With its Beats Flex, Beats is trying to offer in-ear headphones that keep the appeal of the Beats brand … but at a very low price. Are the Beats Flex, which are on sale for less than 50 euros, still “real” Beats or the simple, inexpensive version of a popular brand?
Finish: the minimum, but the style is there
It all starts with the packaging (a simple box that isn’t really high quality) and discovering the design. The Beats Flex with the famous “B”, acidic colors without being too sharp (our test flex is yellow-green), and the Intras are connected by a neck band, which has also become a “signature” of Beats since its success by PowerBeats. This neck tape is made from an “indestructible” plastic, but when touched, the finish of the whole thing is still a good notch below that of the PowerBeats.
Not suitable for sports
Note that these Intras (unlike the latest PowerBeats) are not protected from dust and sweat and that it is better to use them in weather conditions and for more “moderate” purposes. Once placed in the ear cavity, the Beats Flex are quickly forgotten (less than 20 grams on the scale). 4 different tips are included in the scope of delivery.
Ergonomic and comfortable
The pairing with the iPhone (or via classic Bluetooth under Android) went smoothly thanks to the W1 chip. Note that this chip is of a generation before the H1 chip (the latter allows voice control via Siri, too bad). On the ergonomic side we find the classic commands already in PowerBeats, either one click for play, pause or calls, two clicks for the next song and three clicks for the previous song.
An acceptable sound reproduction considering the price
In terms of sound, it’s no wonder, which is perfectly normal given the price. However, the overall sound reproduction is pretty balanced and the voices even manage to be fairly present in the sound space. We’re obviously losing details on the pieces with lots of instrument or synth layers (high volume oatmeal effects) but nothing scandalous when we consider that more expensive intras aren’t really that much better (no, we won’t give names). On the flip side, we’re still looking for the performance of passive isolation, which however is one of the supposed features of the Beats Flex (but at this price point, that’s not really surprising). Finally, the autonomy was measured after about a dozen hours, which frankly isn’t bad considering the lightness of these intras.
Conclusion: very correct for the price
In conclusion, these honestly affordable Beats Flex come as a pleasant surprise. Comfortable, practical, autonomous and with a fairly correct sound reproduction, the Flex are a first successful foray into the really accessible entry-level market. And it’s still better than most of the Intras that come in the box of many smartphones.
The Beats Flex are available on the Apple website for € 49.99. in 4 colors (black, blue, yellow and gray)