Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95 Review
The elegant Beoplay H95 Bluetooth headphones from Bang & Olufsen are a dream on your head. Quality, sound – everything is great. But the smell and noise-canceling spoil the test victory.
Only when it comes to operation does B&O overshoot the mark. Less would have been more here. There are top marks for quality, sound quality, and wearing comfort. This does not apply to noise-canceling – here, Beoplay has to admit defeat to many competitors.
- Active noise cancellation works perfectly
- Sound is excellent
- Materials and controls are beyond praise
- A little bit expensive
The best noise-canceling headphones
We test ANC headphones with noise-canceling for you at regular intervals. The results flow together in this comparison test / in this list of the best.
When you unpack it, it becomes clear that the price is in a different league than our long-term test winner from Sony.
The headphones, available in three colors, come in a thick aluminum-plastic transport case that drapes the inside like jewelry. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sparkle after opening. Instead, a strong smell penetrates our noses.
It is the same thing that Apple products often come with when they are unpacked. In the Beoplay headphones, however, the smell is irritating, biting the nose and eyes. During the almost three-week test phase, the stench only diminished a little, but it should have disappeared at some point.
It’s a shame that this review has to begin with the smell and not with the feel of the classy Bluetooth headphones. Because like most of the products from the Danish manufacturer, the H95, like the B&O H9i, is initially a pure understatement. The closer you look at it, the more successful details become apparent.
Design and quality
Infinitely variable adjustment options for the cowhide-sheathed aluminum bracket, lambskin-lined ear cups – we know that from other high-end headphones. Instead, bang & Olufsen combine these materials into a visually and haptically successful whole.
The quality of workmanship is – let’s leave the smell aside – appropriate for the high price. As with the Apple AirPods Max, the ear cups adhere magnetically to the driver housing and can be exchanged in seconds if necessary.
We haven’t tried it, but the H95 should be forgiving if you accidentally sit on it. There are no abnormalities in the case of willful twisting of the stirrup; the construction looks robust.
With a weight of 323 grams, the test headphones from Scandinavia are among the AirPods Max (386 grams) and other high-end alternatives ( B&W P9 Signature: 418 grams). We notice this “airiness” on the head.
Although these are classic headphones with an over-ear design, the Beoplay feels like on-ear headphones. The earpads with lambskin and memory foam ensure a comfortable climate.
The tester’s ears did not like the proximity to the angled drivers that lurk behind the fabric cover for their use. The tips of the ears are in permanent contact with the fabric. Other over-ear headphones leave more room for the ears.
Nevertheless, Beoplay can be worn comfortably on the head for hours without creating a feeling of tightness. Moreover, the H95 doesn’t put you in a headlock. This fact and the exchangeable ear pads shouldn’t tempt you to take the noble soundbox with you for a jog. Unfortunately, although far better models for this, the test device lacks water and sweat protection.
Service: Too much of a good thing
As if the manufacturer couldn’t decide, the H95 offers a wild mix of all the controls that have been popular with headphones in the last few decades.
The H95 is switched on in a classic way using a slide switch. You can also use this to control the initial Bluetooth pairing process. There is no automatic music interruption when you stop. You have to switch off the headphones manually because there are no optical sensors. After 15 minutes, this will happen by itself.
The slide switch is joined by two turntables, which we like very much as such. The one on the right controls the volume, the one on the left controls the ANC intensity.
Then there is a push button on the left to call up Siri or the Google Assistant. But B&O doesn’t stop there. Each side of the auricle is also sensitive to touch. You start or pause the playback by tapping on the right auricle; a swipe takes you to the next or previous track. Then, during a call, you manage it again by pressing the sensor on the left auricle.
Push, push, wipe, turn: what sounds complicated can be done quickly in practice. Less would still have been more. Apple’s AirPods Max gets by with a rotary wheel, and a button and operation are more convenient in everyday life.
Noise Canceling: This is how effectively the ANC filters
In the scenarios we tried, the noise-canceling of the Beoplay H95 did a good job but not an outstanding one. On the other hand, the test headphones filter the even hum of a switched-on microwave much worse than the AirPods Max and the Sony WH-1000XM3 and are on par with the Tribit headphones.
This is a comparison you will not like to hear. The cheap headphones from Tribit create the “silence,” however, mostly clumsily through the noise, which fortunately the H95 does not know in the basic musicless operation. There is silence here. That’s how it should be.
ANC headphones in the test: the best models with noise-canceling in comparison
In our opinion, the slewing ring for fine adjustment of the ANC is not needed. In everyday life, we always set it to the highest level (dial to the left) or used the transparency mode (dial to the right). A faster change would be desirable for random assignments. Your voice sounds natural in transparency mode. But here, too, the H95 has to admit defeat to the AirPods Max.
B&O Beoplay H95 in the hearing test
Sony? Apple? The Bang & Olufsen headphones leave the competition mentioned far behind in the hearing test. That is what we expected when AirPods Max, but had not received, the H95 shakes loose from the 40 millimeters measured titanium drivers.
Across all genres, the H95 is very clear and airy, and fresh. Joyful to play, with a presentation stage and good imaging performance, not even the bass tuning, which we often criticize, tarnishes the mood.
Yes, the test device has its strengths in the mids and highs (sample tip: Björk Stonemilker), but it always rounds off tracks with a punchy, dry, but never intrusive bass. Here you can see the decades of experience in the audio sector at Bang & Olufsen.
While the much-vaunted top seller from Sony wants to please everyone with its warm, lulling sound, you only notice how many details are buried when you put on the H95. Without restriction: When it comes to sound evaluation, the B&O Beoplay H95 fully lives up to the brand’s high standards.
We also noticed that.
The manufacturer offers a free app for Android and iOS devices that can make additional settings. There is also an equalizer.
The scope of delivery includes an airplane adapter and a USB Type-C charging cable.
The battery life of the Bluetooth headphones was not checked in this test report. However, according to the manufacturer, it is up to 50 hours. With noise-canceling switched on, it should be 38 hours.