Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has launched its latest wireless earbuds, the $399 Beoplay EX, a model that builds on the technologies found in its previous earbuds by adding greater comfort, larger dynamic drivers, and more protection from dust and water. The Beoplay EX will be available in Anthracite Oxygen on May 5, Gold Tone on May 27, and Black Anthracite sometime in June 2022.
The biggest change from B&O’s previous wireless earbuds is the shape. The Beoplay EX adopt a stem-style design that is similar to Apple’s AirPods Pro. The company claims this new shape allows it to reduce the size of the housing that sits in your ear — which should be more comfortable — while at the same time letting it use a larger driver. The Beoplay EX incorporate a set of 9.2 millimeter dynamic drivers — the largest ever used by B&O in a set of wireless earbuds. They’ll produce a “significant upgrade in the power of each audio moment, without compromising on comfort,” according to a company press release.
B&O has also increased protection from water, with an IP57 rating, making the Beoplay EX effectively dustproof and waterproof. That’s the same rating that Jabra provides on the Elite 7 Pro, one of the few sets of premium wireless earbuds to offer this level of protection from the elements.
In keeping with B&O’s tradition for premium materials and styling, the Beoplay EX feature glass touch controls encircled by brushed aluminum. Their charging case, which features wireless charging capability, uses a matching brushed aluminum finish.
Bang & Olufsen
In most other respects, the Beoplay EX are similar to the company’s $399 Beoplay EQ. They have adaptive active noise cancellation (AANC), which should simultaneously correct for changing environmental conditions and less-than-perfect ear canal seals. They sport AAC, SBC, and Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec for folks who have compatible Android smartphones. They’re also one of the few wireless models that support Bluetooth multipoint for simultaneous connections to two devices, like a phone and a computer. Each earbud contains three microphones, which should mean very good call quality.
Battery life looks a little on the low side: B&O claims up to six hours per charge with ANC turned on, but only 20 hours of total operation when you include the charging case. That’s less than you’ll find on major competitors like the Sony WF-1000XM4, and Master & Dynamic’s MW08.