Convincing a bunch of consumers to buy a pair of in-ear headphones sounds simple on paper. The headphones must be capable of producing great sound for the asking price while being very comfortable to wear too. Plenty of products fit that description but a good number of consumers care about branding as well. Bang & Olufsen has certainly established a big name for themselves and it is primarily because of the company’s serious approach to design with audio technologies to match. The B&O BeoPlay H3 ANC is one the latest models in Bang & Olufsen’s repertoire.
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About the B&O BeoPlay H3 ANC
BeoPlay H3 ANC is the noise-cancellation variant of the original B&O BeoPlay H3. It is worth noting that the BeoPlay H3 was released 3 years before the ANC model and its design really shows B&O’s ability to make products that look like timeless classics. The housing was crafted out of a single block of scratch-resistant aluminum which is surprisingly lightweight. Unlike the original H3, the B&O BeoPlay H3 ANC doesn’t have any other color variants except the aluminum black version.
ANC stands for “Active Noise Cancellation” which means that the BeoPlay H3 ANC targets folks that want to enjoy their music without any ambient noise from the outside getting in the way. B&O basically implemented a small mic and a special ANC circuit in the H3’s housing. This mic picks up ambient noise and sends it to the ANC circuit effectively converting the signal into anti-noise as long as the unit has battery. This allows wearers to enjoy their music with far better clarity and comfort. You can also use the headphones for talking as there is a built-in mic along with the usual 3 buttons that iOS users can take advantage of.
The B&O BeoPlay H3 ANC comes with T-200 Comply ear tips along with a set of silicone ear tips spanning 4 different sizes. A flight adaptor is included as well as a USB cable for charging the battery. It also comes with a carrying pouch.
The BeoPlay H3 ANC feels very comfortable because the headphones only weigh 40 grams. The rounded design means that the earbuds don’t dig into the ears too much. It is also great to see a bunch of ear tips included in the package so you can really pick your comfort zone.
The active noise cancellation simply works as advertised and really justifies the extra $50+ premium over the original H3 model. You can continuously use the ANC feature 20 hours straight but the cool thing is that you can still enjoy your music even after 350 mAh battery runs out of juice. Of course you will hear the ambient noise but the B&O BeoPlay H3 ANC continues to act as the original H3. Then if you ever want to charge the battery again, it will only take about 2 and a half hours. There is also a dedicated button for turning the ANC on and off.
As for sound quality in general, B&O didn’t make any changes to the sound signature. This means that purists are going to love it because none of the elements feel overblown or artificial. Bass is well-controlled which means lovers of booming heavy bass might give this a pass.
• Natural sound signature.
• ANC works as advertised.
• Continues to work (without noise cancellation) even if battery drained.
• Lots of ear tips.
• No other improvements over the original H3.
• Not the best option for those that like overblown bass.
The BeoPlay H3 ANC isn’t B&O’s most premium product and $250 might be a lot to ask but the active noise cancellation works wonderfully and the sound quality is very natural. It is a fine addition to the BeoPlay lineup.