I am not the typical audiophile, who likes to explore every nook and crevice before paying for the product in question. The “audiophile” path is rewarding, but it is not my forte because of daily time constraints. That being said, I am not discouraging you from researching a product before coughing up the cash at any online ecommerce store.
I do my shopping at popular online stores most of the time, so what I normally do is that whenever I’m looking to buy something, I just scroll briefly through the reviews section. Seeing that this is my honest review/ intake on the popular, and equally expensive, B&O H8 Wireless headphones, I spent a lot of time reading whatever I could get my hands on. After all, it’s a $400 pair of headphones, and there is absolutely no room for regrets later.
A little bit about B&O (Bang and Olufsen Beoplay) H8 Wireless headphones:
Prior to buying the B&O H8 Wireless headphones, I had no experience with their products. The least I came in contact with Bang and Olufsen products was through HP laptops or other computer devices. The last laptop I used had the official Bang and Olufsen logo on it, emphasizing that HP had signed a contract with B&O to design inbuilt dedicated sound system for HP’s line of products.
However, I can at least relate to the price factor because I have tried 30 to 40 different headphones, earphones, and audio devices in a very short span. The favorite ones my list were Beats, Bose and Sony but I stopped buying Beats headphones, specifically, later on because they add garbage weight to the product to make it look bulky. On the same note, I haven’t stopped using Beats earphones, especially the wireless ones because they are still doing well.
Anyhow, coming back to the Bang and Olufsen topic, I wanted a new pair of headphones to test out a couple of sound and music composition related projects. As a freelancer, I have to buy this equipment every few months, or at the end of the year to stay updated on technology, and also to provide better results to my clients.
Good stuff about B&O Bang and Olufsen Beoplay H8 headphones:
Here’s a detailed insight on what I loved the most about these headphones. Take a look below…
- Awesome Packaging:
I am typically not the one for packaging, but I really like what they did with Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8 Wireless headphones box and everything. Allow me to explain a little; I think packaging is an art, it is more like a presell tactic which companies use these days to up the level on visual appeal thing. Now the important thing from my perspective is that if, as a company, you are creating a beautiful packaging for your product – so much so that it looks like a work of art, then your product better match the outside appeal factor.
Fortunately, in terms of visual design, overall packaging and box looks, Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8 Wireless headphones take full rating from my side. Up until this time, the only other headphones that I really like were Beats Solo Wireless headphones, AKG K702 headphones which I bought for my friend and a couple of Sennheisers.
These headphones have a genuine leather band, not like one of those artificial synthetic shit, that runs along from one earcup to another. Underneath this leather band, B&O also took the liberty of sewing additional padding, so that the leather doesn’t directly irritate your hair or get dirty over time.
The next thing in the visuals department is the brushed metal look on the cans/ earcups. You can actually feel the smooth, but slightly rugged metal underneath your fingertips. Also, the earcups/ cans are movable to different positions. You can toggle them to make them face your chest, i.e. if you are not listening to anything, or toggle them wider/ narrower to fit your head shape properly.
Okay, in terms of accessibility, I’d also give a 4 out of 5 rating to B&O Beoplay H8 Wireless headphones. What is accessibility, in terms of using a product such as headphones? If you might ask, then let me tell you that it is the sense of ease where you don’t have to open the manual to figure out which wire goes where and which headphone port, or button is for whatever function.
Back in the days, they used to make simple headphones with just a wire, and all you had to do was connect them. Today, as technology has advanced, some people find it hard to figure out ways of how to use something merely “complex” as headphones.
Therefore, I have categorized B&O H8 Wireless headphones’ accessibility aspects as followed:
- Very easy to pair these headphones by using the Bluetooth mode. I don’t think you will need to see the manual or any online tutorial on how to connect B&O H8 Beoplay headphones with compatible device through Bluetooth.
- Changing volume levels is fun thing in its own way. I think Bang and Olufsen guys added this as a pun or something. To change volume, you press your index finger against the metal housing of the headphones’ right side and make the crazy sign; you know when you want to imply that someone is crazy by twirling your finger backward or forward – that’s what this is all about. It may take you 10 to 15 minutes to learn about the proper “crazy” positioning on these headphones, but it is worth it.
In addition to the above two distinct features that I noticed, I’d like to talk about the Bluetooth connectivity factor as well. It is part accessibility, part technology thing because by now, there have been several Bluetooth standards, according to which products are developed.
Now in case of any headphone, the Bluetooth standards followed are 1.0, 2.0, 4.2 or vice versa. The standard itself helps in connectivity and data transmission speed, but other factors matter too. Since we are all willing to omit the data transfer part in case of these headphones, we are looking at distance coverage. In this context, B&O H8 Wireless headphones did a great job. Their focus is on wireless connectivity via dedicated Bluetooth channel, and that too over long distance without any interruptions.
I kind of “field” tested the connectivity and the results were great. First of all, I paired the B&O Beoplay H8 Wireless with my PC and just walked around and outside the room to see how far it goes until the sound starts to break off. The distance coverage is good, but since there are walls surrounding each room, the sound quality may vary in your case.
Secondly, I took these headphones out in the park where I normally go for jogging. I put the headset on a bench, and while it was connected to my smartphone, I slowly started to walk away from it. To be honest, I was also afraid that someone might snatch them up and run away, which is why I had to make this quick.
Compared to indoor Bluetooth connectivity, the outdoor results were much better. As I already mentioned that usually it’s the walls that block or weaken the signal strength, the results in any outdoor environment for any headset or Bluetooth device are much better, and different.
- Professional level sound quality:
The B&O H8 Wireless headphones kind of remind me of AKG K702 headphones. The former had an excellent sound quality and it got better after burn in phase ended. Right out of the box, since the B&O H8 Wireless headphones unit is going to be brand new, I’d advice that you start slow with low to medium range bass songs. Do not, take it all the way to extreme and equally shitty dubstep music, as I believe it will ruin the sound quality permanently.
After a day or three, take it to the next level with David Bowie, Diana Krall and Frank Sinatra. The audio is going to be a unique experience because you will be able to hear those singers breathe, which would have been impossible on any substandard headset.
Finally, when the burn in is over, you can use B&O H8 Wireless headphones to hear those emo boyband songs, Taylor Swift or even Justin Bieber synths etc. The point is to let the headphones burn in, and then use them to fulfill your primary audio/ movie related purpose afterwards.
If you are wondering why burning in/ cooking headphones is important, then the answer is simple: it impacts the overall sound quality and performance for years to come. Headphones and speakers are like wine, they age better over time with gradual and slow use. Putting them to use will slightly cause the audio quality to adjust itself to your listening pleasures. The sound will “sound” warm, treble wont be too sharp, and the delicate balance will reflect in form of overall enhanced outcome.
- Noise Isolation factor:
As expected from high end headphones, the B&O H8 Wireless Beoplay also delivers the level of noise isolation we expect from it. The cans are big in size, which also adds to reducing the outside noise of any kind.
By default, even if you don’t have the noise cancellation feature enabled on these headphones, you will hear little to no sounds from the surroundings you are in. of course, when you have it enabled, the headset will make it even difficult for you to hear your own voice. Don’t trust me? How about you enable the noise cancellation feature on B&O H8 Wireless headphones and make, or take a phone call? Tell me if you could listen to yourself over the ongoing conversation.
Bad stuff about B&O H8 Wireless headphones:
Once again, as I mention in most of my tech product reviews, the negatives or setbacks highlighted are entirely based on my personal experience. If you love a product or a brand and find any of my “opinions” about them as something offensive, then I apologize in advance. These days on the internet, you don’t wanna be at the receiving end of a troll’s hate list.
My gripe with the call quality: B&O H8 Wireless headphones are overall great headphones except for few things that the company needs to revise. First of all, the sound quality during phone calls appears to be muffled. Sometimes I hear sound aberrations or feedback, which may be result of the mobile service network I use, or perhaps it is because of the headphones performance.
On a side note, I am willing to give Bang and Olufsen the benefit of doubt because these headphones were not made for phone calls. If you bought these headphones thinking that they’ll help during your phone calls too, then look elsewhere, or buy Plantronics Voyager legend for that purpose. The B&O H8 Wireless headphones were solely made for movies, gaming, and studio work.
Stitch quality could have been better: Another thing that I noticed was a slight flaw in the build quality. The leather stitching and garment stitching on the cans could have used some extra hard work. I noticed that on the right can of the B&O H8 headset, the stitching was coming off. This could result in the assembly getting lose, especially the area surrounding the battery door. I haven’t found a workaround solution yet, but if I do, I will post it here in an update.
To buy or not to buy the B&O H8 Wireless headphones?
In the end, it all comes down to whether you’d like to buy B&O H8 Wireless headphones or not. In my opinion, you should do some research before buying this headset. I am not saying they are bad; by my standards, they are awesome, but you never know which product clicks etc.
On the upside, you are buying high performance headset with the possibility of making an investment as well. It means that you won’t have to spend more money after few months to buy another pair of headphones to help fulfill the same purpose that you started off with.
However, if the opposite happens than you can sell B&O H8 Wireless headphones at craigslist or some other website, and add a little extra money from your side to buy something better. It is a solution where everyone benefits after all, except for the fact that time is also an investment and we don’t want to waste time on a shoddy headset!