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Best Portable Audiophile + Luxury Headphone

A Review On: Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H6

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H6

Rated # 15 in On-Ear
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
BillsonChang007
Posted · Updated · 24952 Views · 15 Comments

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

 

H6

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!

15 Comments:

Nice review!
 
When I picked these up in Noisy Motel the other day I had no idea what they were, but they looked flashy and when I tried them I was blown away as well. But the price in Australia is $500 which makes it not that great value. 
Thank you for your compliment! xD

This is actually my second time demoing it. The first time was at a noisy environment paired with my E07K with around 2dB bass boost on my iPhone app's EQ. It was too bassy to my ears. The second time was at Bang & Olufsen's store at Singapore. Quite environment, perfect for listening test to be done but this time, I only have my iPhone 4 with me but still sound surprisingly good and pretty easy to drive (45% of max volume) xD

At Singapore, it is at SGD 650

Billson
Very nice write up of these great cans!
Can you post some pictures?
Haha wow that's awesome. I need to get my dad into hi-fi audio. I am in college too but live near my parents still.
Fantastic review, 
Glad someone can put into words my thoughts on these headphones. 
My wife bought the Beoplay H6 in green, solely based on look alone ( what can I say ? ^^) and because they were closed. I was amazed how great they sounded. 
Listening to Foobar and Accudio on my iphone,  with some bass emphasis on the equalizer , the H6's sounded awesome, I never thought they were lacking in bass at all. In fact, the bass just kicked arse. I'm proud to call them mine now ( kidding ? ).
     Thanks a lot, Mister Chang. Now you're really making me want to buy those. Nah, I'm just kidding -- I couldn't buy those at the time, though I could demo them again if I could...hopefully.
 
     They're the flattest-sounding fashion-forward headphones I've ever seen, and they'd make for the ultimate audiophile portable. Lacking in bass? Well to be honest, I'm a basshead, and I don't think it lacked anything at all. Bass went down deep, and it did what it needed to. Oh yeah, and that's without any EQ. I loved the very refined sound signature...it felt really luxurious. I just wish I could get one of these, because they'll most definitely the last headphones I'll ever buy.
 
     H6, I'm coming for you...and once I have you, Head-Fi will be nothing but a distant memory. You will be my cure....*evil laugh*
Not sure if it's noted in the review, but it should be noted that the earpads diameter is a bit small.

The headphone is on-ear for people with bigger ears instead of over-ear if you have smaller ears.
Arguably one of the best closed headphones I've heard in a very long time. The only thing I think can give them a run for their money—within the price point—would be the NAD Viso HP50. My son purchased these when they first came out. He is on these forums as 4umf. At the time of the purchase, he had in his possession a pair of a AKG Q 701s, the Bowers & Wilkins P5s, and a pair of Phillips Fidelio L1s. Of course, I had to purchase both the Phillips Fidelio L1 and the AKG's from him so that he could "afford" this H6 purchase, but...hey, I'll take a kid with an audiophile vice over any other vice, any day of the week!

Despite the fact that I was well aware that the H6 was going to be a little bass-light by comparison to the bottom heavy L1sand the P5s, I knew he was going to love them. There's something particularly telling about the resolve of a headphone when it is capable of the accuracy, dynamics and speed of the BeoPlay H6s. Having sold high-end audio equipment in New York City when I was a teenager, and having been an owner of Bang & Olufsen's Form 2headphones I knew what he was in for.

So, while they do prove to be a little bass shy for his tastes, he was able to compensate for that in this way. He sold me (yes Dad's a sucker and an enabler) his ALO The National solid-state amplifier, and upgraded to the ALO Rx Mk3-B+. The latter has one of the most perfectly implemented bass boost adjustments on any amplifier—that is portable. It provides just the right amount of bass boost without bludgeoning the sound signature of the BeoPlay H6 headphones. And while the purest in me simply cringes at the idea of using the bass boost or an EQ of any kind, I have to say it's very well executed and makes for perfect pairing.

Meanwhile, Dad (me) is now buying the NAD Viso HP50s and preparing for a head-to-head showdown when he gets back from college for the summer. };-)

wahsmoh Yesterday at 11:27 pm
Hello everyone!

Once again thank you all for all the compliments! Really appreciated it xD unfortunately, I didn't take any photos of it when it was with me, sorry.

Thanks for sharing your impressions and story as well!

Thanks,
Billson
I like these headphones, especially with a warmer source. 
 
What's surprising it to find such a sleek slim, light built headphone throw out a very decent sound 
Great review! I just got these and I agree on pretty much all points. Also when I tried these with my iPhone 5S I was surprised to find that they sounded quite a bit better than the when driven from an older model in the Apple Store. Is this just me/something wrong in the Apple Store or do later models drive headphones better? Anyway while I do love bass I did not find these headphones lacking in bass. When I first tried it in the Apple Store I though I found it lacking a little "punch" in some tracks but I don't know if it was me just falling in love with the balanced sound but there is a deep bass that is quite detailed, but just not emphasized. 
Measurements: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BangOlufsenH6.pdf
 
It seems to me they are a little hyped here. They ain't that great, really. But they do some things pretty well. Sound pretty open with good imaging for a closed headphone. And they scale pretty well with good amping. I don't consider them easy to drive, they are actually fairly picky.
Hello,

Thank you for the compliment! To my ears, there are some difference between iPhone 4 and iPad 2 in SQ. The iPad 2 sound more lively, slightly better detail. The iNano 3 sound rather thin, roll off at bass and too vocal centric. I guess the newer version sound better judging by these three sources.

Billson
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