B&O Release H6 and H3 Headphones
On Wednesday May 8th, 2013, B&O announced the release of the H6 over-ear headphone ($399) and H3 in-ear monitor ($249). Long known as a lifestyle brand that embraces both excellent sound and excellent design, B&O’s H6 and H3s promise no different.
Nicolaj Shabtai, Category Manager for B&O Play, explained the products’ three priorities: "outstanding sound, design for life & style, and quality materials." Blueprinted by Danish designer Jakob Wagner, the elegant and plush H6 is available in both black and natural leather. The leather comes from free running cows in New Zealand. Why free running? The absence of barbed wire on the range leaves the cowhide unscathed resulting in an ultra-smooth headband. Earpads are made of memory foam covered in soft sheepskin. The burnished aluminum on the outsides of the earcups and headband extensions glimmer. The H6 utilizes 40mm drivers and passive noise cancelling.
The H6 features a cable input in each earcup allowing the user to choose from what side they want the cable to extend. Uniquely, users can also daisy chain a second set of headphones by connecting them to the unused input allowing two people to hear the music at the same time.
The H3 in-ear monitor, also designed by Jakob Wagner, utilizes a 10.8mm driver and ventilated earpiece made of a single piece of milled aluminum. It comes with a convenient carrying case that includes a peg around which the user can wrap their cable.
In my short experience with the H6 over-ears, I was very impressed with their comfort and open sound. The headband slid silently and smoothly down and across my head. The headphones were incredibly lightweight and comfortable. The H6s exhibited a wide and relaxed sound and bass with extended decay. Like B&O's industrial design, the sound was based on clarity of lines, unobtrusiveness, and ease.
Concerned with their previous image of exclusivity and high price, B&O and the B&O Play lineup is trying to fight that reputation with affordable and accessible products that meet both aesthetic and sonic excellence. As a result, they hope to reach the "urban creative professional" as well as women. The H6 and H3 will be available online and in any of their 650 stores worldwide by July 2013.