Sony, Bang & Olufsen combatting Apple AirPods with new wireless earbuds

Posted:
in General Discussion
Two new wireless Bluetooth earbuds arriving from Bang & Olufsen and Sony, with the pair trying to match Apple in functionality and popularity, if not in price.




Bang & Olufsen unveiled the Beoplay E8 wireless earbuds on Thursday. Each earpiece has a 5.7mm dynamic speaker, connect to a host device with Bluetooth 4.2, with touch controls on the surface that projects from the user's ear. Battery life is rated by the company at about four hours.

The Beoplay app allows for fine-tuning sound, and to apply sound profiles for different user activities or environments.

The Beoplay E8 comes with five ear tips, a charging cable, and a leather charging case. Retail price is $299, with replacement earbuds available for $129. Shipments are expected in October.





Sony's WF-1000X has 6mm dome drivers, and implements the company's "Adaptive Sound Control" that observe the user's actions and automatically switches the noise cancellation feature on or off. Battery life is rated for three hours, with the battery case providing two charges.

Sony WF-1000X in charging case
Sony WF-1000X in charging case


Sony's offering is closer in price to Apple's AirPods, coming in at $199. The headphone connect app will be available at some point in October.





Apple's AirPods shipped to the public in December 2016. The $159 AirPods have a five-hour listening time, with the included charging case boosting the total to over 24 hours of listening time
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,099member
    But but but — “AirPods are too expensive and have bad battery life!” Oops, yeah now they’re looking even better. 
    anton zuykovlolliverwatto_cobradws-2
  • Reply 2 of 29
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,492member
    I know style is a personal thing, but these Sony wireless buds are, surprisingly, even less attractive than the AirPods. The AirPods at least conform to the design aestetic from the EarPods, sans wires of course. But they still look like headphones. The Sony buds remind me of hearing aids from the 1960s, except they're black. I can see people shouting at wearers of these things, assuming the wearer is hard of hearing. Maybe the model in the video has a smallish head, but they definitely stick out on the front and sides in a franken-freakish sort of way. (Freeze the video at about the 1:01 mark)
    edited August 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 29
    That sounds about right. lower qiuuality against lower quality go for fashion. I do not see my headphones, but I hear them and feel them (hurting my ears). Not the way this device is meant to be used.
  • Reply 4 of 29
     Im  not a samsung supporter... but give credit where it due...samsungs new wireless earpod, at least on paper beat all these including apple AirPods(with the ridiculous Qtips sticking out of ears) .....with feachers like standalone onboard music storage of 1000 tracks and full health monitoring without need for watch or phone....on top of everything else  these earpods offer ....


  • Reply 6 of 29
    Just say no... and keep that cell phone on speaker or a corded headset when in use. #gbm
    tokyojimu
  • Reply 7 of 29
    Yikes. I can't believe how fugly the B&O earbuds look!

    I used to be a huge B&O fan (and still have a wonderful sound system of theirs that I bought in 1991 that's in perfect working condition -- although the technology is now quite dated) and have a B&O system in my car that delivers great sound. But it's clear that they don't have the design chops that they used to. It's really sad to see.
    edited August 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 29
     Im  not a samsung supporter... but give credit where it due...samsungs new wireless earpod, at least on paper beat all these including apple AirPods(with the ridiculous Qtips sticking out of ears) .....with feachers like standalone onboard music storage of 1000 tracks and full health monitoring without need for watch or phone....on top of everything else  these earpods offer ....


    Eh? The AirPods look and sound better, and have WAAAAAAY better battery life. Reviews all around on the Gear Icon X are poor. 
    And Samsung's own support community is inundated with complaints over the lack of battery life - BUT, I just read that they have announced the new version which has par battery life with the AirPods - until the new AirPods come out...
    edited August 2017 anantksundaramlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 29
    dewme said:
    The Sony buds remind me of hearing aids from the 1960s, except they're black. I can see people shouting at wearers of these things, assuming the wearer is hard of hearing.
    It’s not necessary to shout at the hard of hearing who are wearing hearing aids, since they’re, you know, wearing heading aids. I don’t think people will do it here, either.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 29
     Im  not a samsung supporter... but give credit where it due...samsungs new wireless earpod, at least on paper beat all these including apple AirPods(with the ridiculous Qtips sticking out of ears) .....with feachers like standalone onboard music storage of 1000 tracks and full health monitoring without need for watch or phone....on top of everything else  these earpods offer ....
    I give no such credit as I see little value in those features - I don’t want to manage onboard audio libraries on my headphones, nor do I expect its activity tracking to be as good as a dedicated device’s.

    I’m fairly certain you don’t actually have AirPods because if you did you’d know they don’t look like qtips at all. They’re quite streamlined and work very well in the gym (several other folks wear them in mine now) 


    edited August 2017 anantksundaramlolliverwatto_cobraravnorodomdws-2
  • Reply 11 of 29
    dewme said:
    I know style is a personal thing, but these Sony wireless buds are, surprisingly, even less attractive than the AirPods. The AirPods at least conform to the design aestetic from the EarPods, sans wires of course. But they still look like headphones. The Sony buds remind me of hearing aids from the 1960s, except they're black. I can see people shouting at wearers of these things, assuming the wearer is hard of hearing. Maybe the model in the video has a smallish head, but they definitely stick out on the front and sides in a franken-freakish sort of way. (Freeze the video at about the 1:01 mark)
    Huh? Speak up, I can't hear what you're sayin!
  • Reply 12 of 29
     Im  not a samsung supporter... but give credit where it due...samsungs new wireless earpod, at least on paper beat all these including apple AirPods(with the ridiculous Qtips sticking out of ears) .....with feachers like standalone onboard music storage of 1000 tracks and full health monitoring without need for watch or phone....on top of everything else  these earpods offer ....


    '... at least on paper..."

    ha ha ha. 
    lolliverwatto_cobradws-2
  • Reply 13 of 29
    danvmdanvm Posts: 629member
    gatorguy said:
    I would say that's the Sony version of the Amazon Echo, a product that you can purchase today, and that Apple it's copying too.
    EngDev
  • Reply 14 of 29
    danvmdanvm Posts: 629member
     Im  not a samsung supporter... but give credit where it due...samsungs new wireless earpod, at least on paper beat all these including apple AirPods(with the ridiculous Qtips sticking out of ears) .....with feachers like standalone onboard music storage of 1000 tracks and full health monitoring without need for watch or phone....on top of everything else  these earpods offer ....
    I give no such credit as I see little value in those features - I don’t want to manage onboard audio libraries on my headphones, nor do I expect its activity tracking to be as good as a dedicated device’s.

    I’m fairly certain you don’t actually have AirPods because if you did you’d know they don’t look like qtips at all. They’re quite streamlined and work very well in the gym (several other folks wear them in mine now) 


    You don't need to have the AirPods to see how they look.  Personally, I think they look more to an electric toothbrush head.  

    https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-airpods-earbuds-or-hair-dryers-15-of-snarkiest-tweets/
    EngDevmobius
  • Reply 15 of 29
    danvmdanvm Posts: 629member
    But but but — “AirPods are too expensive and have bad battery life!” Oops, yeah now they’re looking even better. 
    B&O and Sony have a few things better than AirPods.  B&O have multiples size ear tips, so it will have better sound isolation.  And based in the B&O product line, there is a chance they will sound better than AirPods.  And IMO, they are more discreet and looks better than AirPods. And Sony have noise cancellation (maybe that's the reason of their poor battery life).  As soon as you try the three options, you'll truly see which one is the best.  Price and battery life is not the whole story.  
  • Reply 16 of 29
    But but but — “AirPods are too expensive and have bad battery life!” Oops, yeah now they’re looking even better. 
    I can't speak for these new products, but AirPods just don't have good sound.  They're cheap earbuds that have been made wireless.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,447member
    I have the AirPods and really enjoy them. I'm looking forward to iOS 11 to address my only complaint and that is being able to select different actions for each AirPod. One will now activate Siri and the other will go to the next track. They have great sound for anything not sealed and that is the point. I can use different headphones when I want deeper bass, etc but most people seem to use the Airpods for being out and about, going to the gym, running, etc. The bit of ambient noise keeps you safe in those scenarios.

    People can complain about the two sticks or qtips or whatever they want to say derisively but they work and the double microphones with automatic selection works great for calls and siri.

    I love mine and also thought they were a joke when I first saw them. However the wife had interest and when we went to the Apple Store to purchase them, we tried them on and instantly bought two pairs. There is a clear reason why Apple can't keep them in stock. They work well and sell themselves.
    watto_cobraStrangeDaysjkichline
  • Reply 18 of 29
    mobiusmobius Posts: 374member
    EngDev said:
    But but but — “AirPods are too expensive and have bad battery life!” Oops, yeah now they’re looking even better. 
    I can't speak for these new products, but AirPods just don't have good sound.  They're cheap earbuds that have been made wireless.
    Personally I think they have great sound for what they are (i.e. such a tiny speaker and tiny battery working over Bluetooth). Anyone who wants brilliant heavenly sound quality wouldn't be buying this type of product anyway.
    watto_cobraStrangeDaysjkichline
  • Reply 19 of 29
    gatorguy said:
    It has Assistant in it - it's their version of Google Home, which was Google's version of Echo. Does it take design cues from HomePod? Sure. Did HomePod take design cues from other products, e.g. Whyd? Yes. 
  • Reply 20 of 29
    danvm said:
     Im  not a samsung supporter... but give credit where it due...samsungs new wireless earpod, at least on paper beat all these including apple AirPods(with the ridiculous Qtips sticking out of ears) .....with feachers like standalone onboard music storage of 1000 tracks and full health monitoring without need for watch or phone....on top of everything else  these earpods offer ....
    I give no such credit as I see little value in those features - I don’t want to manage onboard audio libraries on my headphones, nor do I expect its activity tracking to be as good as a dedicated device’s.

    I’m fairly certain you don’t actually have AirPods because if you did you’d know they don’t look like qtips at all. They’re quite streamlined and work very well in the gym (several other folks wear them in mine now) 


    You don't need to have the AirPods to see how they look.  Personally, I think they look more to an electric toothbrush head.  

    https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-airpods-earbuds-or-hair-dryers-15-of-snarkiest-tweets/
    You do, because you don't know how they look IRL until you've worn them or see them. Case in point -- Watch looked HUGE in all the photos, so much so that I ordered the 38mm. Then I saw them in person -- realized my mistake because they were much smaller than the photos made them out, and ordered the 42mm. Same with the headphones. Especially the clickbait articles that intentionally wear them incorrectly to make them stick out in an unusual fashion.
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