Disclaimer: The B&O Beoplay H6 was sent to me as a review sample and it will go back to B&O, in fact it already has been returned.
B&O You Say?
When I first read the Press Release about the B&O Beoplay H6 (and H3), the first thing that crossed my mind was “ probably another fashion headphone…” but it had to be more coming from B&O, no? I’ve always been a fan of the B&O design since I was a kid but until now I was a B&O virgin. I have never listened to any B&O gear and have never heard the B&O house sound, if they even have one (headphones). Somewhere in my mind I’ve always had the idea that B&O sound was good and this was my chance to find out.
So yes, a fashion headphone is maybe what I expected and when just checking out just the “looks”, this of course is a very stylish headphone. Design headphones are popular these days, unfortunately lots of companies forget to tune the drivers properly as well. In this case, luckily, I can already say that’s not the case, after having listened to the H6 it was clear this was more than just a fashion statement.
The 230gr light H6, which is available in 2 colors, is a really nice looking headphone. I quite like this closed headphone, it’s not too “show-off”, has a sharp design, pretty logo and not too many colors. It’s classy. Materials used are real leather (headband), lamb skin (pads) and aluminum. Finish is extraordinary on the headphone and the box is nice but you’re only getting a pouch and a useless (?) flight adapter as extras. Personally I prefer the lighter color scheme. When I announced this review on our Facebook page the first reactions were about the design before someone asked for the sound quality, so I guess looks nowadays matter to a lot of people. The over ear pads are not the biggest and your ears will always touch the pads or the driver padding. But strangely enough you can wear them for hours without them bugging or hurting you, they’re quite comfortable.
Wait, do I really like everything about this unit then so far? Well no, not really. I have one big issue with the 1.2m cable, well make that 2. First of all this is a double connect cable using the “Monster Music Link”. That means you can connect one H6 to another one and listen to just one source. While I can see where that idea comes from I can’t imagine doing this or seeing this on the streets. I guess it’s a nice extra to have but what really frustrates me about the cable is that it has a mic control, making it impossible to use with all of my desktop amps at home. Of course the good people from B&O don’t expect you to do this but to a reviewer this really sucks. On top of that the connectors are so small I could find another cable that fit. The only cool cable related thing is that you can disconnect the cable and you can choose if you want left or right ear entry, quite handy.
Only the basic technicalities of the H6 are known: it has 30Ohm slightly angled 40mm drivers with a frequency range of 20 to 22.000Hz and a bass port.
Do I Like The B&O H6 Sound?
It is clear the version I received was not new, as you will probably notice in the pictures the headphone already had some signs of use. However our colleagues who had the unit before us (no I will not say who it was) mustn’t have listened to it a lot because the H6 sound changed considerably after a few days.
Because of the cable issue I couldn’t connect the H6 to a decent full sized desktop amp, as a result the sound part will exist out of three parts: general sound of the H6, different portable setup impressions and some comparisons to the COP, Momentum and the DT770AE.
Bass on the H6 is prominent, especially the lower bass. Upper bass could be more present (like in the Momentum). Bass goes really deep and it has a good punch with good detail. The headphone’s bass and mids are tilting to the warmer side of the spectrum and are smooth sounding. The mids section however is lighter and the voicing is thinner which quite surprises me. It’s very obvious with female voices like Melody Gardot, Lisa Ekdahl, Lana Del Ray, Dani Klein etc but it’s noticeable with all music. So you get smooth, musical yet thinner mids with a lighter voicing. It is a very special combination and it doesn’t make the H6 easy to describe in sound. Treble is pretty good to be honest, sure it is not at the level of Beyerdynamic in example but it is pretty detailed and extended.
Sound stage is medium to good but it is fairly centric sounding or “between the head”. Left-right separation is good on the other hand, something I always appreciate in a headphone. Detail retrieval is good from low to highs, I’ve heard a lot of headphones with less detail (the fun COP in example). The H6 isn’t a slow sounding headphone, speed and attack are good and the overall sound is very clear.
Portable impressions on the next page