Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ Review: Large Buds, Large Sound

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ review: Large buds, huge sound — huge worth

MSRP $399.00

“Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay EQ true wi-fi earbuds price $400, so is the excessive worth justified? Sure, in case you worth heritage, wonderful construct high quality and development, and a definite sound signature.”

Professionals

  • Distinct signature sound
  • Lengthy vary, dependable Bluetooth
  • Wi-fi charging
  • High quality metallic elements and case
  • Efficient adaptive ANC

Cons

  • Earbuds do not all the time seat correctly within the case
  • No customization for contact controls
  • No digital assistant assist

There was some chatter at Digital Traits not too long ago about not likely needing to spend lots of of {dollars} to get a superb pair of true wi-fi earbuds. I’ve not too long ago loved the $99 Nothing Ear 1 earbuds, whereas my colleague Simon Cohen has examined a bunch of equally priced fashions and are available to the conclusion that, except you’re an actual audiophile, $100 is greater than sufficient to bag you an amazing pair of true wi-fi earbuds.

The place does that go away the $400 Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ? It’s all about heritage, audio appreciation, and the very huge sound they ship that’ll get your pockets opening up simply that little bit extra.

Design

It’s instantly apparent the Beoplay EQ are usually not small earbuds. The physique is significantly bigger than an Apple AirPods Professional bud, and even bigger than the Beoplay E8 bud. This implies they do protrude out of your ear quite a bit and are positively not delicate. Each weighs 8 grams, so you are feeling them in your ear greater than a lighter bud just like the Apple AirPods Professional. However the metallic physique and glossy finish caps, full with noticeable B&O brand, look ace. There are 4 silicone ear suggestions within the field, giving a versatile vary of sizes for even the smallest ears.

Beoplay EQ earbuds on top of an iPhone 12 Pro.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Nevertheless, I initially had hassle preserving the Beoplay EQs safe in my ears. The big silicone suggestions had been too huge, and the medium ones had been a bit too small, leading to one rapidly working its manner unfastened throughout actions. Fortunately Bang & Olufsen features a pair of Comply Sport 200 foam suggestions within the package deal. They’re actually wonderful and solved the problem round match instantly. Moreover, they helped decrease the impact of the load too, and I discovered them supremely snug to put on for lengthy durations, with slight fatigue solely changing into evident after about 4 hours.

The earbuds are stored inside a sleek aluminum case in both Black Anthracite or Sand Gold colours. It’s a subtly designed piece, with Bang & Olufsen branding on the case high, and a grippy base to cease it sliding off the desk. It appears actually stylish. The buds are held at an angle inside and are very straightforward to take away, however placing them again in is a ache. They’re magnetically held in place, however it’s essential be very exact with inserting them in accurately, in any other case the buds don’t seat and cost. It solely must be barely out of alignment too.

I usually take heed to podcasts to go to sleep, and in my half-awake state messing round with the case and earbuds was irritating, and more often than not I’d get up within the morning to seek out one earbud wasn’t in accurately and hadn’t charged. As soon as to double-check this in all probability gained’t occur, however it’s not one thing I’ve to do with every other pair of true wi-fi earbuds, suggesting the beautiful case is all kind over perform.

Holding the Beoplay EQ case.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

There’s a tiny LED gentle on the surface indicating the cost standing, however the case high doesn’t seem to have a magnet to maintain it securely closed, or if it does it’s fairly weak. It’s compact although, and way more sensible than the Beoplay E8’s leather-covered case because the aluminum physique ought to look higher for longer.

You’re definitely paying a premium for the high-quality construct and supplies, together with the model identify, however there’s nothing actually unsuitable with that, particularly when the product is as trendy, transportable, and fashionable because the Beoplay EQ.

Controls and options

The earbuds join utilizing Bluetooth 5.2, which has wonderful vary and rock-solid reliability right here, and use Qualcomm’s AptX Adaptive codec in order that they work to ship the identical sound high quality as AptX and AptX HD, however relying on the audio supply and your setting will adapt to play the highest quality potential. The earbuds additionally assist AAC and SBC codecs too.

Beoplay EQ with app on the iPhone 12 Pro.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

You work together with the EQs utilizing touch-sensitive controls, which have a wealth of gestures to study, differ for every bud, and can’t be custom-made within the app. There are a couple of too many double-tap instructions and the earbuds get confused. For instance, you double-tap the left bud to change between Energetic Noice Canceling (ANC) modes, but additionally double-tap and maintain to decrease the amount. It’s wonderful once you’re sitting nonetheless, however tough to modulate when transferring round. As a result of sensitivity of the controls, it’s additionally a lot too straightforward to pause playback once you’re momentarily adjusting the match of an earbud.

The Beoplay EQ are Bang & Olufsen’s first pair of true wi-fi earbuds with Adaptive Energetic Noise Cancelation (AANC). This intelligent technology makes use of the six omnidirectional microphones contained in the earbud to regulate the ANC in real-time, primarily based on the ambient sound in your environment. Consider it as a extra personalised model of regular ANC. I’ve used the EQs in the home and out of doors, and actually not observed the adaptive half working, and contemplate this fairly a superb factor. More often than not it stored ANC energetic, and solely slipped into Transparency mode a couple of instances. As one among these instances was after I was having a dialog exterior, it appears to work effectively. A function B&O calls Personal Voice made me sound much less echoey in my ears utilizing Transparency mode too.

Beoplay EQ earbud in ear.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

I discovered the ANC mode’s isolation very efficient, minimizing all sounds in my residence and on the road, even when simply listening to spoken phrase. I didn’t discover further stress in my ears, however there’s a little hiss with ANC on and nothing enjoying. The adaptive half may be disabled within the app in case you desire handbook management over the ANC. I additionally like that you should use only one earbud at a time, which is useful for calls.

The accompanying app has an adjustable equalizer mode, a battery indicator for every earbud and the case, and some different settings together with switching on an Automated Standby mode the place the earbuds flip off after quarter-hour with out use. Unusually, there’s no choice to make use of a digital assistant with the Beoplay EQ, which is a function discovered on the overwhelming majority of competing earbuds whatever the worth.

Sound

The Beoplay EQ are outfitted with 6.8mm electro-dynamic drivers, and Bang & Olufsen didn’t maintain again when it got here to tuning them. The earbuds are fairly huge, however the sound is greater. From the vast soundstage to the deep, impactful bass and gorgeous vocal management, the Beoplay EQs sound superb. I’ve listened utilizing an iPhone 12 Professional, an iPad Professional (2020), a OnePlus Nord 2, and an Asus Zenfone 8.

The previous Beoplay H8 had been the primary pair of headphones I actually liked, and the Beoplay EQs remind me why: They’re stuffed with the identical depth, vitality, heat, and element. I far desire the sound right here to the Beoplay E8s, which for some motive by no means fairly hit the candy spot. What do I imply? It’s when every thing comes collectively in precisely the correct manner. I observed it particularly when listening to Nogizaka46’s Yasashii Dake Nara, the place the candy but highly effective vocals shine, however aren’t fairly so ahead within the sound stage as, for instance, headphones from Audio-Technica, letting you respect the orchestra on this specific monitor much more. The Beoplay EQs get it excellent.

The top of the Beoplay EQ case.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

The back of the Beoplay EQ case.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Beoplay EQ earbuds in the case.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Beoplay EQ earbuds out the case, seen from the side.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

CloZee’s Interior Peace demonstrates each the vast soundstage and element, together with the sheer energy of the Beoplay EQ. There’s pretty, thick bass all through, with all the monitor’s synth insanity remaining clear and outlined. The complicated bassline in Pink Velvet’s Queendom stays managed and by no means overpowers the vocals, whereas persevering with to supply the required degree of heat thump. To my ears, I discover the best way B&O’s tunes bass preferable to Sennheiser’s, for instance, with extra authority and a tougher punch.

You’re paying loads for the Beoplay EQ, however because of this. You’re not getting an off-the-shelf audio tune from a newcomer, you’re getting all of Bang & Olufsen’s 95 years of expertise inside superbly designed and constructed earbuds. Large and daring, but full of scrumptious element, the EQ’s ship all of that notable heritage proper into your ears. If that appeals to you, then you definitely’ll be very happy along with your buy.

Battery and charging

B&O states the battery will present roughly 6.5 hours of playback with ANC, or 7.5 hours with out. The case shops sufficient vitality for 2 further costs, and itself takes an hour and 40 minutes to recharge. The EQs appear to get very near B&O’s quoted instances in my expertise, coming in round six hours use earlier than needing a recharge with ANC on.

The charging port on the Beoplay EQ case.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

The case has a USB Kind-C connector on the again, or you should use a Qi wi-fi charging pad to cost it up. I’ve used the bottom plate on the Belkin Increase Cost 3-in-1 and it labored and not using a downside.

Worth and availability

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ can be found by means of Bang & Olufsen on-line and its retail shops now for $399 within the U.S., or 349 British kilos within the U.Ok.

Our take

In case your mission is to pay the least for a brand new set of true wi-fi headphones, the Beoplay EQs are usually not for you. What do you get for 4 instances the worth of, say, the Nothing Ear 1? Coming as much as 100 years of musical data and high-quality product design. A lot as I like Nothing’s earbuds, the standard is nowhere close to the Beoplay EQs. The ending on the case, the texture of the metallic, and the safety and luxury supplied by the included Comply suggestions mark the EQs out as a high quality product, even earlier than you hear.

The sound is tuned nearly to perfection, prepared to supply a bombastic or stress-free hear, relying in your temper and selection of music. The ANC stored the surface world away from my ears, and the transparency mode isn’t overbearing or too synthetic. The 6 hours of use and two further costs from the case means they’ll final you for a few (working) weeks in case you use them for a few hours or so a day.

You’re paying for high quality all through the Beoplay EQ, from the design and development, to the sound and battery life. Not all of those elements are important necessities for everybody, however the Beoplay EQ neatly brings all of them collectively in a really fascinating package deal for those who do need a bit extra from a pair of headphones.

Is there a greater different?

The excessive asking worth of the Beoplay EQ means you actually must be taken with the model its model. Anybody simply wanting a pair of true wi-fi earbuds could be smart to have a look at the cheaper choices, together with the Nothing Ear 1, however in case you worth the next sound high quality and a particular audio signature, and have more cash to spend, then the Beoplay EQ’s are a good selection, however there are others to think about too.

The $280 Sony WF-1000XM4’s are our present high true wi-fi earbud selection, and are notoriously arduous to beat in sound high quality, plus additionally they have adaptive energetic noise cancelation. Anybody trying to spend this a lot on true wi-fi earbuds may also seemingly be closely influenced by model and sound high quality, and the $299 Grasp & Dynamic MW08 look and sound excellent, plus the boutique audio model has a particular and all the time extremely pleasant sound signature all of its personal, very similar to B&O. That’s earlier than contemplating Apple’s AirPods Professional, and a host of others.

How lengthy will they final?

The earbuds have an IP54 water resistance ranking so are protected in opposition to sweat and dirt, and needs to be wonderful to make use of within the rain as effectively. The aluminum case hasn’t picked up any scratches but and will definitely hold the earbuds effectively protected. Bang & Olufsen has already delivered one software program replace for the reason that mid-August launch, which is utilized utilizing the app. All this together with the superb sound means you ought to be proud of the Beoplay EQs for years after buy.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, in case you worth model heritage, high quality, and a definite signature sound the Beoplay EQ are well worth the indulgence.

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