HeadphonesMusic

Beoplay H3 ANC Review

Beoplay H3 ANC review by musicphotolife.com

Beoplay H3 ANC review by musicphotolife.com
Last year when Bang & Olufsen launched the Beoplay H3 in Singapore, I took it for a spin and posted a review. When the new Beoplay H3 ANC is launched, B&O once again invited me to review this latest headset.

Out of the Box

The new Beoplay H3 ANC packaging is more premium-looking than the see-through box of last year’s H3. As you open up the hard box, the pair of H3 ANC earbuds greets you without any other accessory present, so that you can have your undivided attention on these fine-made tips created from a single aluminum block with carefully detailed ventilation holes.

Beoplay H3 ANC review by musicphotolife.com

The rest of the cables, together with the ANC unit, rest below the plastic housing, wrapped in rice paper. All the accessories – cloth pouch, USB cable, airplane adapter, eartips, manual – are stored beneath the black cardboard flap.

Beoplay H3 ANC review by musicphotolife.com

Build

The new H3 ANC differs from the original H3 in a few ways. First, there are 3 additional holes below the circular ones, which I believe are mics for active noise-canceling. Second, the cable is much stiffer and less malleable than the former, so I have to roll the cable in circles instead of folding them. Finally, there is a round ANC control unit that is thinly coated with silicone to give a matt rubbery look and feel.

Beoplay H3 ANC review by musicphotolife.com

What’s unchanged is the in-line control, which still feels cheap and the buttons do not have the firm click response. Note that the volume control only works with Apple devices (iPhone, iPad), while only the play/answer button works on Android.

Beoplay H3 ANC review by musicphotolife.com

The heavy cables and the ANC control unit do add some weight to the earphones and slight cable rub sounds are heard.

Sound Quality

The H3 ANC comes with T-200 Comply foam tips that are pre-fitted. There are 4 other silicone ear tips, including an extra-small size that I have never encountered before. When testing the earphones with the standard ear tips, I experienced similar audio signature as the original H3, which I had described as flat, unexciting, with poor mid-high delivery.

Beoplay H3 ANC review by musicphotolife.com

However, all changed for the better when I fitted a double-flange silicone tip. I get to enjoy a bit more bass feel and the unpleasant mid-high ring is magically gone. The treble is slightly more prominent though still not too sparkling. The mids are tamed with good instrumental layering. I love this “new” sound that the double-flange silicone tip brings.

I would describe the H3 ANC as neutral, where the non-aggressive bass is balanced with an equally eased yet sufficiently clear treble, while the mids add just the right amount of fullness.

Active Noise Canceling

The ANC is activated by sliding the power and holding it for a second. The small white LED light appears, signifying the power is on. The ANC is not as aggressive as Bose QC20, but it does remove the low ambient noise to give a cleaner audio sound.

Beoplay H3 ANC review by musicphotolife.com

In addition to actively canceling the noise, the ANC boosts the volume level slightly to give a bit more drive. It takes just over 2 hours to fully charge the ANC unit and lasts 20 hours.

Final Words

The Beoplay H3 ANC is an all-rounder earphones suited for listeners who prefer a balanced audio experience. There are no exaggerated sound staging, no brightened treble, or overweight bass. The sound is smooth, slightly warm, and the lightweight earbuds are excellent for extended listening.

Beoplay H3 ANC review by musicphotolife.com

While the original Beoplay H3 did not impress me due to its lacklustre delivery, and though the new H3 ANC has similar sound signature, a change in the eartips offered me a new listening perspective, exposing the potentials of this premium in-ear headphones.

Beoplay H3 ANC rating by musicphotolife.com

Specs

Headphone Type: In-Ear
Dimensions (W x H x D): 20 mm X 26 mm X 23 mm
Weight: 40 g
Battery:
▪ Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
▪ 350 mAh battery capacity
▪ Up to 20 hours of ANC Playtime
▪ Approx. 2.5 hours charging time
▪ Earphones function without battery
Colour: Gunmetal Grey
Driver: 10.8mm
Driver Type : Electro-dynamic
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Frequency Range: 20 – 16,000 Hz
Microphone: MicroElectrical-Mechanical System (MEMS)
Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW @ 1kHz
Corded Connection:
▪ 1.35m cord with 3.5mm mini jack
▪ USB to Micro USB cable for charging
In-line Remote:
▪ 3 control buttons & microphone
▪ 1 On/Off button for ANC control
Air Vents:
▪ 29 air vents are drilled into housing of headphone for improved comfort and acoustics
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) System:
▪ Based on feed-forward technology, a small microphone placed inside the housing measures ambient noise. The microphone signal is transferred to an ANC circuit, which turns the microphone signal into “anti-noise” and used to reduce ambient noise to a comfortable level for the user
Price: S$379
Available at: Apple Premium Resellers (EpiCentre, Nubox, iStudio, Best Denki, Polaris), Challenger, Digital Style, Newstead, Sprint-Cass, Stereo, AV One, ConnectIT, Tangs

Official product website: http://www.beoplay.com/products/beoplayh3anc

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Beoplay H3 ANC
Author Rating
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13 comments
  1. Claude

    May I know if the double flange silicon tip is provided by B&O or is it your own. Also will like to know if this is a standalone accessory that can be fitted over the normal H3. Thanks

  2. PC

    Did you try the double flange silicon tip with the original H3? If so, did the sound improve tremendously like on the H3 ANC?

    1. Chester Tan

      I have returned the H3 so I could not try. But since the audio quality between H3 and H3 ANC is identical, I can safely say that the double flange tip will offer the same improvement to the H3.

    1. Chester Tan

      I used the double flange tip that came with another headphone product. But you can order easily from most online sites. My favourite online shopping site for such accessories is AliExpress. Try to get the ones with smaller hole at the tip, as theoretically it will bring out the treble and limit the bass.

  3. PC

    Thanks so much for your advice. I will definitely try it. I’m so glad that I came across your reviews and learned a great tip for improving the sound quality of the Beoplay H3 which I also found somewhat lacking when I first bought them.

  4. PC

    Dear Chester,

    I received my double flange eartips today purchased off of Amazon, and took your advice to get the ones with the smaller hole at the tip.

    The end result: Absolutely fabulous sound from my H3, just as if I purchased a completely new and different headset!

    I am so glad I came across your article and grateful to receive your advice.

    Again, thank you so very much.

  5. VCM

    The noise cancelling is totally competent, contrary to what you might read. For example with piano music at low volume, I can see people talking in front of me but can’t hear them, I did not notice the engines starting on the plane and the flight really was a lot more relaxing – but I can hear the loud announcement of the pilot, and can understand it if I try. I quite like that, actually, since I know nothing really important escapes me. Also, this is not much different from the Bose noise canceling over-ears I have tried at airports. They are a lot more useful in ‘general noise’ environments rather than to reduce the voice of your neighbor in a silent room. (The total volume is such that I never use them at full power, on my iPhone.)

    The sound is simply excellent. I hear things in my music that I could never hear with my previous headphones (Bose MIE2i, not noise cancelling, similar price), including deeper bass, but also things like a violinist breathing. I now re-listen to my music to discover new depths, despite having some very decent hifi at home.

    I am not a great fan of in-ears that go into your ear canal, but this is what it is. The Bose I had previously were super in that regard (with ‘fins’ outside), but you could hear your environment totally, just as if you had nothing in your ears. Any noise cancelling in-ear will be in your canal to some extent, but the Bose QC20 I have not tried and they look better in that.

    Cable noise is an issue if you move in any way, even just walking (with a jacket collar) – and there is no 5c clip to fix the cable?? I like the slightly stiffer cable which feels sturdy and doesn’t tangle much. My previous Bose was awful with both – the rubber lining came off everywhere after 2 years or so and that eventually broke the headphones. That was my reason not to buy a Bose again. But for running the B&O won’t be good (wearing them for running in traffic, or cycling or driving would be stupid). I also like the 90 degree angle plug; seems safer to me. I like the control buttons. They have a classy feel, like everything B&O. Very nice looking headphones.

    Oh, and I found these at half the price of the Bose QC20i noise cancelling headphones (with cord, not the bluetooth ones). Half! And with much better sound.

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