Prime-end Danish audio maker, Bang and Olufsen is understood for its placing designs and high-fidelity audio replica, and each traits are in abundance within the corporate’s newest flagship wi-fi headphone, the Beoplay H9.
That includes very good energetic noise cancellation, B&O’s signature sound, top rate fabrics and craftsmanship, very good battery lifestyles, and Google Assistant inbuilt, the $500 Beoplay H9 will get my sturdy advice.
Refinements over its predecessor
The Beoplay H9 is a refinement over its predecessor, the Beoplay H9i. I reviewed in February 2019. Certainly, put the 2 side-by-side or hang them to your fingers and also you’ll be arduous pressed to inform the adaptation.
The H9 sports activities the similar cowhide leather-based headscarf and material underside with 4 padded quadrants. The superbly machined, brushed-aluminum headscarf palms stay a factor of good looks. They slide without difficulty from the scarf and keep in position for limitless adjustment issues. The cushy and luxurious leather-wrapped ear cups themselves rotate easily on aluminum palms like a precision piece of apparatus.
The Beoplay H9, alternatively, is extra comfy to put on for prolonged listening periods; it’s a lot more power environment friendly, so its battery lasts longer; and B&O has put Google Assistant at your beck and get in touch with.
In my assessment of the Beoplay H9i, I famous that once about an hour, I’d begin to really feel force on the very peak of my head, because of the loss of adquate padding. B&O has addressed this factor via including extra padding beneath the scarf. I will be able to say that with the H9, lengthy listening periods had been now no drawback. I didn’t steadily revel in the want to take off the headphones to alleviate force on my head.
The ones lush ear cups have additionally been redesigned. They now have stepped forward reminiscence foam cushions that additional enhanced my convenience dressed in them.
Stepped forward battery lifestyles
Battery lifestyles has long gone from a good 18 hours to a whopping 25 hours, because of a bigger (1110mAh) battery. You’ll stand up to 25 hours with Bluetooth and ANC; as much as 32 hours the use of Bluetooth; and As much as 33 hours taking note of tune in stressed mode with ANC. A USB-C charging port, situated at the underside of the precise ear cup, helps fast charging. A complete rate takes simplest about 3 hours.
Google Assistant on the contact of a button
The again of the left ear cup now has a devoted button that launches Google Assistant. As a optimistic remark, I do want that B&O had decreased the button’s location a few quarter to part an inch. As an alternative of falling naturally the place my left thumb grips the ear cup, I had to slide my thumb as much as in finding the button. Fortunately, the button is raised off the ear cup and simple to seek out via contact.
When you’re an iPhone person, like me, you’ll want to release the Google Assistant app to your telephone for this option to paintings. Google Assistant doesn’t auto-launch while you press the button. When you don’t have Google Assistant introduced, you’ll be brought about to take action.
Delicate contact interface
The H9’s proper ear cup options an intiutive touch-sensitive gesture pad. The contact interface lets you flip ANC and ambient-aware options off and on via swiping from the tip or backside of the ear cup. You’ll be able to build up or lower the amount via rotatiing your finger clockwise and counterclockwise respectively. Tapping the center of the disk will play/pause the tune.
With the H9, the disk now has a raised outer ring that makes it tremendous simple to get your finger perfecly aligned for touch-sensitive instructions. In my testiing, the H9’s gesture pad was once a lot stepped forward over the only at the earlier era, giving me a extra constant reaction.
B&O has an Android and iOS significant other app for the Beoplay H9 that’s somewhat unchanged since I remaining wrote about it. The app will show the headphone’s battery lifestyles and help you follow DSP filters for various sound environments: trip, transparent, exercise, podcast, and many others. You continue to can’t see visually what those EQ modes do. You want to cycle thru them to listen to the impact.
I stay a large fan of B&O’s ToneTouch possibility. It’s simply slick. Use a slider to tailor the sound of the H9 to be heat, vivid, excited, or comfy.
The app additionally offers you simple get right of entry to to permit or disable the headphones’ energetic noise cancellation and its transparency mode. A brand new function of the app allows you to pressure Google Assistant or use your good software’s integrated assistant (akin to Siri on iOS).
The H9 headphones are to be had in argilla vivid and matte black finishes. The headphones include a sumptuous double-layer cinch sack, USB-A to USB-C charging cable, three.5mm analog cable, and two-prong airline adapter. The cinch sack’s inside layer treats your H9 headphones with a velvety contact.
The headphones themselves fold flat for simple commute, however the aluminum palms received’t cave in additional into an ultra-compact shape issue. The H9 are ideal for a backpack, however received’t essentially have compatibility into your jacket pocket.
Energetic noise cancelling efficiency
I examined the H9 on trains, subways, and busy NY city streets. The B&O H9 persistently delivered excellent energetic noise cancelling efficiency it doesn’t matter what surroundings I attempted them in. The H9 killed nearly all of HVAC noise and a big portion of engine noise. Strolling New York’s bustling streets, the H9 killed an important quantity of ambient noise round me, serving to me get misplaced within the tune. As with all high-performing ANC headphone, you’ll want to be further wary about your atmosphere because the B&O do an excellent task of striking you to your personal remoted bubble.
I’ll praise B&O’s microphone efficiency. I’ve had many good-performing ANC headphones which were insupportable to put on all through fairly windy stipulations. Many ANC algorithms don’t successfully cancel the sound of wind passing over a headphone’s mics, amplifying the whoosh as an alternative of cancelling it out. So I used to be pleasantly shocked that the Beoplay H9 doesn’t be afflicted by this shortcoming. It’s no longer utterly resistant to wind noise, however its reaction is no doubt above moderate.
The B&O’s general ANC efficiency, alternatively, is a step down from the top-end choices from Sony and Bose. In my conversations with B&O’s representatives over time about ANC efficiency, they have got informed me that their function is to strike the precise steadiness between ANC efficiency and musical replica—a function that I think they hit at the mark. Different headphones sacrifice the tune for ANC efficiency.
Fortunately, ANC force is gentle. I by no means felt that “underwater” feeling that represent any other firms’ ANC generation showcase.
B&O calls its ambient-aware mode “transparency.” Transparency mode allows you to stay your headphones on whilst letting the sounds of the outdoor in, and it sounds remarkably herbal—no longer like I used to be simply taking note of the sounds of the outdoor international throughout the headphone’s amplifier and audio system. Taking the headphones off and on was once uncanny—there was once just a few slight variations. Positive frequencies—within the vary that HVAC noise occupies, for instance—had been fairly accentuated, however the general sound was once very herbal.
A top-notch performer on telephone calls
I used the H9 on a number of telephone calls with my iPhone XS all through my assessment duration. Now not as soon as did people at the different finish bitch that they coudln’t pay attention me, and being out on bustling streets didn’t purpose issues for my calls. I used to be very inspired with the Beoplay H9’s talent to accomplish reliably on this regard.
I examined the B&O H9 with an Astell&Kern SR15 hi-res DAP and an iPhone XS. Supply subject material incorporated high-res tune recordsdata and Tidal, with a desire towards Tidal Hello-Fi and Masters recordings.
The Beoplay H9 will paintings as a conventional, stressed headphone in addition to a wi-fi headphone. Stressed out efficiency sans ANC brings out the headphone’s complete possible. I discovered the H9’s stressed efficiency to be extra delicate. On Sarah McLachlan’s Afterglow Are living, for instance, the tip finish had extra air; the midrange, larger readability and separation of vocals and tools. On tracks just like the Revivalists’ “Want I Knew You,” or Believe Dragons “Dangerous Liar,” the ground finish was once noticeably extra managed and tight.
The Beoplay H9 helps each AAC and aptX formats. I showed aptX strengthen on A&Okay SR15. After I used the headphones wirelessly, there was once a tonal shift. Higher bass notes particularly were given a slight bump. This bump is one thing I’ve persistently spotted with headphones the use of the aptX codec, and the similar feature held true right here. After I performed the headphones wirelessly, bass additionally misplaced the keep an eye on and tightness it exhibited in its stressed mode.
Stressed out and wi-fi variations apart, there’s not anything analytical or scientific in regards to the Beoplay H9’s sound. I will be able to let you know that the H9 engaged me emotionally each and every time I put them on, beckoning me to re-sample songs in my tune library. Lisa Gerrard’s etherial vocals on “Elegy,” from Immortal Reminiscence, delivered each and every ounce in their emotive high quality, to the purpose the place the hairs on my palms virtually stood on finish. I felt virtually the total thrust of the impassioned, miserable depth of Ramin Djawadi’s “Not anything Else Issues,” from the Recreation of Thrones soundtrack.
Amongst this headphone’s largest strengths is a penchant for midrange readability and element. All over my assessment duration, certainly one of my pals grew to become me onto the band Luxurious. The steel track “Battle on Ladies” blends quite a few electic guitar riffs and vocals that simply mush in combination on lesser methods. The B&O H9 did a positive task of rendering the vocals intelligibly.
Smitten via the Beoplay H9
I’ve merely smitten via B&O’s Beoplay H9 headphone. Whilst somewhat pricey at $500, the Beoplay H9 are a kind of uncommon events the place you get what you pay for. Top class fabrics are married to beautiful design and construct high quality. Coupled with forged energetic noise-cancellation, excellent battery lifestyles, and B&O’s signature sound, the Beoplay H9 are a very simple advice. When you benefit from the finer issues in lifestyles, this headphone will have to be to your brief listing to audition.