Danish audio powerhouse Bang & Olufsen has announced a new pair of noise-cancelling earbuds – and they’re as premium as they come.
The Beoplay EQ are the brand’s first true wireless ANC (active noise cancelling) earphones, designed to maintain their supreme sound quality in the busiest of environments.
They’ll boast up to 20 hours of total playtime (6.5 hours with ANC turned on), and benefit from B&O’s fast charge technology, which can provide two hours of extra playtime from a 20-minute charge.
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Perhaps the biggest feature for which B&O’s latest earbuds stand out from the crowd, though, is their price. At launch on August 19, the Beoplay EQ will cost $399 / £349 (around AU$500). Let that sink in for a moment.
B&O products have always been pricey. In many ways, the Danish brand has built a reputation for wallet-damaging speakers and earphones in the name of forging its luxury identity. But at that price, the Beoplay EQ are more expensive than even some models on our list of the best noise-cancelling headphones.
As for its category rivals, the prices of those aforementioned Bose and Apple earbuds – which themselves were criticised at launch for being too expensive – are altogether dwarfed by the figure commanded by the Beoplay EQ. The AirPods Pro, for instance, come in at $150 / £100 cheaper than B&O’s latest earbuds.
They’re easy on the eyes, mind, available in Black Anthracite (black) and Sand (gold) colorways, but we’ll have to wait until we get our hands (or ears) on them before declaring whether their performance justifies the price tag.
Analysis: Bang for your buck?
As mentioned, B&O has made a name for itself by producing high-grade products that are as much about aesthetics as they are sound quality – and that’s always reflected in the price of their products.
Take the brand’s Beovision Contour OLED TV, for instance, which retails for $5,999 / £5,150 (around AU$8,250) but is undeniably beautiful. Or the Beosound Emerge wireless speaker, which boasts a $899 / £699 (about AU$1,150) price tag but is one of the coolest-looking models we’ve ever seen.
The point being, B&O products often justify their expense given the novelty of their design – but right now, it’s difficult to tell what the Beoplay EQ will offer that other earbuds on the market don’t already offer for less.
Still, it’s a business model that has worked for B&O for almost 100 years, so we reckon these latest earbuds will go down just as well as the rest of the brand’s luxury lineup.
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