Published on March 14th, 2017 | by Greg0
B&O BeoPlay H4 Wireless Headphones: A Subtle Boom
The wireless headphone category is a pretty big one, and only getting larger, with companies large and small offering what can be an overwhelming number of options. And the easy option is to simply pick what’s available on the shelves, or what you see advertised- and then you’ll be missing some of the best models out there. Today’s company focused on the higher end of the spectrum, with gear that can run thousands of dollars or more, with custom televisions and beautiful standing speakers- but they also have seen the appeal of a more budget-friendly line with B&O PLAY.
Born out of Bang & Olufsen, the B&O PLAY BeoPlay H4s are over-ear wireless headphones that immediately look a bit Scandinavian- and like they’ve pulled from some of the best design trends in headphones. Almost feminine in their overall aesthetic, it’s all soft curves and soft colors-charcoal instead of matte black, less hard plastic to be found here. In fact, the materials alone still call this out as a luxury set, with memory foam, aluminum, steel, and real lambskin leather. And while they aren’t built for audiophile purists, they add convenience with Bluetooth 4.2 that allows up to eight devices to be remembered, and solid, stable, high-quality reproduction that sounds just as good as wired sets in this price range.
Battery life is always an important consideration, but you can count on these for even the longest trips, with 19 hours of playback time until you need to recharge. Weighing in at about eight and a half ounces, these are pretty light, and the leather makes them comfortable even during lengthy listening sessions- though they can get a little warm. Controls are physical buttons and fairly easy to use, though the power button serves a few functions and it can be tough to pause your music. The H4s pump out more bass than you might expect from their form, with impressive sound separation and staging, plenty of volume, and acoustics that are worthy of the price and brand pedigree. On blues, reggage, and rap tracks especially, these seemed to shine with clear vocals and natural warmth, perhaps because they are fairly open (and thus not the best option for use in noisy environments).
It’s odd to think of these as an entry-level set, but in fact, that’s sort of what they are- there’s no noise cancellation on these, nor are they weather-resistant for exercise. Other notable absences are aptX and NFC support- iPhone users won’t care, but it’s a slight annoyance for Android fans, and aptX at least is available on their other headphones, the H7, H8, and H9. They did include a cord and you can use them wired, but there are no inline controls, and there isn’t a carrying or protective case included either. If accessories don’t matter much to you, then there are few other compromises here. You’re getting B&O quality and their lovely design at an affordable price- the subtle but powerful B&O PLAY Beoplay H4 wireless headphones run about $299 online and in-stores.