Made for Apple

BeatsX

Workout wonder

Jaybird X4

The BeatsX carry on the tradition of the bass-heavy Beats sound, which is great for some but not for others. The addition of the W1 chip does, however, mean seamless pairing with Apple devices.

$100 at Amazon

Pros

  • Great fit
  • Decent sound
  • Pairs seamlessly with iPhone thanks to W1 chip
  • Lightning charging cable

Cons

  • Bass-heavy mix
  • Many reported battery issues.

The Jaybird X4 workout earbuds are pretty pricey for what you get, but the Jaybird app helps make them sound great, and their battery life outdoes many competitors.

$130 at Amazon

Pros

  • Superb battery life
  • Customizable EQ
  • IPX7 sweat-proof and water-resistant
  • Solid Bluetooth connection

Cons

  • Proprietary charging clip
  • Sound isn't great out of the box.

The breakdown

Which of these two pairs of earbuds you should buy really, at the end of the day, comes down to whether or not you're an iPhone user. Sure, there's a difference in price of $30, but the extra $30 gets you customizable EQ with the Jaybird X4 and more fitting options in the form of extra ear tips and fins.

BeatsX Jaybird X4
Charging Lightning cable Proprietary clip
Connectivity VW1 chip/Bluetooth Bluetooth
Battery life 8 hours 8 hours
Water resistance No claim IPX7
Fast charging 5 minutes for 2 hours 10 minutes for 1 hour

Out of the box, the BeatsX and Jaybird X4 are quite comparable. They have decent sound, but nothing to write home about. They each have fairly customizable fits, though the X4 comes with fins as well. They also each have up to eight hours of playback, though many reviews indicate that the BeatsX don't live up to that promise.

For color options, you have black and silver for the BeatsX, and you have your choice of black/yellow tips, silver/blue tips, and green for the X4. Right there, Jaybird wins for me, since there's just a bit more fun to be had with different colors.

Don't pay full price for the BeatsX.

I'd like to note something about the BeatsX price: While you can often find them on Amazon for $100, they retail for $150 from Apple directly and on the Beats site. I would never pay that for them, while I would probably shell out the $130 for the Jaybird X4, simply because you can customize their sound to your liking.

If you're really stuck between the two, I'd go with the Jaybird X4. They fit great, have better sound capabilities than the BeatsX, and the W1 pairing method is really no more convenient than traditional Bluetooth, especially since the Jaybirds pair incredibly quickly and connect like lightning thereafter. However, the W1 pairing does make the BeatsX super easy to use if you have Apple products, so that might be enticing enough.

Good, not great

BeatsX

Best for Apple fans

Though the BeatsX can't really boast about excellent sound quality, they're passable as workout headphones, and the fact that they have Apple's W1 chip and charge via Lightning makes them perfect for Apple users.

Well-rounded

Jaybird X4

Best for everyone else

While they don't sound fantastic out of the box, you can change the X4's EQ in the Jaybird app, making them sound great. They have excellent battery life, and they connect quickly and easily every time.

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