Beats announces $50 Bluetooth earbuds

Apple clearly has plenty to announce during today’s big iPhone event. That means, as usual, its Beats line didn’t really get any love. The company is much more content to focus on its own audio offerings, instead. But the Apple-owned brand had some news to share today, as well.

In contrast to Apple’s offerings, the new Beats are pretty firmly focused on price. At $50, the Beats Flex are about a third the launch price of their predecessors, the similarly named BeatsX. It makes sense, certainly; as pricing has come down pretty significantly on wireless earbuds in the last few years, Beats is trying to carve out space well below $100.

The headphones feature a similar yoke form factor, dangling around the wearer’s neck when not in use. A magnetic mechanism pauses the music when the buds snap together — a different approach than the ambient sensors more expensive models use to pause playback when the wearer removes a bud from their ear.

Audio has been improved courtesy of a new acoustic driver and a microphone that’s been improved from the BeatsX. The battery, too, gets a major upgrade. It’s now rated at a healthy 12 hours — meaning you’ll get through a day without needing a charging case. Good news, since there’s no charging case here, to speak of. There’s quick charging, as well, courtesy of the USB-C port. You should get about an hour and a half of playback with 10 minutes of charging.

The headphones are up for pre-order today and come in four colors.