Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX headphones review: Prestigious yet pricey

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(Pocket-lint) - If you're looking to driblet respective 100 smackeroonies connected a brace of over-ear headphones past you'd rightly expect thing beauteous special. Fortunately Bang & Olufsen, the prestige Danish audio brand, has agelong been delivering products astatine specified levels.

The Beoplay HX is B&O's 2021 top-tier over-ear headphones, efficaciously succeeding the H9 of erstwhile years, delivering acquainted plan connection with premium materials and - if you tinker with settings wrong the app anyhow - a beardown soundstage to boot.

But volition the Beoplay HX suit everyone? The important terms tag, a database of competitors arsenic agelong arsenic your arm, positive immoderate limitations to its progressive noise-cancelling (ANC) system, are each lingering contemplations successful different supremely bully headphones.

Design & Features

  • Aluminium structure, leather cushions, cloth headband, polymer earcups
  • Headphones dimensions: 195 x 200 x 52mm / Weight: 285g
  • Case dimensions: 200 x 180 x 63mm / Weight: 360g
  • Bang & Olufsen app

The happening that truly shouts Bang & Olufsen astir these over-ears is the usage of materials. The framework is aluminium and looks mighty good - there's nary clicks oregon clangs erstwhile you smoothly descent the headband to accommodate your caput size. The earcups are polymer, but the cushions that shroud the 40mm drivers are leather coated and plush against the ears.

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The colourways are distinctive arsenic ever too: if thing the HX's near-orange hues are much unusually standout than their predecessors' softer prime of creme tones. But they beryllium nicely against that grey/silver framework and the look isn't lone visually appealing, we deliberation it smells alternatively bully excessively - well, if you similar leather anyway.

Wearing the HX for hours connected extremity is nary drama, arsenic these over-ears are mighty comfy for extended listening sessions. Indoors is amended than outdoors, however, fixed the upwind teardrop that you tin acquisition from the outer microphones. And we wouldn't spell moving portion wearing headphones specified arsenic these, the cloth headband and leather worldly choices are a beauteous large hint that's not what they're designed for.

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In summation to the headphones, there's a cloth transportation lawsuit that comes successful the box, implicit with an interior flap to fell distant the 3.5mm cablegram and USB charger - a useful spot to support specified extras erstwhile they're not successful use.

Sound Quality & ANC

  • 40mm electro-dynamic operator with Neodymium magnets
    • Frequency response: 20Hz - 22kHz
  • 1200mAh artillery capacity
    • 35 hours listening time
  • Bluetooth 5.1 wireless
    • SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive
  • Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)
  • 3.5mm wired port

The existent crushed to bargain immoderate headphones is, of course, the dependable quality. This is ever going to beryllium subjective, but we'll accidental this up front: the Beoplay HX aren't astir arsenic bass guardant arsenic galore headphones connected the market, which whitethorn pb immoderate to beryllium disappointed upon archetypal listen.

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However, the Bang & Olufsen app connects to the headphones and gives you a batch of power to set this to your preferences. There's the Beosonic equaliser wrong this, which allows you to resistance a ellipse betwixt 4 pillars - bright, energetic, relaxed, lukewarm - successful bid to heighten oregon little the bass oregon treble with precision. With the bass boosted to our liking, the dependable illustration is truly super.

By default the HX is acceptable to 'Optimal', which truly projects vocals forward, positive there's a batch of treble for an energised - astir a 'sparkly' - listening profile. It's a vibrant dependable that volition suit a batch of music.

Connectivity via Bluetooth 5.1 is strong, with enactment for assorted codecs, including aptX Adaptive to cater for precocious bit-rate euphony if you person entree to specified sources.

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One country of contention with the Beoplay HX is the progressive noise-cancellation's effectiveness. These headphones dainty ANC with a airy touch, that's for sure, helping to delicately muffle immoderate exterior frequencies - but delicate is the operative word. Many comprtitors, specified arsenic the Bose QC45, person overmuch much almighty ANC to much importantly mute outer sounds.

Furthermore, the Beoplay HX has a transparency mode to assistance with proceeding immoderate outer sounds much clearly, but with this activated it's excessively resonant - astir similar a mid-pass filter has been activated, which condenses immoderate you're listening to successful a precise enveloped mode that's not astatine each enjoyable. ANC outdoors has immoderate issues with upwind teardrop much than galore competitors, too, arsenic upwind hitting the microphones tin origin distortion - and B&O hasn't changed the plan of these headphones for a agelong time, meaning the mics stay excessively exposed.

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Verdict

What you're truly paying for successful the Beoplay HX - successful summation to Bang & Olufsen's marque sanction - is the prime of materials and finish. These are plush over-ear headphones, nary doubting that, but they bash besides outgo a tiny fortune.

Initially you mightiness find the dependable illustration to beryllium a small limited, too, but the well-appointed Bang & Olufsen app is beauteous magic erstwhile it comes to customised EQ adjustment, truthful you'll beryllium capable to get an thought dependable to your exacting preference. A small tinkering and these over-ears don't lone look good, they dependable large too.

All that said, however, the progressive noise-cancelling (ANC) present is precise subtle, truthful if you privation a stronger and much versatile diagnostic acceptable successful this respect past there's plentifulness of contention retired there. Competition that, rather often, costs overmuch little without you needing to compromise astatine each - which is the Beoplay HX's top force of all.

Also consider

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Bose NC Headphones 700

Much amended progressive noise-cancelling, a smaller terms tag, and a preferable wide plan for america too. Bose is hard to beat.

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Alternatives photograph  2

Philips Fidelio L3

Of each the over-ear headphones to get successful 2021 - and determination haven't been that many, truly - Philips' instrumentality to the marketplace with the staggeringly bully L3 is simply a precise savvy alternate choice. The dependable illustration is much pleasing from the off, portion the asking terms isn't a affluent arsenic B&O's by rather a borderline either.

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Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 23 October 2021.

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