Mis à jour le 14 November 2022.
Design, innovation, precision… Bang & Olufsen is a high-end hi-fi specialist that creates musical and visually appealing solutions. B&O is constantly innovating to add to its catalog of high fidelity equipment, notably its range of True Wireless earbuds. As a quick reminder, this range of wireless IEMs already includes reference models such as the Beoplay EQ and Beoplay E8 3rd Gen, as well as the Beoplay E8 sport waterproof version.
Today, the manufacturer adds to its series with the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX earbuds, available for €399. This latest addition is the brand’s most polished model yet. Active noise cancellation, Transparent mode, aptX Bluetooth, dedicated control app, wireless charging case… A wide range of features that allow you to fully enjoy your playlists. But are these high-end earbuds worth their steep price?
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX: packaging & accessories
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX earbuds come in an elegant cardboard box. Once opened, it reveals a second container held in place with thick black paper. The packaging features a photo of the B&O Beoplay EX in the chosen color, as well as information about the earbuds: certifications, total battery life, Bluetooth version, as well as details about the ANC and the waterproof design. Inside the package is a case that holds the earbuds. There are also several pairs of silicone ear tips, a USB-C charging cable and a quick start guide.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX: presentation
Bang & Olufsen has a reputation for creating powerful audio equipment with gorgeous designs. The brand often works with famous designers (Jacob Jensen, David Lewis, Cecilie Manz) who have created several masterpieces such as the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance connected speaker, and the Bang & Olufsen Beosound 2. The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX True Wireless earphones are no exception with their sophisticated and refined design.
The B&O Beoplay EX wireless earbuds use 9.2mm transducers capable of covering a frequency range between 20Hz and 22kHz. Unlike the majority of True Wireless earbuds, which are made only of plastic, the B&O Beoplay EX IEMs use high-quality materials. There is aluminum and glass for the touch sensitive controls, polymer for the structure and silicone for the ear tips. The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX’s design is both robust and elegant. The glass multifunction control sports the B&O logo. Lastly, these Danish IEMs are available in three colors: black, blue and gold.
The design of these wireless earbuds from the Danish manufacturer is important in terms of comfort, but it also impacts the effectiveness of certain features. They have a structure with a stem, largely inspired by the stem on the Apple AirPods that holds the battery and microphone. This design offers various advantages, including more stability in the ear and better voice capture due to the fact that the microphones are closer to the mouth. For greater ease of use, the letters R and L are printed on the Beoplay EX earbuds.
The silicone ear tips can be changed to offer the best possible fit for all users. There are four sizes: XS, S, M (pre-installed) and L. There is also a pair of “Comply” memory foam tips (size M) for optimal comfort. Note that it is very important to choose the right ear tips as they improve passive isolation and enhance the impact of the lows.
The included case is designed to protect the earbuds, but also to charge them. It features a LED that flashes orange while charging and becomes green when fully charged. It also flashes blue when the earbuds are pairing.
Very versatile, the B&O Beoplay EX True Wireless IEMs have a waterproof structure with an IP57 rating. Consequently, they can be used during workouts, in the rain or even at the beach, as the certification ensures optimal resistance to water and dust.
Active noise cancellation
Want to enjoy an immersive listening experience? The Danish manufacturer has added active noise cancelling to its latest True Wireless earbuds. The ANC feature captures ambient noise and erases it so that you only hear your music, even in noisy places. You can also allow surrounding sounds to pass through with the Transparent mode. This feature is useful when crossing the road or for conversations. To activate/deactivate these features you can either use the control app or the touch sensitive buttons.
Battery life: up to 21 hours
The Bang & Olufsen earbuds allow you to listen to up to 21 hours of music by using the wireless charging case. However, by themselves the earbuds have an autonomy of around six hours, depending on whether or not the ANC is activated. A battery life equivalent to that of the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 3rd Gen would have been better. Note that the case is charged using the included USB-C cable or with a wireless Qi charger.
During this review we noticed that the base of the earbuds sometimes got quite warm after charging them in the case. This can be bothersome for the first few minutes of playback.
Voice assistants and control app
The B&O Beoplay EX earbuds are also equipped with omnidirectional microphones designed for voice pickup. Consequently, they can be used with the voice assistant installed on the smartphone or tablet. Simply ask the assistant to change tracks or to pause the music, and the earbuds will respond.
In addition, the earbuds’ One Voice feature provides clearer voices during phone calls. Speech was very intelligible during our conversations, even when the weather was bad (wind). An extra point for these premium earbuds!
As well as their compatibility with various voice assistants, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX can be controlled using their touch-sensitive buttons:
|Left earbud||Right earbud|
|Increase volume||Press and hold|
|Decrease volume||Press and hold|
|Next track||Double press|
|Previous track||Double press|
|ANC/Transparent mode, None||Single press (cycle)|
The Beoplay EX earphones are also compatible with the Bang & Olufsen mobile app. The latter provides access to the battery level of the earbuds and the charging case, the equalization modes (which can be customized), the ANC and phone call settings. This app is very convenient, especially when using the ANC as it isn’t easy to activate using the touch controls.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX: key specifications
Transducers: 9.2mm neodymium
Frequency response: 20Hz – 22kHz
Certified IP57 (splash and dust-resistant)
Compatible with the Bang & Olufsen app (iOS/Android)
Modes: Multipoint (2 devices connected simultaneously), ANC, Transparent
Bluetooth 5.2 (codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive)
Siri and Google Assistant compatible
Multifunction touch-sensitive button on each earbud
Microphones: 6 MEMS, omnidirectional (beam directional for speech)
Weight per earbud: 6g
Weight of case: 53g
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX: configuration
For our test, we connected the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX wireless earbuds to an aptX compatible FiiO M7 DAP, as well as to an iPhone 11. We listened to music stored on the smartphone and streamed via Qobuz.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX earbuds were very easy to wear. We simply tilted them as indicated on the diagram for a secure fit. They even stayed in place during a workout. The various ear tips proved useful, offering great comfort and passive isolation. The earbuds paired to the smartphone quickly so we could enjoy our playlists right away. The procedure is as follows:
- Open the case.
- Press and hold the touch-sensitive surface on both earbuds simultaneously for 6 seconds.
- Once the LED flashes blue, the B&O Beoplay EX earbuds are ready to be paired. They will then appear in the list of nearby devices.
The touch-sensitive controls were very intuitive and responsive. Moreover, we appreciated the automatic pause when the earbuds were taken out as it meant that we didn’t miss a second of our songs.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX: listening impressions
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX earbuds were impressive right off the bat. In Bluetooth aptX with the track Christ Conscious by Joey Bada$$, the bass was credible, the cymbals perfectly positioned and the artist’s voice pleasantly highlighted. The transmission between the two devices was excellent, allowing us to step away from the source without the music cutting out. We were also able to watch a video on our smartphone without any latency.
When paired with the iPhone, the highs in Sirba Octet’s Les deux guitars were clear without being overbearing. The bass gave the track substance without obscuring the mids, which remained soft and detailed. Violins, clarinets, pianos, double bass… All of the instruments were correctly positioned. No matter the genre, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX delivered a balanced, powerful and immersive reproduction.
We decided to go to a large shopping mall to test the active noise cancellation. Unfortunately, it didn’t manage to completely erase the sounds of this noisy environment. In the street, however, most noises were reduced and the passive isolation was good, especially when using the memory foam ear tips.
Furthermore, the B&O Beoplay EX earbuds responded perfectly to the equalizer in the app. The different presets (optimal, warm, sport, commute and clear) let us optimize the sound quickly and easily. For more discerning users, the very intuitive manual equalizer (a cursor in a circle) provides a personalized sound tailored to your preferences or adapted to your music. These settings can be saved.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX: compared to…
Apple AirPods Pro
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX True Wireless earbuds have the same stem design as the Apple AirPods Pro. The latter are cheaper and have a slightly better battery life. However, the Danish earbuds have a more sophisticated and elegant design as well as an IP57 certified waterproof structure. Moreover, the B&O model will appeal to audiophiles due to its compatibility with the aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec.
The Devialet Gemini wireless earbuds have the upper hand when it comes to sound, particularly in the low end of the spectrum which is deeper (read the review of the Devialet Gemini). Thanks to their stem design, the B&O Beoplay EX earbuds offer better voice reproduction during phone calls and have a more reliable transmission thanks to the aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX: who are they for?
With an elegant design and hi-fi sound, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX wireless earbuds will appeal to discerning audiophiles, but also to anyone who appreciates aesthetically pleasing equipment made of high-quality materials. The detailed, natural and balanced reproduction allows you to enjoy your music and podcasts with plenty of freedom of movement. Finally, their waterproof design means they can be used on every trip, or even for a sports session.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX: conclusion
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX True Wireless earbuds are very versatile. Their aptX Adaptive compatibility, IP rating and luxurious design are strong arguments in favor of the Beoplay EXs. However, the high price of these True Wireless earphones makes them accessible only to audiophiles looking for a high-end model.
The balanced sound
The high-end design
The wide range of ear tips
We would have liked
For the ANC system to have been more effective