Anyone in the market for a pair of high-quality over-the-ear headphones should give serious consideration to the Beoplay H9i Wireless Headphones. The price tag may be a bit daunting, but after learning all of the thought and features that went into these it may not seem so bad. They are quite possibly the most attractive headphones on the market, and more importantly, they provide the listener with a high-quality sound. Although there are other headphones on the market with similar features, none of them seem to hit the mark quite as well as the Beoplay H9i Wireless Headphones.
There are two different color schemes available with these headphones. Both the all black and the tan and gray models are stylish. On the top of the headband, they have used stitched leather. In the ear pads, there is even more leather, made from super soft lambskin. To finish off the look, they have added silver as well as matte gray highlights to the outside of the ears.
Although it doesn't have as much cushion on the underside of the headband as some of their previous models, it is surprisingly comfortable. In order to customize the fit to the user, the ear cups can swivel at the base of the headband. There is memory foam in the ear pads, meaning these headphones can be worn for hours without experiencing any discomfort. The more often a user wears them, the more tailored to the shape of their ears the memory foam becomes. This is hugely important for people who need to wear their headphones for extended periods of time and do not want to be constantly aware of them.
The headphones weigh only 10.05 ounces, which is another reason that they can be worn so long without irritation. As for the rest of the dimensions, they are 7.7 inches wide, 2 inches deep, and 7.9 inches tall.
On top of the features aimed at making them look stylish and feel comfortable, the people at Bang & Olufsen also made sure to make these headphones tough. They are made of aluminum, leather, and a bit of rubber. The result is a very sleek yet rugged product. The included soft carrying case is designed to prevent scratching.
The only possible complaint with the design of these headphones is that they don't fold. Wireless headphones are designed to be portable, so being able to fold them and stick them in a backpack or pocket easier would have been nice.
At the end of the day, absolutely everything about these headphones screams quality.
The balance of sound these headphones produce is excellent. Both those who are seeking big bass as well as though who prefer the higher frequencies will be satisfied with the performance. The frequencies on these range from 20 to 20,000 Hz. Using the technology they are famous for, B&O has created another pair of headphones that produce clear sound.
As for those most concerned with bass, rest assured that at top volumes these headphones won't produce a distorted sound. In the mid-range of volume, the bass is still present without being an overwhelming factor.
Speaking of volume, that is something most wireless headphones struggle with. Many leave their users feeling like they want to turn it up way higher than maximum. While the Beoplay H9i Wireless Headphones are not quite as loud as traditional wired headphones, they do provide a pretty decent level of sound.
Vocals are consistently nice and clear. These headphones are also good for listening to classical music, making string and brass instruments sound sharp without ever sounding brittle.
The size of the ear cups allow for stereo separation and enable both the instruments and vocals to shine. Considering these have closed off ear cups, it is quite astonishing how wide the soundstage they create is. The listener can pinpoint the different instruments and really engage with their music. They are a good choice for any type of musical style.
As far as noise leakage, there is a very minimal amount. Users should be able to listen to their music or videos as loud as they want without worrying about bothering their fellow workers or commuters.
Active noise cancellation is a much-desired feature in headphones today. These headphones provide a decent amount of it, although it isn't perfect. The one drawback reported by some users is a low-level hissing sound when ANC is activated. That being said, there is a lot to love about what B&O has accomplished with the noise reduction.
Although you cannot control the level of noise cancellation or the mode in which it is done, these headphones will eliminate large swaths of sound. For people wearing these while working in an office, ambient noise is all but eliminated. Things like people chatting, the air conditioner, and the copy machine will no longer be distracting. For those who use them to travel, they are excellent at blocking out other passengers and the noise of the plane, train, subway, or bus.
To accomplish this, the Beoplay H9i have four separate electret mics to eliminate noise. These means these headphones can eliminate both higher and lower frequencies than many of its competitors. Low-level human voices, which many ANC headphones struggle with, are extinguished with this hybrid technology.
If you want to be more aware of your surroundings, the ANC can be turned completely off and the sound quality is not impacted. To take it a step further, simply activate "listening mode," officially called Transparency by the manufacturer, and the headphones will actually amplify ambient noises using a microphone, similar to a hearing aid. It is very convenient to not have to remove these headphones every time someone wants to have a conversation.
Compatible with Bluetooth 1.1 through 4.2, these headphones are simple for almost anyone to pair to their device. It is as simple as sliding a button. As an added feature, they can be connected to more than one device at a time.
For anyone needing an extended range for their headphones, note that in tests these stayed connected to their device up to 125 feet away. That is one of the most impressive ranges of any pair of wireless headphones.
Even if Bluetooth and active noise cancellation are being used, these headphones are meant to last roughly 18 hours at a time. That is an amazing span and should get users through even the longest of commutes or work days. For wired listening, the battery life is increased to a full 24 hours.
In order to fully charge the battery, it takes approximately 2.5 hours. Considering how long they then last, that does not seem too bad. If someone finds themselves unable to wait that long, they can purchase a replacement battery and always keep one charged. Including in the package with these headphones is the USB-C charger. A nice touch thrown in by B&O is the long charging cable that was included. Since the cable is so long, users can still listen to them relatively easily while they are plugged in charging.
One amazing feature of these headphones is their proximity sensors. Using these, they can tell whether or not they are being worn. If they are removed, they automatically pause. This is immensely useful for preserving battery life. When the user is ready to resume listening, the headphones will automatically begin playing when placed back on their head.
Ultimately, how long the battery lasts will be determined by a variety of factors. Whether or not the user is on Bluetooth or using active noise cancellation will make a difference. The volume they are used at is also something that can impact battery life.
Ease of Use
There is a touch-sensitive pad to control the Beoplay H9i. By drawing circles on the right ear cup, the volume can be adjusted. To toggle on the listening mode, the user swipes up. To toggle on the active noise cancellation, the user swipes down. Tapping will either pause or play and swiping forward or backward is the way to navigate through tracks. If the listener gets a phone call, answering it is as simple as tapping the center of the ear cup.
Many users have reported an increase in responsiveness in the H9i when compared to the H9. The touchpad is so responsive, it can be used while wearing gloves. That feature is amazing for those wearing these headphones on their early morning commute.
On these headphones, all of the controls are found on the right ear cup. Many other pairs will divide them between the ears, but on the Beoplay H9i the left ear cup houses the removable battery back. It is important to point out that many users reported there being a bit of a learning curve when first starting out. After a bit of practice, everyone can use these headphones easily.
Many people listen to their music or watch videos on their phones and will occasionally need to answer a call while wearing their headphones. Luckily, the Beoplay H9i has superior sound and mic quality. By positioning two mics at the ideal angle, the wearer's voice will come through crystal clear. They can also expect no issues in hearing the person on the other end.
When buying a new pair of Beoplay H9i Wireless Headphones, the following things will be included in the box:
The flight adapter is a nice feature to have included. People who do not do a lot of air travel may not realize that airplanes do not have a standard headphone jack, but rather a double one. Without an adapter, people are forced to rent airline headphones of inferior quality and often questionable cleanliness.
Completely free to both Android an iPhone users, B&O has developed an app that allows the user to update to the newest firmware. This may not seem important, but keeping up to date ensures that the touch-pad and other features work properly.
Also on the app is the ability to customize sound profiles. There are several preset ones that can be chosen from. The options are bright, relaxed, warm, or excited. For people wanting to fine-tune their listening experience, this app also allows for EQ adjustments. The adjustments are rather minimal, but it can be a fun feature to play around with. It works by dragging a little dot closer towards the different preset options, which are represented in the four corners of the screen.
Whether purchased for commuting or for blocking out ambient noise to concentrate, these headphones are perfect. In fact, the only situation these headphones are not ideal for is working out, simply because they aren't designed to be sweat proof.
Although these are on the pricier end of the spectrum, these headphones are stylish and high-performing enough to justify the cost. To help make sure the consumer gets their money's worth, B&O offers a 2-year warranty on parts and labor. Finding a more attractive way to listen to music, without sacrificing sound quality, would be next to impossible.