Keen to make sure you’re getting the very best noises in your head during your commute or trying to drown out the man with the sneeze-problem in the office we tried out the latest headphones from Bang And Olufsen. Testing was conducted on various types of public transport and around Canary Wharf.
The product: Beoplay H5 Wireless Headphones by Bang And Olufsen Play, £199
What? These are Bang And Olufsen’s latest Bluetooth ear buds designed with the forthcoming iPhone in mind (rumour has it there won’t be a headphone socket).
How do they look? It’s par for the course with this brand that the product looks great in the box with its tactile matte black finishes and slick magnetic charger that plugs into your USB slot at work for maximum kudos among colleagues.
Unpack them however and the headphones themselves are a wee bit chunky.
Worse still, their connecting rope looks like something that might secure an ageing female librarian’s spectacles to prevent their absent minded loss. Full marks denied for designer Jakob Wagner.
That’s a shame: Yes, especially when the magnets in the ear pieces are partly designed to make the set wearable as technologically advanced neck jewellery.
Still, snapping them together is undeniably a swish way of turning them off as it breaks the connection with your phone, so it’s not all bad.
How do they feel? Fit is important for in-ear designs but, try as I might, none of the multitude of silicone and foam tips supplied provide a completely secure fit in my left ear.
These are my first buds though, so perhaps the shape of my aural canal is at fault.
When in they do an excellent job of drowning out the world with some irritation delivered by the bass thumping of the cable on the back of the neck while walking.
And the sound? Brilliant, crisp and bright. An associated app allows you to play almost endlessly with their output and, for both music and voice calls, the delivery is superb at much lower volumes than normal from an iPhone 6. This is what you pay for; reproduction is excellent.
And they’re easy to use? Operation is relatively intuitive but the slightly cheap design of the on-cable remote makes for a steep learning curve as it requires quite heavy pressing for activation and its buttons are not easily distinguishable by touch. A case of trying to do too much with too little.
Verdict: What they lack in aesthetic appeal they make up for in on-desk cool and sound quality.
If only they stayed in my ears reliably there would be a real temptation to abandon the noises of the world for my own sound track full time.
They’re not good enough to be considered a must-have, but if you’ve a spare £200 lying around and a love of pin-sharp micro LEDs you could do worse things with it.
Where can I buy a pair? Bang And Olufsen’s shop in South Colonnade, Canary Wharf stock the H5s.
Do say: Wait, is that a beautiful new necklace you’re wearing?
Don’t say: Why do you keep fiddling with one of your headphones?
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