Bang & Olufsen B&O PLAY headphone series design have largely remained unchanged for the past years. I first reviewed the Beoplay H6 which I adored back then. Then I went on to review the H8 on-ear ANC headphones. Late last year, the Beoplay H9 over-ear ANC (active noise cancelling) headphones is launched.
The H9 is identical to the H8 in design and operation, except one is over-ear while the latter is on-ear. Just like the H8, the H9 rechargeable battery is removable.
The audio quality appears to be similar to the H8 based on the previous review write-up (I do not have them side by side for actual comparison). When listening over Bluetooth with ANC, the H9 bass sounds more narrow-band, less warm, but deep sub-bass, while the treble sparkles on thin ice, and the mids reduced. Without ANC, the bass opens up with more bloom but a little less deep, and treble slightly less sparkling, much to my delight. When listening with 3.5mm cable without ANC, the bass response is wider, the treble is less airy but more natural-sounding, overall more authentic. With the ANC enabled, the mids warmth are reduced and the mid-treble sibilance turned a little harsher. These observations align with what I wrote for the H8.
The audio characteristic of the H9 should appeal to the general consumers who enjoy clear treble vocal effects and deep bass, while the thin mids add to the impression of transparency. If you still don’t like how the headphone sound, there is the Beoplay app with ToneTouch feature to adjust the tonality of the audio.
The noise cancelling feature on the H9 is not as aggressive as Sony MDR-1000X or Bose QC35. When activated, the lower frequencies are filtered except the environmental hiss which became slightly apparent. But they will not be obvious when music is played.
The B&O PLAY Beoplay H9 retains the audio signature of sparkling highs and deep bass. If you want even more deep bass effects, you have to check out Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2, although the treble clarity on the Beoplay H9 is still better.
The B&O PLAY H9 retails for S$699 in 2 colours, Black and Argilla Grey, available from the Bang & Olufsen showroom at Grand Hyatt and Takashimaya Singapore showrooms, or online at Lazada.