Best Alternative to BeatsX Headphones iMore 2021
The BeatsX price, design, and W1-chip make it a compelling product, but the Jaybird X4 are probably the best alternative to the BeatsX on the market. They feature a fantastic sound that can be made even greater with the in-app equalizer, and the customizable fit is superb, making them wonderful to wear anywhere!
- Best Overall: Jaybird X4
- Best Low-Budget Option: Aukey EP-T21
- Best Luxury Pick: Jabra Elite 75t
- Best with an H1-chip: Powerbeats Pro
- Most Portable: AirPods
Best Overall: Jaybird X4
Admittedly, the Jaybird X4 earbuds are not a perfect replacement for the BeatsX, but they're certainly the best wireless workout headphones. When you combine their feature set and sound quality, it's pretty hard to consider any other pair of workout earbuds.
They come with a few ear tip sizes, as well as three fin sizes, so you can mix and match to find what works best for you. Some people may not like the rubber, sort of suction cup-ish ear tips, which is justifiable since if you don't find the perfect fit, they can feel like they've completely dammed up your ears.
Of course, you are losing the ability to use all the awesome features that the W1-chip provided — like the ultra-fast pairing across Apple devices — but the JayBird X4 sound better, fit better in your ears, and can still access Siri from the inline controls.
The icing on the cake for these buds is how quickly they connect and the great playback controls. I turn them on, and they connect instantly and immediately give you the remaining battery percentage, which is just dynamite. And I love the control sounds to let you know you're skipping a track, going back, or turning them off. It all comes together perfectly.
- Phenomenal battery life
- Great sound
- Excellent companion app
- Comfortable fit
- No W1-chip
- Proprietary charging cable
Best Low-Budget Option: Aukey EP-T21
There are a lot of truly wireless earbuds that target affordable price points, but few go as low as the Aukey EP-T21. You'd be right to assume that earbuds this cheap wouldn't be worth the time of day, but the EP-T21 somehow manage to offer a tremendous all-around user experience. Build quality is top-notch, there's an IPX4 rating for water-resistance, and everything sounds as good as you could ask for.
They sound much better than any low-cost pair of headphones have any right to sound and the design is superb. The earbuds themselves go the AirPods route with the longer stem design, but unlike regular AirPods, the EP-T21 has customizable silicone tips for a better fit and sound isolation.
- Truly wireless
- Two-year warranty
- 20 hours of charge in the case
- Great price
- Decent sound isolation
- Only IPX4 resistance
- Micro-USB charging
Best Luxury Pick: Jabra Elite 75t
The Jabra Elite 75t earbuds feature onboard playback/call/Siri controls, and there are no annoying wires to get in your way while you work out. These are made to stay in your ears, no matter what. They have 7.5 hours of battery life in each earbud, which isn't the longest battery life, but the charging case has an extra 21 hours of battery. Plus, it has a fast charge feature, which gives you an hour of battery after charging for just 15 mins, so its easy to top up when you need.
The Jabra Sound+ app is one of the best companion apps I have ever used with any headphones and the ability to used Jabra's Hear Through feature (basically Transparency mode) to let some of the sounds from around you penetrate through your music is fantastic for commuting!
Lastly, the sound quality is superb. The bass performance is far better than you might think a pair of earbuds can offer, but it's not too powerful that it drowns out the mids and highs. Plus, the build quality and design allow you to get a very good seal in your ears, which helps with sound-quality immensely.
- Truly wireless
- Amazing app
- USB-C charging
- Transparency mode is excellent
- Battery life of the earbuds could be better
- Bulky charging case
Best with an H1-chip: Powerbeats Pro
Powerbeats Pro are Apple's newest set of Beats-branded earphones. They're the first of their kind from the Beats line in that they are the first truly wireless headphones from the department.
They're incredibly comfortable (though for some, canal buds are painful), have rich and well-balanced EQ for a fantastic listening experience, and stay put in your ears.
Their only real flaw is in the charging case, which is bigger than it needs to be and isn't particularly convenient. There is also no way, at this time, to purchase a second charging case, so you can't have one at home and an extra sitting at work.
- Truly wireless
- Great battery life
- Voice-activated Siri support
- A bit bass-heavy
- Bulky charging case
- Can't purchase a second case
Most Portable: AirPods
That dental floss-sized case may have been mocked across the Internet, but it's perfectly sized to slip into a jeans pocket. I carry my AirPods with me almost everywhere I go. They're the perfect buds to have with you for any occasion since they don't take up a lot of space in your bag (or pocket) and have a relatively long battery life — combined with the charging case, up to 24 hours.
Beyond just the case, there's a lot to like. You, of course, get integrated Siri support, you can use the left and right earbuds independently and, thanks to Apple's chip, you can pair it up super quickly with your iPhone. Just pop them in your ears and you're good to go.
The only real downsides to the AirPods are minimal. There aren't tips for fitting, but they should fit in most people's ears. Plus, there isn't any water resistance, so it's not the best idea to exercise with them in.
- Long battery life
- Super small charging case
- Siri support
- Independent left/right buds
- Fast pairing with Apple devices
- No tips for fitting
- No water resistance
The BeatsX neck cord design and pairing with the W1-chip makes a compelling product, but whether you want something cheaper or something more portable, there are other options. The true wireless and earbud market is bigger than ever, so you get a lot of choices at different price points.
However, out of all of them, we think the Jaybird X4 are the best alternative. The JayBird X4 combine great, durable design with exceptional sound, an excellent app, and intuitive experience that works exactly the way you need it to in the gym. They are the perfect pair for any workout session.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Luke Filipowicz is an iMore staff writer who also frequents the gym and writes a ton about headphones, speakers, and all other things audio-related.
Lory Gil is the Managing Editor of iMore and knows her way around a pair of headphones. AirPods, Beats, Blue, and more, she's put every type of headphones in her ears.
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