B&O PLAY just announced their first truly wireless earphones, Beoplay E8. The $300 splash and dust resistant in-ear buds are designed for an effortless listening experience on the move. Simply take the earphones out of the premium leather charging case, tap on the aluminium encircled touch interface and you are set up to listen to music, switch between tracks, take calls, and activate Transparency Mode and voice commands. With everything controlled by the intuitive touch interface on the earphones, you don’t have to take your smartphone out of your pocket.
Two additional charges on the move Beoplay E8 delivers up to four hours of music on one charge, for two additional charges on the move simply snap the earpieces into the pocket-friendly charging case. The sleek case sports a braided fabric strap adding another layer of tactility and making it easier to find in your bag. As Beoplay E8 has small magnets built into each earphone, clicking them into the charging case will automatically power down the earphones and start to charge them, so they are ready for your next move.
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. A unique feature called Transparency Mode lets you decide just how much real-world sound you want to hear. Simply chose between three levels of audio pass-through in Beoplay App and activate Transparency Mode by tapping once on the left earpiece. Transparency Mode lets you remain connected to colleagues in the office space while listening to music or to be attentive to your surroundings when walking in traffic.
Beoplay E8 comes tuned by Bang & Olufsen sound engineers to sound good. Users can adjust the tonality and sound staging themselves with the playful and intuitive B&O PLAY ToneTouch. The interface lets users feel their way through different sound settings for different occasions such as working out, commuting, or listening to podcasts. Once adjusted, Beoplay E8 stores the setting on the product itself until you adjust it again.
A companion Beoplay App makes it easy to monitor the battery status of the earphones on your smartphone, and can be used to install software updates over the air.
For those curious about the comparison to Apple AirPods, the BeoPlay E8 costs almost double, doesn’t have an A1 chip (for improved compatibility with iPhone), and slightly lower battery life. For the price, I’d expect Beoplay E8 to sound better, but I haven’t listened to both to compare.
Pricing and Availability
Beoplay E8 will be available October 12, 2017 for $299 (pair). If you lose one of the earphones, a replacement costs $129 each. Color options include Charcoal Sand (shown on woman) or Black.