Best Alternative to BeatsX headphones for Under $100 iMore 2019

If you're looking for a great budget pair of wireless earbuds, the Anker SoundBuds Slim offer a fantastic package for a fraction of the price of BeatsX.

Our pick

Anker SoundBuds Slim

Wireless customized fit for less

Shipping with multiple silicone tips ensures you always find the right fit, and the seven hours of battery life makes the Anker Wireless Soundbuds a perfect companion for listening to music comfortably all day.

Who should buy the Anker SoundBuds Slim

Wireless headphones can get super expensive — especially when you're looking at the top name brands in the business — and it can often feel like you need to dish out a ton of money to get the convenience you crave. That's totally not the case. The Anker SoundBuds Slim can offer you about 99% of what the BeatsX do, and they cost less than half of what you'd spend on the BeatsX.

Reasons to buy

  • Customizable fit
  • Great value
  • 7-hour battery life
  • IPX5 water resistance

Reasons not to buy

  • No W1 chip
  • Bluetooth 4.1

Super cheap and water-resistant

Much like the BeatsX the Anker SoundBuds Slim aren't quite truly "wireless" since they do have a neck cord, but I would argue that the neck cord on the Soundbuds Slim is better.

When you're working out, the last thing you want is a cable dangling from your ears flapping about as you move, something the longer BeatsX cord does a little bit. The SoundBuds Slim fixes that immediately with a very short, thin, and lightweight cable that after you've put it on, you barely notice. Plus, that cord has a set of inline controls that will allow you to control the volume and playback of your tunes on the go.

The customized fit and water-resistance makes the SoundBuds Slim a way better workout companion than the BeatsX.

The IPX5 water-resistance rating is no slouch either. Making sure that you can get the SoundBuds Slim sweaty without any problem is the key to Anker's success in this article. The customized fit and water-resistance make the SoundBuds Slim a way better workout companion than the BeatsX. Anker supplies four different size tips, two different size ear wings, a shirt clip, and a cord management clip to ensure you find not only the best fit possible for your ears but the most comfortable way for you to wear them.

Of course, the sound is super important in any pair of headphones and Anker delivers. The 6mm drivers deliver a very clear, crisp sound that's very well-rounded and not at all bass heavy. Passive sound isolation isn't bad, so you can actually hear and enjoy your tunes and not just the sound of the world outside.

Alternatives to the Anker SoundBuds Slim

While the Anker SoundBuds Slim is my top pick, they are a couple of other options for people looking for cheaper alternatives to the BeatsX. With companies like Aukey and Marshall offering some very compelling products.


Aukey Latitude Wireless Headphones

Slightly better battery life

With slightly better battery life than the Anker SoundBuds Slim, the Aukey Latitude isn't a bad choice either; however, their sweat resistance is lower (only IPX4) and their sound quality is a little lower too.

All that being said, the extra hour of battery life Aukey Latitude offers can be a lifesaver for people who what to wear there headphones all day. Plus, with inline controls and lots of extra included ear tips, Aukey offers up a compelling package for a couple dollars less.

Wired pick

Marshall Mode

Perfect, if you don't mind a wire

With a sleek and understated design, you don't have to worry about the Marshall Mode In-Ear sticking out like a sore thumb. The earbuds also come with a universal one-button inline remote that makes it easy to pause and play your music on the go and a shirt clip to keep the cord from bouncing around as you walk around..

What you're sacrificing in wireless technology, your gaining in sound. The 9mm drivers in the Marshall Mode are fantastic and producing clear and crisp highs, well delivery a much more pleasure low-end sound.

Bottom line

When it comes to getting the most of the features and quality you would get from the BeatsX, the Anker SoundBuds Slim are the only pair under a $100 that does the trick.

With a ton of extra clips and tips to give you the customized fit you want and the inclusion of IPX5 water-resistance makes the SoundBuds Slim a fantastic pair of headphone to use every day and during your toughest workouts.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Luke Filipowicz is a self-proclaimed gaming addict and an audio tech junkie with a budget. You can always find him with at least one ear plugged into some sort of audio and scouring the web for some of the cheapest products that have real value.

Serenity Caldwell is the former managing editor of iMore and a serious workout enthusiast. She spent most of her time testing the limits of the Apple Watch and workout headphones with many roller derby sessions, weight training workouts, and long-distance traveling.

Rene Ritchie is a lover of AirPods and audio technology in general who has been covering the personal technology industry for a decade. An outspoken analyst and critic, he writes at, podcasts at, and you can find his show at

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