Bang & Olufsen unveils its most versatile and comfortable AirPods rival yet

If you think Apple’s $ 250 AirPods Pro (which can often be purchased for $ 200, $ 190, or even $ 175 nowadays) and Sony’s $ 280 WF-1000XM4 are unnecessarily expensive, then you’re probably not familiar with Bang & Olufsen’s lineup of ultra-premium true wireless earbuds.

Founded all the way back in 1925, the Danish company specializes in high-end (and high-priced) audio products, rivaling the market-leading AirPods Pro last year with the decidedly elegant but not particularly comfortable $ 399 Beoplay EQ.
The hot new Beoplay EX are also priced to appeal exclusively to hardcore B&O fans, at the same exact $ 399 a pair in three eye-catching colors slated for three different release dates. Namely, the Anthracite Oxygen flavor will be available worldwide from May 5, with the swanky Gold Tone model to follow on May 27 and the less fashionable (read duller) Black Anthracite hue scheduled for a distant (and imprecise) June rollout.
The biggest difference between the Beoplay EX and Beoplay EQ is undoubtedly the shape of the two noise-canceling AirPods Pro alternatives, with the latest B&O product actually resembling the competition the most.

The Beoplay EX’s stem design should help these bad boys sit better in your ears, guaranteeing a “comfortable and stable fit that can be worn for hours without readjustment.” Of course, that begs the question of why the company did not adopt such a “mainstream” design before, with the simplest answer having to do with fashion.

Then again, the Beoplay EX are by no means unfashionable, combining B & O’s trademark minimalist style with a more mass-oriented vibe for an overall look that arguably fits any type of user and all kinds of environments, from office buildings to your cozy neighborhood gym.

This being a Bang & Olufsen product, of course, you should not be surprised to find out that premium audio is a key focus area, with a large 9.2mm speaker driver somehow squeezed into the very compact and lightweight body of the Beoplay EX.

The battery life is also pretty great, at six hours of uninterrupted playtime even with state-of-the-art Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation technology always enabled and a total endurance rating of up to 20 hours when taking the “pocket-sized” charging case into consideration as well.

Then you have all the modern connectivity features, like Bluetooth 5.2, and things like IP57 certification for water and dust resistance, which are all nice and great. But the million-dollar four-hundred-dollar question still stands: are you willing to cough up all that dough for an AirPods-style pair of true wireless earbuds without getting that many obvious upgrades over Apple or Samsung’s most popular models?

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