This summer, we reviewed Optoma’s Nuforce Be Sport4 and loved it for being the first headphone we’d yet seen to really replace our previous favorite sport headphones. This week, Optoma is back with a new entry in their line of wireless lifestyle headphones, the Be Live2. Though these affordable IEMs have a unique, modern look, listening to them reminded us of something from Apple’s recent past.
The Be Live2 are beautiful headphones. Their pill-shaped metal driver housings are simple and striking — our review sample came in a chrome finish, but a polished black colorway is also available. The Be Live2’s driver housings are magnetic, but in a way that doesn’t interrupt their aesthetic — one left bud has a small concave section that the right bud can dock into. A simple cable connects the two buds with a three-button control pod just below the right ear — it’s the same flat cable and controller that Optoma seems to use on all of its Bluetooth headphones. The headphones themselves are IPX5 water resistant, pack a 10-hour battery, and run Bluetooth 4.1, supporting SBC and AptX codecs (AAC is not supported). They’re extremely light (16 grams total) and comfortable — each sound channel is set at a 24-degree angle from its driver housing, so they fit very ergonomically in the ear. We love the look of the Be Live2, even though the polished metal housings sticking out of our ears do have just a bit of a “Frankenstein” look. The Be Live2’s accessories are limited, as is expected with a headphone where affordability is listed as a feature — with just 3 sizes of silicone tips and a micro USB charging cable in the box.
Optoma claims a frequency response of 20Hz–20kHz for the Be Live2. In our testing, these IEMs were plenty detailed with lots of presence — unlike many lifestyle headphones we hear, the Be Live2 favors a prominent treble and recessed low-end. As a result, we found ourselves doing the same thing we did with the Apple earbuds that shipped with the early iPhones — turning the volume up to hear the bass, then feeling overwhelmed by the slightly pesky treble. After some testing with equalizer settings, it seems that the Be Live2 has a bit too much energy in the 6kHz range — this can be great for a sense of detail and air, but with modern bass-heavy music, it can be fatiguing.
The Optoma Be Live2 is a beautiful, well-built headphone. It’s sound signature could be great for some genres of music, but our recommendation is limited. We think that fans of today’s popular music — especially younger people looking for an affordable, stylish wireless IEM — will prefer a warmer sound signature.
Company and Price
Model: Nuforce Be Live2