B&O launches new wireless headphones to steal the luxe audio crown from AirPods Max

Bang & Olufsen's new HX headphones are all about soft leather, polished aluminium and audiophile sound

B&O Beoplay HX
(Image credit: B&O)

Bang & Olufsen is back with a new set of high-end headphones: the Beoplay HX. Packing custom 40mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.1 and "Digital Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation" tech, they're aiming to be the best wireless headphones for the discerning buyer. More specifically, the discerning buyer with £449/$499 to spend on luxe headphones. They're launching today in the 'Anthracite Black' colour you see just below, with the 'Sand' (above) and 'Timber' (bottom) finishes to follow later – all will be the same price.

See Beoplay HX at B&O's online store

The Beoplay HX keep up B&O's fine tradition of beautiful products made from exquisite materials. There's high-quality leather and a knitted fabric on the underside for the headband, with the same leather and memory foam inside for the earpads, plus polished aluminium for the metal details. The headband is redesigned, and now includes a "center-relief zone" for more comfortable listening over long periods.

B&O Beoplay HX

The Anthracite Black finish is pretty fetching, as well as being fun to say.

(Image credit: B&O)

Also likely to help the comfort is the impressively light weight: at just 285g, they're only a little heavier than the Sony WH-1000XM4 or Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, and are a good 100g lighter than Apple's AirPods Max.

Sound is handled by 40mm drivers, and we expect B&O to nail this, as it always does. B&O's app will enable you to tweak the sound profile easily. We'll have to see whether the new noise cancellation technology stands out from the crowd – adding the words "digital adaptive" doesn't really tell us much – but we've high hopes these will rank among the best noise cancelling headphones.

Features such as transparency mode are included, naturally, and there are eight microphones in total, with four dedicated to noise cancellation for listening and four dedicated to picking up your voice for clear calls.

B&O Beoplay HX

We like a good two-tone headphone, and the Timber finish doesn't disappoint.

(Image credit: B&O)

The battery life of 35 hours with ANC turned on is good news – B&O promises 40 hours of just regular Bluetooth listening. Speaking of Bluetooth, support for Bluetooth 5.1 means that they can receive music in really high quality, but while the new 5.1 variant is also theoretically able to locate devices when they're in range by telling you the direction and distance, B&O says there's no support for this in the HX, sadly.