Bang & Olufsen announces its take on AirPods, claiming more style, better sound

Bang & Olufsen has today announced its first truly wireless earphones, going up against Apple’s AirPods.

At $299, the Beoplay E8 is almost twice as expensive as the $159 AirPods, but the company claims that the price premium is justified by both looks and sound …

Drawing on more than 90 years of expertise in sound and design, Beoplay E8 exudes simplicity and style while delivering industry-leading sound, a seamless listening experience on the move and a design in premium materials that remain at the heart of the Bang & Olufsen heritage.

While the company stops short of calling out AirPods by name, there seems little doubt which product B&O Play’s CEO John Mollanger is referencing in his comments.

Beoplay E8 is the perfect companion for everyone, who don’t want to trade in sound and design for true wireless freedom. It is designed to sit beautifully in your ear as a discreet and stylish technology statement and comes with a sound that is full-bodied and precise in its soundstage.

Battery-life isn’t quite as good as AirPods, offering four hours rather than five, and the leather charging case will only recharge them twice, giving a total away-from-power life of 12 hours rather than 24. As you’d expect, however, B&O focuses on the audio quality.

Each earpiece has a 5.7mm dynamic speaker, a small electromagnetic transducer, NFMI technology and a Bluetooth 4.2 chip with Digital Sound Processing that allows for dynamic sound tuning and sound without interruption. Focusing primarily on sound and design was basically what allowed for the best-in-class sound that comes with Beoplay E8.

The Beoplay app offers a variety of preset sound profiles for different activities like working out and commuting. The E8 also offers three levels of audio transparency that allow you to choose how much ambient sound to allow in.

The price premium is no surprise from a company noted for combining high-quality audio with great looks, and the $299 price puts it at the lower end of the company’s product line-up.

The Beoplay E8 comes complete with a premium leather charging case, five ear tips and charging cable in Black and Charcoal Sand and retails for $299, with availability from October 12. Single replacement earphones will sell for $129.

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