Reviewed on Jun 22, 2018

B&O PLAY Earset Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
5.8
Mixed Usage
6.3
Critical Listening
5.6
Commute/Travel
7.2
Sports/Fitness
5.7
Office
4.8
TV
4.8
Gaming
Type : Earbuds
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Beoplay Earset Wireless are mediocre mixed-usage headphones with a well-built, premium design and stable ear hooks for sports. They have an open earbud fit that makes them a decent option for those who run outdoors. Unfortunately, it also makes them highly susceptible to noisy environments so they won't be the best choice for commuting. Also, their sound quality is not ideal for more critical listeners but should be passable for most.

Test Results
Design 7.3
Sound 6.0
Isolation 3.2
Microphone 6.1
Active Features 6.3
Connectivity 2.7
Pros
  • Premium looking design.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Stable enough for sports.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation, by design.
  • Mediocre-at-best sound quality.
  • Slightly short battery life.
  • Bass and treble delivery varies significantly across users.

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7.3

Design

The Beoplay Earset Wireless are an update to the old Earset 3i, which keeps the premium look and feel but also some of the flaws. They're lightweight and have an old-school earbud fit that some may prefer over typical in-ear designs. They also have high-end metal ear-hooks that make them stable enough for most activities. Unfortunately, the earbuds and hooks require a bit of adjustment and do not always fit as well on all listeners, especially if you wear glasses. They also come with a much cheaper pouch than the original Earset 3i which is a little disappointing. On the upside, they have a slightly better control scheme, and since they're wireless, they're a bit more stable for running than the previous model. 

Style

The Beoplay Earset Wireless have a unique and premium looking earbud design. They're a wireless update to the Beoplay Earset 3i, and have the same old-school earbud design with sturdy metal and adjustable ear hooks that feel high-end and well made. They will stand out in a crowd, especially compared to some of the other wireless in-ears with ear hooks that we've tested although the cables are a little thin.

6.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.06 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The B&O Play Earset Wireless are moderately comfortable headphones with adjustable ear hooks and an old-school earbud design. Like on the original Earset 3i, you're able to adjust the height and tightness of the hooks as well as the angle of the earbuds. Unfortunately, the earbuds do not quite fit as snuggly in the notch of your ear even after trying the different tip sizes. The earbuds feel like they are just slightly hovering over your ear canal which can get a bit annoying and may and force you to adjust their fit somewhat regularly. They're also a bit more complicated to find right fit if you wear glasses but on the upside, it won't cause the fatigue and soreness of more typical in-ear designs which some listeners will prefer.

6.8 Controls
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Mediocre
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The Beoplay Earset Wireless have a decent control scheme that's slightly better than the old Earset 3i but also worse in some aspects. They have a 3 button set-up on their in-line remote that provides the basic functions for call/music, track-skipping, and volume control. Unfortunately, the buttons are relatively small and bit hard to distinguish by feel alone. They also do not have the best feedback as the buttons do not have that much travel and there is no auditory feedback once pressed.

8.9 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 1.1 C

These headphones are very breathable. They have an ear-hook design that causes more points of contact with your ear but since it's a relatively thin metal build it won't make the back of your ears as warm as the Backbeat Fit. On the upside, since the earbuds do not cover the ear, you will not sweat more than usual when working out and they should be breathable enough for more intense exercises.

8.1 Portability
L : 2.8 "
W : 2 "
H : 2 "
Volume : 11 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Beoplay Earset Wireless, like most wireless in-ear earbud designs, are very portable and will easily fit into your pockets. They're a little larger than typical earbuds since they have sturdy metal ear hooks that will not be as flexible to fit into tight spaces as the BackBeat Fit or Anker Soundcore Spirit X. However, they're small enough to not be too cumbersome to carry on your person.

5.5 Case
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones come with a sub-par pouch that will not protect your headphones from impacts and drops but should prevent them from getting scratched when they're in your bag. Unfortunately, this pouch is a downgrade from the sturdy hard pouch/soft case of the older model and feels cheap especially considering the premium price of the Earset Wireless compared to some cheaper ear-hook headphones like the Anker Curve which come with a solid and sturdy hard case.

7.5 Build Quality

The B&O Play Wireless Earset have a good build quality that feels premium but slightly thin cables that do not feel as durable as the rest of the design. The metal ear-hooks look and feel solid. They don't rattle or make any noise when adjusting them and they hold their shape which further emphasises their premium construction. The earbuds and the in-line remote also feel dense and well made. However, since they have a lot more moving parts than typical wireless in-ears with rubber or silicon ear-hooks, they have more potential weak points that may get damaged by wear and tear. Also, their cable is thin and a bit fragile but it's a lot better than that of the Earset 3i.

7.5 Stability

The Beoplay Earset Wireless have adjustable hooks that fit around the ear and prevent them from falling off your ears while running. They're also wireless so they are less likely to move around than the Earset 3i since they will rarely get tangled in your clothing or hooked by something that will yank the earbuds of your ears. Unfortunately, the earbud design does not always provide the best fit. So although the headphones won't fall off your ears, the swiveling earbuds may move about as you’re exercising, which can get a little frustrating, especially when it causes a loss of sound quality.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

These headphones come with a micro USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.0

Sound

The Beoplay Earset Wireless is a mediocre sounding pair of open-back earbuds. They are a bit inconsistent in delivering bass and treble across multiple re-seats and users, because of their earbud design. Their bass is powerful, and a bit hyped but lacks the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy genres. Their mid-range is even and well-balanced, but a bit recessed, and their treble is a bit overemphasized. So although they produce clear vocals and instruments, these will be less emphasized than the bass and treble regions, resulting in a V-shaped (smiley face) sound profile, which some may find exciting.

6.7 Bass
Std. Err.
:
4.59 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
44.9 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-5.74 dB
Mid-Bass
:
4.89 dB
High-Bass
:
2.88 dB

The Beoplay Earset Wireless have a decent bass. LFE (low-frequency response) is at 45Hz, which is above-average. Low-bass is lacking by more than 5dB, suggesting a bass that lacks a bit of thump and rumble. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and punch of the kick drums is over our neutral target by more than 4dB. High-bass, responsible for warmth is overemphasized by almost 3dB. Overall, the bass lacks sub-bass, but is a bit too heavy on punch and warmth which gives the sound a boomy and muddy quality. Also, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit and seal. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

7.7 Mid
Std. Err.
:
3.04 dB
Low-Mid
:
0.43 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-3.6 dB
High-Mid
:
-2.98 dB

The mid-range performance is good. The overall response is quite even but shows a dip around 800Hz. Low-mid is quite well-balanced which is important for producing clear vocals. The wide dip 5dB dip in mid-mid and high-mid nudges vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix by giving more emphasis to the bass and treble ranges.

5.9 Treble
Std. Err.
:
5.16 dB
Low-Treble
:
0.27 dB
Mid-Treble
:
5.69 dB
High-Treble
:
1.43 dB

The Beoplay Earset Wireless have a sub-par treble performance. The response throughout the range is a bit uneven. Low-treble is decently balanced overall, but shows a tilt favoring higher frequencies. Mid-treble is overemphasized by almost 6dB, bringing excess brightness and sibilance to vocals, leads, and cymbals. The excess sibilance (piercing S and T sounds) will be mostly noticeable on cymbals and vocals. Also, their treble delivery varies noticeably across users. The response here represents the average response and your experience may vary.

6.2 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.87 dB

The frequency response consistency is sub-par. The earbuds design of these headphones means they won't have a consistent fit across multiple re-seats and multiple users. They show more than 6dB of variance in the bass range and about 6 of variance in the treble range.

7.2 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.59
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.96
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
3.44
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
3.6

The imaging performance is above-average. Weighted group delay is at 0.59, which is decent. The GD graph also shows that mid and treble ranges group delay is below the audibility threshold. The bump in group delay in the bass range could make their bass a bit slow, but this won't be audible to most. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were decently matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field.

2.8 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
9.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.7
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

The Beoplay Earset Wireless have a poor soundstage. Creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). Since the design of in-ears and earbuds is in such a way that fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it, they tend to have a small and inside the head soundstage.

6.9 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
2.819
Weighted THD @ 100
:
7.927

The harmonic distortion performance is mediocre. The overall amount of harmonic distortion throughout the range is rather elevated which could make the sound a bit impure. There was also a bit of a mismatch in the produced THD between the L/R drivers of our test unit.

3.2

Isolation

These Beoplay Earset Wireless have an open earbud fit that won't be good at isolating listeners in loud environments. You will hear most of the ambient noise in your surroundings even at a higher volume which makes them a poor choice for commuting, although they will be decent if you run outdoors and need to monitor your environment for traffic. They also leak quite a bit compared to regular in-ear models so in quiet conditions your music or audio will be audible to the people around you, which may be a little distracting.

1.5 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-2.03 dB
Bass
:
-0.06 dB
Mid
:
0.85 dB
Treble
:
-6.65 dB
Self-Noise
:
20.43 dB

The Beoplay Earset Wireless have a poor isolation performance. This is expected and due to their open-back design. In the bass range, where the rumble of bus and airplane engines sit, they achieve no isolation. In the mid-range, important for cutting out speech, they don't isolate either. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they isolate by about -7dB, which is inadequate.

6.8 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
41.05 dB

The leakage performance is average. These headphones don't leak in the bass and mid-ranges. The significant portion of their leakage is in the treble range and between 2KHz and 20KHz, which is a wide range but only concentrated in the treble region. The overall level of the leakage can be relatively loud though. With the music 100dB SPL the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 41dB SPL and peaks at around 67dB SPL, which is noticeably louder than the noise floor of an average office.

6.1

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
Yes
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The B&O Play Earset Wireless have a mediocre in-line microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin, and noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. In noisy environments, it will struggle to separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud situations, like a busy street.

6.1 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
273.0 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
2.88 dB
HFE
:
2635.01 Hz
Weighted THD
:
4.377
Gain
:
35.67 dB

The Earset Wireless's microphone has a mediocre recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 273Hz means speech recorded/transmitted with it will sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.6KHz is poor and results in a speech that is noticeably muffled and lacking in detail.

6.1 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
13.62 dB

The in-line microphone is mediocre at noise-handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 14dB, indicating they are best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderate and loud situations.

6.3

Active Features

The Beoplay Wireless Earset have a decent battery life and a somewhat customizable app that feels just a little lacking in options. The earbuds last about 5.1 hours when listening continuously which won't be ideal if you're a heavy user, but on the upside, they have a pretty good auto-off feature that saves power when they're inactive. The app, on the other hand, feels a bit lacking. It provides a bare-bones preset equalizer that isn't as customizable as some other apps we've tested so you won't be able to properly EQ their sound profile like you can with the Jaybird X3.

6.3 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
5.1 hrs
Charge Time
:
2 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Yes
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No

The Beoplay Earset wireless have an average 5.1-hour battery life. They won't last an entire day for listening at the office, and they don't support passive playback. On the upside, they do have a good auto-off feature that saves power when inactive, and they charge fairly quickly at 2 hours for a full charge.

6.5 App Support
App Name : Beoplay
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
Presets
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : No
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
Yes
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The Beoplay app looks good but lacks a few features. It has a preset equalizer that makes a slight difference to the sound profile but isn't as customizable as the Jaybird MySound App, and you also get a barebones in-app player. Overall it's a decently useful app but it would benefit from a bit more customization options.

2.7

Connectivity

The BeoPlay Earset Wireless have poor connectivity. They are Bluetooth-only headphones with no wired backup in case the battery dies or for use with a game console. They cannot pair simultaneously with multiple devices although they do keep the last synced device in memory for easy pairing once you turn the headphones on. They have a decent wireless range, but like most Bluetooth headphones, they also have a bit too much latency to comfortably watch a lot of video content or for gaming.

6.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No

These are Bluetooth-only headphones with no NFC support or multipoint pairing. On the upside, they have a very typical and easy hold to pair procedure, so they do not take to long to switch between Bluetooth devices.

0 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A

There is no wired option for these headphones.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

The Beoplay Earset Wireless don't come with a charging dock or case.

7.4 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
33 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
95 ft

Decent wireless range. These headphones will stay paired to your Bluetooth source up to 33ft when the Bluetooth source was in another room and up to 95 ft in direct line of sight. This should be enough for most use cases and environments although it is not as far-reaching as some of the other wireless in-ears we've measured like the Jaybird X3.

1.8 Latency
Default Latency
:
207 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

Like most Bluetooth headphones, the BeoPlay Earset Wireless have a bit too much latency for gaming and watching movies. They also do not support any low latency codecs.

In the box

  • B&O Play Earset Wireless headphones
  • Carrying pouch
  • USB charging cable
  • Earbud tips (x3)
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Beoplay Earset Wireless have a well-built design and stable ear-hooks for sports but their unique, and old-school earbud fit will not be for everyone. They are a bit more comfortable than typical in-ears but getting the right fit can some time be slightly frustrating and requires frequent adjustments especially when working out. They also have a fairly open earbud design, which will not be ideal for loud, noisy environments like those involved in commuting. The odd fit sometimes causes consistency issues in their sound quality. On the upside, they are portable and compact enough to fit into your pockets even if they come with a worse case than the original earset 3i and they have a much better build quality than some of the models compared below.

Conclusion

5.8 Mixed Usage

Mediocre-at-best for mixed usage. These headphones have an open fit and stable ear-hook design that makes them a decent option for sports and running outdoors. However, they are not sweatproof or specially made for sports so they won't be the ideal option for more intense work out routines. Unfortunately, their old school earbud design means they will not provide enough isolation for more noisy environments like commuting. Their sound quality is also mediocre with a lot of bass and a fairly pronounced treble range that will not be ideal for more critical listeners.

6.3 Critical Listening

Mediocre for critical listening. The Beoplay Earset Wireless have a slightly muddy sound that packs a decent amount of bass for an open earbud design. Unfortunately, since the fit is a bit loose their sound will be a little inconsistent for some and their treble range will sound a bit too sharp on already bright tracks. On the upside, they have a slightly better soundstage than typical in-ears although it won't be ideal for more critical listeners. They also have a preset EQ so you can somewhat modify their sound profile to better suit your tastes.

5.6 Commute/Travel

Below-average headphones for commuting or traveling. They have an open fit that poorly isolates in loud, noisy environments, so you will hear most of the ambient noise in your surrounding even when playing music at high volumes. They are decently comfortable and have a practical control scheme, but unfortunately, they do not have the longest battery life and will die after 5 hours of continuous listening so will not be ideal for long flights.

7.2 Sports/Fitness

Decent headphones for sports and fitness. They have a stable ear hook design and excellent breathability. They aren't likely to fall from your ears, but the earbuds have an open fit that will often move and slightly change their sound profile when working out. On the upside, they have a decent control scheme and they're lightweight and compact enough to easily fit into your gym bags or your jogging pants pockets.

5.7 Office

Sub-par for office use. The Beoplay Earset Wireless have an open fit that will not block a lot of noise so you will hear most of what is going on around you in a noisy office. They also leak a bit so they won't be the best choice in quieter conditions either.

4.8 TV

Poor headphones for home theater use. They have a mediocre-at-best sound quality and there is too much latency to watch videos. They're also Bluetooth-only heapdhones so they will not work wired with you tablet PC or TV.

4.8 Gaming

These are bad headphones for gaming. The Beoplay Earset Wireless have a mediocre-at-best sound quality and high latency that will not be suitable for gaming. They also can't be used wired, so an adapter is required to use them on a game console.

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