The Apple AirPods are the only true replacement for all the features you get with the BeatsX. Not only will you get the all the same functionality of Apple's W1 chip, but AirPods offer even more features and a fantastic charging case to boot.
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No better implementation of Apple's wireless audio capabilities.
With all the polish and style that only Apple can provide, AirPods offer a fantastic balanced sound and a charging case that can provide you with power for an entire day. With superb voice-control through Siri and excellent microphones for audio calls, you never have to take the AirPods out of your ears.
Who should buy AirPods
AirPods may seem like a product for only the Apple-obsessed, but these small wireless earbuds have so much to offer anyone who puts them in their ears. Although the $145 price tag is a little higher than the BeatsX, AirPods give will give you a better overall experience. Whether you're listening to music, taking audio calls, or interacting with Siri, AirPods really feel like an extension of your iPhone.
Reasons to buy
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- Powerful voice control
- Long battery life
- Fastest W1 connection
Reasons not to buy
- More expensive
- Non-custom fit
AirPods do it better
The hardware of the AirPods is a huge draw for a lot of people, and for good reason. The truly wireless nature of the two earpieces allows you to never have to worry about a cord getting caught in your hair, necklace, or other clothing. Plus, that nifty little case holds up to 24 hours of battery charge for your AirPods, meaning you don't have to worry about running out of battery and finding an open USB port somewhere to fill up.
As nifty as the case and headphones are, the real AirPods "magic" isn't how they look — it's how they work with that W1 chip. Bring the AirPods case close to your iPhone, open it, and a connection interface slides up. Tap the Connect button and that's it — you're paired.
Seriously. That's it. Not just with your iPhone either, but every iCloud-connected device you own gets connected: Apple Watch, other iPhones, iPad, your Mac, and as of iOS 11 and tvOS 11, your Apple TV as well. Unlike with the BeatsX headphones, you don't have to turn on the AirPods before you pair, the AirPods just connect in a flash!
AirPods do everything the BeatsX headphones do better and faster.
Your AirPods are hooked directly into Apple's personal voice assistant making using Siri feel as futuristic as ever before. It can be triggered with a double tap of either one of your AirPods. Of course, if your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch is close by, you can also voice-activate with the usual "Hey, Siri!"
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AirPods aren't the only option available to people looking for a good pair of wireless earbuds. Whether the W1 chip is important to you or not, companies like Jaybird and Aukey make some compelling products.
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Get your sweat on at a good price point.
If you don't need the W1 chip and just want a high-quality pair of wireless earbuds, the $109 Jaybird X3 has both a slightly better fit and better audio quality than the BeatsX headphones.
The X3's are the best workout buddy you can have, allowing you to pump the tunes for up to 8 hours between charges and offering sweat resistance so even your most active exercises can have a soundtrack. Plus, Jaybird includes several different tips and wings inside the box allowing you to find that perfect custom fit to keep the X3's securely in your ears.
These headphones not only offer an 8-hour play time, but they're sweat-resistant, making them a great choice for the gym. They also use magnetic clasps (like the Beats X) to magnetically snap around your neck.
Apple's AirPods don't simply feel like an accessory to listen to music, but rather an extension of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac that takes the user experience to the next level.
The common saying you hear from Apple fans is that Apple products "just work" and with the AirPods that saying is fully emboided from the design, the functionailty, and the quality.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Luke Filipowicz is a self-proclaimed gaming addict and an audio tech junkie with a budget. You can always find him with at least one ear plugged into some sort of audio and scouring the web for some of the cheapest products that have real value.
Serenity Caldwell is the former managing editor of iMore and a serious workout enthusiast. She spent most of her time testing the limits of the Apple Watch and workout headphones with many roller derby sessions, weight training workouts, and long-distance traveling.
Boutique Shorts Khaki Gap Boutique Gap Fit Rene Ritchie is a lover of AirPods and has been covering the personal technology industry for a decade. An outspoken analyst and critic, he writes at iMore.com/vector, podcasts at applepodcasts.com/vector, and you can find his show at youtube.com/vectorshow.