It's in our list of the best true wireless earbuds but Bang & Olufsen's Beoplay E8 was quite annoying to use due to various software and connectivity 'quirks'. I was so enraged that my head nearly exploded, but then I'm an irritable guy. On the other hand, they sounded notably better than Apple AirPods
However, now there is a BeoPlay E8 2.0 with wireless charging case. Hopefully as well as adding wireless charging, these will keep the sonic classiness of the E8 1.0 and terminate with extreme prejudice the connectivity issues and deeply annoying software upgrade process that dogged version 1. Technological progress is marvellous, isn't it?
IMPORTANT UPDATE Yes, that wireless charging case does appear to be made of human flesh but that's okay; it isn't really. You can also get these buds in Black, Indigo Blue and Limestone, in addition to the colour above, which B&O is calling 'It Puts The Lotion On Its Skin'.
The big news here, apart from the use of skin, is that Beoplay E8 2.0 are not just true wireless headphones but true wirelessly-charging true wireless headphones. They keep the total convenience and great sound of the original but allow you to charge on any wireless (Qi) charging pad.
Although there isn't a wireless charging pad provided with the E8 2.0, you can use any one you have lying around already, or you can buy Bang & Olufsen's official pad, at a 'retail price yet to be disclosed' (!)
If you don't want to recharge wirelessly, don't worry; there's also a USB-C input.
Responding to other complaints from their punters, B&O has also upgraded the E8's leather charging case 'with a new, more exclusive form factor' (!)
The E8's battery life is 4 hours, and the wireless charging case holds 'three full charges' so you can go through 16 hours of play time before you need to recharge the case (the original could only muster 12 hours). LED lights indicate both how well charged the buds are, and how many more times the case can juice them up.
Another highly important improvement is that on the inside of the charging case, 'the earphones are now surrounded by a beautiful inlay of brushed single or double anodised aluminium depending on colour.'
The charging pad, whose retail price cannot yet be revealed, is lavishly hand-tooled by artisans in brushed aluminium and leather, 'designed to last and to age beautifully' and supports both regular (5 Watt) charging and fast charging (10 Watts).
If you bought version 1 of the E8 you'll be glad to know that you can upgrade to wireless charging, simply by giving Bang & Olufsen £200 (!) for the official wireless charging case.
Here's what B&O has to say about the sound:
'Just like the original Beoplay E8, the new earphones come tuned by Bang & Olufsen’s acclaimed sound engineers for a rich, full-bodied and precise soundstage that will leave your ears wanting more. Each earpiece has a 5.7mm dynamic speaker, a small electromagnetic transducer, NFMI technology (Near Field Magnetic Induction) and a Bluetooth 4.2 chip with Digital Sound Processing that allows for dynamic sound tuning and sound without interruption. Users will also be able to tune the sound themselves in the Bang & Olufsen app for Android and iPhone.'
I can definitely confirm the original E8 sounded very good.
Finally, and rather brilliantly, you can buy individual left or right buds. Why? Two reasons: so you can use one as a more stylish Bluetooth earpiece for phone calls, and so you can replace buds when they fall out and get lost.
• BeoPlay E8 2.0 will be available from February 14 (Valentine's Day) for £350.
• The Wireless Charging Pad, in matching colours, has a retail price that is yet to be disclosed.
• Separate Beoplay E8 2.0 left and right buds retail for £125 and the wireless charging case (not pad) will be £200, from April 2019.