Bang and Olufsen is typically known for its beautifully designed home theater equipment and speakers but today it has unveiled a new pair of headphones with a handful of notable features. The new Beoplay 4 earbuds have a gestured-controlled Active Noise Cancellation system that is unique to this overloaded product category. You see ANC has a number of benefits, but it leaves users vulnerable to happenings in the outside world. Instead of quickly reaching for the pause button or yanking a bud out of your ear, B&O claims to have come up with a far more elegant solution.
And in typical fashion, it doesn’t come cheap.
As I mentioned off the top, the defining feature of Bang and Olufsen’s new E4 earbuds is its ANC technology. Which is a handy tool that burst onto the scene years back, but hasn’t seen leaps and bounds in improvement.
B&O’s new “Transparency Mode” is activated by gesture, which eliminates the need to frantically pull out your earbuds when someone approaches. A swipe of your hand stops playback and pauses ANC with the same movement reactivating your tunes. The capabilities of which may vary but the idea is certainly more suitable than the alternative.
Another issue that has typically plagued headphones that lean on ANC is battery life. Bang and Olufsen claims the E4 earbuds will offer up to 20 hours of continuous playback with the ability to continue use after the internal power supply has run dry. It will take around three hours to fully charge the battery and there isn’t a quick power-up option, which is somewhat disappointing.
Bang & Olufsen has designed its newest headphones for Apple devices with iOS-specific controls that can call up Siri, and handle playback. Inside the stainless steel earbuds is a 10.8mm driver that brings the total weight to 50 grams. Each unit will ship with a pair of Comply memory foam eartips and an adapter for different devices. B&O also includes a branded carrying case with purchase, too.
The new E4 Active Noise Cancellation Earbuds are available for purchase today from Amazon for $249. That’s a hefty price tag, even given the ANC tech built-in. If you’re looking for a more affordable set of earbuds there are plenty of options out there to choose from. This wooden pair from Symphonized has excellent ratings at $25 or you can go wireless with any number of options for under $50. Swing by our headphone guide for even more deals from brands like Jaybird, Sony and others.