I’ve lusted after the perfect pair of properly wireless in-ear headphones for a long time now. The Jabra Elite Sport are my current favourites, but they might soon be dethroned: B&O Play has a new set of wireless ‘buds that promise the best sound in their class while also lookin’ pretty darn swish at the same time.
The new E8 from B&O Play follow the trend of AirPods, the Elite Sport, Samsung’s Gear IconX and other tiny in-ear buds: no wires, Bluetooth for connecting your smartphone, a snug design that nestles inside your ears, and a portable carry case that doubles as a battery charger to give you another eight hours of listening while you’re travelling.
But unlike all the other wireless in-ears I’ve tried so far, the E8 comes from B&O, and B&O is an audio company, the world’s oldest and one of the most distinguished. Its products sound good, and I’m hoping the E8 is no different. They also look good, and the E8’s leather-wrapped carrying case and simple (touch-sensitive) aluminium earbud caps are testament to that.
They’re splash and and dust resistant, too, but the most interesting feature — and valuable for in-ears — is a Transparency mode that uses the E8’s integrated mics to channel through a bit of outside noise, any of four different levels that you can set in the complementary Beoplay app for iOS or Android, when you tap the left earbud.
Available in either black or “charcoal sand” — dark grey — the B&O Play E8 will set you back $449 when they land in Australia come October 12. Interestingly, B&O will also sell you individual replacement left or right earbuds for $199 if you lose one, and a replacement charging case for $149 if you lose that. [B&O Play]