B&O Beoplay H9 Review
The luxury Danish brand, Bang and Olufsen is distinguished by its striking designs as well as the hi-fi audio reproductions. Beoplay H9, the company’s newest flagship wireless headphones pack quite a punch of powerful features. And so, to unwrap all these features, we dedicated this article to the B&O Beoplay H9 Review.
Featuring an impressive active noise cancellation, premium construction and materials, remarkable battery life, the brand’s signature sound, and the built-in Google Assistant, Beoplay H9 falls under the “$500 headphones” range.
Maybe read: B&O Play by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Review
Design and Controls
The design of the H9 3rd Gen isn’t vastly different from the original H9i from B&O; the weight and size are the same with some minor changes to the ear cushions, offering more space for your lobes. There’s an added layer of padding in the headband in the latest model.
In terms of wearability, Beoplay H9 provides superior comfort; there’s no unnecessary pinch felt on the ears, and there’s plenty of breathing space around the lugholes. In fact, the wide fit might be a bit too loose on some people’s heads.
Without surprise, B&O Beoplay headphones daze with a choice of luxe materials and finishes. The real leather and aluminum combination looks sophisticated and elegant, as does the headband’s stitching.
The former H9 featured a battery flap that looked out of place to a great extent, and the battery is entirely hidden in the third-gen H9. It’s no longer removable which also solves the issues with the exterior panel of the earcups falling off occasionally – an issue with the earlier H9i. It also means the battery life has been extended.
Since the H9 is compatible with Bluetooth, you can use it without the wires, which serves great if you tend to tangle your cables too easily. However, similar to the H9i, the sound from a smartphone is a bit too low. Try from other sources like your laptop or PC and you’ll be able to notice the change instantly. The wired connection brings the volume up super-quick, bringing it to an ear-splitting level – if that’s what you like.
The right earcup contains a gesture control panel which can be handled by swiping and tapping. One tap and the headphone pauses or plays; the volume is controlled by a “wheel” action whereas a swipe up turns on the active noise cancellation. You can deactivate that by simply swiping down. And then there’s the integration of Google Assistant voice control. The dedicated button can be located on the right earcup.
The brand offers the headphones in two different colors – Matte Black and Argilla Bright. We like Argilla Bright due to the soft color combination and overall aesthetic appeal. But to each their own. If you want to match your entire black setup, the Matte Black would fit right in.
Sound Quality, ANC, and Battery
The thing that’s easily establishing the H9 apart from the crowd has to be the clear, crisp sound quality, not to mention the subtle noise-cancellation. There’s a quality line here: in comparison to the H9i, there’s a more developed ANC and a new bass port this time.
With that said, you wouldn’t expect anything less than stellar from a pair of $500 headphones. The sound quality of the H9 is fantastic, with crisp high, perfect bass delivery, and a nicely balanced sound stage. But, there’s a lack of aptX or aptX GD designation at Hi-Res through Bluetooth. High-end audiophiles may face some disappointment here.
The price might be a big hurdle for the brand. With similar models available from other fan-favorite companies like Bose, users might not find much incentive to come to B&O. But, for the extra cash, you are getting a longer-lasting battery. The exact amount is about 25% more than before, standing at about 22 hours of use per charge. It will last longer if you don’t listen on higher volumes.
Unfortunately, B&O Play is yet to address the battery draining issue even when the gadget is idle; switching the ANC key off might skip your mind way too easily, and this keeps eating away at the battery.
In the active noise-cancellation department, some users complained that the original H9 doesn’t really deliver that great. For the 3rd Gen H9, the ANC is as great as the former release, H9i, meaning that it’s received enhancements to filter out the greater frequency range. This development makes blotting out individual voices easier. We wouldn’t call this a raging problem though.
How much you care for noise-cancellation will play a big role in how you view the B&O Beoplay H9. If you want to isolate yourself from the outside world completely then there wouldn’t be the pair for you – consider looking into Bose instead. On the other hand, if you prefer control, with multiple levels of voice integration, noise-cancellation to match the pass-through, or any other scenario, Sony has a few models for that.
If we’re only taking the high price tag into consideration, it would be too easy to pass these headphones off for a pair of overpriced cans which only flaunt the brand name. But if we take into account factors like superior sound, lovely construction quality, supreme comfort, and impressive battery life in comparison to the original, there’s a great deal.
Whether you’re listening to your favorite tunes in your home’s living room, traveling, on the go, or wherever you need to be, the B&O Beoplay H9 are some of the best Bluetooth wireless over-ear headphones in the market. You’re getting what you pay for.
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