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Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H9i Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones, Clay
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- Advanced noise cancellation
- Up to 18 hours battery life
- Intuitive touch interface
- Designed for style and comfort
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BeoPlay H9i is B&O Play's most luxurious headphones. The H9i combines ANC, wireless, an innovative aluminium touch interface and Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound. BeoPlay H9i are finely tuned by Bang & Olufsen sound engineers to deliver a rich, powerful sound experience. Advanced Active Noise Cancellation technology lets you immerse yourself completely in your music or you can just enjoy total silence. Transparency Mode lets you amplify your surroundings so you can hear what's going on around you. BeoPlay H9i features a rechargeable and exchangeable battery with up to 18 hours of playtime. For those longer journeys, you can exchange the battery for longer playtime or simply attach the audio cord to keep enjoying your music. With simple gestures back and forth, up and down or around, you can control everything directly from the ear cup. If you want to answer a call, change song or turn up the volume, it's just a matter of a single touch - and because the aluminium plate is both mechanical and sensitive - it doesn't matter if you're wearing gloves it always works. Polished, anodized aluminium, soft lambskin and genuine cowhide leather guarantee absolute comfort and style. And because the leather patinates over time, BeoPlay H9i ages beautifully. The elegant over-ear design envelops your ear in extended comfort, so you can enjoy your music all day - while the soft lambskin and adaptive memory foam on the ear cushions make you want to never take them off. Specifications: Frequency:20 Hz to 22,000 Hz; Microphone: 2 digital MEMS voice microphones, 4 dedicated electret microphones for ANC (2 electret in each earcup); Speakers: Electro dynamic driver, 40 mm diameter; Touch Controls: ANC on/off, Volume up/down, Next/previous track, Play/pause, Answer/end call, Reject call; Connections: 3.5 mm mini-jack connection, Micro-USB ; Play Time: Up to 24 hours; Charging Time: 2.5 hours; Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX Low Latency.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
B&O H9i wins on several fronts, but the B&W PX are a very-very close second. Super good sound out of the B&W units.
The B&O H9i definitely have better comfort for extended wearing. The B&O can accept audio input via bluetooth, a USB-C cable from a computer, or a 3.5mm Stereo Jack. This is a must for me since I use a host of audio inputs from various sources.
The B&O phone app allows modification of the sound of the headphones via a very basic EQ. Its a basic app, but as a very tech savvy mechanical engineer, sound geek, drummer, and mixer operator in a large church, I would like to see such an app for a high end set of headphones have more capability. I really wish companies would make an app that allows a fully parametric EQ interface, similar to an App called EQu (by elephantcandy) for the IPhone. The right earphone allows the user to interface with the phone when listening to music. You can stop, skip, backup songs, turn on and off noise cancellation, and turn on off a “talk through” feature that allows outside sounds to come through so you don’t have to take the headphones off to listen to your environment. Follow the manufacturer's directions carefully, it takes just a little bit of care getting used to but it works fine.
The noise cancellation is excellent. I have used the headphones around the house, while on airplanes, driving, and a work in an office. Very solid noise cancellation. I typically listen to acid jazz, contemporary jazz, modern jazz/rock music at lower volumes. When I take the headphones off I am amazed at how loud everything is and how well the noise cancellation works. It totally eliminates the noise of riding in a car or an airplane.
The sound of music with noise cancellation and without noise cancellation is noticeably different. More midrange tones are present without noise cancellation, although careful tweaking of the B&O interface app can accommodate this. The app allows you to save presets so that you can set the phone EQ to account for when noise cancellation is on or off.
Only negative (temporarily I am told) is that when using only a 3.5mm stereo input connection to the headphones, the sound quality is terrible compared to using bluetooth or USB-C connections. This is the case with or without the power switch turned on, and with or without the noise cancellation turned on. I knew this could not be correct and there was nothing in the instructions or website that identified this. I corresponded with the factory a few times by phone and email regarding the poor sound quality on only the 3.5mm stereo cable connections. As of 6 April the factory reps (Nancy and Ivan) indicated that my issue with the sound quality change when using only a 3.5mm connection is not an isolated incident. The factory rep Ivan told me the factory is planning to issue a firmware update to try to resolve the problem. I asked if the problem is not resolved via firmware I wanted to return the headphones and get a replacement pair that do not suffer from this problem. Ivan said that would not be a problem since I have established a case # via email.
UPDATED 21 APRIL 2018:
The latest update of the app for the smart phone changed the sound of the headphones when using ONLY the 3.5mm cable. Seems as though the fix is in and the headphones sound as good.
As an owner of Bowers & Wilkins H7's (and loving them with truly mad love) for the past several years and a pair of Beoplay H6's, I feel like I'm in a good position to give an opinion about the transition from more traditional wired cans into the H9i's.
First, let's start with construction, materials and design. In this realm, Bang & Olufsen has created a masterpiece. My Bowers & Wilkins H7's are also magnificently constructed, so if you know this model, I can vouch for them being as meticulously beautiful and robust as the B&W's. I fully expect these headphones to last for years.
Comfort is fantastic. The ear pads are incredibly plush and ridiculously comfortable. Opening the box and literally smelling leather like a fine pair of shoes was an indication of the fact that these are ultra-premium headphones. Contrast that with the faux leather of, say, Bose. I've owned a pair in the past and I can assure you that the plastic and faux leather will not wear well. In this regard, the H9i is well worth the additional money.
Sonically, the H9i is wonderfully neutral. The ability to tailor the sonic signature via the app is fantastic. Not only can you choose the right mix of warm/relaxed/excited/bright, but by pinching the "dot" in the app, you can also adjust separation to give the sound the kind of air and space you'd like. Brilliantly executed.
The touch controls on the earpiece are fantastic. Don't let peoples' comments about them being fussy deter you. Once you've had them for 48 hours you'll be able to do whatever you want pretty much flawlessly.
Noise cancellation is solid and achieved with minimal air pressure sensation. The transparency mode makes the H9i ideal for use in an office environment. I think I've freaked people out by swiping up and having a normal conversation without taking off my headphones. ;)
Overall, I literally couldn't be more pleased with my purchase. Once again, Bang & Olufsen has done an amazing job. This is my fourth Beoplay purchase. Based on the H9i's, it certainly won't be my last.