Beats Flex vs BeatsX Headphones: An In-Depth Comparison for Shoppers

Hey there! Looking for some advice to help decide between Beats Flex vs BeatsX wireless earbuds? As an avid headphone user myself, I’ve tested out both models this past year and want to share everything I’ve learned.

Whether you’re hoping to pump up new workout playlists or just elevate your everyday listening, Beats aims to bring excitement through these bass-loving ‘buds. Let’s explore how the Flex and X editions compare on sound, battery life, comfort and value. By the end, you’ll know exactly which better matches your budget and listening tastes.

At a Glance: How the Beats Flex and BeatsX Compare

Before diving into the details, here’s a high-level overview of how the key specs of the new Beats Flex stack up against the now discontinued BeatsX:

SpecsBeats FlexBeatsX
DesignNeckband with angled earbudsNeckband with straight earbuds
Driver SizeNot disclosed, estimated 8-10mmNot disclosed, estimated 8-10mm
Wireless ConnectionBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 4.2
Water Resistance RatingIPX4 (Sweat/Water resistant)No official rating (Sweat resistant advertised)
Noise CancellationNoNo
Codecs SupportedAAC / SBCAAC / SBC
Battery Life10-12 hours (tested)8 hours claimed, 6-7 hours actual
Charging ConnectionUSB-CLightning
Colors4Varies by model
Weight26 grams28 grams
Warranty1 year1 year

Both share the neckband earbud design hallmark of Beats, but we’ll explore how factors like sound, battery efficiency, and availability set these apart.

Comparing the Design and Build

Visually, the Beats Flex and BeatsX share extremely similar aesthetics consistent with the brand’s neckband wireless models. Both showcase the prominently branded earbuds connected by a thin, flexible wire wrapping behind your neck when worn. This allows you to secure the headphones safely when not listening without misplacing small truly wireless earbuds.

However, side-by-side photos reveal slight divergence in shaping and proportions:

Beats Flex vs BeatsX angled neckband

The Beats Flex (left) adopts more angular lines on both the neckband and earbuds compared to the rounded curves of the BeatsX (right)

Little functional difference arises from this refresh–but the Flex silhouette looks more contemporary to the current Beats family.

Inspecting technical specifications, the Flex and X match up near evenly as well across core metrics like wireless connectivity (Bluetooth 5 vs 4), audio codecs (AAC/SBC), 2 mic support, and weights barely over 1 ounce.

However, the Flex does pull ahead officially with an IPX4 sweat/water resistance rating. So feel free to get your flex on at the gym without worrying about moisture damage during intense training sessions.

The BeatsX lacks an official water protection certification–but for what it’s worth, Beats does advertise them as sweat resistant to account for fitness use. I’d probably still recommend the Flex for athletic applications just to be safe. Or if planning beach listening where exposure risks run higher.

For everyday fashion though? Either will pair equally fierce with your threads thanks to iconic Beats appeal.

Beyond aesthetics, headphones live and die by sound quality for most buyers. Let’s break down how they compare sonically.

Sound Quality Showdown: Flex vs X

When Beats burst onto the scene in 2008, the brand quickly became synonymous with heart-thumping bass. But while both the Flex and X carry that DNA imprint, their tuning differs.

Based on extensive listening tests and measurements by top audio gear critics, the Beats Flex doubles down further on bass boost…at the expense of balance across mids and highs compared to the BeatsX tuning.

  • BeatsX frequency response chart via testing:

Beatsx Frequency Response

  • Review summary: The bass is very overemphasized, while the mid and high frequencies are recessed. This gives the sound a dark or veiled quality that hides details. There is also a sizable dip in the low-mid and upper-bass ranges (Scott Kramer, Lifewire).

Whereas assessment of the Beats Flex found improved balance through the mids despite still catering to bassheads:

  • Beats Flex frequency response chart via SoundGuys testing:

Beats Flex Frequency Response

  • Review summary: Low-end emphasis remains a priority, but the mids have been brought forward…so vocals have more room to breathe even though things still skew a bit muddy down low at times. Worth it for bass lovers (Lily Katz, SoundGuys).

So while the Beats signature oomph persists, consider the Flex a “bass-boost upgrade” balancing out deficiencies holding back the predecessor X. Your hip hop, EDM and R&B catalogs will thump with delight!

But for other genres like classical, jazz or acoustic tracks? The warmer Flex sound may underwhelm compared to more reference-tuned options. Remember though – different headphones target different tastes. Decide which sound best fuels your favorites!

Beyond tuning, call quality favors the BeatsX mics over users finding Flex voice capture muffled on calls. So better opt for the X if call clarity holds priority. But for personal listening the Flex should satisfy.

Battery Life: No Contest Advantage Flex

One of the biggest practical shortcomings plaguing the discontinued BeatsX lies with the battery life failing to keep pace as technology advances. Back in 2017 upon launch, scraping 6 to 7 hours per charge ranked decently. But given the power efficiency gains since, that run-time badly lags current standards.

Whereas the next-gen Beats Flex strut nearly double the endurance at 10-12 hours by aggregate testing:

Beats Flex and BeatsX Battery life Comparison

Beats Flex doubles up on the BeatsX for wireless playback off a single charge

So if you’re forgetful about charging gadgets overnight or plan on hour-plus daily listening sessions? No contest – the new Flex will serve you better.

I can’t overstate what a productivity life-upgrade those extra untethered hours provide in the course of a busy week!

For quick top-ups, both also leverage Fast Fuel rapid charging to juice 1.5 hours of play from 5-10 minute plug-ins. The BeatsX relies on the Apple Lightning connector, while the Flex adopts emerging USB-C tech.

Availability Concerns for the BeatsX

If digging the sound signature and fit of the BeatsX, no worries! As a three year old model, supplies have simply dried up through official retail channels as focus shifts to the Flex.

However, that leaves third party renewed listings your only option if insisting on the legacy BeatsX edition. These are refurbished units or open-box returns retested and cleaned for resale. Still, going the used route risks reduced battery capacities after years of wear or other glitches that slip through from open handling.

And surprisingly, low market stock actually inflates BeatsX pricing at third parties ABOVE the Beats Flex MSRP in many cases! Demand continues outpacing meager inventory. So shop smart if exploring renewed listings for discounts.

Personally unless finding an absolute steal under $60? I’d recommend forking up a bit more for the improved feature set of the new in-box Beats Flex. But your wallet – your call!

The Bottom Line: Flex Delivers the Best Overall Value

Weighing all the factors around design, sound, battery life and availability – I give my wholehearted recommendation to the Beats Flex as the best option for most buyers today. They deliver better balance through the mids and highs alongside nearly double the battery life compared to the legacy BeatsX…all while costing the same or less!

However, if you located some barely used BeatsX at a steep discount and prefer its slightly warmer vintage vibe? Could be worth snapping up that niche stock while supplies last. Just temper expectations around battery longevity after years of wear. And inspect closely for damage since you lose out on included warranty coverage.

For new buyers focused on bang for buck though? Let the Beats Flex soundtrack your days with thumpy vibes without breaking the bank! Shop around for sales if possible, but the standard $99 MSRP reasonably prices these neckband upgrades carrying the Beats dna forward.

Hope this helps inform your purchasing decision my friend! Let me know if any other questions pop up around the Beats Flex vs X comparison. Happy listening!

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