Don't have enough budget for a pair of AirPods? Apple is planning to make its wireless earbuds more accessible with the launch of its Beats Flex earbuds, which is cheaper that will cost $50 and run on the same Apple W1 chip just as the company's original AirPods.
It means the Beats Flex has the same basic functionality as AirPods. It also has functionalities like quick pairing and auto-pause, but it lacks newer features such as automatic switching between Apple devices and hands-free Siri. The Beats Flex is launching through Apple on October 21 and you can preorder on October 13.
Beat Flex serve as the company's follow up product to the BeatsX earbuds that launched in 2017. Some AirPods-like features such as quick pairing are available with those headphones but don't support auto pause and play functionality, it were priced at $100 more than the Beats Flex at launch.
It is possible that this is a sign that Apple is expanding its product lineup with their launch of Beats Flex. This is yet another to cater to more budget-friendly customers. Apple has taken this strategy with the iPhone in recent years. They did that by launching the $400 iPhone SE earlier this year. Also by framing its least expensive iPhone as its flagship product in 2019.
The Beats Flex can automatically play and pause music like AirPods. The magnetic earbuds will play music when placed in your ears and it will pause when connected magnetically around your neck. It can also easily connect to your iPhone or iPad using one-touch pairing, meaning it's simplier to hold them near your device after powering them on. Beats Flex also support audio sharing. This is a feature for sharing your audio with others.
At the price of $50, the Beats Flex are the cheapest wireless earbuds Apple offers. It is the cheapest price across its own brand and its Beats line. They're also the cheapest headphones that the Apple offers in general except for the $29 EarPods wired earbuds.
The feature that is missing from the Beats Flex is the hands-free Siri requests and faster pairing with compatible devices. Instead, the Beats Flex include a touch controls for tasks like adjusting the volume and activating Siri.
The Beats Flex and its predecessor are connected by a neckband unlike AirPods. They're not truly wireless in the same way that AirPods are, although they can connect to your phone wirelessly, because the two earbuds are tethered together with a cable.
Only Black and yellow color are the options for the Beats Flex that will be available at launch, other colors will be coming early next year. The headphones also offer 12 hours of battery life and can be charged using a USB-C connector. What's great with is is that it is also compatible with Android devices.
The Beats Flex represent another addition to Apple's accessories business, home, and wearables. Which includes gadgets like AirPods, Beats headphones, and the Apple Watch. These product category has become important for Apple in recent years, because it helped them evolve a key growth area during times when the Apples's iPhone sales had declined.