Bang & Olufsen's pricey new ANC earbuds borrow AirPods Pro design | Cult of Mac

Bang & Olufsen’s pricey new ANC earbuds borrow AirPods Pro design

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Nice stems on those. But $400 nice?
Nice stems on those. But $400 nice?
Photo: Bang & Olufsen

Danish audio legend Bang & Olufsen has struck out in a new yet familiar direction with its latest true wireless earbuds, the Beoplay EX. It’s the company’s first set of earbuds with stems, which makes them look a lot like AirPods Pro.

As a premium offering, Beoplay EX boasts all of the expected features, like active noise cancellation (ANC). The buds also claim top-notch sound and demand a high price for it — $399, considerably more than AirPods Pro and other major contenders.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX true wireless ANC earbuds

Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay EX are the company’s first set of earbuds with an AirPods-like stem design, but with the promise of a more comfortable fit due to a smaller in-ear housing.

And whereas AirPods come only in the signature white color, you can get Beoplay EX in black, black-and-blue and gold colors. For some people, having a choice beyond white is a significant factor.

The Beoplay EX design incorporates the company’s largest-ever drivers in wireless earbuds, at 9.2mm. That suggests more power than past models could muster. B&O also said the buds offer improved call quality and stable Bluetooth 5.2 support.

And all the usual features of high-end earbuds are here. You get ANC, IP57 dust/water resistance, two-device pairing and a wireless charging case. And of course there’s an app with an equalizer and noise cancellation adjusters, to be expected at this premium level.

In terms of battery life, B&O estimates six hours of listening with ANC enabled, and a total 20 hours of playback when you use the charging case.

All of that said, a hurdle for some would-be buyers may be the price. B&O is selling the Beoplay EX for $399. That’s on par with past models like the Beoplay EQ. But it’s considerably more expensive than AirPods Pro and comparable buds like Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 and Sony WF-1000XM4. Those all tend to come in around $250.

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX become available in May, the company said.

Price: $399

Where to buy: Sign up for availability updates at Bang & Olufsen