Last week, company Optoma launched a new pair of earbuds called the NuForce BE2. The earbuds were hawked as a premium product with a less-than-premium $49 price tag, seemingly offering the best of both worlds. On paper, at least, there’s a lot to like about this model: water-resistance, AAC audio support, a 10-hour battery life, wireless functionality, and more. Does it live up to those promises in the real-world, though?
The NuForce BE2 is a wireless model that connects to your preferred streaming device over Bluetooth. Unlike some other earbuds, which feature a plastic neckband packing all of the important hardware bits, the BE2 feature all of the elements within the ear pieces themselves, leaving only a cable tether with in-line remote between them.
Each ear piece is a bit beefy because of this, enough that they protrude from the wearer’s ear canals, though not excessively. The ear tips, by contrast, are long and thin; when inserted properly, external noise is all but entirely eliminated, leaving the user isolated from unwanted noises. Everything about the construction feels premium. When comparing these to my similarly-priced Bluetooth Marshmallow earbuds, the JVC model feels positively cheap.
As shown in the photos, the in-line remote control is a bit larger than what you’ll find on many other earbud products, though I didn’t find it intrusive in most cases. A small plastic bead-like clasp on the cable allows users to shorten the length of the ‘band’ it forms around the wearer’s neck when the two magnetic ear pieces are attached to each other. The magnetic attachment, meanwhile, is very solid; I never worried about the earbuds popping free and falling off.
Audio quality is great across all genres and audio varieties. I used the BE2 to listen to both audiobooks and podcasts, and found the voice quality to be very crisp without any hint of tinniness or muddy properties. Music was similarly robust but also even-handed; when the audio gets low, it gets *very* low, but without sacrificing quality. Similarly, high notes ring through clearly and there are no hints of distortion.
No doubt helping with the audio quality are the ‘SpinFit TwinBlade’ silicone ear tips included with the earbuds. You don’t need to turn the audio up very high at all, and there’s no repositioning necessary to keep the audio from getting muffled in the ear canal.
What we like
There’s a lot to like about the NuForce BE2. The IPX5 sweat-resistance rating helps protect the earbuds even if you’re caught in a light rain. A combination of Kevlar-reinforced cables and polycarbonate materials make the earbuds durable as well as lightweight. Also excellent is the 10 or so hours of listening time you get per charge. Rounding out the model’s notable features is support for AAC, making them particularly suitable for Apple products.
The Optoma NuForce BE2 wireless earbuds bring a lot to the table, but without the substantial price tag you may pay elsewhere. The combination of durable design, AAC support, long battery life, sleek design, and water resistance means the BE2 will meet most users’ needs. The earbuds are available now from Amazon.