Optoma’s range of NuForce earbuds ranges from the $40/£53 NuForce BE2 earbuds all the way up to the ‘studio quality’ Nuforce HEM8 ($450/£308) and the entire range covers a range of wired and (true-) wireless options.
Currently there is only ONE SPORT earbud they offer and that is the BE Sport 3 and that is a WIRED earbud. A true wireless sports version of the BE Free 8 should hit the stores later in 2018.
I’m looking at several sports earbuds this year to add to the guide for the best running watch with music.
The Optoma NuForce BE Sport 3 is priced sensibly at around US$65 but are they good for sports? and do they sound great? Let’s see…
In The Box
Contents include the earbuds, a storage pouch, USB cable and a selection of differently coloured/styled plugs and wings.
There must be about 30 of the coloured rubber pieces included in the pack, the image does not show them all.
Look, Feel & Some Design Details
It’s a competent and ergonomic design.
The BE SPORT 3 earbuds reviewed here do not have the quality details of a >$200 pair of earbuds but they are metallic-like and generally well-made all round.
- As shown above, the buds store by magnetically fixing to each other
- The wire is flat in cross-section and has a ‘draw-string’ at the halfway point to shorten the effective length. When combined with the magnets, this really helps keeps the cord tangle-free
- The colour of the plugs are pinky-orange, yellow and black.
For non-sporty usage the earbuds are comfy and remain naturally in the ear when the right size of plug is chosen (shown above). However the wing was certainly needed for me when running to keep them in my ear.
The colours of the wings/plugs are somewhat garish…each to their own. This image shows the wings correctly attached and you will also notice that the yellow plug is on a part of the earbud that is angled to fit better into the inner ear when in use (normal).
I had no problems pairing with a small selection of phones and music-enabled sports watches
Of course that’s no guarantee that your precise model of watch/phone/computer will work.
I think my ears are slightly on the smaller side of average. Consequently I was easily able to get a good and comfy fit for extended periods of usage.
I had no issues when running or exercising with them. They stayed in and there were no audio dropouts when I had my device (sportswatch or smartphone) on my right side ie the same side as the controller on the earbuds.
Other than the sound I was mostly unaware of them ie a good experience.
The sound quality is good although lacking a little resolution at the more extreme frequencies. Perfectly fine.
I prefer the looks of a true wireless earbud with no wires but I think there are great practical benefits of desings like this where the two earbuds are both conencted via a wire as well as having magnets to hold each other together when not in use.
- The issue with ANY bluetooth wireless earbud is that the controls tend to pull the wire towards your right side ie where the controls are.
- I would have preferred a wider selection and spares of darker-coloured wings and plugs.
- There is no app to, for example, equalize sound frequencies
- There are no sports specific sensors built-in
Optoma NuForce Range
Definition: A wire joins the two earbuds, a control unit is on the wire.
A BE Sport4 is expected later in 2018
Definition: True wireless earbuds have no wires whatsoever, not even to physically keep the two buds together. Some have an optional cord/wire..
This is the BE Free8 model and a SPORT version is expected later in the year.
Definition: Typically has a 3.5mm mini-phone jack connector to plug into a smartphone.
These are high fidelity earbuds.
Technical Specifications & Resources
- Battery life (estimated) Up to 10 hours
- Colours silver, gunmetal and rose Gold
- Waterproof to IP55-rated
- Connection type Bluetooth 2.4Ghz
- Bluetooth type V4.1
- Bluetooth profile HSP 1.2, HFP 1.6, A2DP 1.2, AVRCP 1.4 , aptX, AAC
- Codec SBC, aptX, AAC
- Cable length 580 +/- 20 mm
- Driver Type Dynamic
- Driver size 6 mm
- Impedance 16 Ohm
- Battery type Lithium-ion battery, Cylindrical Type, Typical 3.7V/75mAh x2 pcs
- Microphone sensitivity -42 +/-3 dB
- Frequency response 20Hz – 20kHz
- Sensitivity 94dB +/-3dB at 1KHz
- Power consumption 15mA at A2DP mode, speaker output 75dB SPL
- Range Up to 10m
- Weight 15 Grams
User Manual: Link to Optoma.com
Price, Discounts & Availability
These earbuds were released in late 2016. This might mean that there will be generally downwards pressure on the already good price. Perhaps the sort of thing you might get a really good deal on at the time of sales like Cyber Monday/Black Friday?