B&O Play has announced two new flagship headphones at CES 2018: the Beoplay H8i and Beoplay H9i. These headphones are an upgrade over the Beoplay H8 and H9 respectively. The sound has been retuned, with the company boldly proclaiming that the H8i and H9i are “designed to overwhelm you with precision, power, and detail.”
Some of the improvements made to the headphones include slimmer ear cushion design, reshaped mono arm, larger aluminum discs, improved sound, improved active noise cancellation, improved battery life, and so on.
Beoplay H9i ($499) is a wireless over-ear headphone with many clever features, including a removable, replaceable 18-hour battery. The noise cancellation has been tuned to help remove more within the vocal frequencies from 300 – 800 Hz. However, there is a transparency mode that with one quick swipe on the touch control on the earcup, music and ANC can be turned off so you can hear outside sound, such as a PA announcement on a train, or the flight attendant on an airplane.
The H9i also has a proximity sensor that will detect when the headphone has been removed and will automatically pause the music or video stream. The H9i also has dual connectivity so it can be wirelessly paired to two different devices to make switching back and forth incredibly easy. Making calls with the H9i is improved by the addition of a second microphone – this is also how B&O has improved the ANC features.
The newly redesigned H8i ($399) is more streamlined and sleeker than its predecessor, the H8. It can play up to 30 hours with Bluetooth and ANC on, and up to an astounding 45 hours without ANC.
Like the H9i, there is a transparency mode that lets you hear more outside ambience, and it also has the proximity sensors that turn off the sound when the headphone is removed.
Both headphones can be personalized by using the Beoplay App for either Android or iPhone. The app lets users customize the tonal balance and sound stage of the headphones, and even set up multiple sound profiles for different situations. One set up could be ideal for a workout, while another is for listening to Hi-Res audio without any processing.