Optoma Nuforce BE Free8 Bluetooth Earbud Review
So the bluetooth fairy has delivered yet again, and Optoma Nuforce now has a truly wireless product in the BE Free8. When shoved in the ears, Optoma Nuforce promise us ‘True wireless earphones with superior sound quality with deep explosive bass’. Perhaps they should have called it the ‘Deton8’?
- Completely Wireless
- One capsule can be worn only, like a bluetooth hands-free
- Charging can be done in portable case
- Supplied tips are a bit slender
- Not good if you have butterfingers
Design and Appearance
The capsules are small and they’re sleek; the shiny plastic looks the part, but be careful when handling them. If you have dry fingers like this reviewer, they can be a bit slippy between the fingers. It would be nice to have a textured panel or a bit of piping around the edge for better grip.
Spinfit tips are included in two sizes; they look like medium and small sizes so if your ear canals are of a large size, you may be looking for some aftermarket tips. Also included is a case or caddy for storing the earphones between uses, and recharging them. The caddy can itself be recharged, so you needn’t be stuck if you’re away from a power socket.
Durability and Build Quality
Naturally, there’s not much to these earbuds, only the capsules and the caddy. The capsules are light but solid enough; were these to fall on the floor and be trodden on, the show should go on. The caddy is much the same in terms of how solid it feels, so there are no immediate concerns here.
Depending on how well you can get on with the supplied silicone tips, comfort is not an issue. The capsules sit in place with no trouble, and they can be largely forgotten, but for the music. Should the silicone tips give any issues, aftermarket foam tips such as Blackbird’s S20 tips should offer an improvement.
The sound of the BE Free8 is generally on the bassy side, but with a decent amount of midrange and treble presence for a warm but fairly detailed presentation.
There’s a decent amount of subbass here; although as mentioned above, the supplied tips are quite small and thin. Without a good seal, bass frequencies can be affected so bear this in mind. Bass control is pretty good for a design of this type although it could be a bit tighter.
Midrange is clear and quite detailed for a bluetooth earphone; it does not appear recessed unless there is a lot of bass and sub bass going on, so if you’re a fan of oldies or acoustic music then do not be put off. Having said that, the BE Free8 is not too tolerant of low-bitrate music files which can come across as a bit mushy.
- Treble (e.g. high hats):
Treble is gentle and goes very well with the midrange; there’s no noticeable throughs or peaks in the sound up here. If you’re keen on a bright or sparkly sound then the BE Free8 may not be for you, although it’s certainly not rolled off or veiled. Fine details are not particlarly well rendered, but this is par for the course for this type of wireless earphone these days.
- Soundstage and Separation
Effects such as soundstage and imaging/separation etc. do rely on those fine details, and these are insufficient to get a good impression of space and the positions of sounds within that space. The BE Free8 is not the best at this, but does present a cohesive and enjoyable sound nonetheless.
Music genres good for and why
The Optoma Nuforce BE Free8 is probably best with modern pop and dance etc. but will cope well with all genres, so long as your digital music files are of good quality. 128kbps MP3 files from 2004 will probably make themselves known!
Optoma Nuforce’s new BE Free8 is a truly wireless model, with two capsules to put in your ears and that’s it – no cable even runs between them. For music, they are quite adequate for using whilst exercising or on the move but may not cut it for fans of subtle details.