You may customise the sound although the B&O companion app, although. You may select one among 5 audio presets: Optimum (default), Commute, Clear, Exercise and Podcast. To me the Optimum preset sounded greatest. The distinction between most presets is refined, however you may undoubtedly inform a distinction. The most important change is between Optimum and Podcast, which is to be anticipated.
There’s additionally an EQ circle you could slide round to customise issues past the presets. It is a extra approachable graphic than the normal EQ curve extra skilled customers may desire. Phrases like shiny, relaxed, energetic and heat are used to explain the areas of the circle. Nevertheless, when you begin shifting round, the app will inform you the place bass and treble ranges reside. That Optimum preset is lifeless middle, but when you choose one of many different presets, you may see the place the tuning began as you progress across the circle. B&O does not go as deep into EQ customization because the apps from Sony, Sennheiser and some others, however no less than it is right here.
Contained in the app you can even crank up the ambient sound mode or allow automated standby. That latter characteristic will robotically put the earbuds in standby mode when there isn’t any lively audio supply for 15 minutes. It is not a groundbreaking characteristic, however it’s nonetheless good to have if you wish to get as a lot out of your battery as potential.
What you will not discover on the E8 Three.zero is lively noise cancellation (ANC). No, it is nonetheless not a common characteristic, even on the dear premium true wi-fi choices — however for $350, you anticipate these earbuds to be absolutely loaded. B&O does supply a helpful ambient sound mode, however it does not really counter any undesirable noise. You are left with passive noise isolation right here, which may very well be a dealbreaker for some, particularly at this worth. The E8 additionally does not robotically pause if you take away them out of your ears. Whereas I perceive the need to not affect sound high quality with ANC, automated pausing is a fundamental and near-universal characteristic that ought to completely be on a set of $350 earbuds.
One factor I’ve all the time preferred about B&O headphones is their crystal clear audio. You may hear refined particulars that do not come by means of on a few of the competitors. That is true of the corporate’s on- and over-ear headphones, and it is true of the third-generation E8. There’s snap and rattle to the snare, and depth to the kick that create a extra open audio profile the place some earbuds can fall flat. That is very true of hip-hop tracks with a full band or extra elaborate instrumentation — acts like Anderson .Paak or KAYTRANADA.
The tuning on the newest model is way from good. I’ve all the time most popular extra bass than B&O usually delivers on its headphones, and that is true right here. Nevertheless, with the app, it is easy to spice up the low-end with a few swipes. I did not make an enormous change, however a small adjustment from the default Optimum setting and I used to be good to go. The E8 held up nicely throughout a variety of genres — from hip-hop to bluegrass, and metallic to synth-heavy digital tunes.
B&O additionally added two further microphones bringing the full to 4. Throughout name checks with each the second- and third-generation E8, the particular person on the opposite finish mentioned I sounded higher with this new mannequin. After all, even one of the best true wi-fi earbuds will nonetheless make you sound such as you’re on speakerphone to a level, however you do need them to scale back background noise as a lot as potential. Some try this higher than others, and with the third-generation E8, my colleague mentioned the audio high quality was considerably clearer and louder than that of the earlier mannequin.
Bang & Olufsen says you may anticipate seven hours of battery life on the earbuds themselves, with 4 further prices within the included case. That is up from 4 hours on the E8 2.zero, so it is practically double. 35 hours of whole listening time is fairly unimaginable for a real wi-fi product, even when what the buds can maintain is barely lower than some others. The competitors is inching in direction of 10 hours on a cost, with some already exceeding that mark — like Audio-Technica’s ATH-CKS5TW. I used to be in a position to handle seven hours constantly even at excessive volumes, which B&O says may affect its said figures. Plus, in case you’re solely utilizing these 2-Three hours a day and docking them within the case, you may most likely handle a pair weeks of use earlier than you may must cost all the set.
In terms of “premium” true wi-fi earbuds, B&O’s predominant competitors is the likes of Sennheiser and Grasp & Dynamic. Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wi-fi began at $300, however now that they are over a 12 months previous, yow will discover them on sale for round $200. They sound nice, however the contact controls make them irritating to make use of. Grasp & Dynamic is now on the second spherical of its true wi-fi earbuds. With the MW07 Plus, the corporate addressed loads of the considerations we had with the unique mannequin, particularly on the subject of battery life. Nonetheless, the MW07 Plus is $299, and even with ANC on board, there are higher choices out there for much less. Sony’s feature-packed WF-1000XM3 remains to be tops for me, and you will get it for beneath $200 constantly nowadays.
For its third-generation E8, Bang & Olufsen did not have a lot that wanted altering. The corporate made the earbuds smaller and elevated battery life whereas protecting dependable contact controls and wi-fi charging intact. Plus, the E8 nonetheless appears to be like higher than loads of the competitors, particularly if you issue within the fancy leather-based charging case. Nevertheless, the shortage of lively noise cancellation and automated pausing make this a tricky promote at $350. You are all the time going to pay a premium for B&O gear, however the firm may’ve carried out extra to justify the worth by together with a couple of anticipated options. As an alternative, we’re left repeating the chorus: these are good true wi-fi earbuds, however when there are compelling choices for nicely beneath $300, these are simply out of attain for most individuals.