After a months-long delay, Apple on Tuesday announced that its BeatsX wireless earphones, which use the same advanced wireless tech as the company’s AirPods earbuds, will be available on February 10.
Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the cause of the delay.
Like the AirPods and other recent Beats headphones before them, the BeatsX utilise Apple’s W1 low-energy wireless chip, which allows for speedier connection to iOS devices and purportedly conserves battery life.
The earphones also use a Class 1 Bluetooth connection. This is separate from the W1 chip, but it should make it so the device is able to maintain a steadier connection from farther away. Apple recently used this in its Solo 3 Wireless over-ear headphones; we found it to work well.
Apple is following headphone industry trends by making a neckband-style pair, as devices like the LG Tone have proven popular in recent years. While the design may look strange, it does carry some benefits. The primary one is battery life: While a truly wireless pair like the AirPods only gets 5 hours of battery life (at most), the BeatsX’s collar gives it more room to fit a larger battery. Apple says the device will get up to 8 hours of power here.
The BeatsX start at $149.99, which is $10 less than Apple’s AirPods, and will be available in the usual spate of Apple stores and resellers. Though the W1 chip is a nice perk, and while Beats has generally improved from a sound quality standpoint, we’ll have to put the device through its paces before making any recommendations. We’ll have a full review in the coming weeks.