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Reviewed on Mar 29, 2018 , Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

B&O PLAY Beoplay H9
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.6
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.9
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.7
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.6
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.9
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.7
TV
Score components:
5.4
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Beoplay H9 are decent mixed-usage headphones with a great premium design and a comfortable over-ear fit. They look and feel very durable, and they're relatively lightweight for an over-ear headset. They also sound decent and pack a lot of bass but it can sometimes be a little overpowering which won't be for everyone. Unfortunately, they do not block as much noise as some of the other wireless noise-canceling models we've tested and they're a little leaky.

Test Results
Design 7.3
Sound 6.7
Isolation 6.1
Microphone 6.1
Active Features 6.5
Connectivity 5.3
Pros
  • Great design and build quality
  • Comfortable fit
Cons
  • Mediocre-at-best noise isolation
  • Leaky at higher volumes

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7.3

Design

Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Design Picture

The B&O Play H9 are well-crafted, high-end looking headphones. They're comfortable and have a premium build quality on par with the Oppo PM-3 and Parrot Zik 3.0. They're also relatively lightweight for their size, with a decent control scheme that's fairly easy to use but takes a bit of time get familiar with. Unfortunately, though comfortable, the ear cups have a circular shape which won't fit as well for every user and they're not the most portable headphones since they do not fold into a more compact format. Also, they come with a cheap pouch that doesn't offer much protection, especially considering the price of these headphones, which is a little disappointing.

Style
B&O PLAY H9 Design Picture 2

The Beoplay H9 look almost identical to the H6 but with a wireless design. They're great-looking headphones that feel premium and make use of a lot of high-end materials like aluminum, leather, and memory foam. They have a low profile headband and large circular, flat ear cups that do not protrude much. This makes the whole look design eye-catching yet understated, especially if you get the all-black color variant like in this review. They also come in a Tan/Argilla grey color scheme that's a bit more flashy but overall they're one of the better-looking over-ears that we've tested so far.

8.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
B&O PLAY H9 Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.6 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.8 lbs

The Beoplay H9 are very comfortable headphones but the circular ear cups can feel a bit small for some listeners. They're slightly heavier than the H6 but have pretty much the same fit and design overall. They have thick and soft leather pads on the ear cups and the overall build is fairly lightweight for an over-ear design. However, since the ear cups are a little small they may cause a slight pinch on the top of your ears depending on the user. On the upside, they're not too tight and you can wear them for hours without feeling any fatigue.

6.7 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
B&O PLAY H9 Controls Picture
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Mediocre
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
No
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through : No
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The Beoplay H9 by Bang & Olufsen have a unique touch-sensitive control scheme that's relatively easy to use once you get familiar with it. You turn up the volume by swiping your finger along the circular touchpad (clockwise for volume up and counter-clockwise for volume down). Tapping on the right ear cup plays and pauses tracks and also manages calls. You can disable noise canceling by swiping downwards, and skipping tracks is done by swiping left and right. Unfortunately, the touch-sensitive control scheme is not as responsive as physical buttons, and you do not get a lot of auditory feedback when changing tracks or disabling noise canceling, which is a little disappointing. On the upside, they have an actual switch for power and Bluetooth pairing which makes connecting to Bluetooth sources a bit easier, like the QuietComfort 35 II.

6.3 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.2 C

Like most closed back over-ear designs, the H9 are not the most breathable headphones. Once you get the right fit they seal off the ear fairly well which prevents a good amount of airflow. They're not much worse than most over-ear headphones but won't be ideal for strenuous physical activity since they will make you sweat a bit more than usual under those conditions.

6.2 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Portability Picture
L : 7.6 "
W : 8 "
H : 1.4 "
Volume : 85 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The Beoplay H9 are decently compact for over-ear headphones but unfortunately do not fold to save space. The ear cups lay flat which may come in handy in some situations but they're still a bit too cumbersome to comfortably carry around on your person without a bag.

5.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
B&O PLAY H9 Case Picture
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

The Beoplay H9 come with a simple pouch that should protect the headphones from scratches and scuffs when in your bag but won't shield them from impacts or water damage. Also, considering the price of these headphones, a simple pouch instead of a hard or even a soft case, feels really cheap.

8.0 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
B&O PLAY H9 Build Quality Picture

The B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9 are one of the better-built headphones that we've tested so far. They have a sturdy yet lightweight build quality made from high-end aluminum and coated in a luxurious leather. The headband feels durable and flexible and the ear cups are dense without being too heavy, although they do weigh a little more than the H6. They're easily on par with the Oppo PM-3 and Parrot Zik 3.0 although the hinges are a little thin and probably the weakest part of their design. Overall they're durable headphones that feel very high-end.

6.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
B&O PLAY H9 Stability Picture

The B&O Play H9, like the H6, are decently stable headphones but won't be ideal for working out. They stay put during casual listening sessions but sway a bit when jogging or running since they're not as tight on the head as some of the other headphones we've tested. On the upside, they're wireless so they won't get yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked by something.

Cable
B&O PLAY H9 Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 3.5 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

These headphones come with a 1/8TRS audio cable and micro-USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.7

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
B&O PLAY H9 Frequency Response

The Beoplay H9 is a decent sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphone. They have a consistent, deep, punchy, and very thumpy bass, without sounding muddy or cluttered. Their mid-range, however, is quite recessed and doesn't give enough emphasis to vocals and lead instruments. Their treble range lacks some detail and brightness, but could also sound a bit piercing on S and Ts with overly bright tracks. Overall, the H9 is better suited for bass-heavy genres and may not be the best choice for fans of clear and present vocals, common to folk, indie, and classical genres. Additionally, they have good imaging although our test unit showed some mismatch between the L/R drivers, and like most other headphones, they don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

7.8 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.28 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
6.46 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.07 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.9 dB

The bass of the H9 is very good. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Also, low-bass is hyped by more than 6dB, indicating that the bass of these headphones is deep and very thumpy, which should be pleasing to the fans of bass-heavy genres like Dubstep, House, and Hip-hop. Mid-bass is also hyped, but by only 2dB which gives some extra emphasis to the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums. High-bass is overempasized by less than 1dB, which is good and means that despite the hyped bass, the sound won't be very cluttered and boomy.

6.8 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.26 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.82 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-5.99 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.63 dB

The H9 has an average mid-range performance. The response is quite even throughout the range but recessed by about 6dB around 700Hz. This noticeably pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix, by giving more emphasis to bass frequencies.

5.8 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
5.24 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.09 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.22 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.84 dB

The treble performance is mediocre. The overall response is relatively uneven, throughout the range. Low-treble, is within 1dB of our neutral target, which is good. However, mid-treble shows a 7dB dip around 6KHz, which will have a noticeable negative effect on the brightness and detail, especially on vocals and lead instruments. The 10dB peak around 10KHz could make these headphones noticeably sibilant. That is, sharp and piercing on S and T sounds common to vocals and cymbals.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
8.1 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Consistency L B&O PLAY H9 Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.37 dB

The Beoplay H9 has great freqnecy response consistency. The bass delivery is very consistent across our 5 human subjects from 40Hz and up. The maximum deviation is at around 20Hz and about 6dB, but only over a narrow range, which makes it less noticeable. In the treble range, the maximum deviation is about 15dB, which is quite significant, but again, only over a very narrow range so won't be very audible.

7.7 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
B&O PLAY H9 Group Delay B&O PLAY H9 Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.31
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.58
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.1
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
18.43

The imaging is good. The weighted group delay is at 0.31, which is also good. The GD graph shows that entire group delay response is below or at the audibility threshold. Indicating a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in amplitude and frequency response, but showed significant mismatch in phase response. This wouldn't affect the accuracy of the placement of objects (like voices, instruments, and video game sound effects), but could skew the stereo image and cohesion a bit.

5.8 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
B&O PLAY H9 PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.63 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
5.29 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
8.88 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.8
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage performance of the Beoplay H9 is sub-par. The PRTF graph shows excessive amount of activation, which could be either due to resonances in the enclosure when the pinna is removed, or pinching the pinna. Also, there is no "10KHz notch" present either, and instead there is unusual activation in that region. The result would probably be a soundstage that is perceived to be relatively large, but unnatural and located inside the head as opposed to in-front.

6.1 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
16.151
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
27.954

The harmonic distortion performance is mediocre. The overall level of THD is elevated throughout the range, especially around 6KHz where due to high distortion that region could sound a bit harsh and fatiguing, especially on vocals. On the upside, the THD in the bass range remains constant even under heavier loads.

6.1

Isolation

Score components:

The Beoplay H9 cancel an average amount of noise with their ANC but do not always create the best seal around your ears. They're mediocre at blocking low-frequency noise, and you will hear the ambient chatter on a bus or train ride if you can't get a good seal with the circular ear cups. This also makes them a little leaky so you may distract the people around you at higher volumes, but on the upside, getting the right fit will improve both the leakage and noise isolation performance.

6.3 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-15.37 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-6.43 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-13.13 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-27.09 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
17.05 dB

The isolation performance is about average. With their ANC (active noise cancelling) enabled, they achieved about 6dB of isolation in the bass range, which is mediocre. This means they won't be able to cancel out the rumble of bus and airplane engines quite effectively. In the mid-range, which is important for blocking out speech, the Beoplay H9 achieved about 13dB of isolation, which is above-average. In the treble range, we had difficulty getting a perfect seal on our dummy head, and the H9 only achieved 27dB of isolation. This is an above-average result, but with a better seal their performance could be improved by 3-4dB in treble.

5.9 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
45.62 dB

The leakage performance is sub-par. The significant portion of the leakage is spread between 400Hz and 12KHz, which is a broad range. This means the leakage will sound rather full-bodied. The overall level of leakage, however, not very loud. With the music 100dB SPL, the leakage peaks at 60dB SPL at a foot away, which is just above the noise floor of most offices.

6.1

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The microphone of the Beoplay H9 is mediocre. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with it will sound relatively thin. It will also sound noticeably muffled and lacking in detail, but will still be easy to understand. In noisy environments, they will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud places like a busy street or a loud office.

6.2 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
269.09 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
4.03 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3517.32 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
27.912
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
32.07 dB

The integrated microphone is mediocre. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 269Hz means that speech recorded/transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.5KHz indicates a speech transmission that is somewhat muffled and lacking in detail. However, it'll still be decently intelligible. Lastly, the bump around 700Hz could make speech a bit honky sounding.

6.0 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
B&O PLAY H9 SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
11.22 dB

The mic is mediocre at noise handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 11dB, indicating it is best suited for quiet environments, as the Beoplay H9 may struggle to separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud places.

6.5

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Beoplay H9 have a decent battery life and a moderately customizable app. They lasted up to 13.5 hours with ANC enabled, so you can squeeze a bit more battery life if you don't need as much noise canceling on your commutes. However, they do take quite a while to charge and do not have a quick charge feature like the Beats Studio3 Wireless, which makes them a bit less convenient if you forget to plug them in overnight. On the upside, the Beoplay app has a preset/graphic equalizer that lets you customize the sound profile as well as enable/disable noise canceling. Unfortunately, it doesn't give you as many options as the Sennheiser Captune app with the PXC 550 Wireless.

6.5 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
13.5 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2.9 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

These headphones have a decent battery life that should last you throughout a day of moderate-to-heavy use but take quite long to charge. Unfortunately, they do not switch off automically when they are paired to a Bluetooth source so the power will continue to drain unless you switch off the headphones. On the upside, you can also use them while they're charging and passively if battery completely runs out which is pretty convenient.

6.5 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
B&O PLAY H9 App Picture
App Name : Beoplay
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Presets
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
Yes
Mic Control : No
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
Yes
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The H9 support the Beoplay app which offers moderate customization options but does not feel as feature packed as some of the other apps that we've tested for similarly designed headphones. They provide an in-app player, battery data, and a preset EQ that lets you chose between different intensities of 4 set sound profiles; Warm, excited, relaxed and bright. This lets you somewhat personalize the sound profile of the headphones but not like the PXC 550 Wireless or the Parrot Zik 3.

5.3

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Beoplay H9 cannot pair simultaneously with multiple devices and do not supports NFC but come with a regular audio cable as a secondary connection option. They have a good wireless range and they're fairly easy to pair thanks to their dedicated power/Bluetooth sync switch. Unfortunately, like most Bluetooth headphones they have a bit too much latency when used wirelessly, so they won't be the best headphones for watching a lot of video content and gaming.

6.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

The H9 do not support NFC or multi-device paring. On the upside, they have a dedicated Bluetooth pairing switch like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II which makes pairing to new devices fairly easy.

7.2 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : iOS
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

These headphones come with a simple audio cable with no in-line remote or USB adapter. They do not have a mic that is compatible with consoles or PC when using them wired.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want a good sounding headphone with a dock/base for watching movies and gaming, check out the Astro A50.

8.0 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
39 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
117 ft

The Beoplay H9 have a decent wireless range and reached up to 39ft when the Bluetooth source was in another room and up to 122ft in direct line of sight. This makes them a solid option for moderately sized offices but their range is not as good as some of the other wireless over-ears we've tested like the Beats Studio3 Wireless or the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2.

2.4 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
193 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The H9 have 193ms of latency. While this is about average for most Bluetooth headphones with no additional low latency codecs, it's not ideal for watching videos and gaming. If you need to watch a lot of video content then it's better to use them wired.

In the box

B&O PLAY H9 In the box Picture

  • B&O Play H9 headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Airline adapter
  • Carrying case
  • USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

B&O PLAY H9 Compare Picture

The Beoplay H9 are high-end headphones with a great build quality that feels durable while staying relatively lightweight. They have a decent sound quality that packs a lot of bass, they're comfortable and they're easy to use with a unique touch-sensitive control scheme. Unfortunately, they do not have the best noise isolation which won't be ideal for daily commuters and frequent flyers. They're also quite pricey for an overall performance that's on par if not lower than most of the headphones compared below. See our recommendations for the best wireless over-ear headphones

Bowers & Wilkins PX

The Bowers & Wilkins PX are slightly better headset than the BeoPlay H9. The PX have stronger noise isolation which makes them a bit more suitable for loud and quieter conditions like commuting or being at the office. They also have a slightly more premium looking build quality. On the upside, the B&O H9 have an easier to use and more casual design than the PX. They also pack more bass and have a customizable sound profile which feels lacking in the PX's app support.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a minor update to the Bose QuietComfort 35 with a better control over noise cancellation and Google Assitant built-in. They're still one of the best noise-canceling headphones we've tested and isolate much better than the Beoplay H9. They're a bit more comfortable, they sound better and they're easier to use too.  However, they do not look as high-end and aren't as well built as the H9 and you sound can't customize their sound since their app has no EQ. If build quality and a premium design are what you value most, then get the Beoplays, but for everything else, the Bose perform better.

Sony WH-1000XM2

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are good-sounding and well-built wireless headphones. They are better at isolating than the Beoplay H9 and the Bose QuietComfort 35. They also have a well-balanced sound and a good build quality on par with the design of the B&Os but they're a bit bulkier and do not look as good. If you need more isolation for your busy commutes then the Sony's are the best option but if you find the design of the WH-1000XM2 to be a bit clunky and cumbersome then get the H9 instead. 

Beats Studio3 Wireless

The Studio3 Wireless are the updated version of the Studio Wireless design. They have better isolation thanks to their adaptive noise canceling, an above-average sound quality and a comfortable over-ear fit. They sound a bit more balanced than the B&Os out-of-the-box and have a better battery life and wireless range thanks to the W1 chip. Their fit is also a bit more stable for the gym with oval ear cups which some may find a bit more comfortable than the H9. However, their dynamic audio reproduction tends to sound a bit inconsistent at times and they do not benefit from an app to allow for customization options but on the upside, they're cheaper than the Beoplays for about the same performance.

B&O PLAY H6

The Beoplay H6 are the wired version of the H9. They have the same design and build quality but they're slightly lighter. They also sound a bit more balanced with a tamer bass-range that doesn't overpower some of the instruments and vocals in the mid-range. However, since they're wired they won't be as convenient for day-to-day casual use as the H9s. If you do not need a wireless headset but still like the polished and premium feel of the B&O series, then the H6 are a decent alternative to the H9 that's cheaper and sound slightly better. However, you can always EQ the H9 to sound a bit more like the H6 since they benefit from the Beoplay app support.

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Conclusion

6.6Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Decent for mixed usage. The Beoplay H9 have a premium design and a high-end build quality that's comfortable and easy-to-use. They have a decent sound quality that doesn't quite sound as good as the H6 but they support the Beoplay app so you can EQ them to reduce some of the overpowering bass. However, this means they won't be the ideal headphones for more critical listeners and their weak isolation does not block a lot of noise so they won't be the best headphones for loud environments or commuting. They're also a bit too unstable for sports and have a lot of latency when used wirelessly.
6.9Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Decent for critical listening. They have an exciting bass-heavy sound that may be right for some listeners but won't be ideal for more critical listening. On the upside, you can somewhat EQ them with their provided app, but they do not sound as balanced as the H6 out of the box. Also, since they're closed-back headphones, their soundstage is a bit limited. Overall they should sound good enough for most listeners but if you consider yourself an audiophile then the excess bass and recessed mid and treble ranges will be an issue.
6.7Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Decent for commuting. The noise cancellation is strong enough to use on public transit, but the circular ear pads do not always create the best seal, so you will hear whats going on around you on loud, noisy commutes. They're also a bit bulky to carry around since they do not fold. On the upside, they're easy to use and comfortable.
6.6Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Average for sports. They're comfortable and easy to use with a decent control scheme. They're also wireless and relatively lightweight for an over-ear. However, they're not the most stable headphones for more intense exercises and they will make your ears fairly warm and sweaty after a good 30 minutes of working out.
6.9Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Above-average for office use. They're comfortable and have a decent noise isolation performance. However, the ear cups do not always seal the ear properly so you will hear a bit of ambient chatter in a lively office and they leak which may be distracting to your colleagues especially in a quiet environment.
5.7TV
Score components:
Mediocre-at-best for home theater. The Beoplay H9 have a lot of latency so they won't be ideal for watching videos but they have a decent sound and a good wireless range. They're also very comfortable and come with a simple audio cable if you want to use them wired to reduce latency. However, the cable is relatively short so you may need an extension cord.
5.4Gaming
Score components:
Below-average for gaming. These headphones are comfortable, have they a good wireless range, and they're easy to use. Unfortunately, they have a mediocre mic that is not compatible with consoles, they're not as customizable as most gaming headsets, and the high latency will be a deal breaker for gaming.

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