Is the world in need of yet another pair of wireless sports headphones? When we woke up this morning, we’d have answered no. But after spending some time with Bang & Olufsen’s new $300 Beoplay E6 headphones at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin this morning, we think there’s room for another premium option — and these would be our pick.
Bang & Olufsen’s design and style flair are hard to represent in something as simple as wireless headphones; the company’s unique vision shines in larger products, such as the freshly announced Beosound Edge, a wireless speaker that’s essentially an upscaled version of the old British Pound coin. But when you hold the E6 in your hand, you feel what separates them from the crowd.
Aside from offering the kind of refined, high-end sound quality that is woefully lacking in most sports-oriented headphones, Bang & Olufsen has infused the Beoplay E6 with premium materials. The company has also tossed in a few clever, user-facing touch points that have us wishing we had a pair ourselves.
The earpieces are covered in grippy, anti-slip silicone material, and they are available in three classy colors: black, sand, and a special edition “dark plum” that won’t be available until Sept. 13. These colors are accented by aluminum caps and connected to a cloth-covered cable reminiscent of high-quality, durable shoelaces. One side of the cable holds a three-button, in-line control mic and the other houses a rather clever charging system. With a super-slim dock connector affixed to a 6-foot USB cable, users can charge the headphones while they are still in use, extending the promised onboard 5-hour battery life without taking the cans out of commission.
The E6 come with four silicone eartips, one set of Comply foam tips, and four different sizes of “fins” to help secure the earpieces within virtually any ear size.
Sure, Apple may unveil a new version of the Airpods at a still unannounced event this September. In contrast, the E6 are available at Bang & Olufsen’s website right now for $300 — and based on our experience so far, they’re worth every penny.