Review: Bang and Olufsen BeoPlay H9
Truth be told, any audio signature preferences you may have will be blown away by the Bang and Olufsen BeoPlay H9 headphones. The luxurious design is impressive. The aluminium on the exterior of each earcup makes for a nice contrast with the memory foam and soft lambskin-clad earpieces. These sit snugly and comfortably around your ears. The stitched headband has generous padding.
Though you can plug a 3.5mm cable into the headphones, the magic lies in the wireless connectivity. Pairing with Android devices, iOS devices and PCs is a breeze. You can download the BeoPlay app (free for Android, iOS and Apple Watch) that lets you manually tweak the sound of the H9 too, or select from a bunch of presets. The polished and anodized aluminium layer on one earcup can be used to control volume through a finger-touch. We are not huge fans though, because these are a bit complex to operate and not always accurate in response.
The BeoPlay H9 will impress you with the genuinely vibrant sound. There are large 40mm audio drivers in each ear that can be categorized as closed-back headphones. All the frequencies are well distinguished. The clarity of every single instrument in action is audible, and this is the sort of detailing that sets it apart from its closest rivals. Bose headphones have a characteristic warm sound signature, Sennheiser headphones lean towards a more neutral sound—the BeoPlay H9 is closer to the latter in terms of the neutral sound, but sounds more powerful irrespective of music genre. There is a lot of bass too, and it doesn’t come across as processed or boosted artificially.
The BeoPlay H9 has dual microphones and generates opposing sound frequencies to block out ambient noise. With many noise-cancelling headphones, the audio-quality difference between the feature turned on and off can be quite jarring. What Bang & Olufsen has managed is a rather natural transition.
These headphones would be on a par with the Sony 1000X (Rs30,990), though the Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless (Rs29,363) still offers better ambient noise isolation.
Battery life is a strong point. Even with the noise-cancelling feature turned on, the headphones work for around 15 hours, with the volume at around 40%.
If you are looking for great sound, packed in style and luxury, there is no way you can go wrong with the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H9 headphones.