Ever since Apple ditched the headphone jack and introduced AirPods companies have scrambled to make wire-free earbuds. Many of the previous offerings we’ve reviewed have had their issues. The Optoma NuForce BE Free8 wire-free headphones have set out to fix those issues. I believe they may be the first in a new wave of wire-free headphones that are worth looking into. Now that Google has also ditched the headphone jack on the new Pixel series, wire-free headphones will be more sought after than ever. Read on for the full review of the Optoma NuForce BE Free8 wire-free earbuds.
The Optoma NuForce BE Free8 wire-free earbuds have the following features and specifications:
- Frequency Response: 20hz-20,000hz
- Driver Type: DYNAMIC 6mm WITH NUFORCE SONIC COATING
- Sensitivity: 92db +/-3db
- Battery Life: UP TO 4h + 12h WITH CHARGING CASE
- Drive Unit: 6mm
- Wireless type: Bluetooth
- Operating Range: 33 feet or more
- Supported codecs: HSP 1.2, HFP 1.6, A2DP 1.2, AVRCP 1.4, SBC, AAC, APTX LOW LATENCY
- Connection Mode: NMFI (NearField Magnetic Induction)
- Compatibility: Compatible with both AAC and aptX® LL technologies
- Weight: 1.6oz
- IPX5 rated
- Siri and Google Assistant voice activation
What’s In The Box
- Optoma NuForce BE Free8 earbuds
- Custom made SpinFit tips short S/M + SpinFit XS S/M
- Charging Case
- MicroUSB cable
The Optoma NuForce BE Free8 earbuds are actually really nicely designed. I’m really digging the sort of futuristic lines Optoma choose to incorporate into the visible portion of the buds. The BE Free8 earbuds are made of high-quality plastics and feel substantial in the hand. Each bud has two magnetic charging points that match up to points in the charging case. Both earbuds have power buttons while the left bud’s power button also controls the track forward and play/pause functions. Answering calls is also done through the left bud’s power button.
With a combined weight of 1.6oz these buds weigh next to nothing. I like that they’re not overly big and they don’t hang out of your ears like other wire-free options. Optoma includes a variety of ear tips including their SpinFit option which I have never found comfortable. I much prefer the regular tips but that’s entirely going to be a subjective preference.
The charging case looks very much like Apple’s AirPod charging case but probably a wee bit fatter. The case is also made of plastic but it’s robust and feels good in the hand. Overall the design of the buds is a futuristic yet elegant look which I really like. Optoma really did a superb job in designing these buds.
Ease of Use
I should probably mention that Optoma sent over a pre-production pair of the BE Free8 earbuds and retail versions will work just slightly differently. The retail versions should power up both earbuds by just pressing the master earbud power. On these pre-production earbuds, I had to power up each earbud separately.
Before you get started you should charge the buds to full. The charging case has a MicroUSB port for charging and I just fully charged both the buds and the case before I began.
Once you have things charged it’s as easy as powering on the left bud and pairing that via Bluetooth in your phone. Then you power up the right bud and the left bud should auto-detect it and pair up. Once that’s all done, you’re ready to start enjoying your music. To power off your Be Free8 earbuds, just press and hold the power button on the left bud and both buds will power down.
When you’re ready to use them again, just press and hold the left bud button and both earbuds should power up. The left earbud will first connect to your device and then it will connect to the right earbud to complete the circle. Overall these earbuds are super simple to use. Getting all three things paired via Bluetooth is probably the most involved thing you’ll be doing.
I’ve been impressed with Optoma’s attention to sound reproduction. Their excellent NuForce BE2’s earned a Top Pick award and their BE Sport3’s received high praise. So I wasn’t surprised at all at the sound on the BE Free8 wire-free earbuds. The sound stage is well balanced but with just a favorable lean to the low end.
That bass is noticeable but not overly done, which is exactly how I love my music. I want to be able to hear all the highs and mids with clarity without the bass making it muddy. That’s exactly what Optoma does. The bass is enough for you to feel the thump between your ears but not so obnoxious it’s the only thing you hear.
Everything is very clean and crisp as well, tuned really well. You have to love a pair of headphones that can deliver Bach or Beethoven just as well as it can deliver Toby Mac or Coldplay. Overall the sound is rich, clear, and crisp yet lays a firm foundation of bass that is very appreciated.
So here’s where Optoma seems to be doing something different than other brands I’ve personally used. Optoma is using near-field magnetic induction technology which makes the connection between the earbuds much stronger. In other brands that I’ve used I’ve lost the connection between buds but with the Be Free8 earbuds, that was pretty much eliminated. There was one time where I experienced a loss of signal between buds but it ironed out and I never experienced it again.
On the Bluetooth reception side, this is typical 33 feet away signal rules. I found, for the most part, the Bluetooth connection was very stable. There were some occasions where I lost Bluetooth signal between the device and earbuds when my phone was in my pocket but it was just a few times.
Phone calls were crisp and clear and I could hear the caller loud and clear while the caller could also hear me. Overall I think Optoma has finally beaten the dropped signal between buds and is doing well in this category.
Optoma claims 4-hours on a single charge with up to 3 more charges from the included case. I found I was getting around 3.75 hours on a charge and was able to recharge the buds 3 full times with the case. Battery life will vary though, so your experience may not be the same but it should be close.
The Optoma BE Free8 wire-free earbuds are priced at $149USD and you can get them on Amazon. I think this wire-free option is priced competitively and I think we’re going to see this segment of the headphone space start filling up. I think these are well worth your dime.
I believe brands have figured out how to maintain a solid connection between the two buds and we’re going to start seeing more excellent wire-free options. I also believe that the $100-$199USD price point is going to be the sweet spot for the better performing wire-free option. Optoma has got a great product on their hands here, well worth checking out.
*We were sent a review sample of the Optoma NuForce BE Free8 wire-free headphones for the purposes of this review.
Optoma NuForce BE Free8$149USD
Ease of Use9.5 /10
Reception/Call Quality9.0 /10
Battery Life9.0 /10
- Great sound with a good amount of bass
- Nice design, not too huge
- Easy to setup
- Great battery life considering their size
- Nice carrying case and extra battery
- Had a few instances of dropped Bluetooth signal
- May be a bit pricey for some