Love the noise-cancelling properties of the AirPods Pro, but hate the minimalist design? The latest wireless earbuds from Danish audio brand Bang & Olufsen might be right up your street.
The Beoplay EX are a pair of noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds, and the first from Bang & Olufsen to feature protruding stems – like the AirPods range of in-ear headphones.
That's where the design similarities between the AirPods Pro and the Beoplay EX end, though. True to form, Bang & Olufsen has given its new wireless earbuds a luxurious finish, with heaps of Scandinavian style that'll set them apart from other in-ear headphones on the market.
Made from aluminum and tempered glass, and coming in a range of fashionable colors, the Beoplay EX certainly look like a premium pair of true wireless earbuds – and unfortunately, they come with a price tag to match.
Available from the beginning of May, the new earbuds will set you back $399 / £349 (about AU$530). That's considerably more expensive than the AirPods Pro, which cost $249 / £249 / AU$399.
So, what are you actually getting for your money? Well, according to Bang & Olufsen, you're getting the brand's "most versatile true wireless ANC earphones to date".
ANC that adapts to your surroundings
The Beoplay EX come with adaptive active noise cancellation, which the company says will allow the user to appreciate the "depth, detail, and clarity of sound" for a "truly immersive audio experience".
The earbuds monitor ambient sound and automatically adjust the level of noise cancellation to cut it out, while a 'Transparency' mode allows you to hear the sound of your environment.
According to Bang & Olufsen, the new design of the noise-cancelling earbuds allowed the space for 9.2mm drivers – its biggest so far. This apparently has resulted in a significant upgrade in terms of audio power compared to the brand's previous in-ear headphones, such as the Beoplay EQ and the Beoplay E8 Sport.
In terms of battery life, you're looking at six hours from the buds themselves (eight, if you have ANC turned off) and a further 14 hours from the wireless charging case. That on-board battery life is pretty impressive, but we'd have liked to see more playback time from the charging case – especially at this price.
Still, the Beoplay EX do come with some quality-of-life features that could justify their cost. An IP57 dust- and water-resistance rating means they should be very robust, while Bluetooth 5.2 should ensure seamless connectivity and pairing.
You also get aptX Adaptive support, so you should be able to enjoy hi-res audio files, and multipoint pairing means you'll be able to switch between different devices very quickly.
Whether that – combined with the sleek design – is enough to convince you to part ways with $399 / £349 is a matter of personal taste. For us, it all comes down to the audio performance – and we can't wait to try these stylish earbuds for ourselves to see if they sound as good as they look.