Friday, 10 August 2018 00:30

Review – Bang & Olufsen Earset wireless earphones

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High-end Danish electronics manufacturer, Bang & Olufsen, has updated its classic Earset earphones in its first wireless incarnation, while retaining the style and flexible adjustability for which it is known.

The Earset was originally designed in the 1990s by Anders Hermansen and the basic architecture of the arm, piston and ear hook was a strong focus from the beginning. The design remained largely consistent through models up to the Earset 3, and iPhone version, the Earset 3i.

The brand new Earset — with no specific model number — is not only the first to be completely wireless, via Bluetooth but also updates the iconic design with a new look.

At the same time, it’s also the first to contain a battery, but it is charged using a standard micro USB cable and supports up to five hours of playtime. For business users, that should see you through a full day of phone calls and conferences.

As you would expect from Bang & Olufsen, the audio experience has been finely tuned by sound engineers to deliver rich and powerful sounds, while still permitting ambient sounds to be heard.

I’ve been a long-time Earset 3i user, up until the iPhone 7 removed the 3.5mm jack. In my view, this new model should have come sooner, but happily, my favourite aspect remains – the Earset is still the most flexible and adjustable earphone available. The angle of the earbud, the height of the piston, and the position of the ear hook may all be tweaked and tuned and rotated in three-dimensions to provide a perfect fit for your ears and long-lasting comfort.

The Bang & Olufsen Earset is available in Graphite Brown and in White and has a recommended retail price of $449. That sounds like a lot for a set of earphones. However, I can attest to the quality and comfort of the Earset 3i predecessor, having used it daily from 2009 through 2016 – and on a cents-per-use basis that works out to be good value. It’s a premium quality product, engineered for audio quality, for comfort, and to last.

The aluminium used for the telescopic piston has been precision-forged for fluid movement, the ear hook has sections of soft rubber, and the piston is attached by a hex screw. The aluminium has been anodised so its colours blend deep into the material, while the aluminium on the housing has a diamond-cut edge.

The in-line remote contains three buttons and a built-in microphone so you can control music, take calls, and activate your smartphone’s personal assistant, be it Google Assistant or Siri or Cortana.

The Earset box includes a carrying pouch for on-the-go protection so you don’t have to lose them in your pocket or bag, or risk tangling them up. You can see the contents here for yourself as I unbox it for the first time:

Earset is available from B&O online or from stores.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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