Apple almost signaled the end for wired headphones when it announced it was scrapping the headphone jack for the iPhone 7. We’ve seen over the years that other phone manufacturers, ahem, flatteringly take inspiration from Apple’s designs, so you can expect wired headphones to become a thing of a past for all but the most ardent audiophiles. While you won’t have to spend half your morning commute trying to untangle your earbuds anymore, you are probably going to have to find a new pair and this can get pretty complicated.
Do the Optoma NuForce BE6i headphones solve the problem? We reckon the answer is a resounding yes. They offer a deep and responsive sound that’s hard to find at this price, have an excellent build quality and are shipped with 7 sets of earbuds which means you can adjust them for a comfortable long listen session at home or so they don’t fall out in the gym.
The aluminium casing gives these headphones a nice looking finish as well as a sturdy build quality. Usually, the downside of using metal for in-ear headphones is that the weight causes them to them drop out of your ear. However, the BE6is come with a bunch of ear tips. Five of these are what are called “NuForce silicone” ear tips. These vary in length so you can pick your trade off between a tight fit with more noise isolation and comfort. Another two “Comply soft foam tips” come in the box and expand to fit your ear and were our favourite – however, you will probably need to replace them every 6 months or so when they become a bit dirty.There are a couple of nice additional design features. The wire is flat, which helps stop tangling and the back of the buds contain magnets so you don’t have to worry about them falling off your neck when you are not listening to music.
The only design reservation we have is the slightly cheap look of the plastic remote in the centre of the wire.
Optoma has played it right down the middle, giving an incredibly balanced sound to the BE6is. If you need pumping bass to get you going in the gym, then you might want to look elsewhere. However, we found the detailed and responsive sound to have just the right treble and low-end power (heavy bass can sound good initially, but will start to hurt after 20 minutes or so).
Noise isolation varied between the different tips, but we found the longer silicone ones did a good job at keeping us in our own little bubble.
To our ears, they deliver excellent performance for all types of music – a rarity for Bluetooth headphones in this price range!
Optoma has designed these headphones to be able to play music continuously for 8 hours, beating their previous generation of headphones by 2 hours. They are charged through a micro USB.
They can also be used to make phone calls, which in our tests came through crystal clear. The Bluetooth range is 30 metres, so you can walk around the house making a call while your phone stays put.
They are also water resistant to IPX5 standard (basically they can easily take rain, but don’t go swimming with them around your neck).