Tech Review: BEOPLAY H7's Are Near Perfect

BEOPLAY is a division within Bang & Olufsen that is focused on providing speakers, headphones, and earphones for those with a high quality lifestyle. Anton Greiffenburg, Beoplay’s Global PR Manger, stated from the companies motto, “We are in the business of Goosebumps”. This has proven to be true in my past experiences with their products. The first thing I look for in a pair of headphones is design. It’s always disappointing when you find a sleek pair of headphones, but the specs are sub-par. In the case of the Beoplay H7’s, it not only has a beautiful design, but the specs to match.

Specs and Audio Quality

The H7’s were designed by Jakob Wagner. He is a world famous Danish designer. You can check out some of his featured work on his website. When researching Bluetooth headphone specs, I tend to look at a couple of things. The driver size, frequency range, battery life, microphone, and the type of Bluetooth support.

Fitted with electro-dynamic 40mm drivers, the H7’s have a frequency range of 20-20,000hz. The human ear is rarely capable of hearing frequencies below 20hz. Even though Bang & Olufsen claims it goes as low as 20hz, I was able to hear at 10hz. Granted, it was not very distinct, I was still able to vaguely hear it. The Omni-directional microphone built into the headphones are very clear and cut out most background noise.

The audio is incredibly consistent and rightfully so. These headphones have a 770mA removable battery, that can last for up to 20 hours. Most others I have used only provided around 13-14 hours of actual battery life. In my experience, the H7’s lasted at least 20 hours. Bang & Olufsen’s stats so far have been nothing but conservative. The reason they are so consistent has to do with the Bluetooth support they decided to use.

The Bluetooth 4.2 and AAC support, paired with Qualcomm’s aptX low latency, should be a standard option in Bluetooth headphones. When I first began to test the H7’s, I didn’t think much on the audio quality because I have heard many headphones with the same high polished sound. Then, all at once, I was blown away. I did not realize that I was on Bluetooth the entire day. I forgot that I did not use the audio cord at all. It was still in the plastic. I have tested and used many high end Bluetooth headphones, but have never experienced a pair like these. Not even Sony’s recently débuted MDR-XB950N1’s were as impressive.

Aesthetics and Build Quality

In my opinion, these are the most comfortable headphones I’ve used. The memory foam is covered with lambskin leather. That was a first for me. The lambskin stays cool for a longer period of time and does not hold the level of heat that many other materials do. I can tell that Bang & Olufsen put a lot of focus on the little things.

My head is quite large, and even though many headphones are extendable, I always find myself taking them off after an hour. I can wear the H7’s all day. It’s not because they are oversized. It’s because they spent countless hours perfecting the tension of the band. When I set them to their shortest settings, they will fit my 2 year old son perfectly as well.

The H7’s are made of aluminum and are a very light 9.9 oz. The aluminum allows the touch controls to work even while you wear gloves. As for the touch controls, it is very simplistic. The gestures are as follows.

  • Move your finger from back to front to skip a track or transfer a call
  • Move it from front to back to go back a track
  • Tap to pause, play, or answer a call
  • Double tap to redial
  • Tap and hold to end a call
  • Circle clockwise and counter-clockwise to adjust the volume

Finding volume controls can be difficult with headphones, so they added a sleight inward grade so you can find it easily. This concept also helped keep the design consistent without compromising functionality.  The whole device feels and sounds premium.

Source The Visionist by Anson Low

Source The Visionist by Anson Low

Realistic Use & Lifestyles

The Everyday User

This is a fantastic product for those that primarily listen to music and watch movies and videos. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to my playlists with the H7’s. I catch myself finding very quiet additions to songs that I’ve never hear before.

Movies, especially action movies, are crisp and clear. No issues with loud music or action scenes, followed by a quiet dialog. Never had to fiddle with the volume. Super quick to find when searching for the H7 Bluetooth.

Phone calls are so good, that people cant even tell that I’m using Bluetooth. Call quality just depends on your service. However, the built-in microphone does not work on phone calls when the H7’s are wire in, unfortunately.

The Gamer

Playing Battlefield 1 on Hi-Fi or War Tapes was an amazing experience. Every sound was so clear and individual. The binaural affect had me taking off my headphones to look around me. It sounded like some of the noises were coming from inside my room. I definitely had an advantage because I was able to know exactly from where the enemy was approaching.

Bluetooth works perfectly on PC. So for PC gamers, with this low latency, these are the Bluetooth headphones you've been wanting. It is not currently supported by Xbox One or PlayStation 4, so you’ll have to wire in for that. The H7’s do not include an audio jack with a microphone. It does support those cables though, so you’ll need to purchase one if you plan to chat on console.

What Could Be Better

The negatives I have experienced have been minimal. All of which are the lack of full functionality on gaming consoles. No Bluetooth support on any current generation consoles. No audio jack with built-in microphone so that you can use it on consoles. I , however, find these issues tolerable. Many Bluetooth headphones are not compatible with PlayStation 4 in the first place. Including Sony’s own headphones, like the one I mentioned earlier.

If Bang & Olufsen could get Sony to support their Beoplay H series Bluetooth on the PlayStation 4, I would use these instead of my Steelseries Siberia Elites. A better option might be to create a Beoplay Bluetooth USB dongle. This way you could get it to work on all current generation consoles. I would even settle for an audio jack with a built in microphone, like the one built into the headphones.

It’s very important to remember that this was not develop with gaming in mind.

The Verdict

Absolute top tier quality audio and build. Extremely user friendly touch controls. Comfortable enough to wear all day. Excellent call and microphone quality. It just needs a microphone for wired connections. These are the reasons why I give the Beoplay H7’s from Bang & Olufsen a nearly perfect score. You can find them on Amazon and Beoplay's website for $399. All of this is worth the price, in my opinion. All in all, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H7’s are like waking up with no responsibilities. Relieved, excited, and generates goosebumps.

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