#Note: Find full B&O review list at the bottom.
B&O currently has only 3 products for earbuds: Beoplay EX, EQ and E8 Sport.
In my book, the only valid reason to get an E8 Sport over the EQ or the EX can only be its slightly lower price tag (still not a great reason...). Because, the E8 takes longer to charge fully, offers lower sound quality, doesn't come with active noise cancellation (the real deal breaker for me), and offers the worst connectivity of all.
EQ is currently 25% off on bang-olufsen.com. Use code BEOPLAYEQ25 at checkout.
By the way...
Before you attempt to make ANY purchase... 100% check out the EX vs EQ vs E8 Sport page on Bang & Olufsen's very own site. It's very informative.
- If you're looking for B&O headphones, check out my write up on HX vs H95. The only two casual headphones B&O currently offers.
Let's move on.
Design and Comfort
EX is the only product in this line up equipped with glass. In looks department, it beats EQ and E8 according to most people.
Larger buds reminded me of Apple's AirPods. The colors, especially the anthracite oxygen color, is appealing to many people, including myself.
EX is also the most waterproof pick of all these three. Something to consider for those who are living in a damp area.
The Beoplay EQ comes in sleek, minimalistic black that leaves no doubts about the demographic it caters to. The posh, professional type who take their gadgets seriously.
The buds are ergonomically shaped. They're sweat-resistant and include ear tips in multiple sizes. That way, you can choose and adjust the right fit for you. A touch interface on the bud itself allows easy access to controls.
The charging case (also aluminum) comes with a rubber-coated base optimized for wireless charging. The materials are a mix of anodized spacecraft-grade aluminum, polymer, and silicone.
The Beoplay E8 Sport is very similar in its build and design. In fact, the only difference you’d probably notice between the two at first glance is that the case comes in a leather finish, in contrast to the EQ’s slick metal finish. They come with multiple ear tips for optimized fit as well.
The materials are a mix of leather, aluminum, polymer, and silicon.
Both earbuds are dust and splash-resistant. And include 4 pairs of silicone tips (XS, S, M, L) from the COMPLY™ Isolation ear tips series 200.
This is where the subtler differences between the siblings make themselves a little more apparent. Let’s have a look:
EX comes with a 9.2 mm diameter sound driver, which is larger than EQ (6.8 mm) and much larger than E8 (5.7 mm).
Larger driver does not only mean more power but also more quality sound.
All three come with the identical sensitivity of 107dB ±3dB
This is identical on all three as well: 20 – 20,000 Hz. If that’s too much jargon for you, what it means is that you get a broad and rich sound in a tiny, compact-sized audio tool.
Customizable Sound EQ
One of the coolest features all three these earbuds come with are the preset EQs they come with.
These are available and customizable via an App Bang & Olufsen gives you. So you can adjust bass, mids, and treble according to your preferences.
One of the key features with earbuds you want to factor in is connectivity. This is the tech you want to integrate into your lifestyle.
So the seamlessness with which they combine with your gadgets, the hands-free convenience, and the functionality you gain is vital.
E8 is the worst among the 3 in this regard:
- Microphones: The EQ and EX has 6 MEMS, whereas the E8 has 4. So your voice will have lower quality on the latter during calls.
- Bluetooth: The E8 comes with Bluetooth 5.1. The EQ and EX come with 5.2. So the latter gives you a little improvement in this department.
- Inputs and outputs: The E8 includes a 1.25 m USB-A to USB-C cable. And the Beoplay EQ and EX have a 0.50 m USB-A to USB-C cable.
Small Caveat: While the features here look pretty impressive on paper, there have been gripes on some online forums that the connection to gadgets can be tricky at times.
While it’s difficult to make a blanket statement on this, it is safe to say that these would probably have to do with gadget-specific compatibility issues and don’t necessarily undermine the quality of the earbuds.
Also, do check out the Beoplay EX, EQ and E8 comparison chart.
At the time of this article, The EQ and EX are priced at 399 USD and the E8 at 350 USD.
In conclusion, this is how the Beoplay EX, EQ and E8 stack up against each other:
- Design and Comfort: EX = EQ > E8
- Sound: EX > EQ > E8
- Connectivity: Tie.
- Battery (life & charging): EX = EQ > E8
- Price: E8 > EQ > EX