Bang & Olufsen is an important force in the headphone world, and for good reason. Not only do they offer headphones that look great, but they sound excellent too. The company is perhaps best-known for its high-quality over-ear headphones, but it makes plenty of in-ear headphones too — like the B&O Beoplay H5 in-ear headphones.
Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve looked at B&O’s headphones — we also had a chance to review the Beoplay H6, Beoplay H4, and Beoplay H9 headphones, all with good results. Can the B&O Beoplay H5 headphones live up to the B&O name? We put them to the test to find out.
The first thing you’ll notice about the B&O Beoplay H5 headphones is their design, and they look quite good. While they offer a different form-factor, there’s no mistaking the fact that these are built from the same company that builds its high-quality over-ear headphones.
The in-ear units are actually quite large, and on the end of each unit you’ll find a metallic circle with the B&O logo, which helps give the headphones quite a premium look. The headphones are available in a few different colors — Charcoal Sand, Black, Moss Green, and Dusty Rose. All of the different colors look great, and we’re reviewing the Dusty Rose model.
Part-way down the cable, you’ll find a small remote, which is a basic three-button setup. The remote looks fine, but it was a little confusing to use considering you can’t see it — while there are markers on the back that you can feel, the markers for each button are the same, so you may need to do some feeling around to find the right button.
Not only do the headphones look quite good, but they’re well-built too. Rather than a basic plastic cable, the headphones feature a nice, strong braided nylon cable, and while the in-ear units are made from plastic, it’s a nice, strong plastic that doesn’t seem like it will break at any time soon.
In the box, you’ll find a nice slew of accessories, including a cloth carry pouch, a total of four pairs of silicon ear tips, and three pairs of memory foam tips. You’ll also get a propriety charging cable, which acts kind of like a dock. That’s how the headphones charge, rather than using a microUSB connection that might add a little extra bulk to the headphones themselves.
As mentioned, the B&O Beoplay H5 headphones are somewhat large, but does that have a big impact on the comfort level of the headphones? Well, a little. But thankfully, not too much.
When you first pop the headphones in your ears, you will notice their presence, and their size. As time goes on, however, the comfort level seriously increases, to the point where you eventually won’t notice that your wearing them. Not only that, but the slew of included silicon and memory foam tips also seriously increases how comfortable these headphones are, and we strongly recommend going through the tips to find the right ones for you.
In general, while the in-ear units are pretty large, they’re more comfortable than you might assume, and B&O has included plenty of ear tips to ensure as high comfort as possible.
So the headphones look good and are reasonably comfortable — but how do they sound? Unsurprisingly considering the fact that this is B&O, they sound great.
Let’s start with the bass, which is extremely strong and powerful. The headphones offer plenty of bass that should be enough for even mega-bass fans, and while some might find the amount of bass a little much, it generally sounds quite good here, especially on bass-heavy songs. It also adds a little extra oomph to non bass-heavy songs, like AC/DC’s Back In Black.
The midrange is also quite well tuned. Now, it’s important to note that these headphones are not built for purists out there — the sound is heavily altered, but it’s altered to sound good to the average person. In these headphones some of that take the form of a slightly scooped high-mids, and there’s a good amount of low-mids to help make the sound reasonably warm.
The high-end is crisp and concise, and B&O has done a good job at ensuring that the highs aren’t overpowering or piercing.
The soundstage on the headphones is decent, and they generally don’t distort easily unless at unreasonably high volumes.
The B&O Beoplay H5 headphones connect to your device through Bluetooth, and they offer a pretty standard Bluetooth 4.2 connection. Through that connection you’ll get a range of around 10m or 33ft, and while we didn’t always get that distance they did reasonably find compared to other headphones.
The battery life on the headphones sits in at 5 hours, which is a little disappointing. Normally, we would expect a little more in the 7-8 hour range for wireless in-ear headphones, so you’ll want to ensure that you’re good at keeping everything charged up before you pull the trigger on these.
The B&O Beoplay H5 headphones are an excellent offering from B&O, but they’re not perfect. While they look good and sound good, there are a few small comfort quirks, and the battery life could be a lot better. Not only that, but they’re pretty expensive, coming in at $250.
If you’re in the market for wireless in-ear headphones and sound quality is the most important thing, then these are great headphones. In fact, because of that, we’ve awarded these headphones with the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||6.4mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||5 hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 4.2||Cable length||N/A|
||No||Case type||Soft pouch|