The B&O BeoPlay E4 earphones sound great, offering a balanced sound and solid noise-cancelling capabilities. B&O quote 20 hours of noise-cancelled playback with the earphones per charge. Mileage will vary depending on volume levels, but this seems broadly accurate, and is commendable.
The noise-cancelling does a pretty good job of blocking out exterior noise, producing a quiet, barely-audible hiss to counteract sounds from the real world. Working best when music is playing (as opposed to audiobooks or podcasts), the low rumblings of a tube journey where practically muted, along with the sound of cars’ wet wheels on tarmac as I took a stormy walk home one night. They’re less well suited to offices though – it seems voices can still cut through the noise-cancelling effect unless you’ve pushed the volume up very loud.
Across a range of genres, the B&O BeoPlay E4 earphones sounded great. It’s a pretty balanced sound overall, leaning perhaps just a tad on the bassier end of the spectrum, with a consistent tone whether using the noise-cancelling option or otherwise.
The thrashy punk sounds of …And You Will Know Them By The Trail of Dead’s Baudelaire saw the tumble of distorted guitars and cymbal crashes cut through, without scrimping on bass levels.
The more delicate ivory tinkling of Debussy’s classical Clare de Lune saw the interplay of mids and highs offer a rich soundscape, while the sharp synths and deep bass notes of Kraftwerk’s The Model we’re equally well reproduced.
As for mic performance, call quality was great at either end of the call – though as with most in-line earphone mics, windy weather can affect performance.