Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8i Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones, Pink
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- Advanced active noise cancellation
- Up to 30 hours battery life
- Built with luxurious materials
- The perfect travelling companion
- Streamlined, on-ear wearing style
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BeoPlay H8i is a premium wireless Bluetooth on-ear headphones with active noise cancellation, transparency mode and built-in microphone. BeoPlay H8i features Bang and Olufsen Signature Sound - a warm and honest acoustic performance, designed to overwhelm you with its precision, power and detail. And with advanced Active Noise Cancellation, you can immerse yourself in your music or just enjoy total silence. When you need to hear what's going on around you, Transparency Mode lets you listen to ambient sounds. With a significantly larger battery capacity than its predecessor, H8i will give you up to 30 hours of playtime so you can enjoy your music on the go for longer. If you do run out of battery, the solution is simple - just attach the audio cord to keep enjoying your music. Exclusive, carefully selected and authentic materials such as anodized aluminium and natural leather ensure total comfort and let you travel in style. And because the leather patinates over time, BeoPlay H8i age beautifully. A contemporary, streamlined design with smooth ergonomics. The perfect match of style and function, H8i are one of the lightest in their class giving you optimal comfort. You simply won't want to take them off. BeoPlay H8i have been updated with a more streamlined, contemporary design. A host of new features includes Transparency Mode so you can tune into ambient sounds and proximity sensors for automatic play/pause when you take your headphones on or off. H8i also has improved voice quality for calls thanks to two dedicated microphones placed at an optimal angle.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have purchased all my headphones and have no allegiance to any manufacture.
My better on-ear’s include Beyerdynamic Aventho, Sennheiser HD1, Bose Soundlink, the more reasonable Ghostek Rapture and now the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8i.
Test Devices: I’m using my Sony NW-ZX300 DAP as my source player along with my Note 5 cell phone.
I will try to compare this group objectively based on size, comfort, stability, controls, sound quality, features and finally value. So, let’s get to my comparison.
Physical Size) The Bose are much lighter and compact when folded, while the Ghostek are largest and heaviest. The Ghostek and Sennheiser are about the same size folded. The H8i and Aventho do not fold. Winner is the Bose.
Comfort) While on-ear headphones are notorious for heating up and becoming too uncomfortable, I found the H8i a rare exception here. The Bose are a joy to wear, because they are light and have a fabric center section. I can wear the Bose all day long with no discomfort. The Sennheiser eliminates the over heating issue by only placing the ear cups on the outer ear edge and leaving some space in between the ear and the driver. But I have to admit that the Sennheiser’s require time and manipulation to make them comfortable. Out of the box the Sennheiser’s clamped like a vise and the ear-cup pads were entirely too stiff. They are getting better with age, but the Bose, H8i and Aventho felt great right out of the box. Winner is the Bose. A close second place goes to the H8i.
Stability) Clear winner is the Bose because of their weight and perfect amount of clamping force. The rest just felt less stable due to their weight. Second place goes to the H8i
Controls) I really enjoy the Aventho’s very simplistic approach to the controls. A single button and a touch sensitive pad that works much better than my Sony MDR1000x over-ear headphones. Switching between the Ghostek and Sennheiser headphones I kept finding my self seeking the controls, while the Bose controls were easily located. Winner is the Aventho. Second place goes to Bose.
Sound Quality) While realizing that sound presentation is very subjective, there was no close second to the H8i. These have the most engaging sound I have heard in an on-ear headphone. Everything is balanced perfectly with no section of the spectrum being overshadowed. These cans seem to know what I'm listening to and adapts to the genre instantly. Also, I was amazed how well they performed with only SBC connectivity instead of the more limelight aptX and aptX HD. The downside I found was when listening to youtube blogs. All headphones seem to echo or reverb somewhat, but these sounded like I was in a music Hall and the speaker was at the far end. A distant second place goes to the Sennheiser HD1.
Features) The H8i has much better ANC than the only other one in my collection, the Sennheiser HD1. The H8i also allows you to disable the ANC and also gives you the option to allow ambient sound in. While the ANC is no match to the on-ear giants like the Bose QC35s and Sony’s 1000 series, it is not too bad either. As others have stated the H8i app is really good at fine tuning the sound profile to your individual taste. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I could use the app on Note 5 to adjust the sound while listening to my DAP with no interruption or lag.
Value) If the high price is a factor then I would go with Bose or Ghostek, but If sound is really important to you like it is to me then go with H8i. If multipoint connectivity is not a priority then you may want to look at “66 Audio BTS Pro” (really good sound and 100’ range).
Battery Life (advertised as 30 hours)
Range (advertised as 100 feet)
Active noise cancellation that can be disabled.
3.5mm wired input
Can fold flat
Very minimal sound leakage
Good tactile buttons
They are not foldable; however, they do lay flat for storage.
No voice prompts or notifications of pairings (I had to keep looking at my devices to confirm)
Proximity sensors (never did see one that I liked – I disabled this (instructions below)
Also, I must point out that I don’t mind the storage bag since I use a case that holds my DAP and cables. However, I know some would prefer a hard case. It comes down to personal preference on this item.
Proximity Sensor management from Bang & Olufsen (took a while to find this).
“To disable the automatic play/pause function, with headphones powered on press and hold the middle button on the right headphone for 5 seconds until the indicator light flashes blue and then double press the middle button. The indicator light will turn red. To re-enable, repeat the same steps until the indicator light turns green.”
Update 03/30/2018: I still love the sound of these, but not so much the stability while being active. They kept sliding forward and fell off twice while bending over somewhat. I spent the afternoon doing yard work and fought with these to keep them on my head.
On the plus side; during the mowing I was impressed with the ANC. Still nowhere as good as the over-ear ANC kings (Bose QC 35 and Sony MDR/WH 1000 Series). But, wasn't bad either.
These will be reserved for when I just want to relax and listen to great sound quality. My Bose Soundlink are best when I'm working in my workshop and the Sony MDR1000 for yard work or any place where ANC is important.
- The Middle multi-function button did not have any tactile feedback, so it was very mushy and it would not always register a command press. The Vol. +/- buttons were fine.
- The removable right ear cup did not securely fasten to the headphone. It easily rotated off when simply taking off the headphone and placing it on my lap.
- The right ear cup has a type of adhesive sticker around it (underneath the ear cup) that was not completed sealed and was "bubbling". You can see this portion of the headphone when the ear cups are rotated.
- The plastic ear cup housing felt extremely cheap, as did the plastic buttons, which were also a bit loose; definitely not high-end fabrication.
- Adjustment slider resistance was inconsistent and looser on one end vs. the other.
- Overall, build quality on the H8i is not as good as the H8. Seems they are trying to cut costs more than make a better product.
Good, definitely nothing to complain about, however, at this price, you also expect better QC and build quality. Had QC issues on multiple newer Beoplay H9i & H8i models. If you frequent certain forums, you will see QC issues on their newer line are quite common. The H9 & H8 are better in terms of build, QC, and arguably sound.
The sound is great, comparable to my Vmoda XS. Medium soundstage with a shallow v-shaped signature. The app allows you to equalize but I'm happy with it unaltered. ANC works wonderfully - although due to the physical design, the microphones on the outside of the headphones can catch wind noises easily.
Small memory foam earpads work well to block out noise and leave enough space so that you can wear eyeglasses/sunglasses without feeling too much pressure or heat during long listening sessions. The clamping force is just enough to keep it on your head without falling off, but enough headbanging will eventually slide them off.
I think the design/build is what you're really paying for here. Form factor is minimal and the design is discreet. The build materials are all top notch and feel luxurious. They definitely feel like more of a premium product than the Bose QC or Sony WH lines. The earpads rotate about 140degrees and the band does not fold/collapse.
- Wireless connection is pretty good, was able to leave my bedroom, go downstairs into the kitchen and still have a solid connection.
- There is a 'Transparency mode' which essentially uses the external microphones to create the illusion you have no headphones on at all (which effectively lets you hear 'outside' without removing your headphones). It's a cool idea but I haven't found a real reason to use that feature instead of just removing the headphones.
- A proximity sensor that pauses your music when you remove your headphones and continues them when you put them back on. This feature is a bit finicky and has gone awry a handful of times already - fortunately you can disable this functionality.
Random potentially helpful tidbits:
- Bluetooth functionality doesn't work while you charge them.
- Along with the provided auxiliary cord, you can also plug these headphones into any device via USB-C and enjoy wired audio that way.
- Beoplay app is a bit buggy, if it doesn't connect to your device uninstall and reinstall the app and try again.