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Universal Fit item created by nightmancometh, Aug 2, 2013
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.