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Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H2 Headphones - Review

"Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H2 Headphones - Review. With the BEOPLAY (B&O Play) H2, Bang & Olufsen stake their claim in the portable headphone market."

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H2 Headphones - Plush Portability

 

 

Pros

  • Impressive sound quality
  • Stylish good looks
  • Soft and pliable earpads

Cons

  • No Storage Pouch
  • Headband covering may get tired

Verdict

We weren't expecting anything which would impress us this much; Bang & Olufsen's products were always to cater primarily for the full size hi-fi market and we were guilty of a touch of cynicism where a B&O headphone was concerned. We certainly stand corrected and they say pride comes before a fall; well now we've certainly fallen for the H2!

Introb&o h2

When the letters 'B' and 'O' come together the result is usually something that's less than desirable, but put an ampersand (&) in between and things begin to seem rather more pleasant!

Bang & Olufsen is perhaps best known for its full-sized hi-fi equipment but has produced headphones for the past few years under its B&O PLAY moniker; currently it has an full-sized over-ear model in the H6, the In-Ear H3 and for an on-ear it has brought out the new H2.

Key Features

Things are kept simple as is B&O's usual brief; we have the headphones themselves, a cable and a generous 3 year warranty (2 if you don't register the product online with B&O).

The cable features a 3-button arrangement for use with smartphones and iPhones, though functionality may be limited depending on software.

b&o h2

First Impressions

The earpads are have a very well made and opulent cushioning quality like the KEF M500; good thing too, because at first the headband is very unremitting and springy leading to a lot of clamping power. This should clear up after a couple of days of use.

The fabric covering the headband and the outward-facing part of the earcups is a light beige/manilla colour, leading to some concerns about how they might look after some months' use. Fortunately darker colours are available if this is a worry. It's a look sported by the Sennheiser Urbanite range; could this be a new trend?

Sound Quality

Tested with an Astell&Kern AK120, the H2 really impresses!

Bass is at the same time voluminous and well controlled; voluminous in the area it occupies within the soundstage. It seems to come from all around! It's there in quantity as well; giving a definite heavy foot to proceedings, but without damaging the floor.

Midrange is just as big in terms of its depth and width - there's lots of space in there and the wearer gets a real treat in terms of vocals,details and reverb. They can stray towards peakiness at points but this is heavily dependent on the music and the wearer. B&O have got a nice balance here.

Treble is toned down making for a warm presentation overall, and one which really works for most genres. Details and harmonics are complemented without sacrificing listening comfort.

Soundstage and separation are very good also; hard panned instruments leap out and vie for attention from the shoulders, along with subtle details not usually encountered with on-ear portables.

Summary

With the BeoPlay (B&O Play) H2, Bang & Olufsen stake their claim in the portable headphone market. It's often attacked as trading on a well-known name rather than great products, but we beg to differ. Having tried the H2 we recognise a B&O headphone by any other name would smell as sweet!

Score 9.5/10

b&o h2

About Shaun Gostelow

Shaun is co-founder of hifiheadphones.co.uk and spends most of his time dealing with the business side of running the store, but still loves listening to music with headphones just the same as ever.
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