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Bang & Olufsen A8 Earphones review: Bang & Olufsen A8 Earphones

The original and still the best, the Bang & Olufsen A8 Earphones sound good and look great, but if you're looking for an exciting result these aren't for you.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

Recently, we looked at a pair of headphones that looked disturbingly similar to the A8s, and found them to be quite agreeable. But what of the originals that inspired them?

8.2

Bang & Olufsen A8 Earphones

The Good

Uncharacteristically inexpensive. Balanced sound. Premium build and looks.

The Bad

Uncomfortable fit. Not suited to bass fiends.

The Bottom Line

The original and still the best, the Bang & Olufsen A8 Earphones sound good and look great, but if you're looking for an exciting result these aren't for you.

While originally coming in black only, the A8 now comes in a choice of colours — black, white, green yellow and orange. The 'phones themselves are constructed from anodised aluminium, plastic and hard rubber, and there are some foam covers in the package to prevent the plastic edges of the buds from rubbing on your ears. Like Creative's cheeky Aurvana Airs, the Bang & Olufsen A8s fold over the top of your ear leaving the ear buds resting just inside your auditory canal (OK, we had to look that up — we couldn't just say "ears" again). The fit, as you'd expect, is very similar to the Creative's, but the hinge is better so it's a little easier to get a good initial fit. Moving around, though, is a different matter, and we found that the hinge came loose after a while and the ear buds gravitated away from the ears necessitating you clamping them back down. The Creative's earphones usually stayed put.

Sound quality is a different matter though, and to test this we used them with a variety of different sources including Bang & Olufsen's own BeoSound 6 player and the Creative Zen X-Fi. The A8s have a different sonic character to the excitable Creative set, being more balanced and less "fizzy". As a result they sound better with a greater range of music. Nick Cave's Moonland from the Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! set had a reasonable amount of space and good detail on the vocals. However, the bass was a little lacking and the Creative sounded richer in comparison.

The real clincher for music fans is the price: they're AU$70 cheaper than the Creative set. If out-and-out detail isn't your main goal, and you're looking for a smooth-sounding headphone that's not outrageously expensive then the Bang & Olufsen A8 is a very good and very stylish set of earphones. Pity about the the less-than-optimal fit, though.