Here at the MajorHifi review clubhouse, as I sink into a leather Chesterfield with a snifter of cognac and my test tracks, my eyes fall on the BeoPlay Earset. Retailing for an ample $299, this new wireless headphone features a unique design. But does the sound warrant such a blow to your wallet? MajorHifi investigates.
BeoPlay Earset Review
The Earset comes in a characteristic Bang & Olufson box, with a USB-C charging cable and some felt eartip covers.
Design-wise, this headphone utilizes a bud-type design like Apple’s overpriced rubbish. The Earset also borrows from Beats, using a similar design to hook over the top of the ear.
Once properly positioned, the fit is decent – never uncomfortable, but perhaps still a little at-odds with my giant ears.
Perhaps the biggest upside (or downside, depending on how you look at it) to the Earset is the lack of isolation. I get decent volume on these earphones and blast my Gwen Stefani FLAC files while hearing every word of my coworkers’ jeers. I imagine these would be equally good for exercise nuts who live in an urban setting; not only will you hear the car honk before it hits you, but you’ll also be able to hear the distressed cam shaft as the car drives over you.
On a positive note, battery life is a modest 4-5 hours after a 2 hour charge time. And while I won’t be writing the B&O folks any love letters over this, it’s still a solid improvement over the E8’s battery life.
Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 32 ohm
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 105 dB
The specs from B&O reveal a fairly standard frequency range. Equally standard is the low nominal impedance of 32 ohms – perfect for use with cell phones or tablets. Meanwhile, sound pressure level might be just a tad bit louder than normal, allowing users to easily achieve adequate volume under most circumstances.
The low end on the earset sounds vibrant and energetic with a smattering of detail. Still, the overall impression here could be less muddy. Bass sports decent impact but never appears too overblown or out of control.
In the midrange, the Earset offers a more detailed listening experience. More accurate than I expected, these mids deliver a clean sound marked by a strong sense of fidelity.
Highs on the Earset seem somewhat bright but with strong detail nonetheless. Very minor details may be missing from the sound here, but The listening experience remains entertaining.
The Earset offers a real sense of depth, but impressions of placement come across as poor. Most instruments or vocals seem to occupy similar spaces, resulting in a cramped and narrow soundstage.
Fit will make or break the BeoPlay Earset for most folks. While not conpletely unbearable, the fit never really seems comfortable with my gigantic Dumbo ears.
Lack of isolation will prove similarly divisive. While this aspect may constitute a godsend for urban folks in need of a workout earphone, it still isn’t the headphone to take on your morning commute.
Battery life is a love-hate affair. I love that it improves on the 3-4 hours you get with the E8, but I hate that the improvement is an uninspiring 1-2 hour increase. Come on, B&O, get yourselves together.
If you’re a fan of Bang and Olufson and want that signature sound, you’re going to love the Earset. As an all-purpose earbud-type listening setup where isolation isn’t key, this baby really shines.
Those in dire need of better isolation would do better to consider the similarly-priced B&O E8. This model may also prove more forgiving in terms of fit, but at the expense of being easier to fall out.
Despite an odd fit and a lack of soundstage, the BeoPlay Earset delivers solid sound quality for a fair price of $299. While this niche offering won’t be razzing everyone’s berries, it’s still a pretty sweet deal.
Get it for the best price here: