B&O Play H8
The Danish design guru takes on the Bluetooth headphone market
Bang & Olufsen has a rich history of designing high-end, luxurious audio kit that looks as good as it performs. The H8 on-ear headphones are no different. Announced at CES 2015 and now available, the H8 is B&O’s first set of Bluetooth cans and the first with active noise cancellation.
The unboxing experience is pretty exciting. The H8s are presented – in all their leather and anodised aluminium glory – folded flat. You know these are a premium set of ’phones from the offset. The leather headband, lambskin earpads and aluminium, look and feel stunning. And they are hugely comfortable. Beats these ain’t.
As well as looking good, the H8s have some innovative features. They’re wireless (although you can plug a cable in – more on this in a bit) and they feature intuitive pressure-sensitive controls on the right earcup. Tap the middle to play/ pause, rotate your finger around the circumference to turn volume up and down, swipe left and right to skip tracks and swipe up and down to turn active noise cancellation on and off. After around a day of use, this became second nature – it’s extremely good. Noise cancellation is also excellent. The sound? Highs are refined, bass is warm yet not overpowering. Think neutral with a bit of warmth. Of course, these are aimed squarely at the smartphone commuter: they are light, sound great and are incredibly portable.
The only real disappointment is the quality of the supplied cable, for when you don’t want to use the Bluetooth functionality – it’s surprisingly poor. There’s also no inline mic – which would have been a nice addition (just give us the cable that’s included with the H6s!).
If you’re into stylish, greatsounding headphones you can use without the inconvenience of wires, the H8s are a great buy. But you have to have a relatively large wallet to afford them. Rob Carney Tablet devices have changed the computing landscape. Nothing is more intuitive than your own sense of touch and once you get used to interacting with a GUI using just your fingers, it’s easy to imagine keyboards reduced to almost afterthoughts in future. (Just look at the Microsoft Surface Pro, for example.)
Maybe you’re okay without a keyboard, never mind a trackpad. And that’s fine. But every laptop keyboard serves an auxiliary function as a stand, and you don’t get one of those with an iPad – you have to use your hand, and that can be pretty tiring.
Enter Lynktec’s aluminium Grip & Go 360˚ Grip Stand. Its microsuction technology-equipped pad grips directly onto the back of any tablet – and even any case, in our experience – without the use of messy adhesives. True to its name, the stand offers 360˚ of rotation thanks to an eight-directional swivel head, making the switch between portrait and landscape orientation a cinch.
The hinge can be independently adjusted for just the right viewing angle, and if you need to remove and re-attach the kickstand later, the pad leaves no residue and loses none of its grip. It’s light and folds neatly too, so leaving it on isn’t an issue either.
Stylish, high-end headphones with the convenience of Bluetooth. Add the touch controls and you have a winner!
We love the fact you move your finger around the can to adjust the volume.