Bang and Olufsen's Beoplay E8 Sport review: Wireless earphones that come at a heavy price
Bang and Olufsen's advance to the fitness realm was always going to be a matter of time. While it took longer than expected (with many seasons and editions of sport earphones already behind us), the Beoplay E8 Sport finally came through.
And boy does it look exceptional — not that we expected anything less from the German tech manufacturer — but bathed in an oxygen blue, a pair of these are a sight for sore eyes. Which is quite the breakthrough from the unsightly reputation that sport headphones have besiged for themselves.
Designed to be resilient to tempestuous conditions, like the occasional rain splatter or on a really sweaty individual, the Beoplay E8 is first and foremost waterproof. Its charging case stems from rubber and textured silicone, which looks every bit sturdy and gritty — the kind that seems immune to hard knocks or rough handling. Ergonomics wise, it took a while to find the right fit. But the good news is that it comes with five removable ear tips and three fins just to cover all the bases. After all, we are all built differently.
However, while picking up speed on the treadmill, it wasn't so much about the fit but the weight that stood out. Bang and Olufsen's sublime materials (including anodised aluminium) might have scored a ten for quality and design, but the load took a toll during rapid movements. At times, it also gave the illusion that the earphones were going to fall out halfway. Guess that's when a ear hook (like the ones from Powerbeats Pro) would come in handy.
The sound certainly didn't fall short — bolstered with clarity and just the right amount of bass. Subtle yet thoughtful design factors included the ridged gripped detail on the earphones, which lended a firmer grip when your fingers are sweaty. There were also the easy assistance taps, which enabled us to effortlessly switch between tracks, Transparency Mode and even take calls (that is if you're willing to stop between burpees). Elements we do miss? A noise-cancelling feature. Because at $499 a set, we do wish we could be embroiled in a world of our own while set in the gym environ of whirling equipment and heavy grunting.
Beoplay E8 Sport comes in both Oxygen Blue and Black. Available at Bang & Olufsen Grand Hyatt flagship store, B&O official LazMall flagship store, and other major retailers.