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Do you guys consider Bang & Olufsen overpriced?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Do you guys view B&O in the same way that you view Bose? I'm wondering because I don't see a lot of people commenting or even owning B&O headphones.

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrconfuse View Post

Do you guys view B&O in the same way that you view Bose? I'm wondering because I don't see a lot of people commenting or even owning B&O headphones.

I don't know much about B&O's headphones, but I have owned some B&O gear in my time. I feel like with Bose, you're paying for some very specific acoustic gimmicks that probably aren't what a lot of audiophiles want, but do present sound in a very consumer-friendly way. They've had some interesting products, just not exactly for the audio crowd at large. I feel like with B&O you get some pretty high quality stuff, but you're paying for design. Not necessarily just aesthetics, B&O has (at least, historically) done a very good job of simplifying human interfacing as well. This, again, can be wonderful for average consumers but not for the nerdier of us. I always enjoyed the sound out of the Beograms that I had, but they were simplified to a fault. Playing a 12"/45 or a 7"/33? Unlikely. Playing a 10" at all? Yeah, be careful. Proprietary cartridges (without replaceable stylii) were pricy, pricy, pricy.

 

I think both companies serve niches, such that they are probably 'overpriced' in similar manners as one another to the more straightforward, just want the audio, love to tinker a bit crowd that makes up much of audiophilia. 

 

B&O has clearly put some effort into R&D and understanding acoustics and audio, beyond mere design considerations. Worth researching their 'Cube' loudspeaker test facility, and their contributions to and CD release of the Archimedes project of anechoic recordings and subsequent experiments in room simulation.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I'm wondering because I got the new B&O H6 headphones and they sound pretty okay out of the box. They might sound great once it gets burned in but I don't want to take that chance (if they don't). They are comfortable, nice looking, and very light. I'm not going to assume that it has $400 worth of SQ. I know I'm paying $$$ for the look but how much is the SQ worth out of the $400 prce tag?

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrconfuse View Post

Thanks, I'm wondering because I got the new B&O H6 headphones and they sound pretty okay out of the box. They might sound great once it gets burned in but I don't want to take that chance (if they don't). They are comfortable, nice looking, and very light. I'm not going to assume that it has $400 worth of SQ. I know I'm paying $$$ for the look but how much is the SQ worth out of the $400 prce tag?

Well, you have them. You (presumably) don't have the $400 now. Which one did you like more? ;) Truthfully, nobody can really weigh that for you but you. It's hard to really make overreaching statements of value. A thing may be, overall, worth what the market will bear, but that means very little in terms of what it's worth to [a specific group of enthusiasts] or what it's worth to [you]. Now, that said, I can understand your specific dilemma regarding the H6, but it may be better, then, to pose the specific question to others of how much burn-in does or does not affect these phones. Sorry I can't be of much assistance in that matter... Whichever way it ends up going, happy listening!

post #5 of 13

I heard them at a mall, not a great place to audition, but I did infact think they were overpriced.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brhfl View Post

Well, you have them. You (presumably) don't have the $400 now. Which one did you like more? ;) Truthfully, nobody can really weigh that for you but you. It's hard to really make overreaching statements of value. A thing may be, overall, worth what the market will bear, but that means very little in terms of what it's worth to [a specific group of enthusiasts] or what it's worth to [you]. Now, that said, I can understand your specific dilemma regarding the H6, but it may be better, then, to pose the specific question to others of how much burn-in does or does not affect these phones. Sorry I can't be of much assistance in that matter... Whichever way it ends up going, happy listening!

I don't mind spending the $400, I just want to spend them on a pair of phone that has SQ in that price range. I don't want to pay for SQ that doesn't exist. If the H6's SQ is the same as headphones in the $200-300 dollar category then I might as well buy something in the $200-$300 category 

 

post #7 of 13

Is A better than B?  Probably the most overused question on Headfi, probably the most overused question/term in any hobby or specific topic category.

 

Value, sound preference and even sound quality to a certain degree are extremely subjective terms, that is why there is so much debate/difference of opinion, regarding how a headphone performs relative to another.  For example, many headphones are described as having powerful bass by some, only to be described as bloated and muddy by others, with others reporting that they are thin and lacking bass.  As to quality vs value, forget it, you will never get anything even approaching consensus.

 

The difference in sound quality (excluding sound preference for the moment) as a generalization is subtle as you climb the quality scale (not that price is always the indication of quality increase).

 

For instance my Yuin PK2 ear-buds (around $60) sound as good to me (sound quality) as many of the $200-$400ish headphones I have heard/owned.

 

My advice,

  • decide what your needs are around function first- portable, home, isolating, exercise, plane travel etc;
  • decide on type- bud, IEM, on ear, around ear;
  • determine sound preferences- airy, r, u, n sound signatures (bass, mid, treble orientation) etc. Need to be realistic here, as airy and isolating are difficult to achieve;
  • determine a budget;
  • make a list of possible alternatives and then pursue them.

 

As to your specific question regarding whether the B&O H6 represent good value sound quality wise, no one can answer that for you.  Some will.  Most of which will probably never have even heard them (me included) and some that will have heard them for 5 minutes in a shop.  Many opinions will be bias based on some preconceived perceptions against non "Head Fi" accepted headphone companies (Beats, Bose, Skull Candy etc) or closer to the mark B&W.

 

If you are concerned that if you keep them, down the track you will read Headfiers criticizing them as over priced, the answer is that you probably will.  That doesn't make them right (or wrong for that matter). Search Headfi for B&W P5, similar market segment, and you will discover exactly what I am trying to convey.  Some (me included) like the P5 and believe they represent reasonable value vs sound quality (depends to some degree what one pays I guess) and like their sound signature and appreciate them for their build and primary use (portable),  Others think they are overpriced, muddy rubbish, that look peculiar and are poorly built for the price.  Subjective opinions at work, both positive and negative.

 

If you like the sound of the H6 then that is all that should count.  If you are unsure about how they compare to other headphones, then listen to some others.  You will find that as a general rule, bang for your buck will be better achieved at lower prices, simply because of diminishing returns.  Your $400 headphone will never be any where near 4 times "better" than most $100 headphones. Because of sound signature preference, several $200 headphones will prbably sound as good to you as the H6, some you might even prefer. But you can't hear all of them, and even if you could, your preferences will likely change over time any way.  The grasss often looks greener over the fence.

 

As to burn in.  Some believe that headphones change over time (always for the better) and some don't.  Lets not go there as you will never get a definitive result on that one.  However with a degree of confidence, I can suggest that regardless of whether there is or is not a change in sound, that change is hardly likely to alter to such a degree that (relative to sound preference) bad will become good, good will become great etc. Base your opinion on what they sound like out of the box, don't base your opinion on what they might sound like in 100 hours of use.

 

Accept headphones as being extremely subjective, and remember opinions are like bums, everyone has one.


Edited by Kernmac - 7/30/13 at 4:42pm
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernmac View Post

Is A better than B?  Probably the most overused question on Headfi, probably the most overused question/term in any hobby or specific topic category.

 

Value, sound preference and even sound quality to a certain degree are extremely subjective terms, that is why there is so much debate/difference of opinion, regarding how a headphone performs relative to another.  For example, many headphones are described as having powerful bass by some, only to be described as bloated and muddy by others, with others reporting that they are thin and lacking bass.  As to quality vs value, forget it, you will never get anything even approaching consensus.

 

The difference in sound quality (excluding sound preference for the moment) as a generalization is subtle as you climb the quality scale (not that price is always the indication of quality increase).

 

For instance my Yuin PK2 ear-buds (around $60) sound as good to me (sound quality) as many of the $200-$400ish headphones I have heard/owned.

 

My advice,

  • decide what your needs are around function first- portable, home, isolating, exercise, plane travel etc;
  • decide on type- bud, IEM, on ear, around ear;
  • determine sound preferences- airy, r, u, n sound signatures (bass, mid, treble orientation) etc. Need to be realistic here, as airy and isolating are difficult to achieve;
  • determine a budget;
  • make a list of possible alternatives and then pursue them.

 

As to your specific question regarding whether the B&O H6 represent good value sound quality wise, no one can answer that for you.  Some will.  Most of which will probably never have even heard them (me included) and some that will have heard them for 5 minutes in a shop.  Many opinions will be bias based on some preconceived perceptions against non "Head Fi" accepted headphone companies (Beats, Bose, Skull Candy etc) or closer to the mark B&W.

 

If you are concerned that if you keep them, down the track you will read Headfiers criticizing them as over priced, the answer is that you probably will.  That doesn't make them right (or wrong for that matter). Search Headfi for B&W P5, similar market segment, and you will discover exactly what I am trying to convey.  Some (me included) like the P5 and believe they represent reasonable value vs sound quality (depends to some degree what one pays I guess) and like their sound signature and appreciate them for their build and primary use (portable),  Others think they are overpriced, muddy rubbish, that look peculiar and are poorly built for the price.  Subjective opinions at work, both positive and negative.

 

If you like the sound of the H6 then that is all that should count.  If you are unsure about how they compare to other headphones, then listen to some others.  You will find that as a general rule, bang for your buck will be better achieved at lower prices, simply because of diminishing returns.  Your $400 headphone will never be any where near 4 times "better" than most $100 headphones. Because of sound signature preference, several $200 headphones will prbably sound as good to you as the H6, some you might even prefer. But you can't hear all of them, and even if you could, your preferences will likely change over time any way.  The grasss often looks greener over the fence.

 

As to burn in.  Some believe that headphones change over time (always for the better) and some don't.  Lets not go there as you will never get a definitive result on that one.  However with a degree of confidence, I can suggest that regardless of whether there is or is not a change in sound, that change is hardly likely to alter to such a degree that (relative to sound preference) bad will become good, good will become great etc. Base your opinion on what they sound like out of the box, don't base your opinion on what they might sound like in 100 hours of use.

 

Accept headphones as being extremely subjective, and remember opinions are like bums, everyone has one.

Thank you for the advice, you are so right. My daily go to phones were the Westone 4 but then they broke and I decided to change to something different in sound signature (The grass is always greener on the other side). I do like the H6 as a whole but my experience as a head-fi pales to most people here so such I wanted to get a over view of what most thought of B&O. I'm still a newbie with audio, but mostly I want something that's closed/isolating but sounds like I'm listening to a outdoor symphony and at the same time have enough power to produce that low end rumble for movies.

post #9 of 13
I did some work for B&O a long time ago. Their tube televisions were very expensive but very good. Their landline phones sounded better than anything I had used ever. I haven't lisened to any of their headphones for more than a few minutes but my general impression of B&Os audio equipment is that it is priced at mid range; for that I think the consumer gets a nice industrial design, good quality materials and sound.

The evaluation of sound is so subjective that I can't give you a more useful answer. If you like the headphones, then the opinions of others is not particularly relevant.
post #10 of 13

I can only speak for the UK . B+O were always expensive.They designed their own "Scandinavian" style of equipment . Which was totally different from anybody else--low/flat/smooth.Their record deck employed their own arms and even their own carts . Which even long ago were unusual and costly--You couldn't fit any other cart to them . With their own special plug in carts.B+O were a "law unto themselves". If you were well off you bought it . It was prestige to have them.Sound quality--not the very top for the price charged but-good quality.I wouldn't buy any now as replacing parts for them is expensive. 

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Looks like the only thing I'll have to replace would be the ear pads but they are well made, as well made as the Ultrasone edition 8 I have to say.

post #12 of 13

I believe the poster above you was probably referring to vintage B&O goods. They don't, for instance, make their old proprietary cartridges anymore, so getting a replacement from the one company that is in the business of making replacements is a spendy endeavor. You should have no more problem getting replacements for current model consumables than any average brand, I would assume.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by brhfl View Post

I believe the poster above you was probably referring to vintage B&O goods. They don't, for instance, make their old proprietary cartridges anymore, so getting a replacement from the one company that is in the business of making replacements is a spendy endeavor. You should have no more problem getting replacements for current model consumables than any average brand, I would assume.

You're exactly right. Nice to see some really balanced discussion here.

The newer equipment is not expensive to repair in general (ie on par with equally priced products from other brands).

While B&O have made some average products over time, their general standard is excellent (recognising the role of personal preference in audio).

I worked for them here in Australia a few years back and have no ongoing allegiance, but continue to admire many of their products. Their approach to both picture and audio tends to be quite neutral so it may not wow you initially, but is often a nice surprise as you become more familiar with it.

I can't comment on the H6 yet, but wanted to recommend that you disregard the haters and decide for yourself. It is a very misunderstood brand by those who often haven't taken the time to understand B&Os values and philosophies.

Give the product a chance (ie it may not wow at first) and see how you feel with it and if you enjoy it.
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