Bang & Olufsen for your listening pleasure

by Goh De No
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Brunei will witness a line of lifestyle products that preach automation like no other when Bang & Olufsen (B&O) opens its doors this week. If you don’t believe me, drop by the new showroom at Kiarong and ask for some automation demonstrations.

The brand’s line of automated equipment was designed to suit our lifestyle. It considers factors such as where you like to sit, and which part of the house you are in, so that you don’t need to move closer to the speakers to listen to music.

Rightly so as machinery should be bought to suit your needs and not vice versa.

Besides sophisticated automated machinery and tech, Bang & Olufsen also has a huge line of B&O Play products that caters to a different audience. By different, I mean those with shallower pockets.

Today, let’s take a look at two headphones from the Play series: the H6 and H8.

The H6 has some strong competitors such as Sennheiser’s Momentum, or the Bose QuietComfort 15, both which I own and really like. I can tell you right away that the H6 is more expensive, but it also looks and feel better.

Bang & Olufsen’s Play H6 headphones. Image courtesy of Bang & Olufsen.

Now, let’s go deeper into the most important feature – the sound.

The 40mm drivers on each phone drives the sound on the H6, and bear in mind that these are usually fine-tuned over tedious hours to get a pure sound, exactly what the recording studio intended.

When I first put them on, I did not connect the 3.5mm jack to the phone correctly. Yes, there are two 3.5mm jacks on both sides of the headphones; unusual, but it’s smart design as it allows for music sharing to another headphone when one is plugged in. It also let’s you choose which side you want the audio cable to be on. A very nice touch.

As I half connected the 3.5mm cable, I could hear music but it sounded like I was in an aquarium. After I discovered my silly mistake, my music immediately came to life.

The H6 sound is extremely full; I had a surround sound EQ on my music player and the H6 adapted as if there were six speakers all around me.

The bass was full and not overwhelming with a warm mid range, and as all B&O products, the treble will not pierce your ears no matter how loud you go. That is one of the beauty of the brand, where it tempts you to turn up the knob to see what the limit is.

In terms of comfort, the H6 is a winner because the headphones don’t jut out too far from you, and it has good padding on the headband with a memory foam cup on the headphones.

The H8, on the other hand, is a Bluetooth headphone, meaning it can go wireless or stay charged while being used.

The H8 is a Bluetooth headphone, meaning it can go wireless or stay charged while being used. Image courtesy of Bang & Olufsen.

The H8 is more expensive than the H6, due to its wireless and noise cancellation capabilities.

Noise cancellation is so good, that I could feel a a vacuum being created between the ears. This effect did give me a bit of a headache at times, and I immediately felt the dis- comfort of the noise cancelling.

However, sound from the H8 is as good as the H6, with or without switching on the noise cancellation.

The soft buttons on the left ear headphone is also effective to change tracks, pause/play or to increase or lower volumes. The H6 does this via its auxiliary cable that has small physical buttons along the cable.

The Play H8 is a premium line of wireless headphones from Bang & Olufsen. Image courtesy of Bang & Olufsen.

Both headphones are really good and can justify prices against competitors, but choosing the right one for you is dependent on your needs. Do you prefer wireless or not? And is noise cancellation a must?

Regardless, definitely check out the line of B&O Play products at the showroom which opens this Saturday.

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