Bang & Olufsen New Flagship Headphones

01/13/2018
Melvyn Teillol-Foo

New ‘Cans’ from B&O

Bang & Olufsen New Flagship Headphones

Following our previous report on their first truly premium wireless E8 earphones, Bang & Olufsen just introduced Beoplay H8i (£359 / $500) and Beoplay H9i (£449 / $620) – their next generation wireless on-ear and over-ear headphones, featuring the legendary and natural Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound and a whole bunch of smart features.

B&O

BANG & OLUFSEN is a high-end Danish consumer electronics company that designs and manufactures audio products, television sets, and telephones. It was founded in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen in Olufsen’s parent’s attic. The first big idea was actually little — a radio that ran on alternating current, at a time when most radios were still running on batteries.
At the end of World War II, the factory was burnt down by pro-Nazi saboteurs as retaliation for the management’s refusal to collaborate with the Germans. B&O rebuilt but only produced electric razors until 1955, and then produced high-end audio equipment.

As a long time B&O user of equipment both at home and in my cars, I am a slightly biased reporter. Various Beolab, Beocenter and Beosound products are still functioning well in my home.

Beoplay H8i Wireless, On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones £359 / $500

Bang & Olufsen H8i headphones

With Scandinavian streamlined design aesthetic and executed in authentic materials, B&O invites us to surrender to superior sound wrapped in timeless craftsmanship.

Bang & Olufsen H8i headphones black

 

Bang & Olufsen H8i headphones natural

The “cans” perch on your ears because the speaker aperture is too small to cup around most ears. Some people prefer the more open feel. The headphones make up for the reduced ‘seal’ with clever electronics and smart features. These include a Transparency Mode so you can tune into your surroundings and Proximity sensors for automatic play/pause.

Bang & Olufsen H8i headphones natural

With a long battery life, you can stay in your little world of music for at least 30 hours.

Designer: Jakob Wagner
Dimensions: 180 x 186 x 51mm
Colours: Black or Natural
Materials: Aluminium, fabric, leather, polymer and rubber
Weight: 215g / 225g (including audio cable)
Loudspeaker: Electro-dynamic driver, 40 mm diameter
Frequency: 20 – 20,000 Hz
Bluetooth 4.2 · AAC codec Compatible with Bluetooth 1.1 – 4.2
Proximity sensor: Headphones automatically pause when you take them off
Compatible with Beoplay App.

Bang & Olufsen H8i headphones folded

Cord:
1.2 m audio cord with 3.5 mm jack
1.25 m USB-A to USB-C cable
Flight Adapter

On device controls:
3 ways toggle switch for Power, ANC and Transparency Mode
3 buttons for volume up/down, Bluetooth pairing, play etc.

Microphone:
2 digital MEMS voice microphones
4 dedicated electret microphones for ANC (2 electret in each earcup)

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
· Capacity: 1110 mAh
· Up to 30 hours playing time with Bluetooth and ANC
· Up to 45 hours with Bluetooth only
· Up to 42 hours wired with ANC + control
· Charging time approx 3.5 hours

 

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Beoplay H9i Wireless, Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones £449 / $620

Bang & Olufsen H9i headphones

These are B&O’s most luxurious headphones – H9i combine ANC, wireless, an innovative aluminium touch interface and Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound. With larger speaker apertures, these headphones cup your ears for better sealing and superior sound.

Bang & Olufsen H9i black

The new bass port ensures powerful and precise bass. The ‘cans’ feel secure around your ears and bristle with clever electronics with smart features. These include a Transparency Mode so you can tune into ambient sounds and Proximity sensors for automatic play/pause. The battery allows you to stay in your “cone of music” for at least 18 hours.

Bang & Olufsen H9i headphones natural

A really neat trick is the touch sensitive aluminium panel on right ear cup (volume up/down, play/pause, next/previous, answer/end call).

Bang & Olufsen H9i touch control interface

Designer: Jakob Wagner
Dimensions: 195 x 200 x 52mm
Colours: Black or Natural
Materials: Aluminium, fabric, leather, polymer and rubber
Weight: 285 / 295g (including audio cable)
Loudspeaker: Electro-dynamic driver, 40 mm diameter
Frequency: 20 – 20,000 Hz
Bluetooth 4.2 · AAC codec Compatible with Bluetooth 1.1 – 4.2
Proximity sensor: Headphones automatically pauses when you take them off
Compatible with Beoplay App.

Bang & Olufsen H91 headphones front

Cord:
1.2 m audio cord with 3.5 mm jack
1.25 m USB-A to USB-C cable
Flight Adapter

On device controls:
Slide button (on/off and Bluetooth pairing)
Touch interface on right ear cup (volume up/down, play/pause, next/previous, answer/end call)

Microphone:
2 digital MEMS voice microphones
4 dedicated electret microphones for ANC (2 electret in each earcup)

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
· Capacity: 770 mAh
· Up to 18 hours with Bluetooth and ANC
· Up to 23 hours with Bluetooth only
· Up to 24 hours wired with ANC + control
· Charging time approx 2.5 hours

 

Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)

Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.

Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).