B&O BeoPlay E8 Ear­buds

SmartHouse - - CONTENT - Writ­ten by ATHINA MALLIS

Most sound brands have tried crack the ear­bud for­mula, some have nailed sound but the hard­ware is es­pe­cially hideous or the ear­buds are stylish and the sound is av­er­age.

How­ever, B&O’s lat­est of­fer­ing the Beo­play E8 ear­buds have nailed the sound and style.

Pre­mium sound com­pany B&O have re­leased their Beo­play E8 ear­buds, a stylish of­fer­ing for those who want high-qual­ity sound.

Al­though the sound and de­sign are great I did find there were many drop outs and con­nec­tiv­ity is­sues mak­ing me ques­tion whether these can be classed ‘high-end’ ear­buds.

In the box you’ll get the ear­buds, the charg­ing case, a mi­cro USB charg­ing ca­ble and in­struc­tion book.

FIND­ING THE RIGHT FIT

I was so ex­cited to try these ear­buds out, I’ve heard a lot of good things and wanted to get a piece of the ac­tion. How­ever, I was faced with one small yet big hur­dle – I could not find a good fit.

The E8 have five bud tips to choose from: small, medium, large and ex­tra-large sil­i­con rounded buds and larger foam buds.

My story is sim­i­lar to Goldilocks but my process of elim­i­na­tion wasn’t as cute as this fairy tale.

The first three ear­buds sizes I tried and none of them were a per­fect fit mean­ing my sound was dis­tant, fuzzy and any­thing in a high oc­tave was ag­o­nis­ing.

They con­stantly felt like they were on the verge of fall­ing out – which hap­pened twice.

But fi­nally, a break­through with the fourth buds, the ex­tra-large size fit prop­erly and it was then I un­der­stood why these buds have been so highly raved about.

SOUND

Each ear­piece has a 5.7mm dy­namic speaker, a small elec­tro­mag­netic trans­ducer, NFMI tech­nol­ogy and a Blue­tooth 4.2 chip with Dig­i­tal Sound Pro­cess­ing that al­lows for dy­namic sound tun­ing and sound with­out in­ter­rup­tion.

Once the ear­buds are in prop­erly it is just you and the mu­sic. This is one of the things I love about the E8s, the out­side world is shut out once these ear­buds are in.

The sound is rich, clear and you won’t hear a sin­gle thing when mu­sic is play­ing, un­less you turn on the trans­parency fea­ture.

The ear­buds have a trans­parency fea­ture. To use, press the left bud once so you can hear your sur­round­ings bet­ter than just press­ing pause (a tap on the right ear bud).

On the Beo­play app you can change the set­tings which come in three modes: am­bi­ent, so­cial and com­mut­ing. Am­bi­ent turns the mu­sic off com­pletely and acts like a port­hole be­tween you and the out­side world; so­cial com­bines both the mu­sic and abil­ity to lis­ten to back­ground noises; and com­mut­ing makes the mu­sic more prom­i­nent but you can slightly hear the back­ground.

PER­FOR­MANCE

Charg­ing is rel­a­tively quick with the buds tak­ing up to 2 hours to charge. The case gives two ex­tra charges for the ear­buds mak­ing it 4 hours of play­back al­to­gether.

There is a small light in the case which flashes or­ange when charg­ing and turns green when the bat­tery is full.

There is also two small lights at the back of the case which flash white when charg­ing and turns solid white when fully charged.

For high-end ear­buds these have some mo­ments where I was a bit dis­ap­pointed over how they

per­formed. The E8 ear­buds have a call func­tion­al­ity which I have used but only when I call some­one.

As soon as some­one calls me and I ac­cept, the ear­buds don’t regis­ter so then I have to quickly take an ear­bud out and answer my phone or try and sort out the Blue­tooth op­tion while the other per­son on the line won­ders where the heck I’ve gone.

I have also had a num­ber of con­nec­tiv­ity is­sues with Blue­tooth. At first, I thought it was to do with bat­tery life but even af­ter fully charg­ing the ear­buds there was some sound drop­ping out.

This had noth­ing to do with prox­im­ity ei­ther as when I’m us­ing the buds my phone is close by.

These dropouts hap­pen at least once a day when I use them.

How­ever, B&O do is­sue out up­dates for the ear­buds so hope­fully there is a chance for this prob­lems to be pro­grammed out.

DE­SIGN

The leather charg­ing case is no big­ger than 6cm and mag­net­i­cally holds both buds in place.

The buds can come in two colours – black or white. I was given the black ear­buds to play around with.

The buds them­selves are small but look mod­ern and stylish with that clas­sic Euro­pean style.

They each have a cir­cu­lar multi-func­tion but­ton where you can skip tracks, answer calls, ac­ti­vate Siri/ Google As­sis­tant and use trans­parency mode.

VALUE

At $449.95 these ear­buds are at a high cost but for a rea­son, B&O are a high-end sound dealer so why would they mar­ket a low-end ear­bud?

These are at the top of the scale when it comes to wire­less ear­buds but as noted be­fore they have a few is­sues which push them down in the qual­ity scale.

These need to be at least $100 cheaper es­pe­cially when there are some bugs in the prod­ucts.

In com­par­i­son, Ap­ple AirPods re­tail for $229, the Bose SoundS­port Free Wire­less are $299 and the Jabra Elite Sport ear­buds are $349.

They are avail­able at JB Hi-Fi and other sound re­tail­ers.

OVER­ALL

These ear­buds are not for the ca­sual lis­tener, they are tai­lored to those who want to hear ev­ery strum, beat and note.

The com­pact recharge­able case is com­pact and very handy. For the women read­ing this, it eas­ily fits into a medium sized clutch.

They are a stylish piece of ear wear and once you get the fit per­fect you won’t want to take these out.

When they’re in they don’t stick out too much. You can see them but aren’t as ob­nox­ious as other ear­buds on the mar­ket.

What I am most dis­ap­pointed with is the fact I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a lot of dropouts and play­back er­rors which should not be hap­pen­ing from a com­pany that is known to cre­ate high-end and pricey prod­ucts.

The bat­tery life is ac­cept­able, it has an av­er­age life­span to what is on the mar­ket but the charg­ing case makes. Prob­a­bly not the best de­vice to wear on a long-haul flight, un­less you like con­tin­u­ally charg­ing things then go for it.

B&O will need to go back to the draw­ing board to sort out a few is­sues but for a first at­tempt they’ve done pretty well.

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