This Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX review is the right place to be if you want a pair of luxury wireless headphones. They easily compete against some of the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy as well.
Bang & Olufsen are an audio brand known for elegance and extravagance, and naturally, the price tags match up to that. Buying a B&O product isn’t just buying into a great performance, it’s also about the contemporary high-end design, which is why you might choose this pair of wireless headphones over the likes of the Sony WH-1000XM4, for example.
Like with any big purchase, you’ll want to be sure that you’re making the right decision when you choose your next pair of wireless headphones, and this Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX review will help you do just that.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX review: price and availability
You can buy the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX wireless headphones now starting from $500 in the US, £450 in the UK and AU$653 in Australia. Take a look at the widgets on this page to see where you can buy a pair.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX review: design and fit
If you’re looking for overtly luxury wireless headphones, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX certainly look the part. Made from recycled aluminium with smooth lambskin leather and comfortable memory foam, these wireless headphones do everything in their power to look and feel opulent. You’ll be able to buy them in Sand, Black Anthracite, Timber and Maroon - all of the colourways are elegant and sophisticated, as you’d expect from any Bang & Olufsen product.
Soft around your ears, comfortable over your head and very lightweight at 285g, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX are a pleasure to wear. You can very easily have these on for hours on end without feeling any discomfort. I did find they looked quite big on me, but actually, they’re not as big as a lot of other over-ear cans so the majority of people will like the size of them.
In the box, the headphones come stored in a hard-shelled fabric protective case with handy storage for the included 3.5mm audio cable and USB-C charging cable.
While the premium use of materials makes them seem very sturdy, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX wireless headphones don’t have an official IP rating which means they aren't waterproof nor are they dust resistant. That’s a huge shame, especially at this price point, because you will sometimes have to be careful wearing them, like on a wet day for example.
Around the edges of the earcups are a few controls including the Bluetooth button, a multi-function button and the active noise cancellation button that will also let you switch the headphones to the transparency sound mode.
There are gesture controls on the outside of the earcups to control the music. Tap once to play or pause the track, swipe backwards to skip to the last song, swipe forwards to skip to the next song, and swipe around the edge to adjust the volume up and down.
When I was first trying them out, it took me a bit of time to get used to the gesture controls but later on I found them to be much more reliable. One of the reasons for that was that to skip to the next track your finger needs to swipe across the whole surface for it to work, not just part of it, so you need to understand how big the control pad is in order to get the gestures right.
You’ll rarely have to charge the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX wireless headphones because the battery lasts for a huge 40 hours of music with ANC switched off, but even with it turned on, you’ll still get 35 hours of listening. That’s pretty impressive by any standard. When you do need to charge them back up again, it’ll take about 3 hours all in all.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX review: performance and features
Naturally, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX wireless headphones have excellent sound quality. Clean, clear and crisp - the sound is jam-packed with energy and it’s full of detail as well.
You can hear every inch of every song, vocals are perfectly concise while each instrument is present and noticeable. The soundstage is suitably wide meaning that the mid-range frequencies are able to push through with plenty of control, the low end packs a punch and the treble is forceful without being shrill. Whoever you are, and whatever your music taste, these will be a great choice because they’re very well balanced.
There are five different preset listening modes to choose from including optimal, commute, clear, workout and podcast. The ‘Beosonic’ section gives you much more manual control if you want it - you can adjust the audio by moving a slider around the circle to make your music sound brighter, more relaxed, more energetic or warmer.
Through the Bang & Olufsen smartphone app, which is available for both iOS and Android, you get a fair amount of control over the headphones' settings. You can adjust the volume, enable automatic standby after 15 minutes of inactivity, turn on the wear detection that automatically pauses the music when you take them off and you'll also be able to see the battery percentage.
You can adjust the level of noise cancellation manually on the app as well, from their transparency mode along a sliding scale right up to maximum ANC.
They do a great job at cutting out distracting sounds from around you even if they aren't able to cut absolutely everything out like some other options out there. But even so, you can barely hear anything other than your music when you have them set to max which makes them good for using on a plane or on a noisy train commute. Even my own loud keyboard taps got drowned out to some extent!
The transparency mode, on the other hand, lets in some noise but balances it with the music so you can still hear when someone is speaking to you but you won’t be able to hear more general ambient noise. It does a decent job making these well suited for the office.
For reducing the sound of the elements, there’s also a wind reduction setting in the app. Four microphones are placed inside these headphones so when I made calls, the person on the other end could hear me just fine and vice versa even when I was out and about thanks to the wind reduction.
Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity with SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive codec support is built-in, but you can also use these through a wired connection when you need to.
When you go to set them up for the first time, your device should automatically find them and prompt you to connect. You will also be able to have these connected to multiple devices at once so you can quickly switch between listening on your laptop and on your phone, for instance.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX review: verdict
Not everyone will be willing to spend this amount of money on wireless headphones, but that’s kind of the point.
Of course, the sound quality is fantastic but the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX are luxurious in every sense of the word, you feel like you’re a part of an exclusive club when you’re wearing these. They’re not necessarily better than top options from Sony or Bose but they do feel different, and they look more impressive as well.
So other than the price, what are the downsides? Well the noise cancellation isn’t best in class. But it’s still pretty good, so while that might be a reason to think carefully before buying the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX, it definitely shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX review: also consider
If you want some of the very best wireless headphones but you don’t want to spend this much on them, then you should consider the Bose QuietComfort 45 instead. While they’re still premium cans, they’re a lot cheaper than the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX and they have outstanding noise cancelling.
Dreaming of buying headphones like this but actually you’re on a strict budget? No problem, the JBL Tune 660NC might not be all-singing-all-dancing but for a pair of cheap over-ear headphones the ANC is incredible, the battery last for ages and they sound good too.