The Apple Beats X are designed specifically for Apple devices. They're small enough to fit in your pocket, but loud enough to let you feel the beat.

Our Pick

Apple Beats X

For the best fit and finish while paying a reasonable price, Apple's Beats X headphones are hard to beat.

The combination of long battery life, a lightweight fit, a W1 chip for easy connectivity, customizable fit, and lack of necessary accessories (like a charging case) make them an easy sell. With Amazon frequently selling pairs around $100, they're cheaper than other great wireless headphones in the genre.

Who should buy Apple's Beats X?

Picking a set of headphones for your Apple Watch is a bit different than your iPhone or Apple TV. If you're planning on listening to music directly on your watch, chances are you're out and about with your iPhone either at home or inaccessible. That could mean a walk around your neighborhood or a quick workout session at the gym. Either way, you'll want headphones that are light, sound-isolating without completely drowning out the outside world, that fit well, connect to your Apple Watch easily, and have enough battery life that you can enjoy your adventure without fretting that your devices will cut out.

Why should I choose Beats X over Apple's AirPods?

I've been using the Beats X since their release in February 2017, and I frequently choose them for everyday adventures over my AirPods, sport headphones, and even heavy-duty over-ear headphones. I've even used them in lieu of my noise-canceling headphones on a plane when my packing space was at a premium.Tthey weren't perfect, but they were a great deal better than my AirPods would have been.

Making these headphones an even better deal is their frequent price discount on Amazon — I haven't seen them sold above $110 in the last year, and often as low as $100.

Reasons to buy

  • Great battery life
  • Pair easily with Apple Watch
  • Compact
  • Relatively inexpensive

Reasons not to buy

  • Tinny and bass-heavy sound
  • Not waterproof

Apple's Beats X are the perfect pairing for your Apple Watch

Apple's $150 Beats X hit all of the important criteria when looking for headphones for your Apple Watch. They provide an instant connection to your Apple Watch and its music through the company's W1 chip. Though the buds are still attached to each other by a wire and two weighted remotes, the Beats X headphones are more comfortable and last longer than Apple's equally great AirPods (our wire-free pick).

The best all-purpose headphones for Apple Watch.

They also charge via Lightning cable — no micro-USB needed — and stay safe around your neck (or your wrist) while not wearing them by the earbuds magnetically snapping together.

Given their size and shape, the Beats X doesn't have the best sound quality in the world — sound tends to be a little tinny and bass-heavy, and you can't tweak the sound on an Apple Watch the way you might on your iPhone.

But losing a little in sound quality is worth it for a rock-solid Bluetooth connection and super-easy pairing process. They also benefit from having a noise-isolating fit, thanks to customizable earbuds. Though they're not machined as smartly for your ears as any number of wingtip-bud systems, they fit much better than most buds of their size — without making your ears exhausted from weight or girth.

Beats X aren't sweat-proof or waterproof, so we have gym-specific recommendations below. I have used them on a number of occasions while skating or lifting without issue, but knowing Apple's issues with its actual sweat-resistant PowerBeats, I haven't risked anything too sweat-intensive (I'm not going to bring them to hot yoga, for instance).

Alternatives to the Beats X

Of course, if Beats X aren't the right fit for you, there are some equally awesome alternatives that might suit you better.

Runner-up

Apple's AirPods

Don't care about noise bleed and EarPods fit your ears? Check out Apple's AirPods.

If Apple's EarPods mold fits your ears and you don't mind a bit of noise bleed, the AirPods are an incredible set of ultra-portable headphones for your Apple Watch — and the best set of wire-free buds on the market, period.

That dental floss-sized case may have been mocked across the Internet, but it's perfectly-sized to slip into a jeans pocket (or adorable leather clip-on case). I carry the AirPods with me almost everywhere I go, and it' ensures that I always have a good set of headphones when I need them.

Value Pick

Aukey Latitude Wireless Headphones

Aukey's Latitude Wireless headphones provide quality far above their price point for everyday use and at the gym.

If you don't have a big budget for listening to music on your Apple Watch, Aukey's $27 Latitude Wireless buds offer a great entry point.

These headphones not only offer an 8-hour play time, but they're sweat-resistant, making them a great choice for the gym. They also use magnetic clasps (like the Beats X) to magnetically snap around your neck.

Bottom line

For the best fit and finish while paying a reasonable price, Apple's Beats X headphones are hard to beat.

The combination of battery life, lightweight fit, W1 chip for easy connectivity, customizable fit, and lack of necessary accessories (like a charging case) make them an easy sell. And with Amazon frequently selling pairs around $100, they're cheaper than other great wireless headphones in the genre.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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

Lory Gil is the managing editor of iMore and considers herself a bit of an audiophile. She has a wall full of vinyl and is one of those people that thinks analog is better than digital. Her headphones are in her ears pretty much all day, every day.

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