Those clever Danes have done it again; their first truly premium wireless earphones.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Wireless Earphones ostensibly are tiny in-ear or ear-bud “phones” but really, they have redefined a part of our lives.
“Time for a Break. Time, it is the biggest luxury we get. Time to spend being with the ones we love, time to spend doing the things we cherish.” – B&O website
BANG & OLUFSEN is a high-end Danish consumer electronics company that designs and manufactures audio products, television sets, and telephones. It was founded in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen in Olufsen’s parent’s attic. The first big idea was actually little — a radio that ran on alternating current, at a time when most radios were still running on batteries.
At the end of World War II, the factory was burnt down by pro-Nazi saboteurs as retaliation for the management’s refusal to collaborate with the Germans. B&O rebuilt but only produced electric razors until 1955, and then produced high-end audio equipment.
B&O are everywhere
You may have heard B&O audio in places that you never knew. They are found in Hewlett Packard computers and devices as well as luxury automobiles like Audi, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes Benz AMG models.
Their audio-visual systems are installed in hotels, restaurants and such like.
As experts in aluminium manufacturing, they supply other businesses with aluminium non-B&O products.
As a long time B&O user of equipment both at home and in my cars, I am a slightly biased reporter.
Various Beolab, Beocenter and Beosound products are still functioning well in mi casa.
Design Form and Function
B&O are known for their excellent functionality within “striking looking objects”. Everything from loudspeakers to remote control units are like exhibits in the Museum of Design or Modern Arts.
The New Beoplay E8
B&O did not rush out a premium wireless headphone set until now. That’s the thing about the Scadinavians; they do a lot of planning and discussion before executing perfectly.
One push may have been Apple not supplying an audio-out socket on their latest products. Suddenly, millions of users were left without a headset. Now, they do and it’s better than anything Apple can produce.
Comfort & Ergonomics
E8 is designed to fit comfortably on the go. You can customise your fit with different sized ear tips. It’s also splash and dust proof for the gym or the outdoors.
Materials & Luxury
E8 is crafted from authentic, lightweight and long lasting materials. The charging case weighs only 45g and is made from genuine leather and solid aluminium encircles the “Touch” interface.
Charging on the go
When fully charged, E8 provides up to 4 hours of playtime at a moderate sound level for each charge. The case that doubles as a charging station on-the-go, will give you 2 additional charges. This gives you up to 12 hours of playtime when you’re on the go.
Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound
E8 is a technical breakthrough in size and performance but is also tuned with the precision and love for how music should be experienced. E8 is tuned by the same audio engineers that tune all other Bang & Olufsen products – that’s the B&O Signature Sound.
No strain, No pain; Just sound.
Now we get to the funky modern technology from B&O PLAY called Transparency Mode. Transparency Mode will let in the sound of your surroundings according to your chosen setting. You can choose to focus on your music or let a bit of the real world in when you’re out in the city. I throughly recommend letting in the sound of that ambulance screeching towards you as you step off the kerb!
You can select between four different levels of transparency in the App and easily activate your default mode with a quick tap of your earphones.
Intuitive Equalizer with ToneTouch
E8 features the patented Bang & Olufsen ToneTouch controlled with the Beoplay App so you can tweak your own sound. It’s like you personal sound studio or advanced equalizer that is super easy to use. You can save different pre-sets for different moods and ‘tudes.
Tap to take control
It’s safer to use the intuitive touch control on E8 earphones than taking your phone out of your pocket. In the city, it’s better to look out around you than down at a phone. You’ll need to learn some finger gestures and even combinations of gestures on both sides but anyone born after 1987 can do this!
Features you can tap to control:
- Volume control
- Transparency Mode
- Voice activation
Voice control using your phone’s built-in voice recognition like Siri and Google Now, is the future. Control your music, get directions or simply dictate your thoughts and To-Dos. Why tap when you can talk?
Voice technology keeps maturing to give increasing possibilities. In the near future, voice recognition will help you learn a new language or simply translate what you say into another language on-the-fly.
Available from mid-October 2017 at £259 or equivalent, this is a welcomed product from B&O. The B&O reputation, quality and aesthetics are evident.
Initially, people may moan about the short battery life but 12 hours is a long time for you to be living with ear-buds stuck in your lug-holes!
Sometimes, you need to take a break from the Break….
Geeky Technical Specifications (You can skip this section)
Designer: Jakob Wagner
Earbud: 23mm x 20mm x 25mm
Charging Case: 73mm x 47mm x 33mm
Colours: Black or Charcoal Sand
Materials: Aluminium, textile, polymer, silicon and leather
Earbuds: Right (Master) 7g; Left (Slave) 6g
Charging Case: 45g
Loudspeaker: Electro-dynamic driver, 5.7 mm diameter
Frequency: 20 – 20,000 Hz
Bluetooth 4.2 · AAC codec
On device controls
- One Multi-functions button on each earbud
- Volume control
- Transparency Mode
Microphone: MEMS, Omni Directional
Cord: 1.2m charging USB-A to MicroUSB
Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
· Capacity: Right (Master) 85 mAh, Left (Slave) 60 mAh
· Up to 4 hours playing time at moderate volume
· Capacity: 365 mAh
· Gives 2x additional charges for the earbuds
Beoplay App: Enhance your experience with Transparency Mode and ToneTouch.
Transparency mode: Three different levels of Transparency Mode, accessible in B&O PLAY App.
Included in the box
- Beoplay E8
- Charger Case (with built-in chargeable battery)
- USB Charging Cable
- Silicon tips, 4 pairs of different sizes (XS, X, M, L)
- Complyfoam, 1 pair in size M
- Quick start guide
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).