What does the name Bang & Olufsen mean to you? For those of us of a certain age, the name conjures up images of ultra-cool hi-fi separates from the 1970s and 1980s that not only sounded great but looked superb, too. Back in the 1970s, B&O was the epitome of style and great taste. The Danish audio company has been pioneering audio technology and design since 1925, including innovative tangential turntables ands wall-mounted music systems that looked as if they had come straight off the set of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Nowadays, B&O also sells a range of wireless speakers and headphones under the Beoplay sub-brand. Beoplay products have the same cool vibe and excellent sound quality as those gorgeous B&O products of yesteryear. Beoplay products feel and look like the Louis Vuitton of the audio world.
The latest premium headphones from Beoplay are the H95, a pair of Adaptive Active Noise Canceling (ANC) wireless headphones with a deluxe look and feel that you’d expect from B&O. The H95 are available in black and misty grey finishes and come with some superb controls that make them one of the best pairs of wireless ANC headphones I’ve auditioned in a while.
As you’d expect from B&O, the Beoplay H95 are presented in a superbly constructed metal case designed to keep them in pristine condition. The headphones fold and pack up small for traveling. Each earcup has a removable magnetic ear cushion made from leather. The pads can be removed in a trice and replaced when necessary. Each of the H95’s dynamic titanium drivers are tilted slightly forward to deliver a better sound.
The Beoplay H95 are a classic piece of Danish design. They feel as if they’ve been hand crafted and are quite heavy at 323g. The build quality is excellent with a solidity that makes them feel as if they should last a long time. The left earcup has a single metal button that’s used for activating a voice assistant. Additionally, a large knurled rotary control is provided to adjust the amount of noise canceling. The ring control has such a smooth, analog feel; it’s one of the best controls that I’ve ever seen on a pair of headphones.
The right earcup has an embedded touch sensor on its outer surface that can be tapped to pause and play music. The control can also be swiped forward or backward with a finger to skip or repeat a track. There’s also a power switch for turning the H95 on and off and for putting the headphones into Bluetooth pairing mode. A 3.5mm jack is included for wired use should the battery power run out or for those who don’t want to listen in wireless mode.
The H95 are charged via a USB-C port located on the right earcup and a suitable cable is provided. Finally, there’s another knurled rotary control on the right side that works as a superb volume control. It’s the best and smoothest analog control I’ve ever used on a pair of headphones. I just wish more manufacturers used this method for adjusting volume and ANC.
Pairing up the Beoplay H95 is a cinch. Simply slide the power switch on and hold it until the headphones enter pairing mode. There’s also a free app available that can also be used to connect to the headphones as well as providing settings for the amount of ANC or Transparency Hearing that the user wants to use. The app is also great for adjusting the EQ of the headphones and custom settings can be stored alongside several presets that are already set up.
When it comes to comfort, the Beoplay H95 are wonderfully comfortable. Despite their slightly heavy feel, the headphones grip the head firmly and never feel uncomfortable. The earpads are made from lusciously soft hide and the padded headband reduces the weight on the top of the listener’s head. All in all, B&O has done an excellent job of making these headphones look luxurious and feel comfortable.
The sound of the H95 is everything you’d expect from B&O. The balance of the tone is pretty close to perfect. From bass to midrange, and onwards to treble, the sound is so clear and pleasing that I think it would be hard to improve on. As far as the ANC function goes, the H95 are up there with some of the “best in class” active noise-canceling headphones from Bose or Sony. There’s a choice of using adaptive noise canceling to apply ANC automatically or else the amount can be dialed in manually using that superb knurled rotary dial on the left earcup.
Verdict: The Beoplay H95 headphones are relatively expensive, but you get what you pay for. The build quality is beyond reproach and the controls are so intuitive and easy to use. I love the rotary controls on each earcup that are easy to use and work far better than regular buttons. The Beoplay H95’s designers have done a fabulous job of creating a pair of wireless ANC headphones that are super comfortable to wear and sound like a dream. The ANC function works really well and is great for filtering out sounds like train and aircraft noise. The battery life of up to 38 hours is excellent with up to 50 hours with the ANC turned off. The Beoplay H95 are the perfect companion for long-haul flights or lengthy train journeys. If you have the money to spare, splash out on a pair of Beoplay H95… you won’t regret it!
Pricing: $800 / £700 / €800
More info: www.bang-olufsen.com
- Noise isolation: Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation
- Driver type: Electro-dynamic titanium driver, 40 mm diameter
- Driver sensitivity: 101.5 dB, 1mW @1kHz
- Frequency range: 20 – 22,000 Hz
- Impedance: 12Ω +/- 15%
- Dimensions: Headphones: 185 x 165 x 80mm WxHxD
- Weight: Headphones: 323g Carrying case: 500 g
- Battery life: Up to 38 hours with Bluetooth and ANC. Up to 50 hours without.
- Charging time: Two hours
- Charging method: USB-C
- Battery: Lithium-Ion
- Battery capacity: 1,110mAh
- Bluetooth: Version 5.1
- Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
- Microphones: 4 x MEMs
- Audio cable: 3.5mm