Why Apple’s Beats X wireless headphones beat AirPods

“I’ve never been a fan of Beats headphones. Whenever I’ve given them a go, I’ve found the sound quality to be less than stellar, with far too much bass,” Ste Smith writes for Cult of Mac. “So when Apple unveiled Beats X wireless headphones alongside the AirPods last fall, the weird-looking white ones grabbed my attention.”

“Now that I’ve had a chance to try them both, it’s clear I got that backward,” Smith writes. “In terms of design, the Beats X will be familiar to anyone who’s tried out PowerBeats 3 or JayBird wireless earphones. Thankfully, they’re a lot more conventional than Apple’s truly wireless AirPods, which I still think look a little odd to wear when out and about.”

“The Beats X headphones go the opposite route of Apple’s one-size-fits-all AirPods. Each set of Beats X ships with four different-size earbuds, which pop on and off. This means everyone should be able to find a size comfortable for them,” Smith writes. “If you’re doing anything more strenuous than sitting around, the included Beats X wingtips will come in handy. These handy accessories, which come in two sizes, hook into your ears for extra security — something you’ll probably want if you go jogging or work out in the gym.”

Beats X earphones featuring the Apple W1 chip
Beats X earphones featuring the Apple W1 chip

“Beats X contains Apple’s W1 chip, which powers the smoothest and best Bluetooth setup ever,” Smith writes. “The Beats X are definitely bass-rich, as Beats headphones always are, but not to the point where the low frequencies overtake the actual music and become distracting. They sound a lot more balanced than Beats headphones normally do”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hmm, if the bass is really under control (for a change), these Beats X just might be better AirPods than AirPods.

Apple’s W1-equipped wireless Beats X earphones ship Feb. 10 – February 7, 2017


  1. My problem with airpods is the weird look…
    it looks like Q-TIPs stuck in ears.

    I think a black version will be much more popular..
    or a bit sexier design?

    Beats look good… but i hate big bass destroying subtleties in music.

    1. The AirPods look fine. Goofball reviewers wear them sticking out of their ears to make them look bad, they’re meant to rest flush against your face, making them barely noticeable. Otherwise they look exactly like AirPods without cords. I wear them all the time and I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone who has noticed them or said anything. Who gives a shit what other people think anyway?

      1. Agreed, Nick. Not sure what the big deal is about the “look” of AirPods. People were saying similar things about the wired buds about 15 years ago. Funny. It comes across to me like a Seinfeld episode where they fixate on something ridiculous (like a nose or ear) to the point of absurdity.

  2. Why do all beats headphones always get categorized the same. Some beats models are designed to exphasis bass, because they are engineered for playback of lossy music (ie. Solos). Other models have a flat neutral sound (ie. Studios).

    The original Solos were crap. The Solo 2’s are a huge improvement.

    Where these headphones fit in, I’m unsure. It would be easier to determine if the reviewers actually knew the product line to give a fair comparison.

      1. Because when Beats gained popularity, the original Solos were the model that most people were using or that most people sampled. There are an abundance of knockoffs on the market as well.

        Having worked in an Apple reseller store, I’ve had the liberty of taking the entire lineup of Beats home with me and comparing them to my own personal higher end studio headphones. I’ve listened to controlled samples ranging from 64kbps to 4000kbps. My guess is most people haven’t had the same opportunity.

        Most people probably slapped on a set of Beats in a BestBuy or that their Jabrony buddy from the gym was rocking.

        1. ..most of us dont have your luxury …
          My chance to test was at best buy… at the time i found all beats i tried bassy… but that was a year or so ago.
          Will give them a shot again..

          1. Thanks for having an open mind, I’m not trying to endorse the brand. I use another brand at home. I use the cheap Apple earbuds at the gym.

            I just find it a bit frustrating that Beats always gets put into this box of low quality, over priced, overly bassy product, when it’s not entirely the case, at least not across the entire product line.

            I’d really like to see Beats (and Apple Music) do well under Apple’s ownership. They do deserve a fair chance. If there is something else you like better, vote with your wallet.

            1. Thanks for the thoughtful and useful commentary, BB. This is the type of discussion that used to be the norm on this forum – Apple advocates helping Apple advocates and enjoying a little speculation about upcoming product releases. Ahhh, the good old days…

            2. I bought the Solo2 model after they came out and I don’t find the bass to be over powering at all, and they seem to be fairly well balanced. That said, I don’t exactly find them to be the most comfortable I’ve ever owned.

  3. I got AirPods. Did not like them at all. One of these was always falling out. Nothing great about the sound also. Returned them within 14 days. Two days ago I got Beats X. I simply love them. The sound quality is excellent. The fit is perfect. It is a great product. Apple should rethink AirPods design in terms of ear fit and color choice. White color looks terrible sticking out one’s ears.

    1. Great to hear. I have Beats X earphones on order and will receive next week. I knew the Airpods wouldn’t be designed to be good for music. Maybe good for phone calls or podcasts, but I need the silicone seal for quality music listening. And with the W1 chip, it will be the best of all worlds.

  4. Having a proper fitting silicone surround alone makes them better than the Airpods.

    Sound quality is subjective. Very few ears are tuned to know what great sound is. To an audio pro, however, listening to distorted crap is very fatiguing.

    The speaker is the most significant influencer of THD, which most people don’t notice and don’t care about. Poor recording and encoding are the major contributors to high noise levels and harsh unnatural sound which even casual listeners dislike.

  5. I own both the Airpods and the Powerbeats 3. Having used the Airpods for several weeks, I can’t go back to having a cord dangling around my neck and having to plug in when I need a charge. I will admit that they look a little odd, but the freedom to have instant on/off, automatic sync and 24hours of charge in my pocket more than makes up for it. My wife and daughter also bought Airpods and now use them exclusively.

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