Bang and Olufsen is one of the older audio companies in town famous for handcrafting all sorts of fancy speakers that can easily perk up a living room. The company also designs some equally fashionable TVs as well as sound systems for high-end cars. Then there is the BeoPlay branding of B&O which focuses more on the average consumer looking to buy a pair of headphones that boasts B&O’s signature sound and legendary design chops. The B&O BeoPlay H8 is one of the products in this lineup and it comes with a premium price all because of extra convenience without compromise.
About the B&O BeoPlay H8
The B&O BeoPlay H8 is the Danish company’s grand take on Bluetooth on-ear headphones. The H8 clearly wows on the design front. The frame is made of solid aluminum with a nice hard layer of leather covering the top of the headband complete with the stitched look. Underneath the headband is some adequate padding. The headband has some uniquely-designed hinges that keeps the sheepskin earcups in place. These earcups also have memory foam and the look matches the style of the headband nicely. On top of that, you get to pick from the Gray Hazel and the gold-like Argilla Bright designs so B&O really went all out on these headphones.
Being a pair of Bluetooth headphones, the B&O BeoPlay H8 is obviously powered by a battery but the Bluetooth connectivity isn’t the only thing that can use the battery. The H8 also features Active Noise Cancelling technology which can be enabled to block out ambient noise. Perhaps the best part is that after you drained the battery, you can still use the headphones without the noise cancelling. You just have to take out the audio cable with 3.5mm jack that comes with the package and plug it in so you can use it as a wired headphones. When you are ready to charge, you can use any standard micro-USB cable or the one bundled with the set. A carrying pouch is included, too.
Comfort took a backseat on the BeoPlay H8 but it isn’t bad. In fact, for listening perfectly still, the B&O BeoPlay H8 is a pretty great pair to wear for an on-ear. The earcups are actually the best part because of the padding and great choice of materials. Plus, the BeoPlay H8 weighs less than 300g and the earcups don’t clamp on too tight. The headband, on the other hand doesn’t fully balance out the distribution of weight. Try picking up something on the floor while wearing them and they might fall off.
Many of Bang and Olufsen’s audio products focus on accuracy without the artificial enhancements. Even the B&O’s own H3 headphones have a natural sound signature. The B&O BeoPlay H8, however, gears more towards the bass bangers. That doesn’t necessarily mean that purists and “audiophiles” should ignore this pair completely. This is a pair of Bluetooth headphones after all and with the added benefit that can be used as a wired solution at will. This product category is quite young and considering the drawbacks of Bluetooth (reduced audio fidelity), the overall sound is good. Having Bluetooth 4.0 as the specification significantly helps. Then there is the Active Noise Cancellation which works remarkably well lasting a full 14 hours with both ANC and Bluetooth enabled.
• Great sound quality. Will definitely appease those into heavy bass.
• Beautiful design.
• Can be used as a wired headphones.
• Active Noise Cancellation works very well.
• Not as good as other $500 wired headphones.
• Not the most comfortable for folks on the go.
• Boomy bass isn’t for everyone.
The B&O BeoPlay H8 commands a pretty high $500 price tag. For that reason, it is highly recommended to give the headphones a good listen before getting. Regarding the wired and wireless performance as well as the design and noise cancellation, the B&O BeoPlay H8 deserves high marks. A test listen is the only way to know if the sound quality and comfort is really up to your standards.