Beoplay H8 is a model of headphones made by Bang & Olufsen, a high-end electronics company hailing from Denmark.  In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the Beoplay H8 in detail so you can decide whether or not it’s the right model for your needs.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8 Wireless On-Ear Headphone with Active Noise Cancelling - Black

Appearance

It might seem superficial to start by talking about the way these headphones look, but when it comes to Bang & Olufson products, the aesthetic is important and it’s something the company pays a lot of attention to. 

They have a very distinctive look that speaks to elegance and class. Its sleek metal and leather combination looks tasteful and high-end while comfortably avoiding looking tacky or garish. 

The H8 model is actually very similar in appearance to its predecessor, the H7, as Bang & Olufsen likes to maintain that all-important aesthetic through the different generations of their products. The H8 is available in two color schemes: Argilla Bright and Gray Hazel. 

When it comes down to it, aesthetics are a matter of taste. Still, though, we’re confident that these headphones are certainly something that most people would like to be seen wearing.

Build Quality

Piggybacking on the appearance, the build quality is excellent too.  As we mentioned, they’re made of a combination of metal and leather but they’re actually much lighter than you’d think, given this (they weigh 255 grams). 

Sure, there might be lighter headphones out there, but these don’t feel too heavy and the slight weight is even a little reassuring. 

The pads are made of lambskin and memory foam and feel wonderfully soft and will be comfortable even with extended wearing, despite the fact that they’re on-ear rather than over-ear headphones.  The other parts of the headphones are pleasingly smooth, as well.

Isolation

The isolation is really high quality and you’ll find that it’ll take some particularly sharp, sudden noises to break through it all.  The physical design of the headphones helps a bit with this, but the active noise canceling technology is excellent. 

It cuts out a large amount of noise, as you’d expect, though you might also feel a little more of that feeling of pressure in your ears when you switch them on than you might with one or two other high-end models.

Sound Quality

Here it is, the key thing you need to know about a pair of headphones.  Overall, the sound quality is very high.  There’s no hiss or other unwanted noise on these headphones, and the sound is noticeably crisp and well-balanced.

If you’re listening for a specific detail in a piece of music, it’ll all be there for you to hear clearly with the Beoplay H8s. There are some headphones out there that will do more justice to layered orchestral music, but these ones aren’t at all bad in that department either. 

The treble is great, with cymbal hits sounding having a pleasing body to them.  If there’s a weak spot, it’s the bass.  It’s still pretty good, and pleasingly deep, but there are other headphones out there with a slightly stronger, punchier bass than the Beoplay H8s can manage.  

Listening in wired mode only adds a slight improvement overall, which should be taken as evidence of how good they are even in wireless mode.  The only thing we’d add here is that it’s best to charge them when you’re not using them. 

If you charge them while you’re listening to music, you’ll be able to hear a kind of hissing noise even through what you’re listening to, spoiling the experience. Dropouts seem to be very rare, and we didn’t experience any of them in our test listening sessions.

If you listen to music with the noise canceling on, the performance suffers a little.  There are other models of noise-canceling headphones that are a lot worse in this, but the drop in quality is there.  The sound is more compact, with less detail and high points being leveled off somewhat. 

You may or may not be able to put up with this, but if you can’t, there’s always the option of just using it without the noise-canceling function.

These headphones will work well with just about any genre of music, too.  They should have no problems with standard rock, pop, and hip hop etc. 

As mentioned above, the only places where it’s less than stellar are when you’re listening to music with a lot of low bass or dense, layered, orchestral arrangements.

Of course, most people buy high-quality headphones because they take music seriously and want to listen to it in the highest quality possible. 

While that’s certainly a good reason, another reason that some people do it is to provide the best possible gaming experience, particularly if they play competitively.  We’re happy to report that these headphones would be excellent for that, as well. 

The high sound quality we’ve mentioned would translate to gaming very well, and the crispness and precision will make any game come alive.

Peripherals

When you buy these headphones, they come with a 3.5mm jack audio cable, a micro USB charging cable, a flight adaptor, a manual, and a carrying pouch. 

The carrying pouch will be particularly useful since the headphones are relatively bulky and, what with all the fine leather they have on them, you don’t want them to be damaged by whatever else you have jostling around in your bag. 

However, we think it might have been better to have provided a solid carrying case rather than a cloth bag since the headphones could still feasibly be damaged without a hard shield around them.  Still, it’s better than nothing and it’ll be enough for most people.

Other Important Things

They’re earphones enabled with Bluetooth and are powered by a battery that slots into the left earcup and depending on whether you’re using the Bluetooth together with the active noise canceling, can last for up to 35 hours (noise canceling, no Bluetooth), 16 hours (Bluetooth, no noise canceling) or 14 hours (both Bluetooth and noise canceling). 

This is a pretty impressive length of time and it means you won’t be bothered by having to recharge them too frequently. Don’t worry though, you can still use them with a wire if you want to, or if you’ve run out of battery. 

There’s a headphone jack for use with a wire near the charging port. The battery can also be removed and replaced, if you’ve recharged it too many times and need a new one instead.

Speaking of that Bluetooth functionality, it includes a technology called AptX which is available on some models of phone (like Samsung Galaxy phones) but not others (like iPhones). 

This supposedly improves the sound quality when you’re using Bluetooth, meaning that sound quality problems with Bluetooth streaming are a thing of the past. 

However, we tested the headphones using a Samsung Galaxy S10 and didn’t compare it to an iPhone, so we can’t verify those claims. There has actually been a bit of controversy around them in any case. 

Some people swear it improves the sound quality while others say it doesn’t seem to make any difference. If there is an advantage it seems to be a fairly minor one, so this aspect shouldn’t make or break your decision to buy them.

If you’re looking at the headphones and can’t see how you’re supposed to skip tracks and change the volume, don’t worry. In keeping with the sleek, modern design, those functions work through touch-sensitive points on the sides of the earphones. 

Swirling your finger in a circle adjusts the volume up or down, swiping left and right skips between tracks, swiping up and down turns noise canceling on or off, and tapping once pauses or plays. 

Don’t be put off if that sounds complicated. You’ll learn how it works very quickly and once you do, you won’t be wishing there were any buttons on it.

The company also provides an app that you can install on your device to use with the headphones.  You can use this to download software updates, as well as to set a wide range of different settings and preferences.

As you would expect, there is also a built-in microphone so you can use them to have phone conversations or to chat online while gaming.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8 Wireless On-Ear Headphone with Active Noise Cancelling - Black
  • Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound with Active Noise Cancelation (ANC). Connectivity Technology: Wireless
  • Aluminum touch interface with complete control to skip tracks, hit play and pause, control volume and answer calls
  • Up to 14 hours of battery life with ANC and Bluetooth
  • Lightweight - only 255 grams
  • Available in black, gray hazel, and natural. Circle clockwise or counter-clockwise for volume adjustment.

Final Thoughts

All in all, the Beoplay H8s are an exceptionally good pair of headphones.  They combine sleek, elegant design with high-quality performance, good battery life, and the versatility to handle more or less any genre of music effectively. 

The noise-canceling is also very effective although, as so often, it does impact the quality of the sound a little. Nevertheless, this is less pronounced than with some other headphone models and shouldn’t put you off getting these. 

The sound quality is still high even with the noise-canceling and if the drop is too much for you, the noise-canceling can always be turned off.  The only true rivals to these headphones are at the very top end of the market.

Last update on 2022-08-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API