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Not a turn off: These wireless earphones use magnets as a power switch

B&O Play’s first wireless earphones aim to solve one of the most annoying ownership problems with Bluetooth connected devices — remembering to turn off the power. Instead of a fiddly button, the Beoplay H5 earphones snap together with tiny magnets, which automatically shuts down the power, and keeps them safely wrapped around your neck until called into action again.

Conserving battery life is especially important on wireless earphones, when size dictates the battery capacity, and not having to think about turning them off may mean being able to listen on the way home from work, rather than only on the way there. B&O Play has squeezed a pair of 50mAh batteries inside the Beoplay H5, once in each bud, and says it’s powerful enough for a respectable five hours of playback. These magnets also get called upon for inductively charging up the Beoplay H5, snapping the buds onto a special charger, thus removing the pain of connecting cables. Charge time, despite the tiny cell, is about two hours.

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B&O Play’s proud of the work it has put into the comfort of the Beoplay H5 earphones. Weighing just 18 grams, the housing is made from sweat and moisture resistant polymer, and the buds are joined together by a braided textile cable. Inside the box are seven different ear tips, including a selection from Comply’s special Sport range, featuring a special sweat resistant technology to keep the ports free from moisture.

Inside each bud is a 6.4mm speaker, accompanied by an electromagnetic transducer and a DSP, all tuned up by a team of dedicated engineers. The earphones connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth 4.2, and the app contains various sound profiles designed for listening in particular situations. For example, there’s a profile for when you’re exercising, or one made specifically for podcasts.

It’s possible to adjust the way the Beoplay H5’s sound through the app using a system called ToneTouch, which makes tuning more intuitive, and there’s also the usual music controls — although there’s a three-button in-line remote on the cord itself — and battery meter. The app is available for Android, and for the iPhone and Apple Watch.

The B&O Play Beoplay H5 earphones cost $250 or 200 British pounds and are available through Beoplay’s website, along with other retailers, from June 30.

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