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CNET First Look
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8: Swanky Bluetooth headphones with a price to matchThese $500 wireless on-ear headphones look great and are loaded with features including noise canceling -- but a few small flaws take away some of the shine.
Hi, I'm David Carnoy and this is the Bang and Olulsen BeoPlay H8 ,a wireless Bluetooth headphone that also features active noise cancelling. As you might expect from a B and O product. the H8 is designed with a sturdy metal and leather headband and plush leather ear cups that are equipped with memory foam. It's also expensive costing $500, which is definitely at the high end of the bluetooth headphone spectrum, particularly for an on ear model. There are a lot of things I like about this headphone, but it also has a few small flaws that take away some of the luster. Let's start with the good. It's fairly compact, weighing 250 grams, looks good on your head and is also comfortable for an on ear model. I also appreciated that the rechargeable battery which is rated for an ample 14 hours of music play back It is removable and replaceable, and like some other high-end BlueTooth headphones, this one has touch controls on the right ear cuff that allows you to pause and play your music with a tap of your finger, and advance tracks with a simple swipe. As for sound quality, this is a dynamic, exciting sounding headphone with lots of base. It definitely goes deep- A fairly warm midrange and good clarity, through it's a touch hyped in the treble, which comes out more when you listen to this as a wired headphone. And yes, it does sound better as a wired headphone. But that's not surprising, considering you tend to give up some sound quality by going the Bluetooth route You also tend to give something up when you go the on ear route. This headphone isn't quite as open sounding as we like, particularly in Bluetooth and noise cancelling mode. And it ultimately doesn't beat lower priced competitors, like the Bose SoundLink on ear, which is also a bit more comfortable to wear, but not as sturdily built. That Bose doesn't include noise cancelling which is pretty decent in this model, though not as strong as the noise cancelling in Bose's Quite Comfort 25. In our text review, I go into more detail into both the pros and cons of the headphone, so check that out. But the quick synopsis here is that the [UNKNOWN] H8 has a lot going for it. It's impressive in a lot of ways But it also has a few small weaknesses that end up being magnified by the product's high price point. I'm David Carnoy, thanks for watching.