Optoma BE Sport4 in-ear headphones
The Optoma BE Sport4 are Bluetooth wireless earphones designed to offer better sound quality at an affordable price for runners and other exercise fanatics. The earpieces are IPX5 rated for sweat and water resistance (not suitable for swimming but should be fine in all but the most torrential of downpours).
The claimed battery life is an impressive (for the physical size of the battery) ten hours, which is three times what you get out of other Bluetooth ear pieces such as the Jabra Elite Sport (which I also own and are the main benchmark for this review).
The Optoma BE Sport4 comprises two ear pieces connected by a thin cable which is also home to the minimalist control interface and battery. The package is surprisingly light (just 17g according to my kitchen scales) and the connecting cable has a toggle to allow you to customize the fit. There are also a lot of options when it comes to ear buds and ‘wings’ to help the units sit comfortable and securely in the ear.
After playing around with the various options, I settled on the medium ‘wings’ and the ‘two-stage’ ear pieces, which provided both the best fit and best sound quality (the way the earbud sits in the ear has a direct effect on how much bass you hear etc.).
The earbuds are magnetic, which means that when not in use, you can wear them securely round your neck. Not the most fashionable necklace you’ll ever wear, but great for convenience.
The Bluetooth pairing was admirably simple, with no need for a dedicated phone app. The BE Sport4 come with a small convenient cushioned fabric carry case that can be hooked onto a belt loop or kit bag.
I would say that the sound quality is upper mid-pack. Much better than earlier Bluetooth earbuds that I’ve tried, but not quite up there with the likes of the Jabra Elite Sport or my Bose QC20 noise-cancelling earbuds (to be fair, both of these are significantly more expensive than the BE Sport4). Once you get the right earbuds and wings fitted, the bass quality is good without overwhelming the subtler aspects of whatever you’re listening to. Optoma boasts that the drivers are graphene-coated, which they claim aids both light weight and also sound quality.
Not that it helped me with an iPhone, but users of Android phones might notice even better sound quality due to the BE Sport4’s compatibility with the aptX standard (which apparently provides better music quality when compared to a standard Bluetooth codec).
I found the fit to be very good; no problems with earbuds coming loose or falling out. You do notice the connecting cable, but if you adjust it properly it’s not uncomfortable. When sweat eventually gets in to the ear canal (more likely if you're hammering the treadmill as opposed to running outside), the earbuds and sound generators cope well (better than the Jabra Elite, I’d say).
You do feel the cord that connects the two ear pieces, but it's not uncomfortable. Turning your head sharply side-to-side can cause the cord to catch on clothing which can pull on an ear piece, but in my experience they held firm and didn't come out.
The unit is charged through the almost-ubiquitous micro USB port. Optoma claims a 15-minute charge is enough to give two hours run time. Based on my testing, that seems pretty accurate. The total run time on a full charge is claimed to be 10 hours. Great if, like me, you’re good at forgetting to charge your devices.
As a phone headset
The Optoma BE4 includes a microphone for phone calls. I did not test this extensively, but it seemed to work fine on the occasions I had to use it.
At around £80, I’d say these earbuds represent good value. Significantly cheaper than some other offerings and better quality than others. The sort of money where you can be safe that you’re buying a quality product, but not so prohibitively expensive that you’d be scared to use them!
For more information, visit: https://www.optoma.co.uk/audioproduct/be-sport4