B&O Play Beoplay E8 Truly Wireless Earphones
Build Quality & Water/Sweat-Resistance9.0/10
Touch Pad Controls & Battery Life9.0/10
Comfort & Passive Noise Isolation9.0/10
Bluetooth Range & Connectivity8.5/10
- Fairly Well-Rounded Sound Profile
- Very Intuitive Touch Pad Controls
- Above-Average Passive Noise Isolation
- Water/Sweat-Resistant Build Materials
- High-Quality Genuine Leather Portable Charging/Carrying Case
- Average Battery Life (On A Single Charge)
- Occasional Wireless Transmission Interruptions
- Less Treble Detail (On Certain Recordings)
Why are these earphones so highly-rated? Is it their sleek and premium design? Do they sound better than the competition? How do they stack up against other truly wireless earbuds? Bang & Olufsen are pretty well-known for producing high-quality personal audio gear.
Were they able to cut the wires and recreate the magic? Throughout this review, we’ll do our best to help you understand the best and worst features they have to offer, as well as hopefully answering any questions you have!
If you’re anything like us, you probably agree with the importance of having all the facts before you make your decision! Keep reading our Beoplay E8n Review to see why they’re one of the best truly wireless earphones!
Our Beoplay E8 Review
Basic Features & Technical Specs:
- In-ear wearing design
- Connectivity: Truly Wireless (via Bluetooth 4.2)
- Driver Type: Electro-dynamic
- Driver Size: 5.7 mm
- Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
- Colors Available: Black or Gray
- Includes: 4 silicone ear tips + 1 pair of Comply Sport Pro 200-Series memory foam tips
- Also Includes: Portable charging/carrying case + micro USB to a USB charging cable
- Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.79 x 0.98 inches
- Weight: 0.46 ounces
Before you move on, take a quick look at the links below that you can use to navigate our review. Each section will provide an in-depth analysis of each individual performance aspect.
Here are the 7 most important features you’ll want to consider before making your decision:
- Build Quality & Water/Sweat-Resistance
- TouchPad Controls & Battery Life
- Transparency Mode & Call Clarity
- Comfort & Passive Noise Isolation
- Bluetooth Range & NFMI
- Sonic Performance – How Do They Sound?
- Are They The Right Fit For You?
Now that you’ve taken a quick look at the technical specs, let’s start by examining two of the most important features – their build quality and water/sweat-resistance rating!
Build Quality & Water/Sweat-Resistance
Since there aren’t any cables to discuss, we’ll dive right into the earpiece build. Both earpiece housings are made of polymer plastic and rubber. The rubber is slightly textured which helps prevent them from accidentally slipping out of your hands.
When you’re holding them in your hands, you’ll notice that the rubber/polymer combination feels very durable. Do the housing materials make them fully-waterproof? Do they have an official water-resistant rating?
Although they do not have an official sweat/water-resistant, the housing materials are designed to handle some moisture. That being said, you won’t want to take them for a swim, but they are easily able to withstand intense sweat caused by rigorous exercise.
Their moisture-resistance plus the ambient Transparency Mode is one of many reasons they’re fairly practical for active use. (If you’re wondering what ‘Transparency Mode’ is, don’t worry – we’ll cover in full detail below.) Moving on from the earpiece housings, let’s take a look at the finer details!
Each earpiece has a right and left indicator (in white) on the inside portion of the housing. There is a small LED light in the loop of the ‘R’ that will let you know whether they’re in pairing mode or on/off. Unfortunately, they don’t have any built-in voice prompts, so you’ll have to rely on the LED.
Overall, these earphones are very well-built. So much so, that you can take them with you to the gym, or for casual listening at home. Next, let’s take a look at the touchpad controls, and using the portable charging case for giving them more juice!
TouchPad Controls & Battery Life
The flat panel on the outside of each earpiece features a touchpad control system. The touchpads allow you to control virtually every function you’ll need. Neither earpiece has any external buttons, which makes the control system much more intuitive for most.
You will use both the left and right earpieces to control various functions. Since they operate independently of one another, we think it’ll be useful to see which side controls what function. Take a look at the list below to see a full breakdown of their controls!
Using The Left TouchPad:
- Press and Hold – lower volume (lift your finger when it arrives at the level you want)
- Double Tap – skip back one track
- Tap Once – activate transparency mode
Using The Right TouchPad:
- Press and Hold – raise the volume
- Double Tap – skip forward one track
- Tap Once – pause your music
- Tap Once Again – play your music
- Triple Tap – access Siri or Google Assistant
- Double Tap (when you see an incoming call) – answer calls
- Double Tap – hang up or end the call
The touchpad system gives you access to a much wider range of controls right from the earpieces (especially compared to other truly wireless ‘phones like the Sony WF 1000X earbuds). Most people find that the touchpad is fairly responsive and even more satisfying to use than standard button controls.
As we briefly mentioned above, there is one possible downside to their design. In a way, the lack of voice prompts can make it slightly harder to learn the various functions. It would be nice to have some sort of notification to let you know what mode you’re in, etc. Aside from that, there really isn’t much more you could need (or ask for).
Genuine Leather Charging/Carrying Case
The portable charging case also doubles as a super-compact carrying case. It’s made of genuine leather (which smells great, by the way) and has a short woven fabric strap attached to one end. You can use the strap to hang them on a hook or wrap it around the case to keep your ‘buds nice and secure.
How do you charge them? Instead of plugging the charging cable into the earphones themselves, you’ll first place both earpieces in the case. There are 2 separate slots inside the case – one for the left, and another for the right earpiece. Both slots have magnets (under the polymer plastic) where each earpiece will sit.
After you place both earpieces in the magnetic slot, an LED indicator will flash orange. When you see the orange light, that means they’re charging. Once they’re fully charged, the LED will turn green. To conserve battery life (when the case isn’t plugged in), the light will completely shut off.
Since neither earpiece has a micro USB slot, you will instead plug the included micro USB to USB cable directly into the case. Keep in mind, that if you want to utilize the 2 extra charges – you’ll probably want to make sure it has enough juice before you leave the house. How long does their battery usually last on a single charge?
How Long Does The Battery Last?
In most cases, you can expect to get about 3.5 – 4.25 hours per charge. While that’s true in most cases, the amount of life you can expect will depend on a few different factors:
- Whether or not you activate the Transparency Mode feature
- How loud you like to enjoy your music
Listening to higher volumes for extended periods of time does tend to drain the battery faster than listening at 50% volume for the same amount of time. Once you’ve run out of battery life on a single charge, you can fully recharge them twice using the portable charging case. (That’s why they’re advertised as lasting up to 12 hours.)
Although you will usually get closer to around 4 hours on a single charge – the 2 additional charges on top of that, making for a grand total of up to 12 full hours. Much like many other wireless earbuds, they also have a quick charge feature. After you let them charge for only 15 minutes, you can keep listening for another full hour.
Are They Practical For All Day Listening?
If you plan on taking them with you for all-day listening, we also highly recommend bringing the case along. It’s important to keep in mind that when they die unexpectedly, you can’t just plug them into your laptop or PC. The second reason is that the case is also meant to provide safe storage (which it does).
Now that you know what to expect in terms of battery life, you’re probably wondering what the Transparency Mode actually does. Keep reading the section below to see why you might want to use it (and where it will come in handy)!
Transparency Mode & Call Clarity
What is Transparency Mode? In a nutshell, it’s a feature that allows you to instantly lower the volume of your music and become aware of your surroundings. Both earpieces have built-in external microphones that can detect the level of noise around you.
Right after you tap the left touchpad once, the microphones activate, allowing ambient noise to ‘leak in’. It operates in a way that’s very similar to the Ambient Aware feature on the Sony WH1000XM2 over-ear headphones. One of the main differences being that you can choose from 3 different levels of ambient noise to allow inside.
Choose From 3 Different Levels Of Ambient Noise
The most basic level will completely lower the volume of your music (while still playing in the background on mute). The second option will decrease the volume by 50%. The third and final option lowers the volume down to about 25%.
The only drawback to this feature is that you can’t cycle between the different levels of Transparency Mode directly from the left earpiece. To access all 3 levels, you will have to open the Beoplay app and select the mode you want.
Why would you want to allow any ambient noise at all? Well, let’s say you want to order a cup of coffee, but don’t want to remove both earpieces. Instead of having to take one (or both) earpieces out, you can simply reach up and tap the left earpiece. Once you’re done placing your order, you can tap it again and continue listening.
Transparency Mode is especially convenient if you’re using the comply tips since they take more time and effort to place in your ears. (Plus, you won’t have to risk getting any earwax on your fingers before you hand your card over to the cashier.) If the microphones are effective for allowing ambient noise, are they just as practical for taking calls?
Call Clarity – Too Much Background Noise?
As is the case with most built-in headphone mics, your friend on the other end will usually hear some of your surroundings during phone calls. Although the call clarity is definitely above-average, the mic isn’t absolutely perfect and tends to pick up some minor background noise.
This is another perfect situation where you may want to activate Transparency Mode. Activating the basic level (allowing all ambient noise) is especially helpful when you’re wearing both earpieces. Why? Well, for one, you won’t find yourself yelling because you’re not aware of how loud you’re actually speaking.
Two, it won’t look like you’re yelling at the air for no reason. Most people who walk by won’t question your sanity when they notice you’re wearing earphones. Using the feature during phone calls basically replicates exactly what you’d hear if you were using your phone the old fashioned way (physically holding it up to your ear).
Overall, the microphone performs almost exactly as you’d expect. We’ve already mentioned the memory foam ear tips once or twice, but you probably want a more in-depth explanation! Are the included ear tips comfortable? Do they stay securely in place?
Comfort & Passive Noise Isolation
As you were scrolling past the tech specs at the top of the page, you may have noticed that these include 5 different ear tip sizes. When you unbox the earphones, they will have a pair of medium silicone tips in place. You’ll also receive an XS, S, M, and L set in addition to those.
If you prefer using memory foam tips, you can use the included medium-sized Comply Sport Pro tips. If you’ve never used memory foam tips before, many people prefer them over silicone since they’re able to form a tighter seal.
Do You Need A Tighter Seal?
To achieve a tighter seal, all you have to do is pinch and hold the memory foam with your thumb and index finger until they compress. Before they snap back into shape, put them in your ear. Your natural body heat will then cause them to expand and form to your specific ear shape.
Regardless of the ear tips, you decide to use, you’ll notice that they are much more discreet than other similar ‘buds. The outside of the earpiece housings don’t stick out very far at all when you’re wearing them. Once you find the right size for your ears, they should sit very securely in place.
They’re able to provide a firm and secure fit without the need for wingtips (which is another great feature if you plan on wearing them for active use). If you shake your head from side to side or up and down, they shouldn’t move around or fall out of place. Usually, a tight and secure fit also means better passive noise isolation. Can we say the same about these?
Can Their Passive Noise Isolation Compete?
Although these do not have an active noise cancellation feature, you might be surprised at how much noise they naturally block out. Virtually all outside noise is eliminated – even in noisier environments, like a busy coffee shop or crowded street corner.
This is especially true if you use the memory foam tips since they tend to form a much tighter seal. They’re able to block enough ambient noise that you don’t really need an active noise cancellation feature. (Plus, if they had ANC, you would have to accept a dramatic decrease in battery life.)
We have one last feature to cover before we go over their sonic performance in detail. Before we get to that, you’ll want to take a look at their Bluetooth capabilities and reliability!
Bluetooth Range & NFMI
For the most part, the Bluetooth 4.2 connection is very steady and reliable. This is partially due to their built-in NFMI (near field magnetic induction) technology – which is often used for improving the performance of wireless hearing aids.
Although you may experience the occasional signal drop-out from time to time, it rarely becomes a major issue. Keep in mind that these occasional drop-outs occur far less often than most other truly wireless earbuds. What should you do if the Bluetooth connection is disrupted?
Solutions For Possible Bluetooth Issues
If you do run into this slight issue, the solution is fairly simple. In order to get them up and running again, all you have to do is un-pair, then re-pair them with your device. Despite this minor connectivity issue, they have an impressive Bluetooth transmission range.
You can usually wander about 40-61 feet away from your paired device until you start hearing static or completely losing the signal. The signal tends to remain fully-intact at distances of around 60 feet (even with multiple walls between you and your paired device). Overall, Bluetooth 4.2 does its job pretty well for both outdoor and indoor listening.
NFMI & Audio Quality – Better or Worse?
The NFMI not only improves the wireless signal strength but also plays a major role in terms of audio quality. While these ‘buds do not specifically support LDAC or SBC streaming, they still manage to produce high-quality playback. For example, you shouldn’t experience any major latency (if any at all) when you’re streaming videos on Netflix or YouTube.
This leads us right into what you may consider being the most important performance aspect. How do they sound?
Sonic Performance – How Do They Sound?
Even if your headphones look awesome, have a ton of great features, and comfortable design – it doesn’t mean much unless their sonic performance is also up to par. Does the Bluetooth 4.2 and NFMI follow through on their promise to deliver high-quality audio that justifies the price tag?
Read our detailed take below to see how your music will sound across a wide range of genres!
Bass Response – Overblown or Smooth?
Frequencies in the low end have much more depth than you might expect. The bass response is fairly accurate and smooth. There isn’t any obvious emphasis that causes the bass to bleed into the upper frequencies.
Extension and clarity are two words that come to mind when listening to most of the tracks we recommend for testing your headphones. Can we say the same about the mid-range?
Mid Range – At The Background, or Forefront?
One of the first qualities you’ll notice in the mid-range is the fairly obvious vocal emphasis. The distinct instrument separation is also worth noting -, especially in the upper mid-range. Overall, they produce a very clear and natural vocal presentation that isn’t overly bright or aggressive.
Treble – Too Much Clutter?
Unlike the mid-range, highs have a somewhat airy quality. Although they are fairly light and balanced, they don’t exactly compete with the treble response produced by the Etymotic Research ER4XR.
Despite the clean separation in the mid-range, you will probably notice that the treble can become slightly cluttered on heavily-produced and/or aggressive tracks. That being said, the highs never become harsh or grainy. In the upper range, a noticeably less-detailed response is their main weakness.
ToneTouch App – Manually Adjusting The Sound Profile
Keep in mind that you can also use the EQ settings within the ToneTouch app to adjust any level you aren’t completely satisfied with. Although this depends on your personal preference, many people find that they sound better without adjusting the EQ.
Also, if you’re using the silicone tips and find yourself wanting more depth and clarity – we recommend you try changing the ear tips first. If that doesn’t help, then it might be a good idea to try messing around with the EQ. Overall, most people find that they almost always sound significantly better when they use memory foam ear tips.
Aside from the somewhat cluttered treble (on certain tracks), you can count on enjoying a fairly clear, balanced, and detailed sound profile. Now that we’ve covered everything from their build quality to their sonic performance, you’ll probably find it helpful to see one final recap!
Are They The Right Fit For You?
Here’s a quick question that might help you make your decision – what features do you value most? If you made it this far, you definitely value a solid wireless performance. Is a 3 – 4-hour battery life enough for your listening needs? Would you trade features like Transparency Mode for extended battery life?
All things considered, these are an extremely well-rounded pair of truly wireless earphones. The fact that they also have water and sweat-resistant build design, makes them much more versatile than many other similar models. Their comfortable wearing design and 3-hour battery life are also more than enough for most workouts.
The feature-packed touchpad control system is very easy to use and their clean sound profile is more than adequate for most everyday listening. These would be a great option as long as you don’t mind the somewhat limited battery life or minor issues with latency while streaming videos.
If you’re still on the fence and aren’t quite sure whether or not these will fulfil your needs – we suggest you take a look at the review table below. There, you will see the main pros/cons as well as how we calculated their final rating out of 10.
Now that you’ve read our entire Beoplay E8 review, what do you think? Should you add these to your personal audio collection? Do they deserve to be called the best truly wireless earphones?
If you’d like to see more information before you decide, click the link below!
Let us know what you think by leaving a question or comment below! We always do our best to respond as quickly as we can! Thanks for stopping by to take a look at our review, we look forward to hearing from you!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.