B&O Beoplay H8i and H9i headphones evaluation: Decreasing returns

Both sets

There are a variety of things that have not altered from the previous-generation variations, the H8 and H9. Initially, the exact same mix of leather and aluminum is back to produce the advanced appearance that has actually been B&O’s signature because the wired H6. Sure, it may be great to see a various visual on brand-new designs, however I actually like exactly what B&O has here. Both the H8i and H9i are readily available in a “Natural” (gray/tan) color pattern or all black. For me, the mix of premium products is a good break from the plastic shells I’m utilized to seeing on other headphones, however it does need a larger financial investment.

There are 3 crucial modifications on both designs for which I need to praise B&O. It’s a little tweak, however it implies that the expensive headphones you’re about to purchase will have the current port (in the meantime, a minimum of), and likely the exact same cable television as your next phone. Second, there’s now a distance sensing unit in the H8i and H9i. This implies that when you take the headphones off, the music instantly stops briefly. A number of other headphones likewise do this, however it’s a worthwhile addition. Last, and essential, B&O substantially increased the battery life throughout the board.

When it pertains to general sound quality, the H8i and H9i are a variety. There’s a clear and crisp quality to the noise– a hallmark of B&O’s audio profile I’ve liked because I utilized the H6. It develops pleasurable listening sessions appropriate for a series of categories, not simply choices like jazz or bluegrass. There’s likewise a good quantity of bass on both systems, however it’s thoroughly utilized so that it never ever ends up being self-important, even in the middle of a driving hip-hop or electronic beat. Rather, I discovered myself grabbing the much louder H9i.

Both designs likewise deal with B&O’s Beoplay app, from which you can utilize a function called ToneTouch to select different EQ presets or utilize the swipe-based user interface to come up with your very own. ToneTouch utilizes terms like warm, fired up, unwinded and brilliant rather of treble, bass and mids– in either case, the real modifications to the audio are tough to find on both designs. Ditto for the presets. I might spot a modification, however eventually it does not make sufficient of a distinction that you ‘d wish to trouble.


The $399 H8i is the on-ear design in this duo. While it’s the less expensive of the 2 at $399, there are some choices you’ll need to make in addition to use design. The H8i still includes active noise-cancellation, however it does not have the touch manages provided on the H9i. Rather, the H8i’s onboard controls take the type of physical buttons. On the ideal side, there’s a trio of secrets: The outdoors 2 control volume, while the one in the center deals with play/pause, Bluetooth pairing and summoning a virtual assistant. Left wing, a three-way toggle switch functions as the power control and a method of allowing either noise-cancellation or Transparency Mode.

The other huge distinction is battery life. With the H8i, B&O states you can anticipate approximately 30 hours of audio with both active noise-cancellation and Bluetooth switched on. Undoubtedly, I got about a week of usage from these headphones prior to I had to charge, utilizing them a couple of hours every day. That 30- hour score is likewise on par with my existing preferred over-ear set, Sony’s WH-1000 XM2. It draws to need to pause your music to to keep the beats going, so durability like this is a huge plus. Nevertheless, unlike the H9i, which has substantially less battery life, the battery itself on the H8i isn’t really detachable. This will not be a dealbreaker for many people, however it’s something to remember.


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