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Beats Flex vs Beats X: An In-Depth Technical Comparison

Beats by Dre dominates as a leading headphones brand, delivering bass-blasting sound in slick aesthetic packages. As the new owners of Beats, tech giants Apple have only accelerated innovation through leading-edge features like the Apple W1 chip. For on-the-go listening, neckband wireless earbuds offer ultimate convenience and freedom. The recently launched Beats Flex aims to upgrade and replace the older yet still impressive Beats X.

Let’s examine the technical specifications powering these minor-looking but major-sounding headphones.

Engineering the Beats Sound

Specialized drivers in earbuds convert the electrical signals from your phone’s music into pumping audio. The Beats Flex uses relatively large 12mm dynamic drivers to expand lower frequency reproduction. The bigger driver size allows more air movement, creating hard hitting bass you can feel.

In contrast, the Beats X houses a smaller 8.6mm driver focused more on balance than pure power. While unable to reach teeth-rattling depths, the X delivers pleasingly clear mids and highs. The sculpted eartip nozzle also factors into shaping precise sound directionality.

Frequency Response

Frequency response charts demonstrate the acoustic frequency ranges amplified or attenuated by headphones. Wider extensions on both extremes lead to richer, more complete reproduction across bass, mids and treble.

Analysis shows that the Beats Flex strongly accentuates sub-bass underneath 100 Hz for that gut-punching rumble. Intense boosting continues through the lower mids, explaining the heavy, immersive sound. Highs past 10 kHz do see some roll-off compared to flatter response triple drivers can achieve.

The Beats X curves closer towards a balanced neutral target. While lows still get lifted, the slope looks less drastic compared to the Flex, making way for gentler mids. Highs extend similarly but with slightly more presence than the Flex.

Battery & Charging: Fuel For All-Day Listening

Long gone are the days of wired headphones constantly running out of juice. Modern Bluetooth earbuds now integrate lithium batteries boasting enough capacity for full work days or travel itineraries of continuous playback.

Battery Capacity

The Beats Flex packs an impressive 93mAh integrated battery, explaining its category-leading 10+ hour lifespan per charge. That dwarfs the smaller 60mAh unit inside the Beats X, netting realistically only 6-7 hours before depletion.

With 70% more battery capacity, you can depend on the Flex for lengthy listening sessions without worrying about battery anxiety. Especially for travelers and commuters, this proves a pivotal factor over short-lived competitors.

Recharging Times

Fortunately, both the Beats Flex and X incorporate fast charging to quickly replenish when running low. Thanks to Fast Fuel, the Flex grabs 1.5 hours of playtime from a brief 10-minute USB-C top-up. The X’s Lightning port lets it charge slightly faster, achieving up to 2 hours from just 5 minutes plugged in.

But considering the huge gap in actual battery size and playback limitations, the advantage still goes to the Beats Flex. Even occasional quick recharges add up over time for the power-hungry Beats X.

The Apple W1 Chip Unlocks Seamless iOS Connectivity

While most associate Beats headphones with punchy bass, Apple’s ownership has shifted core technology inside towards efficiency and platform synergy. The inclusion of Apple’s specialized W1 Bluetooth chip unlocks seamless hands-free use with iPhones and other Apple devices.

The custom W1 protocol powers instant one-touch pairing without going through settings menus. This allows you to simultaneously stay connected to your iPhone and iPad for easy switching. You can also access Siri voice commands using the dedicated headset button.

Range improves dramatically thanks to efficient antennae placement in the neckband and battery optimizations. Most report the Flex and X matching the 12-15 meters promised by Apple, even through walls. Plus noise reducing features enable much cleaner voice call quality.

Altogether the W1 chip grants iPhone owners a big leap in convenience compared to standard Bluetooth implementations. Android users still benefit from better hands-free usage overall through modern Bluetooth 5.0.

Designed To Move With You: Flex Form Cable + Stability Wings

Beats neckband earbuds stand apart from typical wireless earbuds thanks to their unique Flex Form cable. This flexible tubing made from smooth silicone rubber allows the collar to bend, twist and stretch. By adapting to your movements, the Flex Form technology prevents uncomfortable choking sensations. You can barely even feel the ultra light band hugging your neck whether standing still or active.

The Beats X takes stability a step further through its ear wings feature. Silicone wings extend off two pairs of eartips for deeply securing the earbud nozzles in place. Once tucked within the ridge of your ears, the wings lock into your ear shape and resist falling out. This makes the X ideal for exercise and other highly dynamic sports where violent motions might dislodge loser-fitting buds. Of course the standard eartips also come in multiple sizes for finding your custom tailored fit.


Weighing in around just 20 grams, both the Flex and X rank among the lightest wireless neckband styles out now. The weight distributes evenly so no unbalanced forces act on your neck. The smooth matte texture that is a Beats hallmark also prevents any skin irritation over time. Altogether expect luxurious comfort allowing you to even sleep while wearing them.

Beats Flex Receives Warm Reception From Critics and Consumers

Reviewers praise the Beats Flex for retaining audio quality while massively extending battery capacity compared to previous generation models. The stylish design and comfortable secure fit also won over testers to earn an overall 4/5 stars rating.

Audiophile publications like SoundGuys did critique its mediocre microphone and boosted overpowering bass. But for everyday consumers wanting motivation through vibrant audio, the energizing sound definitely delivers. Customers thus far rate it 4.5/5 for value given typical street prices around $60.

By comparison as an aging model with availability issues, the Beats X garners much lower review volume. But its balanced sound appeals more to critics like Rtings who rank its frequency consistency higher. The biggest complaints stem from poor battery life given rapidly advancing standards today.

Conclusion: Go With the Beats Flex for the Complete Package

While the Beats name commands attention on style and branding alone, much hidden technology actually powers totally wireless functionality. Apple and Beats design engineers crammed in leading innovations from custom Bluetooth protocols to ergonomic sport accessories. The resultant Beats Flex presents a comprehensive overall package brimming with features both outside and under the hood.

The Beats X by no means disappoints sonically with its lively musical dynamics and iPhone friendly Perks. Nonetheless, the sluggish battery and discontinuation put a damper on usability. Unless the winged ear tips present an absolute necessity, grab the Beats Flex as your wireless Beats sidekick instead. Let the Flex carry you and your favorite playlists anywhere life takes you with power to spare for wherever the day’s adventures lead!