Bang & Olufsen EarSet 3i headphones
B&O EarSet 3i review: Fashionable, well built earphones with clear sound
- Excellent clarity and detail in sound
- Good looks and good clamping force
- Light on bass
- Large earbuds can be uncomfortable
B&O’s iPhone- and iPod-friendly EarSet 3i earphones look great, are well built and have clear sound. If ‘that B&O look’ is what you’re going for the EarSet 3i earphones are perfect, but they’re a little light on bass and might be uncomfortable for some ear types even after adjustment.
Price$ 295.00 (AUD)
Bang & Olufsen has built its brand around extremely well constructed products with a signature look — lots of brushed aluminium and glossy black accents. The new B&O EarSet 3i headphones are no different, and their sound quality is of a high standard as well. Electronic music junkies will be disappointed with the relative lack of bass from the EarSet 3i, but we’re guessing that’s a demographic that will baulk at the $295 price tag.
Bang & Olufsen EarSet 3i: Design
The B&O EarSet 3i headphones are very well built. They’re mostly constructed from aluminium, and the rear ear-hooks are finished in a glossy rubber that’s soft and pliable. The headphones’ Y-shape 1m-long cord, which terminates in a four-pole 3.5m headphone jack that supports all recent iPod and iPhone models, is connected to the earphones securely — we don’t think there’s any risk of damaging the B&O EarSet 3i by pulling on the cord.
There’s a huge range of adjustment for the B&O EarSet 3i’s earpieces. You can lift the rubber ear-hook through a wide range of motion, as well as adjusting the vertical and horizontal angle the earbuds sit at. Whatever size your ears are, the EarSet 3i should sit without pinching or squeezing. However, the size of the earbuds is something that can’t be changed and we found them quite large. This might prove painful for any small-eared wearers; we recommend you try them before buying if possible.
The EarSet 3i is so named for its compatibility with Apple products like the Apple iPod touch and Apple iPhone 4, which it can control with its in-line remote. The remote is simple — there’s volume up and down buttons and a central multifunction button that works like Apple’s own (tap once to pause, twice to skip past a track, three times to skip back a track, and so on).
Bang & Olufsen EarSet 3i: Sound quality
The B&O EarSet 3i headphones have good sound quality to back up their good looks, but they're light on bass and this means the headphones aren’t as well suited to heavy beat-driven music as other high-end headphones like the Creative Aurvana Air. However, mid-range and treble frequencies are very well handled — we really noticed the pipes in Incubus’s Aqueous Transmission and the richness of the piano section in Sigur Ros’s Saegopur. Even at maximum volume, which is un-listenably loud, the B&O EarSet 3i headphones don’t have any distortion.
The EarSet 3i headphones can tend to sound a little crisp and clinical if no equaliser is applied. In most of our moderate volume listening they benefited from a slight bass boost and mid-range attenuation, which gave them more punch. Doing this doesn’t rob the B&O EarSet 3i of their ability to display plenty of detail in high quality audio — our FLAC and Apple Lossless recordings sounded excellent; detail was not as nuanced as the Sennheiser HD 800, but we were still able to hear delicate background noises in our test Beethoven, Mahler and Schubert tracks. A new favourite, the soundtrack of The Social Network, also sounded great in FLAC.
Bang & Olufsen EarSet 3i: Conclusion
The Bang & Olufsen EarSet 3i is a very well constructed set of earphones with generally good sound quality (although it’s a bit short on bass for our liking). Adjustability is great but the size of the earbuds means comfort should be confirmed before you buy.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 requiredSA
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Financial ServicesVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst - Technical BackgroundQLD
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- TPSoftware EngineerWA
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)QLD
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- TPCrystal Reports DeveloperSA
- FTFull Stack Web Developer .NET or JAVANSW
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- FTClient Delivery ManagerSA
- CCProject SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- FTInfrastructure Security Compliance OfficerNSW