B&O’s lambskin-swaddled H7 wireless headphones are cheaper, but not cheap

The BeoPlay H8 headphones have been a pretty big hit for Bang & Olufsen. Despite their lofty $500 price tag, the Danish-made cans have found a loyal audience among those willing to pay big bucks for luxury audio done right. Now B&O is back with the $450 BeoPlay H7, a wireless headphone which appears to be a direct descendant of its bigger brother, but without the active noise cancelling feature (and $50 lopped of the purchase price.) This led us to wonder: Why bother? If you’re OK paying over $400 for a pair of fine headphones, is the extra $50 really going to give you pause, or wouldn’t you rather pony up the extra cheddar for the highly desirable noise-cancelling feature?

Turns out, there’s more to it than that. The H7 will last a good 6 hours longer on a charge for a total of 20 hours play time, and for many, that makes a whole lot more sense than a feature that’s primarily aimed at frequent flyers. Also, the H7 is a slightly larger over-ear headphone, whereas the more expensive H8 is considered an on-ear headphone.

The look

If you’ve ever checked out the BeoPlay H8 before, then you’ve more or less seen the H7. The same premium construction and materials are in play, including soft lambskin wrapped around memory foam earpads and machined aluminum hardware. The underside of the H7’s headband is wrapped with tightly woven fabric, while the headband’s outer surface is banded in well-stitched leather. The H7 are by no means a flashy headphone, but gleaming aluminum earcups manage to catch the eye from across the room, calling attention to an entirely classy looking set of headgear

The feel

The H7 manage to feel as luxurious as they look, right down to the included accessories. The cloth carrying case is so silky-soft, you’ll want a set of bed sheets made of the same material. Even the included USB charging cable and headphone cable are finished in that soft silicone stuff they like to cover everything with these days.

When you put the H7 on, it’s impossible not to feel like you’re wearing a premium piece of headgear. Though we were concerned a serious lack of headband padding might result in uncomfortable wear right off the bat, we were pleased to find out the H7 pair just the right amount of clamping force with squishy enough earpads that very little of the headphones’ 9.9 oz. weight is exerted on the wearer’s crown — it takes a good two hours or so before you’ll want to take a break.

The features

The BeoPlay H7, like the H8, come with touch controls embedded in the metal surface of their right earcup. Using a simple swipe of the finger, listeners can advance or back up a track, pause and play, answer and disconnect phone calls. Using a swirling motion, users can also adjust volume up or down, much like turning the volume dial on amplifier.

Perhaps the most practical — and surprisingly rare — feature here is the use of a removable 770 mAh Lithium-ion battery. The battery lasts approximately 20 hours as it is, but for convenience, B&O makes it possible to tote around a spare battery and swap it in as necessary. Replacement batteries are available at Bang & Olufsen’s website, but the battery type is pretty commonly used in compact digital cameras and could easily be ordered through other online retailers (quality may vary).

Wireless connectivity is courtesy of a Bluetooth 4.1 chip compatible with both aptX and AAC for improved sound quality on compatible devices. An on-board microphone makes it possible to accept phone calls without missing a beat. When a call comes through, music is paused until the call is over, then picks up where you left off. An included headphone cable allows listening with no battery at all when necessary, but doesn’t include an inline microphone.

The fun

It’s a fact: The BeoPlay H7 are a fun headphone to listen to, and that’s highlighted by the fact that they offer well above-average noise isolation.

Starting at the foundation, the H7’s bass is deep, spot-on in terms of tonality, and never over-bloated. In fact, if there’s a push in the bass at all, it isn’t easily perceived. The H7 present a very even-tempered hand across the frequency spectrum which extends into the lower midrange, where we often expect to hear a bit of push in an effort make a headphone sound bigger than it really is. Thankfully, the BeoPlay H7 exhibit none of that tell-tale sign, treating us to a seamless integration of thump-y kick drum and nimble electric bass.

The midrange exhibits just the slightest bit of pinch, and that rears its head in the form of ever-so-slightly recessed vocals. Tracks during which we expected to hear breathy voices right in our heads seemed to come from a short distance away. It’s nothing to get upset about, but those who like very intimate sounding vocals will want to be aware.

Oh, but the treble! Talk about outstanding upper midrange and treble response. The texture of brass, strings, and percussion are reproduced with exciting attacks and transient response. This is where the H7 tend to dazzle, while the bass response excites and energizes.

In other words: The H7 are refined enough for serious listening, and energizing enough for plain old fun.


With so many outstanding headphones out there under $300, it can be hard to justify laying down $450. But the BeoPlay H7 reward the added expenditure with luxury, class, and first-rate sound. We’ll be keeping the H7 around for a while as a comparison to other headphones, because with class-leading battery life, distinctive style, a comfortable fit, and stellar sound, Bang & Olufsen’s latest headphone effort sets the bar enviably high for others in the luxury headphone space.

Product Review

Powerbeats3 wireless headphones are all about that bass, and not much else

With the new Powerbeats Pro grabbing headlines, it’s worth taking a look back at Beats’ previous flagship wireless earbuds. Do these popular, bass-happy workout buds still deserve your consideration?
Home Theater

From home theater to home studio, these are the best speakers you can buy

Whether you’re looking for a spiffy surround sound setup or a small system to listen to Spotify, a great pair of speakers can make all the difference. These are the best speakers in all shapes and sizes.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Home Theater

Beats Powerbeats Pro: Everything you need to know about the earphones

Apple will release a fully wireless pair of earphones in May from its Beats brand. The Powerbeats Pro earphones have impressive features to compete with the AirPods, along with a litany of other options. Here's everything we know.
Home Theater

Don’t cash in that 401(k)! These are the best 4K TVs you can get for under $500

These days, you can land a pretty epic 4K TV for under $500. Still, sorting through the litany of options online can be both time-consuming and overwhelming. Check out our list of the best 4K TVs under $500 to cut through the clutter.
Product Review

Sony’s Z9G paints a bright, beautiful future for 8K TVs

The Sony Z9G 85-inch 8K TV is majestic to behold. No doubt, this TV is a looker, and you’ll know what we mean when you see it. Does this TV make sense, though? Should you buy it? We have the answers.
Home Theater

Roland’s Amazon-exclusive BTM-1 Bluetooth speaker doubles as a guitar amp

Roland, long known for its many digital instruments, has made an Amazon-exclusive Bluetooth speaker for musicians on the go. With a guitar cable input and overdrive effect, it might be the perfect portable rig for guitarists.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Six sensational subwoofers that will shake any room on any budget

Whether you're a film buff or a music junkie, sometimes you just need to go lower. Luckily, we've put together a guide to the best subwoofers, so you can feel your favorite movies instead of just hearing them.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa knows where you live, lab-grown meat, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss how Amazon Alexa's audit team has access to locations, additions to Verizon's 5G road map, the future of food technology, a review of Sony's 8K TV, and more.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.