Since 1925, Danish innovators Bang & Olufsen have been creating well-designed products that have filled a void in the drab world of consumer electronics. I remember the first time I came across B&O in the pages of Dwell magazine, and the first time I visited their physical store at Union Square in San Francisco. This was in the early 2000′s, and all I could think was, “Why aren’t all electronics built this well?”
Recently, Bang & Olufsen released the BeoPlay H6, a stunning pair of headphones which unites the classic form with cutting edge design features.
The build of the headphones is pretty next level. The head band is made up of aluminum with a stitched, cow leather cover that will age gracefully over time. For the ear pads they’ve chosen lambskin, which as you might expect, is just about the softest thing you’ve ever felt. There are also great details, like the giant L and R in the ear pads so you know which way they go.
Then there are design details which are truly innovative in the field of headphones. There are two headphone ports on each side of the headphones, which for the H6 means two things. The first is that you can choose which side you plug into. So when you plug into a Macbook, which has the headphone jack on the left, you plug in on the left side and now the cord is a lot less in your way. The second thing it means is that if you want to share your music with a friend or loved one, they can simply plug into the open port with their headphones. Pretty awesome, right?
As for the sound the quality is extremely remarkable. At first, I felt like I couldn’t get the sound loud enough, like I wasn’t hearing enough of the music. Then I realized I was accustomed to listening to music through the stock Apple headphones, which know feel like they’re shooting a lot of the highs into your ears and that’s about it. It’s a little cheesy, but the sound from the H6 is like a finely crafted Belgian beer versus drinking a Keystone Light. The sound is refined, with the midrange coming through clearly, and the bass and treble are balanced perfectly.
I’ve spent about two weeks with the H6 now, listening to all of my old favorite albums, and I’m hearing details that I’ve absolutely never heard before. It’s definitely like hearing these records for the first time. The H6 also do a great job of cutting out external sounds, so it’s kind of like your ears are in a private listening booth with nothing to distract them.
I’d also suggest checking out the BeoPlay H6 website because it’s really well done. The use of immersive imagery and timed animations make for a pretty great informative experience, giving you the information you need to see if they’re the right headphones for you. If you’re in the market for a pair of nice, high-end headphones, I’d totally recommend the H6.