What are they?
A super-premium and extremely stylish way to cut yourself off from the world.
The sophisticated styling, futuristic controls and clear, detailed sound was all well and good but the noise-cancelling technology fast became my favourite feature.
Distracting office chatter all but disappeared and the H8's passed the aeroplane test with flying colours, eliminating horrendous engine noise almost entirely and allowing me to settle comfortably into my in-flight movie with the volume set at an appropriately ear-safe level. I never want to fly without them again. Which is unfortunate as the review pair got returned last week...
But how do they sound? Damn good. Which, to be honest, is what you expect after paying a premium price for a premium product from a premium hi-fi company like B&O.
The sound was well balanced and detailed with no obvious colouring. The high end wasn't harsh or overpowering and there was plenty of bass to head-nod along to. The sound was pleasingly warm and I never suffered any ear fatigue.
How do they work?
You can go old-school and plug directly into your music playing device using the included headphone jack or you can ditch the cable and stream your tunes via bluetooth.
Even with bluetooth and noise-cancelling both on I never ran out of juice, the battery delivering a whopping 14 hours of playback. If you're going to be away from a power outlet for a few days you can also easily swap in a spare.
I loved using the hidden controls on the right ear cup. Some quick swipes meant I never had to fiddle with my phone to do basic things like adjust volume or skip/replay tracks.
A swish touch was the built-in mic, allowing me to receive calls (music playback automatically stops) and natter away while my phone stayed tucked away in my pocket.
Any downsides? These are slightly heavier than standard headphones. But my biggest gripe is that the small ear cups rest on your ears instead of cosily enveloping them. They're well-padded and comfortable for a good few hours, but after protracted listening sessions throughout the work day my ears would be noticeably tender and a little sore. This, however, is more a fault of on-ear cups in general as opposed to the H8s in particular.
Okay, so how much are they? Pricey. All this luxury styling and sweet, sweet tech doesn't come cheap. You'll be dropping about $880 on these. Expensive, but there's a lot to like about these headphones and not a lot to h8.