and charge over USB-C, and a 10-minute recharge provides 1.5 hours of playback. A Beats app on Google Play offers fast pairing, status, and updates if you aren’t iPhone-inclined.
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Some common Beats touches are here as well. Music automatically pauses when you stick the buds together using magnets, and the flat cabling should stay relatively tangle-free. There’s no mention of water resistance, though, so you’ll want to pass on the Flex if you’re looking for workout-ready earbuds.
You can pre-order the Beats Flex now in black and yellow through Apple ahead of their October 21 release date. Other retailers will carry them on November 21. The Flex buds will also be available in blue and gray, although those colors won’t be ready until early 2021.