Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX headphones review: the high-fashion version of the AirPods Pro | TechBuzz

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The Beoplay EX earphones from the luxury brand Bang & Olufsen add a stylish argument to technological advantages found elsewhere. And the price reflects it.

Bang & Olufsen is one of those intriguing brands. You have probably already passed by a shop, without going in for fear of eyeing products that you will never be able to afford (the problem of luxury). With its Beoplay EX headphones, the company does not intend to change its tune.

We are indeed talking about high-end headphones sold at 400 €. For this price, the technical sheet is a dream: active noise reduction, transparency mode, companion application, wireless charging box… To these very classic arguments, and essential for such positioning, Bang & Olufsen adds an emphasis on design. Is it sufficient ?

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Headphones that do not leave indifferent

Ready for sport?

Beoplay EX are IP57 certified, which ensures resistance to splashes and sweat. Perfect for looking good at the gym.

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With the Beoplay EX, Bang & Olufsen does not simply sell technological objects. The brand also wants to offer a product designed for style. An argument that some will find futile, but which is fully assumed. In fact, as part of this test, I asked two people what they thought of the design of Beoplay EX. The first was not ecstatic, when the second released a wow of pleasure as soon as the cover of the box is open. What does this little experiment say? The Beoplay EX do not leave you indifferent, in addition to confirming that a disruptive design is never as successful as when it divides – the aim being to create an emotion, whatever it may be.

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Look d’exception

Paradoxically, the Beoplay EX look like headphones from before, with that long stem that pays homage to Apple’s first AirPods. Except that the engineers have added a hell of a dose of elegance, with a combination of noble materials that justify – a little – the invoice. Thus, the polymer structure – made matte – is dressed in a glass touch disc and an aluminum circle. And unless you choose the Black Anthracite finish, it is not discretion that is sought with the Beoplay EX. In short, the design is exquisite, even if it will not please everyone.

Headphones with an exceptional look, case, or rather case, exceptional. The wireless charging station, as Bang & Olufsen likes to call it, does not denote at all. As proof, it is adorned with aluminum, reinforcing this anchoring in the premium. The texture, cold, but not icy, and grainy, but not too much, is pleasant to the touch. It is for this kind of micro detail that we can accept to put 400 € in headphones, a price that nothing justifies, basically. But we have to look for excuses, justified or not.

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The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama
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Always the magic app

To take full advantage of Beoplay EX, the best thing is to download the Bang & Olufsen application, available on iOS and Android. It gives access to several interesting features, knowing that pairing with your smartphone – or another device – is done in a few seconds from the Bluetooth settings. We are in 2022 and this communication technology is now 100% mastered. We did not notice any connection problems during our few hours of listening.

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Beoplay EX are both equipped with a touch zone allowing some non-customizable commands:

Right earphone Left earphone
Support Pause/lecture noise reduction
Two supports Next song Previous song
long press Increased volume Volume down

As the touch area is wide enough to hug the tip of the index finger, the ergonomics are quite good. Especially since we do not scatter in the manipulations and that the sensitivity is well balanced.

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They are so beautiful… // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

Imperfect comfort

We would have liked to write so much that the comfort of Beoplay EX is irreproachable. Alas, this is not quite the case. We’ve had worse. But we have known much better (the AirPods in mind). The fact is that the part that fits into the ear is, a priori, a few millimeters too thick. Therefore, you can feel it when BeoPlay EX are worn, and it can cause some discomfort after a long session.

Fortunately, Bang & Olufsen provides several tips — XS, S, M, L — to make it easier to hold (the BeoPlay EX hold very well). Along with the four silicone options, there’s a somewhat confusing memory foam alternative if you’re not used to it. In reality, you have to use it several times to realize its virtues: once the material has adapted to your morphology, you gain in comfort (and also in insulation).

In any case, we advise you to test all the tips available: while I am used to size M on other headphones, in the case of the Beoplay EX, size S is the one that suits me the most. .

DSC01836
Shape memory tips // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

Delicate and precise sound

The BeoPlay EX are equipped with active noise reduction, with three levels of efficiency and an adaptive mode (the switch is a bit long). While the feature does a sufficient job of mitigating, it fails to remove everything either. You’ll be able to vacuum without being annoyed by its noise, but some decibels will still slip through the cracks. It should be noted, however, that the treatment is quite natural, with no breath perceived. The same cannot be said of the Transparency mode, which is more superficial than that of the AirPods Pro in comparison. If you are looking for the best noise reduction in earphone format on the market, the BeoPlay EX are not the best placed.

On the other hand, the acoustic performance is really high-end. Bang & Olufsen has opted for a 9.2 millimeter diameter speaker, which first ensures a good base in the bass (without ever falling into zeal, with a welcome delicacy). Overall, we have the impression of listening to pieces of music filled with details, with an interesting work on the depth and a relevant appropriation of the stereo scene. For headphones, it’s really stunning. The result is a very warm signature with the Optimal listening mode. It is only betrayed by treble which, at times, can whistle a bit.

Note that the application gives access to a very well done equalizer. Called Beosonic, it takes the form of a circle divided into four zones – Clear, Dynamic, Warm and Relaxed – on which you can move a cursor to play on the level of bass and treble. This allows you to better understand what you are doing when you are less expert, compared to an adjustment curve with frequencies.

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Yes the glass catches fingerprints (but it’s still pretty) // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

What autonomy?

The battery life on a single charge is between 6 and 8 hours depending on whether you activate active noise reduction or not. It climbs to 21 hours in all, thanks to the case compatible with wireless charging. In this field, the Beoplay EX are not the best on the market.

The verdict

It would obviously be very easy to attack the Beoplay EX on the price criterion. At €400, they will put off many people interested in headphones with maximum functionality. But Bang & Olufsen is not for the average person. It targets customers who make design a priority, an additional argument to stand out and not wear AirPods like the others.
Especially since Bang & Olufsen does not only line up behind the luxurious argument of the Beoplay EX, which are much more than very pretty headphones. Behind the high fashion appearance hides first of all acoustic performances above the fray (sorry Apple), an essential criterion when talking about an audio product. It’s a pity that the questionable comfort, the barely average noise reduction and a set back autonomy are a bit of a strain on its ambitions.

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I am admin of techbuzz.asia blog & I provide tech-related news. As a part of my hobby, I make content related to technology and gadgets reviews too. I love to be a content creator apart from it, I am a full-time employee in an MNC company and manage blogs systematically. You can mail me at [email protected]

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