Beats headphones receive a lot of stick from audio experts, and the first time we tried BeatsX Review, we were with the sceptics: the sound was muddy, slightly distorted and generally bad.
However, over time, we adjusted to the audio, although this depended on the type of music we played – heavy rock was limp and slightly distorted, but electronic music sounded excellent.
It ’s not ideal that a pair of headphones should limit what kind of music you can best listen to, but there are other features of BeatsX Review that lifted them further in our estimation.
First, there’s the inclusion of Apple’s W1 chip, which makes the pairing and Bluetooth management incredibly smooth. Turn on BeatsX Review, hold them close to your iPhone and a dialogue appears on screen asking if you want to pair them. After tapping Yes, the headphones are paired with all the Apple devices associated with your iCloud account.
For anyone who struggles with wearing in-ear headphones, BeatsX Review include a small set of ‘bat wings’ that fit over each ear piece to help secure them in place. They are also the first Beats headphones to include a Lightning port, which means you can charge them using the same cable as your iPhone.
Battery life is acceptable, but not stellar (Apple claims around eight hours on a full charge), and the buds are also magnetized, so when they sit around your neck they make a satisfying ‘click’ and attach to each other, which means you’re less likely to lose them.
It may seem crazy to recommend a pair of headphones that produce below-par sound quality, but we think the design and convenience of BeatsX Review makes up for the shortfall.
Not a purchase for audio experts, then, but in every other way they are a step up for on-the-go listening.