Bang & Olufsen is back today with a new pair of Bluetooth headphones that it’s calling the Beoplay HX. Like many products we’ve seen introduced in recent months, the Beoplay HX are at least partially aimed at folks who are working at home during the pandemic, and perhaps may be permanently working from home after it’s over. If you’re looking for a competitor to Apple’s AirPods Max, these could very well be it.
That’s because the Beoplay HX are priced similarly to the AirPods Max, with Bang & Olufsen sticking a $499 price tag on these cans (the AirPods Max have a slightly higher MSRP at $550). Bang & Olufsen has outfitted the Beoplay HX with adaptive active noise cancellation and say that the headphones’ “premium materials and a close-fitting design” give them a degree of sound isolation that prevents others from hearing what you’re listening to.
While that adaptive ANC should compensate for background noises, these headphones also offer a transparency mode that should still allow for listening to the outside world. After all, active noise cancellation is useful until it becomes dangerous to shut out the noises around you entirely, and you wouldn’t necessarily want complete isolation in instances where you’re walking along a busy street or working at home while also trying to keep an eye on children.
Bang & Olufsen also says that the Beoplay HX have a frequency range of 20 – 22,000 Hz and are built with 40mm electro-dynamic drivers that use neodymium magnets. They connect via Bluetooth 5.1 but also come with a 3.5mm jack for corded connectivity, and they have Google Fast Pair, Made for iPhone, and Microsoft Swift Pair certifications. Battery life seems pretty impressive, with Bang & Olufsen quoting up to 35 hours with Bluetooth and active noise cancellation on and up to 40 hours when active noise cancellation is turned off.
So, that $500 price point could very well price these out of the affordable range for a lot of people, but it sounds like the Beoplay HX bring some solid features to the table nonetheless. They’re available today from Bang & Olufsen’s website in three colors: Black Anthracite, Sand, and Timber.