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Sony WH-1000XM4 killer revealed — and it's crazy expensive

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95
(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones really impressed us in our review, effectively becoming the noise-cancelling headphones to beat. But Bang & Olufsen looks set to take them on with the new Beoplay H95 headphones. 

Sporting smart oval-shaped ear cups swaddled in “soft lambskin”, the headphones have a luxurious design synonymous with Bang & Olufsen audio gear. However, there’s a but and it’s a big one: the Beoplay H95 will cost an enormous $800. 

In comparison, the Sony WH-1000XM4 are half that at $349.99, which is still a rather lofty price tag for a pair of over-ear wireless headphones.The previous Beoplay H9 cost a hefty $500, so B&O has a track record for creating rather expensive headphones. 

The Beoplay H95 were created to celebrate B&O’s 95th birthday, so the price factors in the fact that these headphones are a special edition set of cans. That explains the use of animal leather and an aluminum carry case rather than a fabric one. 

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95

(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

For such a high price, the Beoplay H95 are offering active noise-cancellation that can be dialled in using a rotary control on the left earcup, while a similar dial that sits on the right controls volume. That should make fine tuning the volume and noise filtering of the Beoplay H95 a lot easier than trying to adjust it with small buttons on the ear cups or with swipes on touch-sensitive panels. 

B&O claims its ANC is the “most advanced” of any of its headphones to date. And the noise cancellation works with the passive noise blocking provided by the headphones’ design to keep out noise in all manner of environments. 

The headphones will use 40mm titanium drivers with neodymium magnets mounted in the enclosures to aid with air displacement to improve bass response. And Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, support for aptX Adaptive and AAC should ensure a high-level of sound quality and solid connectivity. 

Finally, 38 hours of playback has been touted by B&O, which should mean the Beoplay H95 outlasts the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones. We’d need to put them to the test to be sure. But we shouldn't have to wait too long as you can buy the Beoplay H95 from B&O’s website right now or in physical stores on September 10. 

  • Dawsnow
    Is the 38 hour battery with or without anc on? Sony xm4s have a 38 hour battery life with anc off.
    Reply
  • Tim Beauchêne
    Dawsnow said:
    Is the 38 hour battery with or without anc on? Sony xm4s have a 38 hour battery life with anc off.

    B&O H95 headphones have a battery life of 50 hours with ANC off, and 38 hours with ANC on. I received mine two days ago and they beat the Sony XM4s hands down on sound quality (exquisite), battery life, design, superb comfort and build quality. These are simply in a different league.
    I've just ordered a 2nd pair as my wife keeps dragging them off my head. She's a concert pianist and she says the sound quality is like actually being there, playing with the orchestra - she said it's almost surreal it's so fantastic.
    To be honest, for what these do, the £700 price is incredibly reasonable. After using these, nothing else will do - the pleasure they give is priceless.
    Reply
  • isaachaze1
    Tim Beauchêne said:
    B&O H95 headphones have a battery life of 50 hours with ANC off, and 38 hours with ANC on. I received mine two days ago and they beat the Sony XM4s hands down on sound quality (exquisite), battery life, design, superb comfort and build quality. These are simply in a different league.
    I've just ordered a 2nd pair as my wife keeps dragging them off my head. She's a concert pianist and she says the sound quality is like actually being there, playing with the orchestra - she said it's almost surreal it's so fantastic.
    To be honest, for what these do, the £700 price is incredibly reasonable. After using these, nothing else will do - the pleasure they give is priceless.
    It's very hard to find any decent review of these for some reason. I'm curious how the ANC compares to the XM4s. I'm curious how sound compares to my wired headphone such as Grado RS2es I've been using a lot lately and Sennheiser HD 800 s. Black is not available right now, so I'm waiting (yes, I have a LOT of headphones, and sort of a junkie). Your comment is helpful.
    Reply
  • Tim Beauchêne
    Reviews are hard to find because they've only just launched and were sold out in 5 hours.
    One review you might like to see is from GQ magazine: https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/lifestyle/article/bang-and-olufsen-beoplay-h95-reviewI don't agree with all of it, so many journalists get bogged down on price however justified in terms of performance and quality. To say these are expensive is like saying an Aston Martin is expensive - yeah, but look at what you get.
    I am also a headphone junkie (now reformed after getting these). I also have the same Grado and Sennheisers you mention. No comparison. The ANC is also far superior to the Sony XM4s.
    One thing I didn't expect was how pleasurable the ring adjustments are to use (Vol on rt and ANC on left ear). You might think this is a small thing but when you have them, you'll see what I mean. The engineering is so, so great.
    B&O offer a 30 day money back guarantee so you could try them and return them if not blown away. I'd lay money that you won't be sending these back.
    I've ordered a second pair for myself as I can't get them of my wife now. I find you soon forget the cost but the pleasure lasts for years.
    Reply
  • isaachaze1
    I did read the GQ review and every other review I can find plus the reviews on youtube (which are crap). Jim's Review Room on YT is usually pretty good, but he hasn't done a review of anything in a while. Tyler from Innerfidelity was the best, but he's retired. I think the reviewers make sure they talk about how expensive they are so as not to alienate the people who are going to scream bloody murder about the price. I'm surprised to hear about the superior ANC to XM4s. I have the xm4s and QC35s and really anxious to do my own comparisons for the ANC and sound quality compared to good wired headphones.
    I thought the grey one are still available on the site, but I have not actually tried to purchase them (getting non-black is not an option for me anyway) . I have requested to get an email notification from B&O when the black ones become available. Your input is appeciated.
    Reply