UNBOXED: Reviewing the Optoma NuForce BE Free8 Wireless Earbuds
Out of the box, I had some real concerns about the Optoma NuForce BE Free8 true wireless earbuds. From the look of the product, I thought there would be no way that they’d stay in my ear. They were unconventionally thick from a wireless earbud perspective. We’ve reviewed quite a few truly wireless earbuds at this point, and the BE Free8’s were by far the bulkiest product that I’ve come across.
Those concerns were alleviated the second I plugged the product into my ears. Not only were they far more comfortable to wear than I anticipated them being, the semicircle design actually made them a near perfect fit in my ear. I did find that, the rather lengthy in-ear portion of the BE Free8’s made them uncomfortable to wear for long stretches, but we’re talking after several hours—or roughly to the end of the product’s four hour battery life.
Coupled with the mostly comfortable fit is the fact that Optoma has created a product that produced pretty impressive audio. Similar to the JLab Epic Air’s that we reviewed, we did notice a slight humming noise at low volumes, almost like an open mic sound or something, but that was unnoticeable when the volume was above the lowest possible setting. Getting into specifics, Optoma explains that their BE Free8 earbuds feature dynamic drivers with NuForce proprietary Sonic coating that helps to provide “crystal clear sound.” Beyond the clarity, the bass performance out of these things was real solid. Additionally, Optoma integrated both AAC and aptX technologies, which helps maintain high fidelity audio when streaming from nearly any device.
What will appeal to a lot of potential buyers with the BE Free8 earbuds is the fact that there’s a physical button on each earbud that allows them to control the music they’re listening to as well as accept or hang up phone calls. The button lived on the back of each earbud, which helps to explain why they’re so thick—you need the extra real estate to ensure the button wasn’t hidden by the user’s ear. Having the physical button was an OK but somewhat awkward experience for me personally. I found that having to reach up and press a button I would a touch surface (similar to a Bragi or JLab product) moved the earbud around more than I would have liked. At times it felt like I was jamming the bud into my ear because it was a little difficult to press. And pressing the button led to my having to readjust the earbud on many occasions to re-find that perfect spot.
First world problems. I know.
Concerns I had with the button were solved by simply interacting with my phone rather than trying to fidget with the earbud—the same could really be said about any product in this category.
All of that aside, the Optoma NuForce BE Free8 truly wireless earbuds are a solid option, and at $149.99 they come in at a price that doesn’t hurt the wallet like some others in this segment. For a first attempt at truly wireless earbuds, Optoma should be proud of the product they added to their expanding portfolio.