Traveling at the speed of styleCrafted from a solid block of aluminum BeoPlay H3 is an...

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H3

Rating:
2.75/5,
  • Traveling at the speed of styleCrafted from a solid block of aluminum BeoPlay H3 is an ultra-light earphone, carrying forward traditions in acoustics and craftsmanship. It is able to reproduce the original sound material authentically in a design that meets today's demand for style.DESIGNBeoPlay H3 is designed by Jakob Wagner, who finds that one of the challenges of designing earphones is that with objects so close to the face, you get to affect people's personality. Like eyewear, the design of an earphone becomes part of a person's personality, what he or she communicates to the world, and therefore you have to be very conscious of what the design expresses.SOUNDBeoPlay H3 in-ear headphone includes a dynamic full tone sound design integrating a custom-designed 10.8 mm driver providing a surprising sound performance for its size. The acoustic design includes a miniature bass port in an internal cabinet, which provides you with great performance in the low frequencies. BeoPlay H3 embraces the Bang & Olufsen sound philosophy of creating products that are able to reproduce the original sound material as authentically as possible.USEThe round shape seemed at first to be an obvious choice, but after some investigation and a multitude of 3D modelling and testing, it was clear that, as the inner part of the ear is not really round, you have to find a shape that matches the actual shape of the ear better. Also you have to find some common ground to work from as the individual ear shape and size vary almost endlessly.

Recent Reviews

  1. Ipse
    Not worth the MSRP...problems even when free
    Written by Ipse
    Published Dec 31, 2016
    0.5/5,
    Pros - Free with the LG V20...nothing else
    Cons - Abysmal mfg quality, never seen something so bad out of the box. No support whatsoever.
    Believe it or not, I have been following this forum for years, but was too aware of my limitations to post a review or a comment.
    I created this account just to warn others of the lame approach that B&O is taking with these headphones when shipped with the LG V20.

    Same as other reviewer here, got the headphones with the new phone - which I actually sold, as I didn't want to give up my trusted S7Edge. But I kept the H3s as I absolutely wanted a higher end pair of headphones. I suffer from tinnitus and listening to music is the only solace I find...

    What a disappointment...out of the box, the headphones had the dreaded connector problem, where once inserted, they either cause static or cut out a channel.
    OK I told myself this is B&O, I'll just sort it out with the manufacturer...same as I've done a thousand times in the past.
    So I opened a ticket with B&O, promptly got a drone response that the ticket has been received and the next day...bam: a cold FU, " please contact LG" email.
    Wait, what? LG didn't manufacture those, not their problem to solve.
    Adding insult to injury, next day I get an email asking for my "customer satisfaction in a survey". Is it just me, or this company is laughing at the customer all the way to the bank?
    I manage a support group for a hi-tech company, if one of us would do something similar they would be out of a job.

    I wish I could comment on the sound quality and the likes, but not being able to get them to work kinda prevents me from doing it...

    Before I get flak, I have a dozen other headphones which connect just fine to the S7Edge.

    So, so disappointed with B&O which I always kept in high regard when it comes to product design and performance.

    EDIT: let me put in a TL;DR, as some people go out with a Bang (no Olufsen) and miss the point usually:

    - a premium brand distinguishes itself by product quality and above all, superior customer service. Not just price.
    - I didn't "rant" because someone took my toy, but I wanted to flag the fact that B&O is not prepared to stand behind it's "consumer line BeoPlay" because they don't see value in doing so. "Wrong"...
    - getting LG to replace the headphones (which I will) does not solve the QC problem at B&O, does it? As one can see here and on Amazon, the connector issue seems frequent - the least I expected is for the manufacturer to want to take a look at the defective unit and draw some design or mfg conclusions which will avoid it in the future. As it stands, what's to say that a replacement won't suffer from the same problem.
    1. james444
      Quoting from the terms and conditions for the LG V20 H3 by B&O Play Earphones Promotion:
       
      "The Earphones come with a one (1) year warranty. For warranty assistance contact LG Electronics (LGEAI) Customer Support Service"
      "If the Earphones are delivered damaged and/or are not functioning properly LG will replace it free of charge, ..."
      http://www.lg.com/us/mobile-phones/v20/promo/att/pdf/LG_V20_BO_H3_Earphones_GWP_Promotion_terms_and_conditions.pdf
       
      In the time it took you to write this rant against B&O, you could have just read the fine print and contacted LG.
      james444, Jan 1, 2017
  2. 8hours
    Get it while it's free (in Canada)
    Written by 8hours
    Published Dec 8, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Warm intimate sound, excellent detail in bass, mids, it's free with LG v20 purchase (in Canada)
    Cons - Build quality, poor cable, stock tips are crap, treble slightly veiled, straight connector
    I took the scenic route to loving these headphones and almost sold it a couple of times. I picked these up for free thanks to a promotion my carrier Freedom mobile was doing where if you buy the LG V20 phone you get these headphones free.
     
    It was a no-brainer for me as I needed a new phone and could even sell them if I didn't like them. Anyhow on to the review....
     
    Build Quality
    Considering the price, the build quality on these is poor. Mine had some finish problems with the connector so there would be static when connecting to or moving the connector to my phone. Thankfully things smoothed out after rolling it around enough and this problem is gone. The back of these is a pleasing solid metal but the front is made of plastic and is a bit thin. So you need to be careful when changing tips. I also had a difficult time with the stock tips. Fit was crappy, either to big or too small and never felt comfortable. My spinFits saved the day tho. To sum, the build quality is way below what you expect at the price these go for normally and an embarrassment to the B&O name.
     
    Sound
    I hated the sound from the stock tips, and before the burn-in the sound felt muddy. After 8hr burn in, the sound stretched out and a lovely detail began to reveal itself. Compared with my other regular the Co-Donguri SHIZUKU, these have an entirely different appeal. These headphones really excel in presenting a detailed and intimate sound signature with vocals and string instruments revealed in full glory. The bass is also surprisingly detailed and well extended once you get the right tips. The problem comes in the treble which are slightly rolled off.
     
    Unlike the co-donguri, the soundstage is compressed but because of the detail in the mids and bass the imaging is quite excellent. I really enjoyed the cozy intimate feel of these...perfect for a winter night of listening.
     
    Conclusion
    Are they worth it? At $0 dollars absolutely! The LG is an excellent phone so this is a nice cherry on top of that lovely cake. Without the promotion though, I really can't recommend these. The build quality is simply too poor for the price. Still if you can get it cheap, and you love warm, intimate sounding headphones go for it.
      AlisGelida likes this.
    1. Ipse
      Amen brother, you nailed it. My thoughts exactly...and I also got them with the V20.
      Ipse, Dec 31, 2016
    2. 8hours
      About the tips, the stock ones weren't a good fit for me. I use the spin fits.
      8hours, Mar 7, 2017
  3. pete4sound
    Enjoyable sound and lively high volume listening
    Written by pete4sound
    Published Nov 29, 2014
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Balanced open sound, decent bass, good fit, plays loud and sound great doing it
    Cons - Pricey, May not be the strongest cable and connecters
    These headphones have a nice open soundstage for an earbud headphone and are relatively comfortable to wear. The sound does seem to "settle" and refine somewhat after some time of burning in. They sound quite natural and relaxed especially at lower volumes but turn up the volume and these bad boys come alive. I find the slightly flat sound at lower volume levels does pay off at higher listening volume. They are not harsh or fatiguing and very satisfying to listen too. 
  4. a_recording
    B&O H3: Bang for buck?
    Written by a_recording
    Published Nov 21, 2013
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Warm, pleasant sound, open natural soundstage, fine metal finishing
    Cons - Poor quality cable, lacks some definition, relatively pricey
    This written review was essentially my script for the following video review, so the information contained in both is more or less identical. If you want a closer look at the H3, watch the video review! :)
     
    [​IMG]
     
    INTRO
     
    The H3 was something of an aspirational purchase for me, as ever since I began getting interested in audio I was always fascinated by Bang and Olufsen’s fantastic speaker and telephone designs. In recent years Bang and Olufsen have been releasing products targeted at a younger market under the ‘Beoplay’ name, and the H3 is the company’s first in-ear earphone in this range. It has a recommended retail price of $299 Australian or $249 American dollars, which actually seems faintly reasonable for a company that makes $50,000 dollar televisions.
     
    BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN

    One of Bang and Olufsen’s signatures is precision metal crafting, and the earpieces of the H3 show this off in style. They look and feel beautiful , with these tiny pin-prick vent holes and detailing which is pretty exquisite. One disappointment though is that the driver capsule appears to be made out of 3 different parts, most of them plastic - B&O didn't craft the nozzle out of a single piece of metal like some other premium earphones (EX1000, Westone ADV Alpha) or even some cheaper earphones (HiFiMan RE-400, JVC FXD-80, Yamaha EPH-100), and as a result this part of the earphone feels less durable and less fancy.

    The cable on the H3 is not detachable and comes with a simple 3 button remote for Apple devices. The cable itself is also a bit of a disappointment. It’s a bit thin and not very supple, meaning that it tends to retain memory and develop ugly kinks, especially when you use the nice cable winder case that Bang & Olufsen provides. There are no strain reliefs  at all on the Y-splitter, which is worrying, and the straight angle jack on the other end feels a little insubstantial.

    Overall build quality is okay but you would expect better given the brand and the price. One thing to note is that Bang and Olufsen offer a 3 year warranty on the H3, and given that they have retail stores in some major cities around the world, getting good after sales service from B&O would probably be easier than most other brands.

    The H3 has a traditional design that can only be worn down. This means cable noise is a minor problem, but not too bad. The H3 is relatively comfortable, but the curved part of the earpieces does sit in the outer ear so depending on your ear shape they may not sit right. With this many vents on the back, you would expect external noise isolation on the H3 to be quite poor - and it is. Forget about using the H3 on a bus or a train, these earphones are made for quiet environments.

    SOUND

    The one word that describes the sound of the H3 is: natural. The H3 has quite an inoffensive sound, which is slightly warmer than neutral and quite a substantial bass response. It’s balanced and clearly Bang and Olufsen have done their homework with the tuning, because the H3 just sounds pleasant, if a little unexciting. One really nice aspect of the H3 is that they have quite a natural, open soundstage, which is probably due to the extensive venting. They aren’t as open as something like the EX1000 but they strike a nice balance and have more bass than the Sony ear hanger designs, if that’s what you are after.

    I have two issues with the sound of the H3 - one is that at times, the treble can get a little sibilant. This sibilance is quite minor though and it can be tamed by replacing the stock H3 tips with Sony Hybrids with a smaller nozzle aperture. The hybrid silicone is also a little more comfortable than the stock tips B&O provides.

    The other issue with the H3's sound is that at times the bass can sound a little blunted and uncontrolled, again probably due to the venting. This isn’t to say that it sounds bloated, but at this price point or even cheaper I have heard tighter and more controlled bass.

     The closest earphone i can compare the H3 to is the HiFiMan RE-400, which is also a very neutral earphone that I recommend strongly for $99. The H3 and the RE-400 actually sound very similar, though the H3 has a bit more bass, a bit more sibilance, and a much more open soundstage. At the same time though, the RE-400 sounds a fair bit more cleaner and tighter, especially in the bass.

    Now I think the RE-400 is a fantastic earphone and probably underpriced for $99, and that’s why I recommend it so much. In contrast, I think the H3 is a little overpriced for what you get. It’s not a bad sounding earphone, and it’s one of those earphones where I’d be very happy to listen to it for hours without noticing its deficiencies, until I put it up alongside something else and then feel a little disappointed.
     
    OVERALL

    I can’t really recommend the H3, both because I think the price could be lower, the build quality could be higher, and it’s not an earphone that is tremendously practical to use because of the lack of noise isolation. That said though, I don’t think it’s a terrible earphone and if you want something with some gorgeous metal finishing and a natural, easy to live with sound, you could do a lot worse than the H3.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. costinstn
      I've had the H3 for 8 months now, and it has maybe more than 200 hours of playback. In my opinion the sibilance disappeared after 20-30 hours.It is the most comfortable pair of headphones i own( and i am not referring only to the fact that you don't feel them on your ears, but also how easy it is to put them on, and fit them. For me, until now, it is the only pair that justifies it's price ( i also own Klipsch X10, Sony XBA 30ip, Future Sonics Atrio M5 with mg7 pro driver, Grado GR10 , and an open can Allessandro MS1). Some people may prefer the sound signature of the sony, or the Future Sonics, but for me , the H3 has found the perfect balance. I actually went to the B&O store to buy the H6, but i was put down by the weak bass. If you search for analytical listening, you will be better with the Grado GR10 which has a fantastic instrument separation, but every time i put the H3 , i get a huge smile.It is so much fun and enjoyable. I drive them with a iPhone 5s or the Macbook Air, which are good enough, but recently i bought the Audioquest Dragonfly DAC+Amp, and from all my phones, the H3 showed the biggest improvement. the bass is much better controlled, and all instrument are much better defined, but i think like you loose a little soundstage and that airy feeling. Anyway, for portable use, IMO the H3 are perfect. I even used them in the airport, or on the bus, and as long as you don't listen some slow piano sonata, you'll be ok.
      costinstn, Feb 18, 2014
    3. Pass
      I was far from your post in the "Press release" thread about these and H6, but I immediately jumped to it. All was said, and you superbly convinced me! I will still use my cheap (but reliable) DR-EX12ip until I get the H3. I can't wait being shook all night long by these :wink:
       
      Thanks for your help!
      Pass, Feb 19, 2014
    4. jpdouma
      I own a pair of B&O H3 earphones. It's the worst product I've ever used. They work fine for a few months. After that the control unit behaves erratically resulting in a hard to replicate problem. Both B&O in Bangkok as well as in Denmark do not honor their warranty saying if we can't find your issue there is no problem. Testing was done by a kid that fiddled around with the piece a little bit and said its fine. It's an over prized product from a flashy brand that has no brand values. Don't buy it. 
      jpdouma, Apr 19, 2014

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