Precision, power, and passion. And let’s not forget parentage. The devices in the Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay line tick many a Tech Gadget Wishlist. Which brings us to the BeoPlay H8i and BeoPlay H9i.
At CES this year, I had a chance to sit in for a session at the B&O stand, where they showcased both the devices, among others. And the two flagship headphones from the BeoPlay line have distinct identities. Consider the new H9i, which takes the place of the H9. Design-wise, you have a classic stitched cowhide leather headband with sleek lambskin pads with anodized aluminium ear cups. The device has noise cancelling built in [as does the H8i], along with enhanced touch controls. Consider bits like a Transparency Mode that can be accessed with a gesture, or the proximity sensor that lets you automatically pause music when you take the headphones off. An additional mic in H9I also enhances voice call quality. Charging and battery life get a boost as well here, with USB-C for charging and a stated 18 hours playtime.
Still so-so about touch controls on your headphones? Consider the on-ear H8i, which comes with physical button controls on both ear cups. You still have Transparency Mode, accessed via a click rather than a gesture, as also proximity sensors and improved call quality. Interestingly, the H8i goes full-on as far as battery life goes, offering 30 hours of active use, with active noise cancelling and Bluetooth turned on.
The Beoplay H9i and the Beoplay H8i launch in Natural and Black and will be available for a suggested retail price of 2,199 AED and 1,699 AED respectively.