The BeMe D200 are yet another contender for best lightning earbuds. Although they cost a seemingly pricey $169.99, thanks to their excellent sound, straightforward app and effective onboard active noise cancellation, they are worth serious consideration if you want to up your game from the dismal lightning EarPods Apple includes with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
I’m new to BEEM UNITED’s products and took a few minutes to check out their website after receiving the review sample of the black BeMe D200 headphones. They describe their mission as being:
For people who are fearless about expressing their personal style and deepest passions, BEEM UNITED is the audio brand that champions their confidence and unites their spirit behind colorful, futuristic products that help them celebrate who they are as individuals. Behind our designs, we incorporate high-quality audio and technologically advanced features in our products to provide our customers with a pure digital sound experience. Through powerful noise-cancelling technology, we remove the noises of the world that hinder people from focusing on how their favorite music empowers them to own their individuality; they are then able to embrace their identity as part of an international movement of bad-asses who celebrate the beauty of being one-of-a-kind through music.
With phrases like, “people who are fearless about expressing their personal style and deepest passions”, “empowers them to own their individuality” and “embrace their identity as part of an international movement of bad-asses,” there is a good bit of marketing-speak here. One is left to wonder if these are more than a PR-hyped fashion offering. The good news is that they are! Once I got used to the rather unusual appearance of these in-ear headphones and started using them I could not help but be impressed.
The headphones come nicely packaged. That’s something one would expect from headphones that are slightly south of $170 but isn’t always the case. With the BeMe D200 Lightning Earbuds, you get a nice experience before you even start using the headphones.
In the box, you get the earphones, four sizes of ergonomic ear tips, a wire clip, a carrying case, a Quick Start Guide and a User’s Manual. There’s even a cute plastic case for the extra ear tips and wire clip! The app is a free download from the iTunes App Store. (Of course, the app is only in the App Store since these are Lightning Earbuds that are only for use with Apple’s iOS devices.)
I’m not big on presentation but the thick cardboard, tri-fold box impressed me from the start.
The earpieces each come with an “L” or “R” indication subtly printed on the inside, so you never have to guess about which earpiece goes into which ear. The ear tips come in small, medium, large and extra-large so you can find the fit that works best for you from both the perspective of comfort and seal. The earbuds have a somewhat unusual shape, and this is done for a reason.
Not only should you place the earbuds in the appropriate ear but, after inserting them the company suggests you twist each earbud and lock it in place. This does two things. First, it gives you a better seal and, as a result, better sound. Second, it locks the earbuds in so they won’t come loose if you are wearing the earphones during while you are active. I didn’t think the BeMe D200s would be comfortable. After all, they are a bit bigger than the earphones I am used to wearing. I was surprised to find that, not only do they stay put when running but they are actually quite comfortable!
I realized while writing this review that I will often write, “for those of you interested in numbers” and then list the specs for various headphones. The reason for this is that I honestly don’t give a damn about the numbers. All that matters to me is how headphones sound. That noted… for those of you who care about numbers the specs look like this:
- Driver/Dynamic: 10.66mm
- Diaphragm: Peek+PU
- Impedance: 22?
- Frequency Response: 20Hz~20KHz
- Max Input Power: 10mW
- Connector: Lightning
- HD Audio: 24 bit, 48KHz
- Cord: 1.2M
- Weight: 20g
That noted, since I care about how headphones sound far more than the numbers I’ll simply say this — the BeMe D200 sound good when the ANC is off and great when it is on. For that reason, I would highly suggest you think about these earphones as ones you will always use with ANC on unless you are out and about and need to allow in the ambient sound in, in order to hear what is happening around you for the sake of safety.
That’s not an issue since these earphones get the power for their active noise cancellation from the iPhone itself. There’s no battery in the BeMe D200s that needs to be charged so you can nix all the noise you want without worrying that they will run out on you.
Better still, you won’t be faced with an either/or scenario when deciding if you can safely have the ANC on.
The BEEM United app lets you choose from full ANC, no ANC and some ANC with a tap of the iPhone or iPad’s screen.
Active Noise Cancellation: Listen to the world around you, or listen to your own world. The BeMe D200 headphones work with our app to allow maximum noise cancellation control.
I love the fact that the BEEM app is straightforward and easy to use. Some might wish there was more control given to the listener by the app but, for me, having the controls as streamlined as they are on the app is a good thing.
Choose Your Favorite Setting: Use the BEEM UNITED EQ presets to easily shift to a new state of mind. And if you like the default setting, some big shots have said it’s not so bad either.
The same simplicity can be found with the EQ settings in the app. While you can make minor adjustments to the ten band EQ system if you like, the app also offers three generalized settings for Pop. Classical and Dance if you don’t want to tweak each band individually. You can, if you like, also turn off the app’s EQ settings and let rely on the iPhone’s controls if you wish. To do that you simply toggle the switch at the top the EQ page in the app. As they explains:
Realize The Power of EQ: Whether you want to fine-tune your iPhone 7’s native EQ settings, or adjust our favorite settings, use the app to explore a new level of customized listening.
The bottom line is that BEEM United simplified things so that you can have a good bit of control if you like to you can minimize the settings and just enjoy your music without having to take a semester course in music tweaking. They refer to it as a “no-BS app” and I would have to agree.
There’s one other feature of these headphones that deserves mention. While most headphones have a control and microphone on one of the cords leading to either the left or right earbud, BEEM United opted to place the controller at the junction where the single cord coming from the iOS device splits into a “Y.” I like this design a great deal since it places the controller in a location that is easy to find. There’s no need to remember if the controls are on the left or the right cable. Instead, you just let your hand reach a few inches beneath your chin and the controls are right there.
In addition, while many earphone controls have three buttons, the BeMe D200 control had four. The top button increases the audio level. The third button decreases the audio. The button that sits between the volume buttons control the music and call functionality. It lets you Play or Pause or, if you are using the earphones for a call, the button lets you Answer or End the current call. You can also skip a track by quickly pressing this button, play the previous track again by quickly pressing and releasing the button three times, skip t the next track by pressing the button once quickly and hold it a second time, or rewind the current track by pressing quickly twice and then holding it on a third press. You can also press and hold the button to activate Siri. Unfortunately, while doing so I discovered something a bit annoying. Once Siri is deactivated there seems to be a loud, sharp buzzing in one or both of the earbuds. I’m not sure why this bug exists but I can tell you I won’t be using these earphones to activate Siri and time soon. The fourth and lowest button controls the ANC by turning it on or off. You can’t toggle between ANC levels with the button but it does mean you can cut off the isolation with the tap of a button if need be. (On the BEMe D100 earphones this button functions as the EQ selector.)
I love the controller’s location but am puzzled by the issue with Siri. I also don’t love the fact that all four buttons are flat and flush with the controller except for a slightly raised portion of the multifunction button. This makes it more difficult to ensure you are pressing the correct button. I would have preferred them having a slightly different feel or shape so control could be optimized without the need to look at the controller.
Finally, it is worth noting that each earbud gives off a growing light when they are connected to the iPhone. It isn’t too bright, and it is mostly hidden by your ear while wearing them but it is definitely there. Is it annoying when wearing them in a dark room? Maybe a bit but I can also see it as a nice safety feature of you are wearing the earphones out at night.
In all, I like the BeMe D200 earphones. The Siri buss is a major bug but if you can get past it these earphones will impress you. I also don’t love the fact that the sound is excellent when the ANC is active but mediocre when the ANC is off. Then again, since I expect I’ll have the ANC on most of the time this isn’t an issue for me. The comfort, secure and comfortable fit and design that has the controller at the Y-junction are all positives that overshadow the aforementioned criticisms. I like these earphones… a lot. Check them out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Good sound when ANC is turned on; Fit great and are comfortable; Controls set at the “Y” of the cable; Controls give a good amount of… control; App is simple but effective; ANC works well
What Needs Improvement: When activating Siri it triggers an annoying buzz that doesn’t stop until the headphones are unplugged; Control unit is mostly flat and not ideal for “control by touch”; Really need ANC on to get the best sound out of these