Headphones are naturally not complicated “gadgets” so it is perfectly normal to not announce new models every year. In fact, if the headphones both sound and look good, they may be able to transcend the typical 2-year product cycle. The B&O BeoPlay H3 is one of those products and new buyers wouldn’t believe when this pair of in-ear headphones was first announced.
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About the B&O BeoPlay H3
The BeoPlay H3 was first introduced way back in 2013 but the design of the headphones remains as one of the standout characteristics. This is a Bang and Olufsen product after all and fans truly know the Denmark-based company’s passion for design and hardware engineering. Like how some modern laptops are made today, the B&O BeoPlay H3 is crafted from single block of aluminum and the end-result is stylish. In addition to the standard aluminum black model, the H3 lineup also consists of aluminum gold, red and silver variants. It is part of the BeoPlay lineup which mostly consists of over-ear headphones. It can also be viewed as the in-ear counterpart of the BeoPlay H2 which bears the same price tag.
Also being positioned as the budget model of the BeoPlay lineup, the build quality is the main sacrifice here. The aluminum is unquestionably durable but it looks as if B&O forgot to pay attention to the quality of the cable. There is a distinct lack of strain relief and the Y-split looks a bit cheap compared to the more premium-crafted A8.
The BeoPlay H3 is also made for iOS devices as evidenced by the familiar 3-button configuration located on the left earphone cable. B&O cheapened out here too as it went with plastic but at least the buttons have good feedback. The volume buttons adjust the volume as one would expect and there is also a B&O logo that serves as a multi-purpose button depending on how you press it and what iOS app is running. Unfortunately for Android users, the center button only works as a calling button while the volume buttons don’t do anything. The packaging of the B&O BeoPlay H3 isn’t anything out of the ordinary but it does come with a nice assortment of ear pads from XS to L along with a flight adapter and a carrying case.
The B&O BeoPlay H3 is a joy to wear simply because the earbuds themselves feel so light. The aluminum material helps the overall headphones weigh about 40 grams and ear pads add a great deal of listening flexibility to just about everyone.
It appears B&O believes that the people that are most likely to buy elegantly-designed earphones are the ones that prefer natural audio quality because the BeoPlay H3 really sounds clean and balanced. The bass in particular is there but never overpowers which might alienate the folks that really want to listen to their David Guetta tracks all pumped up and boomy. On the flipside, purists that don’t want to spend $500 on a pair of earphones will be delighted. There is also a lack of noise cancellation features but fortunately the B&O BeoPlay H3 ANC variant was launched quite recently.
• Very balanced and good sound quality overall.
• Great design.
• Cable quality isn’t the best in its price range.
• Bass fanatics might give the pair a pass.
• 3-button configuration crippled for Android users.
The BeoPlay H3 is still priced at $200 which might be a bit of a bummer knowing that you’ll be buying into something that is more than 3 years old. But the design certainly doesn’t look old and the audio quality easily blows all those newer $99 headphones out of the water.