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Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ earbuds review: Are these pricey high-end earbuds worth it?

By Kenny Yeo - 12 Feb 2022
Launch SRP: S$629

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ earbuds review: Are these pricey high-end earbuds worth it?

Note: This review was first published on 28 January 2022.

The Beoplay EQ is Bang & Olufsen's first entry in the true wireless earbuds space.

The immense popularity of true wireless earbuds means even traditional hi-fi brands like Bang & Olufsen can ill afford to sit out. This is why we have the Beoplay EQ, the brand’s first-ever true wireless earbuds.

Bang & Olufsen are reaching for the stars with the Beoplay EQ. Packed with loads of must-have features, this is a flagship-class true wireless earbud through and through. But to start, we must commend the build quality. The buds have “space craft grade” polymer chassis and anodised aluminium touch panels. The charging case is also aluminium and the ear tips are soft silicone. It looks and feels a step up from your typical all-plastic earbuds. It comes in several colours: Black, Sand, Indigo/UItramarine, and Nordic Ice. The latter two are limited edition colourways.

Comfort is good, I can wear the Beoplay EQ for hours without feeling any strain in my ears. However, they don’t get as deep as I’d like. Consequently, it feels like they are perched precariously in my ears. It isn’t a problem for the most part but they can fall out if I’m working out, which you can do with these earbuds because they have IP54 water and dust resistance rating.

Unlike its rivals which mostly have plastic charging cases, the Beoplay EQ's charging case is all aluminium.

Like most earbuds, the Beoplay EQ has touch controls. And like most of them, their effectiveness can be iffy. I suppose with sufficient practice you’ll improve your hit rate. And thankfully, the controls are quite intuitive and easy to learn. You can control playback, adjust volume, and switch between ANC and transparency modes with the touch controls.

As is the case with all earbuds, the potency of its ANC function is, in a large part, determined by how good a fit you can achieve. And in the case of the Beoplay EQ, since I can’t get a super tight fit, I found its ANC ability to be average. If noise-cancelling is a priority of you, the Sony WF-1000XM4 reigns supreme. Still, at its maximum setting, the Beoplay EQ cancels out a good deal of noise. But it doesn't cope well with wind noise and higher frequency sounds. The transparency mode is just as average. It sounds artificial and digitised, and some sections of the frequency spectrum are unnaturally emphasised.

The charging case charges via USB-C and supports wireless charging.

With ANC turned on, Bang & Olufsen says you can get up to 6.5 hours on a single charge. That’s decent and I had no problems lasting a full day with on and off listening. And with the charging case, you can get up to 20 hours total, which should suffice unless you are making a trip across the Pacific. The aluminium charging case must be praised for its compact dimensions, and its soft open and close action. It supports wireless charging and wired charging via USB-C.

The Bang & Olufsen app is fairly simple in comparison to some of its rivals. It only lets owners customise some aspects of the earbuds. For example, you can adjust the level of the ANC and transparency mode, and the sound signature of the earbuds, and that’s about it. Sadly, there’s no option to customise the touch controls of the earbuds. 

The app is basic but it has a rather good EQ function that lets owners tweak the earbuds' sound signature.

The Beoplay EQ has 6.8mm dynamic drivers, which sounds small in comparison to some of its competitors which have 9mm or even 11mm drivers. But really, how big do you need the drivers to be when they are sitting in your ears? At any rate, sound quality is a bright spot for the Beoplay EQ. Treble quality is excellent. It’s airy, clear, and bright, but it's never shouty or sibilant. Mids sound full-bodied. The Beoplay EQ makes pianos sound natural and lively, and vocals very intimate.

Bass is perhaps my only complaint and I suspect it’s partly because I can’t get a tight seal. As a result, these earbuds sound as if they can’t hit the lowest notes. Still, the overall bass performance is strong and clean, which really lets its mids and treble shine. Sound stage, imaging, and instrument separation are also first class. Fortunately, the Beoplay EQ also responds to EQ well, so you can use the app to turn the bass up if you prefer a warmer and more fun tone.

The Beoplay EQ are pricey earbuds, but they sound good and look good.

The Beoplay EQ is a remarkable first-time effort from Bang & Olufsen. Build quality is irreproachable and the acoustics are first-rate. The feature set is decent too. The main stumbling block is its price. With prices starting at S$629, it’s easily one of the priciest earbuds in the market – double or more than some of its rivals. This makes it hard to recommend especially when there’s no shortage of substantially more affordable options that are as good as it is, if not better. 

 

You can find the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ on the B&O Flagship Store on Lazada.

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7.5
  • Design 8
  • Performance 8
  • Features 8
  • Value 6.5
The Good
First-rate build quality
Excellent sound quality
Clear, airy treble
Responds well to EQ
Decent battery life
IP54 dust and water resistance
The Bad
Fit was an issue
Lacking sub-bass
ANC & transparency modes are average
App is quite basic
Pricey
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