BANG & OLUFSEN BEO­PLAY H9

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

The Beo­play H9 fea­tures large ear cups with adap­tive foam cush­ions wrapped in soft lamb­skin, and a neck­band wrapped in gen­uine cowhide leather that’s meant to age nicely over time. Given the ob­vi­ous qual­ity of the head­phones, we’re a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed by the non­de­script fab­ric pouch pro­vided, but they prob­a­bly make for a smaller over­all pack­age that’s easier to bring around with you.

We like that the head­phones again fea­ture re­mov­able bat­ter­ies, but the fit of the bat­tery is so tight, we wouldn’t be sur­prised if you gave up try­ing to re­place the bat­ter­ies, and in­stead tried to charge via USB and a reg­u­lar power­bank in­stead (We tried; it works). Given that the head­phones are rated for 14 hours of wire­less mu­sic though, that’s prob­a­bly not some­thing you’ll have to worry about for the most part.

In terms of noise-can­celling, we were sur­prised to see that the H9 only per­formed about on par with the smaller N60NC Wire­less, given that the H9 had an over-ear de­sign that should of­fer more pas­sive noise can­cel­la­tion to start with. Still, there’s a no­tice­able re­duc­tion in am­bi­ent sound once ANC is ac­ti­vated, and more im­por­tantly, the sound sig­na­ture of the head­phone isn’t af­fected.

The H9 of­fers a slightly laid­back sound sig­na­ture with good nat­u­ral­ness and fairly large sound stage. We thought its strengths seemed to be more in the up­per ranges of the au­dio spec­trum, as the head­phone did bet­ter with tracks like Vi­valdi’s ‘Con­certo No.1 in E-ma­jor “La Pri­mav­era”’ and Ana Caram’s ‘Cor­renteza’. The vi­o­lin com­po­nent in the for­mer piece was ex­tremely well ren­dered, with great verve pre­sented. These head­phones are ca­pa­ble of good clar­ity and it can give good body in the lower mids too, though we do wish it had a bit more in the lower ranges.

For ex­am­ple, on our for­mal test tracks, we found our­selves wish­ing there was just a bit more bass on Tiesto’s ‘El­e­ments of Life’. The head­phones have the imag­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties to make you feel sur­rounded by sound, but with­out that bass kick, the track just isn’t as in­tense as you’d ex­pect it to be.

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