Pros: Nice design, good sound, powerful bass, removable battery.
Cons: Very poor range, average and problematic ANC, way too expensive, slightly harsh highs, no mic or controls on the cable, no carrying case.
Overall these H8 are not bad at all. I would have given them 4 stars if they would cost what they offer, five stars if they would offer what they cost.
But although they sound GOOD, and are really premium built, they do not sound as good as a 500 bucks headphones is supposed to sound, and they have some problems which a 500 bucks headphone should not have.
I say this, so that you can understand my rating better. Maybe your needs and priorities are such that you would end enjoying these headphones a lot more than I did.
But I must give objective ratings which must consider the needs of as many people as possible.
The overall Sound Quality is actually very nice, with a good detail.
The Soundstage is mediocre. But the instruments are relatively well separated. The Fidelio M2BT are slightly better on this.
I will compare them often with the Fidelio, because they have a somehow similar overall sound signature, and are both On Ear.
So, the bass: I do not mind the boost, but if you prefer balanced headphones and do not use EQ, you should be aware that these are a bit heavy on the bass.
What I do not like in their bass is a slight darkness which affects the whole low region. I reduce a bit the 200 to 400hz with an EQ to make it better, but it does not disappear completely.
Apart for this the bass response is pretty amazing. One of the best around. It goes deep, it has got good punch, good rumble, good density. Bassheads will be pleased.
I still prefer the Fidelio M2BT and the UE9000 for the better width and depth and body of the bass, and especially the rumble of the sub-bass. And the ATH-WS99BT for the power, the vibration, the impact, and the balance between rumble and punch.
Besides, all those headphones have a lesser bass boost out of the box, but a better frequency response, so that the bass sounds more natural on normal tracks, and at same time more powerful on bass heavy tracks, compared to the H8.
But the H8 come somehow close.
The mids are a bit recessed. Not exactly lacking, but a bit flat and distant in the soundstage. Without EQ the vocals do not sound lively and present enough to me. Switching between these and the ATH-WS99BT the difference is so clear. The ATH have a wonderful presence in the mid region, vocals come out alive and strong. The Fidelio less than the ATH, but more than the H8.
What I notice is a push on the upper mids, which somehow save them from the darkness of the low-region, by giving them some freshness.
The highs are good. Not as detailed as the AKG K845BT or the ATH-WS99BT, but nice.
They can be a little bit harsh and sibilant on some tracks. The Fidelio M2BT had the same problem anyway, and even more.
The ANC is good but not excellent.
It adds some hiss, reduces slightly the volume (which is already not very loud even at max power), and decreases even more the already lacking mids, making the sound thinner and less lively.
It actually also reduces the bass, which is strange, as most other ANC headphones in my tests would have better bass with ANC active.
I have also noticed that when I walk with the ANC active there is a very annoying bump at each step. Other users noticed it too.
I have never had this on any other ANC headphone. Although somebody wrote to have a similar problems with the Momentum Wireless (I did not have it though).
But what I find more annoying is that there is some sound leakage, which causes a conflict with the ANC: the ANC treats the leaked sound as if it was external noise, and tries to compensate it with an inverted waveform. This causes a very bad distortion on the sub-bass, which is mostly noticeable on max volume on bass heavy tracks (like Techno, EDM).
Maybe softer pads would have helped with a better sealing.
I have tested all other ANC models which I could, and only the Symphony 1 does this on my average head. Well, the Momentum Wireless had it a little bit when moving the head a lot (which would cause bad sealing).
Maybe people with bigger heads will not have this problem.
This distortion, to be clear, happens on any ANC headphone if you for example lift a speaker away from your ears.
So it is not a sign of a bad ANC, only of a bad sealing.
There is this removable battery. This is cool.
Unfortunately this battery is, unlike the Sennheiser MM450-X, and like the Parrot Zik, not provided of an integrated usb port. On the Sennheiser it was so cool, you could charge one battery with an usb cable while using the headphone with the other battery.
The H8 cannot do that. Maybe you can find some adapter to charge the extra battery. I have seen that there are some for the Parrot.
The touch controls are good. But they stop working when the audio cable is connected. Which anyway is not an uncommon thing, most BT Headphones do that too.
Where I had problems is with the circular movement to control the volume. It is a bit unpredictable and it very often changed track instead of volume. The same happened to me with the Jabra Revo Wireless, which had similar controls with same circular movement.
The provided audio cable has got no mic, and no controls, so if you run out of battery you must take your phone to make calls or change volume and track.
IMO? This is NOT what I expect from a 500 Euro headphone. They definitely should have added a much better cable.
The Samsung Level Over, Plantronics Backbeat Pro and ATH-WS99BT have all a cable with mic and controls.
And also the XTZ Headphone Divine, a mid budget headphone (which sounds like a high budget headphone and is now very high in my list).
Besides the cable of the H8 is just a normal rubber cable, of those which tend to get messy.
Even the cheap Jabra Revo Wireless have got a cable covered with fabric, and the Fidelio too.
Here B&O forgot to add their luxury touch.
Another thing where B&O forgot the luxury touch is the soft cheap transport bag.
Something like this needs a luxurious rigid case, or AT LEAST a very nice, sexy and resistant semi-rigid bag.
The Comfort is ok. The earpads could be softer, as said. But are ok. And the fit on my average sized head is gentle. But after a few hours I feel the need to give my ears a rest from the pressure.
The Wireless range is REALLY very poor. THE poorest which I have EVER experienced.
At home if I try to walk to another room the signal stops immediately. And even in the same room, some steps far from the source and I have dropouts.
Many people in the H8 thread in Head-Fi complain about dropouts even with the phone in their pocket.
The Symphony 1 also have a poor range, but the H8's is poorer.
Anyway, many people are happy with them, so, if the rest convince you, you should give them a try, they may behave differently where you live, in your home, etc.
Finally the call quality. I could hear well, but on the other side I was just heard ok. Even the support of B&O sincerely told me that I sounded just acceptable. So, nothing bad, but nothing special. Btw, I had the same problem with the Fidelio M2BT (and, let's be honest, very few BT headphones are good in calls).
One note: the quality of the call improves a bit if you turn the ANC off.
Talking of calls, a nice feature is the Multipoint. You can connect them to two devices at same time, like notebook and phone. And when you listen to music from your notebook you can still receive a call from your phone. The music will be paused automatically and will play again at the end of the call.
They are not the only ones to offer this. But it is good that they do. Every BT headphone should.
Verdict: they are overall a good sounding, sexy and luxurious headphones and if you love their look you should give them a try.
Anyway, if their look does not make your pupils look like red hearts, and if the ANC is not a must for you, I would suggest the Fidelio M2BT, or the XTZ Headphone Divine (which sound overall MUCH better than both Fidelio and H8, but have a less dense rumble than the Fidelio).
And, let's talk of money: the Fidelio cost the half (or less) than the H8, and the XTZ cost 1/3.
For questions or other alternatives please visit my Thread.