Reviews You Can Rely On

Beats by Dr. Dre BeatsX Review

Top notch clarity makes for a great listening experience, as long as you're not working out
Beats by Dr. Dre BeatsX
Credit: Beats
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $100 List
Pros:  Incredibly crisp audio, comfortable
Cons:  Bass relatively weak compared to other high end models, not great for athletics
Manufacturer:   Beats by Dre
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Aug 22, 2017
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 23
  • Sound Quality - 30% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Athletic Performance - 20% 4
  • Battery Life - 15% 7
  • Portability - 10% 7
  • Ease of Use - 5% 8

Our Verdict

Opting for a slightly more subdued design, the Beats by Dr. Dre BeatsX provide incredible clarity and a very comfortable fit, but aren't great for athletic endeavors and lack the powerful bass most people would associate with the Beats brand. The great clarity made these the earbuds we reached for when listening to podcasts or watching dialogue heavy movies. If you'd rather watch some explosion packed action movies or listen to some bass driven rock and roll you'll likely want something with a bit more punch, like the Powerbeats or the Bose SoundSport.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $100 List$180 List
$129.99 at Amazon
$249 List
$197.00 at Amazon
$180 List
$149.99 at Amazon
$200 List
$126.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
70
82
79
77
76
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Incredibly crisp audio, comfortableGreat sound Quality, exceptional athletic performance, comfortableGood sound quality, active noise cancellation, great user interfaceFantastic sound quality, great battery lifeSecure fit, great sound quality
Cons Bass relatively weak compared to other high end models, not great for athleticsExpensiveExpensive, Android users lose many of the unique featuresComfort is quite hit or miss, athletic performance also hit or missExpensive, can get in the way of sunglasses
Bottom Line Top notch clarity makes for a great listening experience, as long as you're not working outThe best balance of sound quality, athletic performance, and comfort that we've foundFor Apple users that are willing to pay a premium for great sound and versatility, these are a great choiceFantastic if they fit well, but very uncomfortable if they don'tGreat sounding earbuds that can stand up to the most rigorous workouts
Rating Categories Beats by Dr. Dre... Jaybird Vista Apple AirPods Pro Jabra Elite 75t Beats by Dr. Dre...
Sound Quality (30%)
8
8
8
9
8
Comfort (20%)
8
8
8
6
7
Athletic Performance (20%)
4
10
8
7
8
Battery Life (15%)
7
6
6
7
8
Portability (10%)
7
9
10
9
6
Ease Of Use (5%)
8
8
8
8
8
Specs Beats by Dr. Dre... Jaybird Vista Apple AirPods Pro Jabra Elite 75t Beats by Dr. Dre...
Weight (oz) 0.75 0.4 0.38 0.4 0.9
Microphone Yes/No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Claimed Battery Life (hours) 8 6 4.5 7.5 12
Measured Battery Life (hours) 8 5.75 5 7 10
Carrying Case Yes/No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Beats by Dr. Dre BeatsX produce an incredibly crisp sound that is great for podcasts and talk radio, but its bass is relatively weak. The design is quite comfortable to wear, but isn't great for working out and other athletic endeavors.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison


The BeatsX earned a high score in our testing, and was only held back from a top score by a lack of athletic prowess. Below we discuss all the specifics of the BeatsX's performance attributes.

Sound Quality


The BeatsX fill a somewhat odd niche in terms of sound quality. The earbuds shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in our sound quality testing, but had a much different repertoire than the other top scorers. While the Powerbeats and the Bose SoundSport both earned top scores because of a good balance of clarity and powerful bass that produced a well rounded and full sound, the BeatsX instead produced phenomenal clarity with relatively weak bass. That's not to say it didn't have any bass, songs still sounded great with these earbuds, but they just didn't have the same thump as other models. But everything sounded amazingly crisp, to the point that we felt like we were listening to a large sound system. This made these earbuds perfect for podcasts as we felt like we were sitting right next to Jad Abumrad when he said, "this is RadioLab."

Calls sounded great with these headphones, with both caller and callee treated to crisp audio. We felt comfortable using these headphones for any phone calls.

Paying more can get you a great sounding pair, like the BeatsX.
Paying more can get you a great sounding pair, like the BeatsX.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Comfort


The BeatsX opt for a simple, elegant design that earned a high score of 8 out of 10 in our comfort testing. The earbuds include 4 earpiece sizes and 2 ear fin sizes, and everyone we gave them to was able to find a good fit. The semi rigid section of cable that rests around your neck feels secure and lends confidence that you won't lose the earbuds if they fall out. The earbuds are also magnetic, so if you take them both out of your ears they snap together and form a necklace, again guaranteeing you won't lose them.

The BeatsX features simple controls.
The BeatsX features simple controls.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Athletic Performance


The BeatsX don't excel in athletic performance, nor were they designed to. They earned a relatively low score of 4 out of 10 in this metric. The ear fins don't seem to provide the same stability as other models, but the kicker is the semi rigid wire. While this sits comfortably on your neck and ensures you won't lose the earbuds, it has just enough heft to annoyingly bounce around when running or jumping.

Battery Life


The BeatsX performed a bit above average in our battery life test, and lived up to the manufacturer's claim, lasting a full 8 hours. This is more than enough for most plane journeys and general, everyday use.


Portability


The Beats X earned a 7 out of 10 in our portability testing, just behind the top scorers. The slim profile of the actual earbuds make them fairly packable, but the semi rigid section of cable prevents them from fitting into the smallest pockets.

Value


At a list price of $100, the BeatsX are somewhat reasonably priced considering the high quality audio that they deliver. If you're looking for something for day to day commuting and not something sporty, these earbuds are a good value in terms of their audio performance.

Conclusion


The Beats by Dr. Dre BeatsX aren't great for sports, but they deliver incredibly crisp audio for general use. If you want to hear all the nuances of a Robert Krulwich monologue, these are the earbuds for you.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata