Review: Beoplay E8 Sport Earbuds – Persistence Pays Off
I’ve had the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport earbuds for a few weeks now and like a recalcitrant animal or co-worker, sometimes the frustrations and persistence do pay off.
When they arrived, they reminded me of the original B&O Beosound 3200 CD player / Tuner from the 90s with its magic glass doors that opened when you waved your hand in front of them. They seldom did, and I recall that the glass doors would easily come off their tracks rendering the unit utterly buggered.
True to form Beoplay E8 Sport were difficult to pair, uncomfortable, and the Bluetooth connection was interrupted when I turned on the LED lights at my desk for every Zoom meeting. Not a great start…
Earbuds are probably my most reviewed item here at SonnyDickson.com so I’ve become quite adept at each manufacture’s idiosyncracies.
The more premium brands usually have a companion app that allows the customisation of various functions and updates of the firmware. Thankfully Bang & Olufsen have invested wisely in their app.
The Bang & Olufsen app connects quickly to the Beoplay E8 Sport earbuds and unlocks a host of very useful options.
The first action was to update the firmware to the latest version that fixed the Bluetooth drop-out issue which was strange as the E8 Sport are Bluetooth 5.1 compatible.
The second feature that I discovered were the Listening Modes. Tap each Mode in the B&O app and the audio changes instantly in your ears. A tip here is to get one of your favourite songs playing so you can sample the changes in real-time. Tapping the Mode button that looks like the Death Star from Star Wars, opens the custom sound Mode where you can move the small circle around the four-axis to find your perfect sound profile. Tap Save, give it a name, and you have your personal Listening Mode.
Whilst not strictly speaking classed as Noise Cancelling earbuds the Beoplay E8 Sport do have passive noise-cancelling thanks to Qualcomm aptX adaptive audio. Dust and water resistance is also impressive with an IP57 rating.
Now that I had a more reliable connection, and my perfect Listing Mode, the Beoplay E8 Sport earbuds were transformed! A quick change of the silicone tips and earfins to fit my ears more comfortably, and the E8 Sport were my new best friend. Bulbs by Van Morrison has never sounded better.
A quick double-tap of the right bud and we’re on to the next track. The touch sensitivity of the Beoplay E8 Sport earbuds is very good and the occasional brush or glance doesn’t ruin your vibe.
Walking with the dog and endless Zoom and telephone calls – all taken in stride by the Beoplay E8 Sport. My impatience aside, taking the time to get the right fit made all the difference.
The charging case for the Beoplay E8 Sport earbuds reminds me of the Willis Building in the UK when viewed from ground level.
A 450mAh battery in the case (that can be wirelessly charged) gives you the confidence of multi-day power. As little as 20mins on charge will give you up to 90mins listening time.
Each of the earbuds has a 60mAh battery so that all adds up to ~30 hours of sound. The E8 Sport also comes with a USB to USB-C cable.
I’ve also discovered that the lid of the charging case has a very strong magnet in it, so the case can be stored somewhere handy when needed.
Conclusion & Pricing
The conclusion (or lesson in my case) is that living with, and getting an understanding of, the strengths of the Beoplay E8 Sport paid dividends when on a cold, rainy, and deserted Sunday morning walk, your music is crystal clear with the knowledge that your earbuds can take the punishment for as long as you can dish it out.
Yes, these are premium earbuds that for the ~$500 price tag had better deliver quality sound for years to come – I certainly hope so.
The Beosound 3200 didn’t play CDs better than any other CD-Player at the time and the Beoplay E8 Sport earbuds don’t necessarily do anything better than any other high-end earbuds, but like the Beosound 3200, they do the simple things a lot better than a lot of other high-end earbuds. That’s the Bang & Olufsen way.