BeatsX: How Apple’s latest W1 earbuds compare to AirPods & Powerbeats3
Six weeks after the launch of the iPhone 7 I wrote that life without a headphone jack was a confusing mess of adapters and a lack of cohesion between Apple products. That piece, however, was written before W1 earbuds hit the market. Now, Apple has three pairs of W1 earbuds available and my opinions have done a total 180...
Sure, when I wrote that piece the Beats Solo3 were on the market, but I already had a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones that I religiously use while at my desk and I’m not a fan of lugging around on-ear headphones in my bag.
That meant that I would often carry around Lightning headphones, the Lightning to 3.5mm adapter, and 3.5mm wired headphones. This may sound rather excessive, but the fact of the matter is, I didn’t want to be caught in a situation where I wouldn’t have the proper headphones to use.
Thus, W1 headphones have been a savior to me. In my quest to compare all three of Apple’s W1 earbuds options, I’ve gotten my hands on the Powerbeats3, AirPods, and now BeatsX.
My colleague Benjamin Mayo already broke down a lot of the difference between Apple’s W1 headphones, but read on for my personal experiences and testing. I’ve been using Powerbeats3 since late-November, AirPods since mid-December, and BeatsX for about a week.
AirPods are obviously a mixed bag when it comes to fit, while BeatsX and Powerbeats3 are more traditional in design and tend to fit a larger portion of the market. The AirPods use Apple’s classic ear-conforming design, while BeatsX and Powerbeats3 use the more standard in-ear design.
AirPods don’t fit everyone and there’s no way around that. I’d also argue, though, that BeatsX and Powerbeats3 aren’t a good fit for some people.
I will say that the BeatsX and Powerbeats3 are more versatile in their fit seeing that you get a handful of different sizes of tips with both. With AirPods you’re stuck with one design, save for some third-party solutions. Nevertheless, earbuds are personal; you should try all of the available options and determine what fits you best.
Personally, I’ve found the AirPods and BeatsX to both be a very good fit for me. I’ve always been a fan of the EarPod design and the AirPods are only an improvement here because of the lack of a cord pulling on them. BeatsX also fit me well, though you can definitely tell the effect of the wire pulling on them.
As far as Powerbeats3, I’ve never been a fan of the ear-hook design and these don’t change that belief. I just don’t find them comfortable nor do the ear-hooks add a noticeable level of security for me.
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