We’re big fans of Optoma’s NuForce line of wireless earbuds for good reason: they offer a lot for the money. For example, the offer drivers milled out of aluminum and the are one of the best wireless workout headphones you can buy.
To challenge itself, Optoma set out to create a pair of budget wireless headphones that take the best parts of its existing headphones. And for the most part, it succeeded with the budget Optoma NuForce BE2 headphones.
For $50 (approximately £39, AU$63), you get a pair of wireless headphones that sound great, offer incredible noise isolation, and a solid 10 hours of battery life. Optoma did have to cut some corners to get the BE2 to drive costs down but we think the compromises make sense, making the BE2 an excellent choice for shoppers on a tight budget.
The design of the Optoma NuForce BE2 follow the same trends of its more expensive siblings. The BE2 feature the same angled drivers, flat ribbon cable, and water-resistant remote control. As for colors, the Optoma NuForce BE2 come in either white or black.
Where the BE2 deviates is the inclusion of a cable cinch that sits behind the neck when worn. This cinch allows you to snug up the headphones to the back of your head to keep the from flopping around when you’re working out.
Speaking of working out, fitness buffs will be happy to know that the BE2 are IPX5 rated, which means they’re water and sweat-resistant. You won’t want to dunk these headphones in water but they’ll survive being in the rain.
While the build quality of the BE2 is very good for an all plastic and rubber headphone, you’re missing out on the aluminum build of the more expensive NuForce BE6i and BE Sport 3. However, the plastics are high quality and the drivers still feature magnets that keep the headphones together when worn around your neck.
Included in the box is a variety of eartips, including the double flange ones you see in the photos. I found the double flange eartips to be excellent at keeping out noise. In fact, the Optoma NuForce BE2 blocked out noise better than any active noise cancelling headphones we’ve tested.
We expected Optoma to compromise sound quality to get to this aggressive price point but we were pleasantly surprised to find that the BE2 sound nearly identical to the excellent-sounding BE Sport 3.
This means you get a nice balanced presentation with a slight mid-bass bump. While bass lovers won’t be satisfied with the BE2’s relatively flat sound signature, it means the BE2 sounds excellent with most music genres.
Everything considered, soundstage is average for an in-ear design, which means you won’t get a good sense of space that more expensive headphones like the 1MORE Quad Drivers offer – but it’s not a deal breaker by any means.
While we were impressed overall with the sound quality of the Optoma NuForce BE2, the review unit we had exhibited some static from time to time. We couldn’t reliably reproduce the static and it happened infrequently enough that we believe it was a model defect and not indicative of the whole series.
Battery life is good, offering around 10 hours of playback time, which is close to what we experienced with the BE Sport 3. This means you’ll want to charge the BE2 in the middle of the week if you plan on using them on your commute, but won't necessarily have to charge them after each use.
Optoma did an excellent job creating such a great wireless headphone for $50 (approximately £39, AU$63). Throughout our testing, we never once felt that the NuForce BE2 was offering a sub-par experience compared to its more expensive siblings.
Sure, plunking down a bit less for the BE2 means you won’t get the metal build, multipoint Bluetooth connection, or as many accessories as you do with the or . But, for most people, the Optoma NuForce BE2 are simply an excellent pair of headphones for the money.
Compared to the , which is four times as expensive, the Optoma NuForce BE2 offers over twice the battery life and much better sound quality. The sound great but feel cheap and are more expensive. For the price, it’s hard to beat the Optoma NuForce BE2.
- Want some other options? Here's our guide to the best in-ear headphones