B&O's BeoPlay H4 wireless headphones are stunning

B&O BeoPlay was always meant to be the affordable line compared to Bang & Olufsen's eye-wateringly expensive regular products, and finally there's a set of wireless headphones that appear to have got the message. The BeoPlay H4 wireless headphones join 2015's BeoPlay H7 model, which were widely praised for their style but criticized for their $449 launch price. Now, there's a considerably cheaper option.

Notice I said "cheaper", mind, not outright "cheap". The BeoPlay H4 cans come in at $299, which is still fairly expensive for a set of headphones but not bad for something with the B&O logo. It puts them firmly in the range of Bose's latest wireless QuietControl headphones, in fact.

B&O's handiwork looks a lot more classy than Bose's, I have to say. You may be buying BeoPlay's entry-level over-the-ear headphones, but you still get plenty of lambskin leather, aluminum, and stainless steel. The removable cord – which allows you to use the headphones even if the battery is flat, or if you're faced with a wired-only source like an in-flight entertainment screen – is braided textile for resilience to bunching and twisting in your bag.

Overall, they weigh 8.3 ounces, though if you're carrying the cable that adds another 0.3 ounces. The 600 mAh li-ion battery inside recharges in 2.5 hours via a microUSB port, and B&O says it should run for up to 19 hours of music playback. There's a microphone for using the headphones as a hands-free kit on calls.

Bluetooth 4.2 offers AAC codec support and 10 meter range, and the BeoPlay H4 can store pairing details for up to eight devices (though will only connect to one at a time). Physical controls include buttons on the right ear cup to control Bluetooth pairing and answer/end calls, handle play/pause and track skip for music, controlling volume, and triggering voice control on your paired device.

Initially they'll only be offered in a rather fetching charcoal grey finish. Notably, if you're actually cross-shopping with the Bose cans, the BeoPlay H4 lacks the active noise cancellation that makes QuietControl so popular with frequent-fliers. Such is the sacrifice you make for Danish style and high-end materials.

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