Review: nuforce BE6i – iPhone 7 ready

Disclaimer: Nuforce supplied a box of earphones for me to review for Headfonia, in which was included the BE6i. I paid nothing for them. The BE6i is a single dynamic driver earphone that tethers to your Mac, iPhone, Android phone, or Astell&Kern player via Bluetooth over AAC or AptX. It goes for about 130$ USD. You can find all about it here: BE6i: Wireless bluetooth in-ear headphones.

Relevant links:

The age of freedom – bluetooth
A closeup on the Nuforce BE6i bluetooth earphone
Picture Sunday: The Rise of Wireless Audiophilia
Review: Nuforce HEM2 – Bizarre Love Triangle
Nuforce Primo 8: Boundless Mids
TENTO Porta DAC 1866 – All Your Bases
Review: PS Audio Sprout – Whose Bass?

Add this essay to the heap capitalising on Apple’s newly-minted jack-less iPhone 7. iPhone 7 or no, it was about time for Bluetooth. My experience with Bluetooth audio is limited to MyST’s R2R Porta DAC (Manufactured for the non-Russian market by Tento Engineering) and PS Audio’s Sprout, both of which specifically target audiophiles, both of which I reviewed here.

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Not sound

The BEM6i looks like a first week’s prepared project for a secondary school elective design course. Tube. Barrel. Sound tube. Remote control. Microphone. Plastic shunts. Nuforce call it elegant. I call it pat. What is elegant, parsimonious, and effective is Nuforce’s brilliant logo, milled into the ass of each earphone. It is the BE6i’s singular beauty mark.

The earphones come in a bland box, tagged with: Hear more. Feel more., a tagline strangely out of place in an audiophile earphone. Who knows, maybe nuforce are moving into the 4D cinema arena.

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Similar to the HEM2, the BE6i is perfectly outfitted: five pair of silicon ear pieces, two pair Comply foams, a pair of ear hooks, and a brilliant zipper pouch which fits everything in. Unadvertised are the pole-switched magnets at each cap, which not only tidy the BE6i but spruce up your refrigerator.

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Nuforce advertise 8 hours of battery life. I’ve had the BE6i running for about five hours tops, but because I incessantly pair and un-pair myriad devices: iPhone 6 and 4s, iPod nano 7g, Astell&Kern AK70 and AK Jr, iMac 2012, and more, I’ve been unable to reliably measure battery life. Nuforce claim the BE6i will keep wireless connections up to 30 metres. I can wander all over my house, from top to bottom, and duck behind closed doors with little to no connection problems when connected to my iPhone 6. But my house’s 118 square metres never allows me to be further from my iPhone than about 9 metres in any direction. My steel front door chops connections up. Inside, my iMac semi-reliably connects at distances up to 2 metres, but is most comfy at 1 metre.

Outside, this is how things go:

iPhone 6: up to 20 metres (stable to 18)
iPhone 4: up to 10 metres (stable to 8)
AK70: up to 2 metres aptx (stable to less than 1)
AK Jr: up to 3 metres (stable to 2)
AK100: up to 3 metres (stable to 2)

As you can see, Bluetooth connection distance and stability are device dependent. I also assume that if you live in an area with loads of people and devices around you, those distances will shorten. I live next to a frog pond.

Sound and more after the jump:

Review: nuforce BE6i – iPhone 7 ready
4 (80%) 12 votes

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

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