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I recently had the opportunity to buy the B&O H6 (2nd generation) (or Beoplay H6 as Bang & Olufsen calls them) for a good price(maybe because they are soon to be discontinued). I was on a lookout for a new portable headphone to replace my Soundmagic HP150 which has great sounds but too big to be carried around. My final choice came down to both the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 and the Beoplay H6.
This main lead in the review today will be the H6 as I have already reviewed the Momentum 2.
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- Beautiful design with quality leather and aluminum
- A very portable headphone
- Overall balanced sound without major tonality flaws
- No carrying case included
- So-so headband comfort for long listenings
- Cheap cable not up standard for a headphone of this brand and price
- Less midbass and more lower/upper-mids would have made them even more balanced (but more boring ?)
The B&O H6 is nicely designed. The round earpads are made of lambskin leather and on the inside, some extremely thin material with the right and left indication. They are not spacious or deep. It is definitely on the small side of the « over-ear / circum » category.
The exterior of the cups are made of aluminum and displays the B&O logo on that shiny surface. The articulation of the ear cups is a solid metal structure that feels very durable and allows the cups to swivel, but contrary to most headphones, it swivels towards you and not the opposite direction.
And next, we come to the headband which is made of cow leather on top and fabric under. The padding on the parts that touch the head is very very thin, approximatively 2-3mm. It makes me skeptical about comfort for long sessions.
The B&O H6 comes with a simple 1.2m cable that has the inline buttons with iOS support. The B&O H6 cable isn’t gold plated. As far as I know, there are no Android compatible versions available. After having owned several closed cans in that price range, I had come to the conclusion that most of these headphones are given basic cables that have a limited durability.
The cable are detachable on both sides, and the angled position of the insertion makes them a bit more resistant to movements, although there is no locking system.
Zero accessories included. No case. Why, B&O? These H6 are definitely real nomadic headphones. The passive sound isolation is great and it weighs less than 250g. They should come with a traveling case in the box. I watched some unboxings videos of the H6 and I saw that a storage pouch was included for some. Mysteriously, mine didn’t come with it.
I am always not that confident when it comes to trying on portable closed pair for the first time. This is due to the fact that I just have had better experiences with big open-back models that are for home use. The B&O H6 will not change that. Global comfort is good but not great.
Although the earpads are small, I surprisingly have no issues with them. My ears fit correctly and I did not encounter any problems related to their shallow depth or width. The seal is good and natural, with no need to be careful about their position on the head.
The headband, however, has room for improvement. It is stiff and there is not enough padding: I had some hotspot after ½ to 1 hour of listening. I don’t understand why manufacturers don’t put thicker and softer padding for their headband. It won’t compromise the sound quality, unlike adding padding in the inside of the earpads, just above the driver.
After one day of listening, I was impressed by their sound. I find the presentation very balanced which is uncommon in this price range of closed cans. Not only is the frequency response nice, it also has great impact and dynamics for its price.
Bass is definitely on the punchier side with lots of power in the mid-bass region (80-120 hz), even a bit more than the Momentum 2.0. The extension under 80 hz is present and manages to keep a minimum level of quality although it will rolls off at around 40 hz.
There is, however, some “boominess” on bass-heavy tracks. The mids are not recessed or pushed forward but there is a lack of presence in the lower region which is kind of filled up by the stronger-than-average bass. The H6 does not give a sense of warmth in the overall tonality but keeps some body thanks to the bass.
Mids are nicely integrated. The upper-mids / lower-treble area has a bit of roll off which allows punchy tracks in these frequencies to sound pleasant and not harsh.
Highs are maybe the best I’ve heard in a sealed headphone in that price range, they are simply there without sounding hard on any music I listen to. They don’t sound grainy or artificial either. There is some enjoyable presence at around 8-10 khz that never irritates my ears.
The soundstage is decent, better than the Momentum 2.0 but behind the 2 best closed pairs I have heard in terms of openness for less than $ 300: the AKG K550 and the Soundmagic HP150.
One last note: They require a bit more power than the average closed when I plug them. I could not find exact sensibility/impedance specs, some people say 32 Ohm, others 40 Ohm, and no real measurements found for the sensitivity. They are still well amped from most DAPs and smartphones but maybe could benefit from some external amplification.
Use the headphone power calculator to check out if your device can power the Beoplay H6 sufficiently.
Admittedly, I did have some prejudices against B&O – thinking that they were only making expensive products with the wrong focus (design and materials over sound quality). But I was proven wrong (at least for the headphones).
At under 300$, the B&O H6 is a great option.
It gives a balanced tonality with nice resolution which will sound pleasing to most people. Of course, it is beautiful to look at. My only disappointments come in the form of the cheap cable and the lack of accessories.