No doubt about it, Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay H7 is a swanky wireless Bluetooth headphone. Its headband is crafted out of anodized aluminum, and the plush, memory foam earcups are covered with lambskin leather. It looks expensive and it is: B&O’s first full-size, over-ear wireless model lists for $450, although it can be had for $400 (£330) online in two color options. Sorry, Aussies, it currently isn’t sold down under, but if you could buy it, it’d likely cost around AU$500.
I found it a pleasure to wear. It weighs in at 9.9 ounces or 280 grams, which puts it somewhere between lightweight and heavy. By comparison Bose’s SoundLink Around-ear Wireless Headphones II weighs 5.27 ounces, or 149 grams. However, that headphone doesn’t have a metal headband. Master & Dynamic’s $550 MW60 wireless headphone, which does feature metal parts, comes in at 12.2 ounces or 345 grams. That tank of a headphone feels heavy, while the BeoPlay H7 doesn’t.
The earcups sealed out a good amount of ambient noise without clamping down on my head too much. Your ears will still get steamy wearing this headphone on hot days, but that’s par for the course for full-size, around-ear headphones. Overall, the H7 is very comfortable.
B&O makes an on-ear wireless model, the BeoPlay H8, which adds active noise canceling, a feature this model leaves off. However, this H7 — based on the wired BeoPlay H6’s chassis — does have similar touch controls to the H8. They’re on the right earcup, and they allow you to switch tracks forward and back with a swipe, as well as adjust volume and answer calls. Occasionally, I found myself accidentally touching the earcup and pausing my music, which is why some people don’t like touch controls on headphones. But I’m mostly a fan of them.
Like other Bluetooth headphones, this one has a built-in microphone for making calls. It works well, but there are better microphone systems out there. At this price point (or less), some wireless headphones, such as the Beats Studio Wireless, Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, and Plantronics BackBeat Pro, include dual microphones and a sidetone feature that allows you to hear your voice inside the headphones when you talk.
One of the nice pluses of the headphone is that the rechargeable 770mAh battery is removable and replaceable. That also means you can buy an extra battery and carry it along with you as a backup (battery life is rated at 20 hours, which is very good). Alas, there’s no slot for stowing that extra battery in the included carrying case, because it’s made out of fabric. It’s nice fabric, but at this price point I’d like to see a hard case.
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