You only really notice how much you won’t miss something when it’s no longer there. In the case of these in-ear headphones, it’s the standard cable that once linked the two earpieces of the headphones.
Play ditches cables altogether with the Beoplay E8 and makes a convincing case with true wireless headphones that hit high marks across the board, from technology to aesthetics.
What are cables?
With the Beoplay E8, manufacturer Play has solved many engineering problems in an elegant fashion. The earphones don’t protrude too far from the ears. In fact, in my opinion they barely protrude any further than conventional Bluetooth earphones that include cables. This is quite remarkable really when you consider all necessary technology is integrated within the E8 housing. Battery, Bluetooth elements, controls, microphone – all of this is discreetly contained within the earphones themselves. They’re also not particularly heavy, so you may worry they might fall out when you’re on the move. This is not the case, however.
Three pairs of earbuds are included made from silicone are included, with S, M and L sizes to choose form. There’s also a fourth pair of earbuds made from Comply memory foam in a medium size. All of these effectively balance out the common worry of wireless earphones falling free when you don’t want them to. A firm and secure fit is definitely assured here.
Consult the guide
When it comes to getting to grips with the Beoplay E8, it does help to consult the manual provided with the headphones. This not only gives you an in-depth guide to how to conduct the pairing process properly, it also helps you familiarise yourself with the controls found on the back of the earphones themselves. This is important as these models now lack a remote, meaning a whole other level of intuitive control needs to be considered. There’s a 1.5 cm sensor area on either earpiece that, when contacted in various configurations, control a certain function or feature of these headphones. You’ll want to get in some practice, however, as too timid a touch might fail to deliver what you’re after. Overall though, the operation of these headphones is innovative and easy to learn.
When you press shifting earphones, a true wireless newbie might need to take some time to get used to things here. If you simply press a finger on the left-hand side at the rear you’ll activate transparency mode. Do the same on the right-hand side and you’ll stop the music playback. It’s easy to get used to the handle grip of these headphones too. To adjust the E8, simply use your thumb and forefinger and gently shift it about until its in position.
Sound and App
The sound performance of the E8 is first class. The bass, mids and treble are all good and overall, the stereo staging is superb. In “Breathe” by Jax Jones, the beat and Ina Wroldsen’s voice truly stomp, while numerous effects can be noticed with fine levels of definition. Coldplay’s “Paradise” is another track that showcases well on these headphones, with dynamics coming across as warm with plenty of power. Even with Schiller’s “Paradise”, the sound penetrates, with individual sound elements all enjoying plenty of precision and definition. I’ve rarely experienced such sound capability with a pair of earphones this small.
When trying some Britpop from Liam Gallagher, I’m treated to guitars, bass, special effects and vocals, all at impressive quality. What the Beoplay E8 deliver here is top rate, with everything having plenty of volume and scope, with a fine, velvety smooth tuning.
In order to achieve such a result, it’s worth installing the Beoplay App. With the app you can change transparency mode, allowing you to vary the sound with the use of an intuitively designed matrix. You can vary sound according to taste, with plenty of individual sound presets ready and waiting for you to choose from.
In the app you can also change the transparency mode, allowing you to hear the outside world by tapping on the left earpiece. External microphones transmit environmental noises to he ears, while the music you’ve selected either continues to play in the background at various levels, or is muted completely.
From ear to charging case
A case is always the best option for wireless earphones, delivering safe storage and charging capabilities. To charge the device simply place the earphones in the recesses provided inside the case, with magnetic charging contacts allowing for precision for charging. Discreet LEDs provide charging status information for all components. The oval-shaped leather-covered case comes with an elastic strap for carrying, but does look a little conspicuous when tucked into a pocket. This is a minor gripe, however, with daily use of the E8 likely to bring you nothing but audio enjoyment. Very, very really are there signal dropouts of either earpiece. All in all, connection is reliable, far-reaching and fast. What’s more, the technology itself falls into the background with no dangling cable to distract you and no remote to worry about reaching for.
What’s more, you can also make calls with the E8. To accept and reject calls, tapping gestures can be used. You make your own calls, you simply use your voice assistant. This is all well and good, but in my test, those on the other end of the phone complained of reverberant sound. This is hardly surprising when you consider the angle of the microphone and its distance from the mouth of the average wearer.
Ultimately, a couple of questions remain: why does the music stop when I take the right earpiece off, but not when the left earpiece is removed? (Yes, the right one is the master and the left the slave, but confusion still abounds). Another head-scratcher is: how do I turn off the E8 without putting it away in its charging case?
The B&O Play Beoplay E8 impress when it comes to sound, offer a discreet and elegant option with quality aesthetics, while delivering a safe and secure fit. At a price of almost 300 euros, you can of course expect these kind of features and details as standard. It’s only the poor voice quality during calls that spoils the otherwise flawless product. Overall, Beoplay should have no trouble appealing to those dazzled by appearance, technical specs and processing, but the more frugal audiophile out there will no doubt be holding off on these until the manufacturer delivers something more affordable. In my opinion, if they can work to lower the cost slightly, they have an almost perfect pair of true wireless in-ears that say goodbye to cables completely, once and for all.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Weight without cable13 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- Charging box (with built-in rechargeable battery)
- 4 pairs of silicone ear tips in XS, X, M, L
- 1 pair of Comply foam ear tips in M
- USB charging cable
- Available in black, grey, blue and pink
- BT version: 4.2
- BT codec: AAC
- Three different transparency levels, accessible via the B&O PLAY app