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Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H6


Pros: Detailed highs, smooth mids, textured lows, wide soundstage, precise imaging, gorgeous design.

Cons: While it can be driven by an iPhone, the BeoPlay H6 requires a dedicated amp to do its best work.


When I first got word that Bang & Olufsen would be releasing a new full-size headphone, I could barely contain my excitement. As a long-time B&O customer, I appreciate the unique blend of no-compromise performance, quality and design for which B&O is legendary. My B&O home system, a pair of bookshelf speakers with a sub, has given me countless hours of enjoyment. Let me tell you: My system has knocked the socks off more than one old-school audiophile who, before hearing it, thought B&O was just about good looks. 
Yes, B&O's kit looks spectacular. But the company doesn't make vacuous supermodels with empty space between the ears. B&O has been around for almost 90 years and has serious engineering chops. The Danish equipment maker does make supermodels, to be sure. But these are supermodels who can build you a rocket, splice DNA and smash protons. Beauty and brawn. Eye candy and IQ.


Case in point: My B&O 4000 bookshelf speaker cabinets are entirely aluminum. Because the speakers are powered, each of the four transducers has its own dedicated, perfectly-matched amp. My sub is also aluminum and is powered by a custom 850-watt Class-D amplifier. How good is the amp? Good enough that Bowers & Wilkins uses amps made by B&O in their subwoofers. They are arguably the best Class-D amps in the world. Aluminum speaker cabinets are commonplace today because aluminum is an ideally strong, rigid and malleable cabinet material. It can be easily shaped to reduce unwanted vibrations and eliminate standing waves. And polished aluminum is beautiful. B&O began using aluminum way back in the 1980's, when self-described audiophiles derided the use of aluminum in speaker cabinet design. Wood was the stuff of which real speaker cabinets were made, they argued. Powered speakers are for neophytes, they argued. Now that some of the greatest speaker manufacturers in the world have jumped on the bandwagon (Linn, B&W et al), making powered speakers and aluminum cabinets, those critics are conspicuously silent.  
So two years ago, in a bid to stay relevant in an age of iPhones and iPods, B&O introduced its BeoPlay product line. The latest products in the line are the BeoPlay H3 and H6 headphones, an in-ear monitor and a full-size can, respectively. I didn't care about the H3 IEM. The H6, with its sexy curves and leather upholstery put the twinkle in my eye. The wait between the announcement and the time the product shipped was painfully long, but finally the day arrived and I sauntered down to my local B&O boutique to have a listen. And boy, was I disappointed.
I plugged the H6 into my iPhone and spun up a playlist of lossless tracks compiled specifically to test the mettle of headphones. Mids? Check. High-end? Check. Soundstage? Imaging? Check. Check. But wait... Where's the bass? This can't be right. This thing sounds thinner than a stale Triscuit trapped under a steamroller. I skipped ahead to track after track after track, but the result was the same: woefully weak bass response. I couldn't believe it. This, from the company who made the Beolab 2 sub that has rattled my windows (as well as my neighbors' nerves) for the last ten years?
I promptly returned home, logged into Head-Fi, and declared that I would not be purchasing the BeoPlay H6. I went further to predict that the H6 headphone, priced at $400 US, would enjoy meager sales at best. My search for a daily driver would begin anew.
Then comments and reviews on the H6 began to trickle in. And they were mixed. Very mixed. Some reviewers experienced the same anemic low-end I heard. But others described an ample amount of detailed, textured bass that faithfully and pleasingly rendered any source material. How could this be? What could explain the discrepancies between the reports provided by these listeners? As I've come to find, the explanation is simple. The x-factor, in the case of the H6, is amplification.


The H6 simply does not show its true colors when amplified by a smartphone or tablet. Unlike say, the Sennheiser Momentum, which delivers a warm (if slightly boomy) sound, even when jacked directly into a smartphone, the H6 is a more finicky lover who refuses to open the kimono without proper motivation. 
I would get the H6 after all, I decided, and I would motivate them properly...with a brand-spanking-new Schiit Asgard 2.

I bought the H6 a few days before I ordered the Asgard 2. I listened to it with my iPhone and iPad. I enjoyed the crystal-clear highs, the rich mids and the fantastic soundstage and image. And I longed for deeper, more fully-realized bass. Then the Asgard 2 arrived.

I'll skip the unboxing story and cut to the chase. Wow. Hello, bass! Clean bass. Textured bass. Nimble, sprightly bass. Accurate bass. This is the headphone I expected from B&O, the one I knew they could produce. I was pleased and all was right with the world. 
Now for the review. I'll start with sound quality, then move on to niceties like build quality, design and packaging. Grades are relative to other headphones in the $300-$500 range, when amplified with a capable headphone amp.

Sound Quality

Highs: 9/10

I'd describe B&O's "house sound" as natural and neutral, with a brilliant, feathery-light high-end that resolves a lot of detail. This describes the H6's sound perfectly. It delivers a staggering amount of detail in its price-class. In fact, the H6 delivers an impressive amount of detail when compared to headphones well above its price-class! Cymbals, triangles, snares, and hi-hats all sound crisp and light, with nary a hint of sibilance or stridence. I'm guessing this deftly executed high-end lends much to the headphone's spectacular imaging, which I'll describe later.

Mids: 9.5/10

Mids on the BeoPlay H6 are pleasingly neutral. I'm an absolute nut for female vocals, and the H6 articulates vocals exquisitely, as well as any headphone I've heard under $1000 US. Strings, winds, acoustic guitars and brass all render with substantial fidelity and ease. In fact, the mids painted by the H6 are so neutral and musical that there really isn't much to write about them. This is simply the way music should sound.


Lows: 8/10

The low-end of the BeoPlay H6 has been a subject of much discussion. As I indicated above, the H6's bass doesn't come alive until proper amplification is supplied. Kind of makes me sad to know most owners of the H6 will never know just how good these cans can sound. Paired with the Asgard 2, the H6 delivers plenty of smooth, clean, textured bass. Never punchy or flabby— just accurate and lively. The H6 is definitely not a headphone for bass-heads, but aficionados of jazz, classical and folk will appreciate the H6's tender touch. It's a mature sound for a mature listening audience. 

Sound Stage: 8.5/10

The H6 renders an unusually wide soundstage for a closed-back can, but there is a little added surprise. I find that while the soundstage is not particularly deep on the Z-axis (like the HD800), it creates an impressively tall Y-axis. I don't know how, but I get the illusion of substantial vertical height on certain tracks, one that has caused me to re-think my impressions of tracks I've listened to hundreds of times.

Imaging: 9/10

Most reviews of the H6 praise the headphone's pinpoint-accurate imaging, and I concur. The H6 images incredibly well for a closed-back headphone in the $400 price range. In fact, I've read one reviewer who opines that the imaging capabilities of the H6 are comparable to those of the Audeze LCD-2! I'm really enjoying the process of listening to my favorite albums again, this time with a much clear impression of where everything sits. 

Listening Impressions

I've selected five tracks for review that I suspect most people reading this already own. I could have selected obscure tracks to suggest the depth of my catalog and my fantastic taste in music, but that wouldn't help anybody. So here we go:

"Bolero" (Pink Martini, Sympathique)

The opening bass bars are cleanly rendered and textural. The percussion that follows is spacious and precisely imaged. I can point to the location of each drum tap. The cello's timbre is true-to-life. The H6 places the track in a very well-defined space, making it feel like a live performance.

"True To Life" (Roxy Music, Avalon)

This track, like the others on the album, is full of minute sonic flourishes. The kick drum has a satisfying thump. The synthesizer floats in space and is pierced occasionally by the lead electric guitar. Toms pitter pat on the outer edges of the soundstage. The H6 captures the gray, Autumnal mood of the piece perfectly.

"Stand Behind Me" (Christy Baron, Retrospective)

A warm, lazy electric guitar chirps on the left while a clarinet whispers on the right. A snare and hi-hat gently shuffle in the background. The timbre of the clarinet is startlingly real. Lots of air around each instrument. Baron's vocals are centered, smooth and full of emotion. You hear breaths inhaled. You hear lips part. It's like a sonic deep-tissue massage.

"Tears In Heaven" (Eric Clapton, Unplugged)

The opening guitar plucks have a substantial attack. The triangle has a tactile, needle-prick resonance. The image is remarkably precise. You can distinctly hear the voices of each backup singer. The percussion has a pleasing pop.

"Kiss" (Prince, Parade / Under The Cherry Moon)

This pulsating whoosh sound has visceral heft. The electronic snare snap is like the cracking of a block of ice. The chimes are surprisingly three dimensional. One gains a new appreciation for the subtleties of Prince's falsetto. It's now clear to me that this track—a track I always believed to be poorly mastered—was actually superbly engineered. Who knew?


Build Quality, Design and Packaging

Build Quality and Comfort: 8.5/10

Aluminum and leather, just like a sports car. The H6 is one beautifully built piece of kit. Like all B&O products, the build quality on the H6 is top-notch. The clamping pressure is just a smidgen north of perfect to me, but your results may vary. Still, because it weighs only 230g I can wear the H6 for hours with no discomfort. The lambskin and foam used for the earpads is incredibly soft and there is no visible stitching on the earpad leather, a testament to B&O's attention to detail. There are no visible screws or unpolished seams to be found anywhere on the product. The level of fit and finish is fantastic, but this is typical for Bang & Olufsen. I find that the back-sides of B&O's products often look better than the front-sides of products from other manufacturers. One gripe: I wish B&O had included an additional cable without the iPod controls.


Design (Aesthetics): 10/10

What can I write? If you've seen it, you know that the H6 is drop-dead gorgeous. A timeless, carefully considered design. There isn't much else to say here, as B&O has always delivered best-in-class design. They are the Apple, the Audi, the Bell & Ross of stereo gear. They were doing bleeding-edge industrial design eons before anyone else in the audio world, and it shows. 

Packaging: 7/10 (not included in final score)

A neat little box with a pleasant, gratifying unboxing experience. The headphone is presented front-and-center on a fitted block of foam. Below the foam rests the cable, the cloth transport bag, the airline adapter and the papers. Nothing to write home about, but a very competent packaging job.

Overall Score: 8.9/10

This is a $400 headphone, and as such I consider it a bargain in its class. Fantastically detailed sound, world-class design and easy wearability for a very reasonable price. Now, the BeoPlay H6 is not an Audeze LCD-3 killer. It won't tango with the likes of an HD800 or SR-009, but it delivers a remarkably pleasing listening experience that is very portable. And it can be driven by a iPhone, though it requires a dedicated amp to do its best work. 
Bottom line? I love my BeoPlay H6 and can confidently recommend it highly.


Pros: Comfortable, neutral and natural, folds flat for portable, luxury build quality and design

Cons: Some may find it lacking in bass, lack of warm, and may sound boring to some as well

First Impressions



Bang & Olufsen were established since 1925. I was looking at their stunning products. It was really creative, and a lot of technologies were put in each and every of their products to make sure things are near perfect and simple to use for everyone and at everywhere. All of their products define how great the effort was put into it by Bang & Olufsen's team making a product that everyone can use. I strongly believe that their universal control best describes it. It was designed 20 years ago for controlling everything you can find in Bang & Olufsen. It is not as complicated as you may think, it's simple. It's intelligent. It's convenient. Just like all other Bang & Olufsen's products. The Bang & Olufsen H6, lies another great story to tell.

The Bang & Olufsen H6 is what I would call, an audiophile, portable-reference, fashion-accessories headphone. It is the combination of good sound quality and good design together with luxury touches. They are, of course, as comfortable as all the luxury car brands that Bang & Olufsen are co-operated with; including Aston Martin, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

H6 2

Everywhere you go with the Bang & Olufsen H6, it will not disappoint you nor will it put you to shame because of its design. It isolates extremely well, even in a noisy environment, you can still put on the stylish Bang & Olufsen H6 and enjoy your music. Nothing will ever come between you and the music. Additionally, its stylish design would attract more people than you would think it will. No cheap plastic, cheap pleather. All these are replaced and dominated by high quality and excellent finished genuine leather and aluminum. It is simple. It is convenient as you can plug in the jack into either side of the earcups. The cable features in-line remote control and mic for Smartphone. There's no need of Bluetooth feature here because I believe Bang & Olufsen wish to avoid it as it will compress the music way too much that the headphone will not sound at its best.

After so much designer's effort are put in it, you may ask, how does it sound? The moment I put onto this headphone and play music from my iPhone, I was blown away. Unlike most stylish headphone, the Bang & Olufsen H6 sound very neutral, detailed and airy. Instruments are well separated in the music. The vocals sound very natural. There are no treble spike or upper mids bump. It is very clean sounding with no hint of harshness, muffled and/or piercing. By memory, in comparison to my beloved AKG K550 and PSB M4U1, the Bang & Olufsen H6 basically take all the good sound of those two headphones and make it better. It is like upgrading from BMW 5 series to BMW 7series, a whole new definition of joy. Great imaging, instrument separation, details, soundstage and natural sound can be found in the very well built and comfortable Bang & Olufsen H6. Most importantly, there is no need of amping which is a big add for portable use as it reduces weight.

At this point, you may think I am advertising for Bang & Olufsen.  No, this is my opinionated first impression of this headphone. There are certain point that I though, they can still improve further in, such as, the bass. I would prefer more sub-bass presence and upper bass warmth. It is not at all cold sounding, it is just my preference for more warmth, but if you ask me, it is a perfect spot in between warm and cold. While it is airy sounding, it is still a closed headphone, it is still not as airy as some other open headphone but it would be unfair to compare a closed headphone to open headphones. For price vs performance ratio, I find it on the decent side. For audiophiles, at US$400 it may be asking too much, but if you include it's comfort, features, design and build quality together with sound quality, it's worth it.

Overall, it features what you need and wanted without giving too much that make a headphone complicated. Luxury materials yet lightweight. All the best possible design and materials are put in it to give you the best possible listening experience, but if only the price is not a problem. If I will have to rate it out of 10, it would be somewhere at 8 judging by this first impression. Like what Soren Kokholm, general manager of Bang & Olufsen, Singapore told me during my visit "If something is designed perfectly, there is no need of changing it." I believe the Bang & Olufsen H6 have achieved that standard.

Big thanks to Soren Kokholm for the service!


Pros: Good Detail / Wide Soundstage / Closed & Portable / Comfort / Pretty

Cons: Expensive / Slight Leaking / Stock Cable

This is a review of the B&O H6 (2nd Gen) and comparison to the ALO Modded AKG 701 18AWG Cryo, which I use at home on a daily basis.  It is also my first headphone review.


Background & Motivations:  


I am a student and I needed a pair of closed, portable headphones during commutes on public transit, as well as for long study sessions at the library.  I recently parted ways with my Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless, and was glad to do so. 


My brief impression of the Urbanite XL Wireless:  Although they are extremely tough, portable, and feature-heavy, I could not enjoy listening to them.  The bass was overpowering, detail was lacking and muddled across all the frequencies.  The soundstage was quite closed and narrow quite tiring to listen to.  The ear cushions were a little stiff and uncomfortable.  I ended up using them more for passive noise-cancelling rather than for sound.  Though, all things considered, Urbanites is meant to be a Beats competitor, so they are not bad in this regard.


Anyways, it was time to move on.  I wanted to get a headphone that would be closed-back and portable, but also satisfy in the sound department.  I decided to get the H6 (2nd Gen) based on Marco's glowing review and #1 ranking in his mega-review with many other portable, closed headphones.


Once I had a listen to them, I knew that they were something special.  So I decided to do write a quick review and comparison to my ALO K701s, which I know well and am very fond of.  


Sound (9 / 10): 


Though not quite as wide and detailed as the K701s, the sound in general is at the very least, 75% of the way there.  This is absolutely incredible for a closed and portable headphone, hence the rating.  I would not distinguish between the two with music playing in the background, while studying.


The H6 sounds like an open-back headphone, but it is not.  It feels a little closer to my ears with a little less depth, though the rest of the soundstage is still weirdly wide, as if the ear cushions were not really preventing the music from leaking out.  I get the feeling that the people around me can hear everything (touching on this topic later).  The K701s are still quite a bit wider, though I would say that the H6 is about 60% of the way there, which is really really good considering I would not even bother to compare this aspect with other closed headphones. I find listening to closed headphones a bit tiring over longer periods of time, with the H6 being no exception still.


The bass is about four to six decibels louder than the K701s, which is known to lack the bass that many prefer.  I would say that this is a good thing, as the sound signature out of the box is more appreciable, without having to tinker with equalizer settings.  Everything else is good too, with mids smooth and pronounced, and clear highs.  Imaging is pretty good as well.  


An amplifier and a good source helps, but not necessary as with the K701s.  It sounded decent even through my Xperia Z5 smartphone, though the bass would "fizzle" out (or otherwise not express itself fully) due to the lack of power.  My Macbook Pro was able to drive these without much problem.  Everything sounded marginally better through my FiiO E12 amp, with the increased clarity and complete bass signature throughout.


I do not use these with the stock cable.  I use the V-Moda audio-only cable, which are gold-plated and incredibly durable.  It is not an exact fit, so I had to really push it in so that the contacts would match.  The quality of the stock cable is fine for what it is, but I decided to get the audio-only cable to eliminate any potential variables.  


Comfort / Build (9.5 / 10): 


These headphones are incredibly light; so light in fact that they almost felt tacky when I first lifted them out of the box.  The weight definitely contributes to the comfort though, as I do not really feel the weight of these headphones on my head, even when I turn and move around.  The leather ear cushions are completely sublime; even if I happen to be wearing these upside down, backwards, and at a really poor angle, it is going to feel amazing still.  The leather ear cushions rests on the sides of your ears, yet still manages to achieve near absolute comfort without being an over-ear headphone.  I would sleep with these on, if only I could do so with music playing in the background.  


The padding on the headband is decent, though there are bumps that are reminisce of the K701s before AKG eventually removed them due to complaints and people physically removing them.  It is not really a problem though, due to the non-existent weight of the H6, along with the soft clamp.


While the leather exterior is delicate (especially around the soft ear cushions), the build quality is on point.  


Appearance (10 / 10):


Simplistic and stylish, it seems that the H6 has captured all of our hearts!  Except... my H6 is the special edition "Champagne Grey", and indeed it is grey.  Pictures online make it look much more white than it really is.  Anyways, I am not sure if anybody would buy the H6 if they thought they were ugly, so I am rating this category 10/10.  




The H6 is expensive for a pair of consumer headphones, but they are very good for what they are.  A good pair of headphones is an investment, especially if one uses them daily as I do.  I would not recommend these if audio quality is not your top priority in your portable headphones, and would prefer to have additional features instead.


The ear cushions, while comfortable, only slightly dampen the noise from the outside environment.  Though nothing profuse, the same issue presents itself once again in leaking music for other persons to hear, especially when driven to louder volumes.  I am rather conservative with volume at the library.




In retrospect, perhaps one could describe the closed H6 with characteristics leaning towards open-back.  Does the sound compare to other open-back headphones?  Absolutely  the H6 sounds remarkably similar.  Do they directly "compete" in the sound department?  Not so sure about that.  The poor seal from outside activity alongside the slight leaking might take away its title for best portable headphones.  However, with open-back-esque audio fidelity and divine leather ear cushions, I hardly mind.


Pros: Clarity, Deep, Tight and Fast Audiofile Bass, Natural, Clear Mid, Crystal Clear Highs, Design, Isolation, audiophile quality sound

Cons: Lack of accessory, Bit of sound leaking, Some might fine it bit harsh on treble, not for bass head or bass emphasized lover.

I will describe it very simply since I am not English speaker...
H6 was demoed with ipod Touch 5thG Galaxy Note2 ifi audio ican + idac.
I owns some of flagship headphone like grado PS1000, Gs1000, Audeze LCD-2 Beyerdynamic T90 AKG K702 etc 
so I think I know what I am talking about.
Out of all the B&o earphone and headphone series (except U70 cuz I never tried) H6 shows the best performance. 
I personally don't like B&o Due to over priced products.(So I hate New H3 in-ear) 
However H6 has changed my impression of B&o. 
H6 has what we call audiofile bass. Its Deep Clean Tight and Fast. the Bass is not really Emphasized but it still does what the bass have to do. 
by Sub-woofer test, I was able to hear down to 30hz which is pretty amazing result for this small type of headphone.  
Separation of each bass instruments are amazing. I can hear every different instruments very well and clean. 
Mids are natural, Clean and detail. vocal are very natal and detail. H6 capture all the details of vocal. Guitar is clean vivid and rich. 
Snare drum is not as strong as those Grado or other Metal head cups but it is fast tight and sharp. There are very slight emphasize on mid but  
it's just very little amount. Just like Bass, All instruments separated well and nothing got muddy or mushed
high are crystal clear and detail. Some might find it too bright because there are some emphases. Those little bit of accent on high gives clearness and details to the mid and all the high frequency instruments like symbols, Harmonics of Violin and etc. However, as I said its can be disadvantages for listing. It might get tired easily. It seems like it reaches up to 14khz to 15khz but I wish it could
reaches up to like 17khz or 18khz (since its $430!!) Oh well Not many people can hear that high especially in crowded area like train, bus or shopping malls
Staging is quite big even though enclosure of H6 is very small and compact. I would say it is biggest than LCD-2 (LCD-2 is not the greatest staging headphone) but it's not 
as great and big as Beyerdynamic T90, Grado ps1000, gs1000 or AKG K701 which is well known for good staging. imaging is accurate. I can hear where are all instruments located. however somehow most of instruments are located at back of my head. It happens with GS1000 as well. so I am guess there are some Phase issue with it. Well as long as it is clear enough to tell, I don't mind.  
If you looking for Good design with natural and clean like audiophile headphone with big, and accurate sound stage H6 can be the way.
It's too sad I am paying extra $30 just because I live in Canada..





Pros: going deeper in details than T-51p

Cons: sound is somehow light however bass is not neglected

It is decent design. Not too much to complain if minimalism is familiar to you. Cable is short what in my case is an advantage.

Comfort is as expected. H6 sit rather hard but the headband tension is acceptable.

Definitively I do not like the plug in system - replacement is nice feature for headphones cable but beo solution is annoying - to get them working you will need some equilibristics. Exchange plugs brings different left-right channel amplification :(. It is very narrow slot if pushing the plug into the socket you get stereo sound with both channels.


So far not too good. If finally get the canes to work the sound is enjoyable. Especially middle range deliver nice touch of impressions.Sound is spacious and echos sound long and gives all what guys in studio designed.

Bass is very well defined since not too heavy. After few days you will like it and even get correct sound balance without losing the mid and high spectrum.


Comparing with outstanding T-51p Beo H6 are better in many important areas. Price is a bit too high looking for some engineering problems you will be facing. No travel case.


I do not know I will stick to H6 for a long time. If no problems with cable and balance they could be a long term winner.


Pros: Dynamic, tight low end, imaging, airy treble, typical B & O signature.

Cons: Needs amping for bringing the right perfomance.

***** After a month of use, the sound seems to settle upon to something so, I came back to edit them ***** 


Background of getting these: Coming from a AKG K551, which were extremely big, I had seen weird looks from people, when I tried to wear them in public. Being 'embarassed' by that, I decided, to move on to something more public friendly, still sounds decent. I just wanted something which fits with most of my dressing style. My kind of liking of sound was 551, always: forward mids, large soundstage. I don't care much about the subbass, just need to be there subtle. Loved the ability of it to render complexity without getting mixed up. To me, that was enough. So overall idea was to get something similar, with small foot print. If K551 was shrinked, and still they had the same sound, I wouldn't have got anything else for some years, would have just enjoyed my music, not craving for fidelity more! 


Aesthetics: Enter BandOIts extremely public friendly, more 'executive' styled with lot of elements to match with most of your dressing, if that's important to you. I have the black version, and I find the leather with dark metal compliments most dressing not making them an 'extra thing' that standout. Its a style statement, like an expensive belt or watch! I think they are just sublte, and expressive at the same time. Kudo's to the damn sexy design. These looks just 'stunning'. 6 stars if I can give it!


Presentation : Exotic, would make you happy at the first look, but lack of a second cable is disappointing. The bundled cable is okay for me, but it feels a bit cheap compared to the rest of the package! I am not a fan of aftermarket cable, as I always feel, the manufacturer had added the same bundled cable running from your left to the right driver, through the headband. My theory: if you can identify the difference of the cable from your DAP/phone to your headphone, then you must be hearing a difference between left and right, as a different cable is used there! Its okay to upgrade the cable, if left and right have seperate connections! 


Build: Great, with quality materials. No squeaking nosies. feels solid. 


Comfort, isolation: Extremely comfortable, being not heavy, and not much clamping force. Headband adjustment


Now, come to the sound. I do not know how to go poetic about it. So let it be some points I noticed. 


1. Sub-bass is boosted, (Its not because my other headphones miss them a bit, have a K701, which I think is more close to something neutral) . I think its done on a purpose, for wearing in public places.  In a noisy environment, it totally makes sense, if it doesnt have a noise cancellation. In a train or bus,they tend to sound more 'flat'    After a month of use, this has gone away, it just has the right amount of bass. 


2. Soundstage- wide, but unlike other reviews here, Its not the widest, my K551 easily beats them! K551, feels more 3 dimensional. 


3. Because of the the above point, instruments are closer. 


4. They are closer, but they dont mix up or enter each others territory, as they are thin.


5. Treble is airy, accurate to my ears, though this leads to a 'metallic' texture to some vocals, which is annoying at times, but I think I already got used to it. Cymbals sound accurate, and sharp, and to me 'neutral' , or realistic. 

6. Detailed as good, or better than my K701. They revealed a new layer, of details from my Daft Punk - Random Access Memories. (Damn, I never heard that before! I had listened to that track before numerous times)

7. Dynamic, fast. Bass though they lack a bit of body, they are quite fast, making me tap my feet with it. 

8. Imaging is excellent, I felt they are razor sharp, pinpointed to the places where they are supposed to be.


This works decent with an iPhone which would help masses. But benefit from amping. Unfortunately, I don't prefer carrying a stack around. 


I believe, if a basshead wants to get to the neutral territory, this would be a perfect fit for him. Except the sub-bass boost I didnt find something much not out of 'flatness' in this.


Why I took of 1 star:


Need for amping, and being extremely portable and public friendly is a weird combination in my opinion. Not being efficient is not a bad thing, but its kills the convenience. Instruments sounds closely packed, though they are still imaged accurate. For me the best aspect of a system is always the soundstage, as I enjoy the 'wideness' more than other things. In this case, I still prefer my K551 for that. But when accuracy is needed, I look for these!


This review was made after a 5 days of burn in followed by a day of listening. I didn't find any change in sound, from what I listened 3 days back, but its different from out of the box. I will edit this review after a month. 


Pros: Comfort, appearance, soundstage, extended bass and treble, smooth mids

Cons: Lacks mid bass / lower mids, no hard case (only pouch included), remote buttons okish quality, expensive replacement ear pads

Personally, I feel that this is the best closed back all-rounder I have tried for pure music enjoyment.  It honestly isn't perfect, but neither are any of the other few dozen closed back portables I've tried.


Style: This point isn't one I particularly care that much about, but the B&O H6 is one of the most beautifully designed headphones I have ever seen.  It's absolutely stunning to look at.



Build Quality: I simply can't fault the build quality at all, leather, metal and a little plastic which is some of the best quality plastic I have ever seen.  These headphones are built extremely well!


Comfort: The H6 is surprisingly very light! The ear cups are made of a soft lamb skin leather and have a huge opening which can accomodate my larger ears (the Momentum 2's and most other headphones I have tried are too mall for my ears).  The headband is so light and well designed that I honestly can't feel it at all, and the clamping force is just right such that it doesn't hurt or need stretching at all.  One thing that's also impressive with the lamb skin ear pads is that they sweat a lot lot less than other headphones I have tried.  Overall, I would say that this is one of the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn (and that includes open back headphones I have tried too).  I can literally wear it all day without a problem at all.


Accessories: The headphone's cable is a lot thicker than my Momentum cable and I really like its quality although the remote control buttons feel a tad cheap.  Sadly the headphone only comes with a carry pouch, albeit a very very nice pouch, but I would have loved a soft case for this price.  One other issue I have is that B&O charge a huge premium for replacement ear pads, fingers crossed these last long.  I think that sticking to the black colour is the safest bet to ensure that the ear pads last longer.


Sound Quality:


* Bass: The bass response on these headphones extends all the way down to 20 Hz and picks up every last bit of detail in the bass region.  The bass is a little elevated but not overly so, it gives a wonderful warm and punchy feel to tracks and I would confidently recommend these headphones for EDM as well as acoustic genres.  My only gripe here is that the mid bass (say at around 300 Hz) is pulled back which makes songs sound a little hollow, but at the same time, it gives the bass region less bloat and makes it more focused.  A bit of EQ can compensate for this if you find it a problem.


* Mids: The mids are pulled back a bit and not to the degree of something like the ATH-M50s.  Vocals still remain moderately upfront but are extremely smooth and not harsh at all.  The mids are present, but not harsh and vocalists still feel very close to the listener.


* Highs:  This is one of the few portable closed headphones I have ever heard with a fully extended (not rolled off) treble, but the treble remains extremely smooth and never strident.  I would say that the highs are some of the best I have ever heard in a closed headphone.  They do lack the sharpness and precise sound of my Audeze open EL-8s, but that's an open planar magnetic, so it's hard to compare them.


* Soundstage: Quite simply the widest and most open sounding soundstage I have ever heard in a closed headphone, beating many open headphones (like the HD600).  The soundstage makes these headphones extremely engaging.


I will admit that these headphones do seem to benefit from a really good audio interface output (e.g. MacBook Pro) and sound a lot better through this means than they do through a smart phone.  An amp improves their sound a little further too.  The H6s are definitely harder to drive than various other portables, and even some open backs.




I honestly can say that this is my favourite portable closed back headphone at this time.  I have tried several dozens of closed headphones from companies such as Focal, PSB, NAD, Audio Technica, Shure, Oppo, Beyerdynamic, AKG, Sennheiser, Ultrasone, Bower & Wilkins and various others, and overall can say that this is my favourite of the bunch for pure music enjoyment, comfort, design and style.  I would rate these above the Oppo PM-3 too regardless of the fact they are planars, the H6 has a far wider soundstage, more musical sound, more extended treble and far more present bass.


I would like to also mention that B&O stores are a great place to listen to these headphones but not buy them.  They only sell at RRP and are their staff (although very pleasant) are not at all technical.  The stores actually feel a little pretentious and snobby.  I would like to see B&O appeal to the audiophile and common man in their stores, instead of focusing on the headphones as a high end fashion statement.  Your staff should know the products much better than they do on a technical level and be ready to talk "geek" with those that are interested, aspects such as amping, sound differences between models, specs and so forth.


Pros: Textured sub-bass, articulate female vocals, clear treble, can sound expansive and wide, gorgeous design & high quality materials, comfortable

Cons: a little lacking in body and weight between 100hz and 500hz or there about, which might make it sound a little harsh and hard on some recordings


...True story: the H6 can make the Spirit Pro sound (a touch) muffled, the Spirit Pro can make the H6 sound (a touch) thin. Both being praised for neutrality.... Conclusion? The neverending quest continues!


It is great for classical, jazz, acoustic, and just good for everything else. However for modern pop, hip hop, edm they lack a little punch and warmth/body. EDIT: Don't know if it is psychological getting use to but I think the bass opened up after some burn in.


Side note: Sounds just about right on warmer sources.


an ATH-M50X would sit in the middle of these, but a little confused and less refined in the vocals and less resolving in the treble and generally attractive bass but less controlled.


...in the end I think that there is no right headphone on its own. Just the right headphone for the right song.


Pros: Sound is completely there, no bias at any point. They are super comfy too.

Cons: Although they fold flat to make them portable I don't understand why they don't fold completely, also why aren't there any cases!

I received these beauties yesterday, so this is just a quick review whilst I get to know them better. 


First things, these look great, they feel comfy and despite the category that these are in these are definitely over/around ear headphones NOT on ear. The sound at first seems quite thin, but once you have listened to them for a while you begin to realise that actually there is a richness developing - perhaps this is psychological burn-in (I'm not starting that debate). Anyway, after about 6 hours they are already sounding much sweeter to me. 


I don't understand the "there is no bass" critique, there seems to be just the perfect amount of bass. If I listen to Seven nation army then the track is predominantly bass, but it other tracks it just behaves nicely. 


These are a cracking pair of cans and I'm looking forward to taking them out as my daily drivers for a few days to see how they cope with the outside world. I should point out that I bought these at £200 which is around 1/3 less than B&Os recommended price - at this price point I think these are an excellent buy. 


Now I just need to decide if the travelling bag supplied provides enough protection or if I am going to need to get hold of another hard case for day to day use!


Pros: Comfort, Clarity, Amping Potential

Cons: Value, Boring

Disclaimer: Impressions after a week of use.


Actual Ratings




Most comfortable closed-back headphones I've tried to date. No complaints.




Great isolation.


Nice to look at. Both looks and feels high quality.


Lightweight, nice leather ear pads and headband with metal hinges but a plastic housing on the outer part of the ear pad.


Small in size and comes with a carry bag. It doesn't fold but the cups swivel. Great for portability.


Has a detachable 3.5mm rubbery cable which feels a bit flimsy and not as high quality as the rest of the headphone. Luckily, it can be replaced.




Sound signature is neutral with little to no emphasis anywhere. The overall sound is very clear across all ranges and is one of the clearest sounding portables in the price range. Soundstage is good for a closed headphone as well.


Bass is very underwhelming in an era with bass emphasis everywhere. It has bass where the recording has bass and nothing more. Comes off as pretty boring sounding and lacks almost any excitement whatsoever.


They should be good for any genre but I see them being best for things like classical and acoustic music. If those are the only genres you listen to, these may be nearly perfect.


If you choose to pair these with a solid amp they can easily come to "life" and are easily capable of providing a more engaging bass response. They just don't do so out of the box.




Around $400 USD is the highest you can go as of now for a somewhat populated selection of closed portables. That being the case, one should expect a more-or-less a full package. These headphones use a little more plastic than I'd like and the cable is lacklustre. They also require an amp (extra $$) to unlock most of its potential, unlike other competitors at the price range like the Master & Dynamic MH40 and Bowers & Wilkins P7.

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H6

Lust for life - love of musicBeoPlay H6 is crafted in luxurious materials, and makes a bold statement in terms of design. With a choice of black or natural leather it is a perfect match if you refuse to compromise quality in sound, design or craftsmanship.DESIGNBeoPlay H6 is designed by Jakob Wagner and is an around-ear type of headphone, where comfort and great acoustic performance have been central elements in the design. When placing headphones on the ear, it is important that you feel pressure in places where it does not bother you and where you feel the device rest securely and does not fall off. This took a lot of experimenting to find the right spot, as it seems we have very different perception of what feels right.SOUNDBeoPlay H6 offers a truly natural and authentic sound performance with focus on a clear mid-range with a balanced bass and treble performance. Includes a 40 mm custom designed driver with a neodymium magnet in a closed headphone design. BeoPlay H6 has a bass port which optimizes the bass performance and the drivers are slightly angled to get the best distance and sound direction into the ears. BeoPlay H6 also allows you to share your music with friends by simply by linking up multiple headphones to one digital device (iPad, iPhone, etc).USECarefully selected high quality materials like leather and aluminum make BeoPlay H6 comfortable to wear and will bring you a sense of everyday luxury. Also, every day wear and tear merely adds patina, and makes BeoPlay H6 age beautifully. The softness of the lambskin on the ear pads is the first thing you'll notice, when you put on BeoPlay H6. When you wear the headphone, the memory foam inside the ear pads adapts ensuring great comfort. The head band needs to be durable and age with grace. Therefore, we have chosen cowhide leather, that gains patina and personality when worn.

FeatureCrafted in luxurious materials and Designed by Jakob Wagner Offers a truly natural and authentic sound performance with focus on a clear midrange with a balanced bass and treble performance Carefully selected high quality materials like leather and aluminum BeoPlay H6 is extremely comfortable to wear and will bring you a sense of everyday luxury 3 YEAR WARRANTY - Register your product with us at beoplay.com/Register
LabelB&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen
ManufacturerB&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen
PublisherB&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen
StudioB&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen
TitleBeoPlay H6 Black
Item Height9.45 inches
Item Length0.24 inches
Item Weight0.7
Item Width7.48 inches
Package Height3 inches
Package Length9.6 inches
Package Weight1.85 pounds
Package Width8 inches
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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