Optoma NuForce BeFree8 – test and review

Optoma NuForce BeFree8

Fully wireless ear plugs almost without irritation

Optoma is perhaps best known for its projectors , but after the acquisition of the NuForce company in 2014, they have also dipped their feet in the ear plugs and other audio products market.

BeFree 8 is thus our first experience with an Optoma audio product, and it is a set of “completely wireless” ear plugs with a price that is not completely deterrent. For less than $ 100 in the cheapest online store, they put about where Apple’s AirPods are located.

And AirPods seem to have been a clear inspiration, at least if we look at the case. It’s something bigger than Apple’s case, but both the plastic finish, the rounded edges and the magnet closure are very similar to the apple variant.

Deferred to finger marks

The extremely shiny and black plastic is a distinctive fingerprint magnet, which is probably chopped less preached with Apple’s white finish. It’s also not very hard to scratch it up if you’re lying loose in the bag or else it’s a bit careless. Our case has some usage marks already.

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The charging tray (left) is chopped larger than Apple’s (white) and approximately the size of the Jabra Sport Elite seat (blue).

The actual plugs are of the type that use rubber or foam pads to create sealing against the ear canal, so if you prefer the open design you should already look at AirPods.

The plugs are designed so that they are turned upwards in the ear, thus acting a bit like their own wings. It works fine, but the weight distribution is a bit so it can be difficult to get them to fit properly if you jump and bounce around. If you practice intense exercise, it is highly likely to go for a pair that has a slightly better fastening device. However, it is a plus that they are rain and perspiration resistant (IPX5), so if you want to work out with them, it should certainly be fine.

The plaster does not scream exactly luxury or fierce building quality. Each of them has a small button on the page. The left manages play / pause one press, jump one song forward with two presses and enable the voice assistant by holding it in. The button on the right plug apparently has no other function than turning the plug on and off.

Magnetic Induction

For some reason you only use one plug, you are limited to using the left. Here’s the bluetooth receiver, while the plugs use so-called near-field magnet induction (NFMI) to communicate with each other.

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Magnetic induction should be a more reliable method for this type of transmission, and has been talked about by several manufacturers as a way to reduce the problem that the signal between the plugs falls out. Bluetooth is known to be sensitive to interference from, for example, wifi networks, as it uses the 2.4 GHz band.

In BeFree8 it seems apparently brilliant. We have not experienced any notable transmission problems, neither between the plugs and the mobile, nor between the right and left plugs. The plugs are also extremely fast to synchronize the signal if you go from one to two plugs or when you take the right plug out of the very limited cover area to the left.

The range from the plugs to the phone is average for this category, of course, it is quite limited how much antenna you can accommodate.

It’s also a little annoying that the plugs do not turn on automatically when you take them out of the case. It’s something that’s so comfortable with Apple’s AirPods, that you can just take them out of the case and then they are turned on and connected before you even get them in your ear.

Good sound

However, the sound is solid. BeFree8 offers high resolution, detailed sound and mostly an airy and great sound image. However, they can be perceived as a bit sharp at the top, and especially from iPhone, which is often a bit spikier in the sound than Android phones most.

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A tiny button per plug provides some options for remote control of music and conversations.

In addition, a little more fullness and body in the midst had not been despised, but evenly this is great, and certainly at the height of, for example, Jabra Elite Sport, which has been one of our favorites in this class. With proper ear pads and optimum sealing, bass reproduction is also very good, with a precise and rich foundation for the rest of the sound image.

Conversely, the call quality is quite weak. Indoors and in quiet surroundings, it works well, but outdoors and especially in the wind it is problematic for the other party to hear what you are saying. The counterpart often found that one could hear as much of the environment as the voice of the undersigned, and it indicates that they do not even try to filter away so much.

A slight bright spot is that you at least get served the stereo conversation sound at your end, which is not always the case with these completely wireless products. They are also well insulated both in and out, so you do not risk bothering the neighbor on the bus, but have no ambient mode like some other of these products, which use the microphones outside to emit some sound.

Battery life is also about par for these «true wireless» products, with four hours on a charge. It seems for us to vote well, and Optoma has also accommodated a battery with space for three extra charges in the case, many of which others only offer two. The total battery life will be around 16 hours, which is good.

Conclusion

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Optoma NuForce BeFree8 is consistently solid.

Optoma NuForce BeFree8 is a solid pair of fully wired ear plugs. The nipples of Apple are clear, but Optoma’s channel plug design offers better sound and better passive cushioning of the surroundings.

Otherwise, they have stable connection, useful battery life and good comfort while call quality is weak. The latter, however, is the only real negative we can find.

All in all, these should definitely be taken into consideration if you are looking for ear plugs without any kind of cable. Also look at the good options below.

“A good alternative to Apple, Jabra, Sony and the others.”

Benefits

  • Rich and airy sound
  • Sitting pretty well in place
  • Curant battery life in this class
  • Three extra charges in the case
  • Stable connection

Things to think about

  • The case is a fingerprint magnet without the same
  • Pretty big case
  • Slightly sharp in the treble sometimes
  • No possibility for own ear rings
  • Battery life is still weak against other form factors
  • Weak talk quality in noisy environments

Extra

Video:Optoma NuForce Be Free8: Better Than Apple AirPods?

Video: Optoma NuForce BE Free8 Review – Truly Wireless Earphones vs AirPods & Sony WF-1000X

This video is about Optoma NuForce BE Free8 truly wireless earphones. I also compare these to my Airpods and Sony WF-1000X and choose a winner.



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