I was part of the development team, and one of the two persons who decided on the final sound design (aka tonal balance) of the B&O Play H8 headphones. So, I’m happy to share some of the blame for some of the comments (at least on the sound quality) from the reviews.
Because they were sound designed primarily for portable use, the H8’s have a intentional emphasis on the lower frequency band in their tuning. As you can see in the comments about the overall tuning below, this appeals to some, and not to others – and for some, it’s an expectation. This difference in opinion is probably not only attributable to taste in timbral balance, and in musical style, but also in what the reviewer’s “reference” (or at least most-used) headphones are.
CNET review: “As for sound quality, this is an exciting headphone with lots of bass — it definitely goes deep — a fairly warm midrange and good clarity, though it’s a touch hyped in the treble, which comes out more when you listen to this as a wired headphone (however, most of that treble edginess is eliminated when you turn the noise canceling on, which dulls things up a touch). And yes, it does sound better as a wired headphone, but that’s not surprising considering you tend to give up some sound quality by going the Bluetooth route.”
Pocket-lint review: “… crisp highs and clapping mids with clarity. The balance may be bass-heavy, but the full mix of any given track still pushes through with gusto.”
Headfonia review: “Tuning is clearly bass focused and while it’s no audiophile kind of unit, the tuning is very enjoyable and fun.”
Huffington Post review: “So how do they sound? Well extremely good… If we had a single niggle it’s that they can sound a little overwhelmed by the lower end and middle ranges, with the higher clearer notes being sometimes drowned out. It’s not that the sound is muffled, more that the treble just feels quieter than perhaps it could.”
Lyd & Billede review: “Lydmæssigt har H8 en forholdsvis neutral lyd, der hælder mod det varme. Bassen er solid. Ikke overvældende som i club-hovedtelefoner (de er trods alt møntet på et pænt og veletableret publikum), men der er bund nok til, at det rocker.”
Qubuz review: “It has an expansive sound and does not hold back in the low- and mid-ranges.”
Mashable review: “The H8 have a very flat sound profile, which is even more noticeable with active noise-cancellation turned on. A flat sound profile means songs across a variety of genres sound neutral and clean and the headphone maker didn’t tune them to emphasize certain frequencies, like boosting the highs (trebles) or the lows (bass) too much.”
I was part of the development team, and one of the two persons who decided on the final sound design (aka tonal balance) of the B&O H2 headphones. So, I’m happy to share some of the blame for some of the comments (at least on the sound quality) from the reviews.
from Techradar India
“Bass accuracy is right on and just as powerful as it needs to be. Mids and highs also shine through in the sound with a subtle warmness that’s hard to find in a set of headphones.”
from What Hi-Fi?
“The 40mm driver and bass port in each earcup provide an easily accessible sound, as is appropriate for headphones intended to be worn outdoors.
“It’s warm without being overbearing, and the presentation is even across the frequency range, so no one area stands out as prominent. Treble is clear without being too sharp or bright, and the midrange is a strength, with vocals coming across warm and intimate.
“The bass is a touch tubby, but only compared with our current class favourites, the Award-winning Philips M1 MkIIs (indeed the H2s’ bass is reminiscent of the original M1s’).
“It’s not overblown, though, and that character trait certainly doesn’t hurt in a pair of headphones designed to be worn in the open.”
“Overall, the sound quality is great, as you’d expect, and users will notice a stark difference between these and an entry-level set.”
I was part of the development team, and one of the two persons who decided on the final sound design (aka tonal balance) of the B&O BeoLab 18 loudspeakers. So, I’m happy to share some of the blame for some of the comments (at least on the sound quality) from the reviews.
Bernard Dickinson at Live Magazines said:
“The sound reproduction is flawless”
Lyd & Billede’s August 2014 review said
“Lydkvaliteten er rigtig god med en åben, distinkt og fyldig gengivelse, som ikke gør højopløste lydformater til skamme.” (The sound quality is very good with an open, clear and detailed reproduction, which do not put high-resolution audio formats to shame.)
and ”Stemmerne er lige klare og tydelige, hvad enten vi sidder lige i smørhullet eller befinder os langt ude i siden. Det er faktisk ret usædvanligt og gør, at BeoLab 18 egner sig lige godt til både baggrundsmusik og aktiv lytning” (The voices are crisp and clear, whether we are sitting right in the sweet spot or far off to the side. It’s actually quite unusual and makes the BeoLab 18 equally suited for both background music and active listening)
homecinemachoice.com‘s review (March 2014 edition)
“… the power output is phenomenal. Moreover, the detail is incredible and the tonal balance is spot on. The vocals in Antony & The Johnson’ Twilight are intense, the throb of Jeff Beck’s guitar in So Real resonates sublimely, whilst classical works yield profound levels of clarity. The mi-range is highly detailed, the treble is smooth and accurate, and the bass is rich and velvety. You can push the volume without risk: even at high levels the speakers have plenty in reserve.”
I did the sound design of the two BeoPlay V1 variants, but I also had a pretty significant role in the design of the audio signal flow and bass management strategy, including creating the TrueImage algorithm that’s used for up mixing and down mixing of multichannel audio signals.
“As we’ve become accustomed to finding with B&O TVs, the BeoPlay V1’s audio makes most rival sets sound positively puny. Its ability to produce large amounts of power across a wide dynamic range at movie-loving volume levels without distortion, harshness or compression is a joy to behold.”
“And speaking of masterful, the V1′s front-facing speaker bar can really fill a small to medium room with sound. Not the tinny, muted ear vomit you get from most HDTVs, but deep, full audio.”
“BeoPlay V1-32 is noticeable better than the typical slim TV today, and it excels over pretty much any other TV out there. Sound is fuller, clearer and more pleasant but compared to the speaker system in the larger 40-inch version it lacked a little bit of bass.”
“Unsurprisingly, the V1 sounds pretty amazing and definitely supports the claim that the speakers are powerful enough to fill a room.”
I did the sound design of the three BeoVision 11 variants, but I also had a pretty significant role in the design of the audio signal flow and bass management strategy, including creating the TrueImage algorithm that’s used for up mixing and down mixing of multichannel audio signals.
“Take a listen and all the effort is worthwhile: this is arguably the best sounding flatscreen we’ve ever reviewed. The sound has decent weight and authority, and the kind of clarity that’s usually the province of dedicated audio equipment.”
“You probably won’t be surprised following our description of the BeoVision 11-40’s speaker setup to hear that it sounds unbelievably good by flat TV standards. The clarity and dynamic range of the soundstage is unprecedented, in fact, as gorgeously well-rounded and rich trebles sit side by side with deep, clean and perfectly balanced bass. Even better, though, is the terrifically open nature of the mid-range, which completely avoids the muddy, flat sensation of your average flat TV mid-range, making it a distortion-free friend to action movies and quiet TV shows alike.”
“Let’s keep this simple: the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11 produces the best audio performance we’ve ever heard from a TV. Especially if you’re lucky enough to be taking advantage of its various surround sound options. Even if you’re only using the built-in speakers, though, you’ll be enjoying a truly outstanding audio performance. The sheer power the built-in speakers can produce is huge by TV standards, enabling them to deliver a wide, dynamic, beautifully open soundstage that wouldn’t sound out of place on a separates system.”
“Bypassing the selfadjusting algorithms for a second you will find that the Beoviosion 11 is a very potent sound source. There is an excellent depth to the bass and the high frequencies are clear and precise. We had no problems using the TV as a radio through our DVB-C connection (which works quite well by the way) and the sound quality easily matches up to competitors in the soundbar industry. It goes without saying that the low frequencies are not as low as with a dedicated subwoofer, but compared to every other (non-B&O) TV out there, there is no competition at all.”
“Sonically the BeoVision 11-40 is spectacular. Its remarkable speaker array thumps out levels of volume, bass, treble detailing and mid-range openness you won’t have heard from a TV before.”
“Beolab 14 er et harmonisk sæt, der lyder godt som en samlet enhed. Netop det at det spiller som én samlet enhed, hvor der er kælet for detaljerne, er med til at løfte det flere niveauer op. Bassen virker stram og velafballanceret, men med rigeligt power til effektscenerne i actionfilmene. Mellemtonen virker klar og naturlig, og selv vokaler i highend audio (24-bit) gengives sprødt og realistisk. Diskanten runder det hele fint af i toppen.”
“Beolab 14 sættet lyder ganske enkelt rigtig godt. Der er den rette mængde bas (hvilket man jo egentlig selv bestemmer), et mellemtoneområde, som bare er der uden at gøre væsen af sig, og en diskant som har den rette afrunding mod toppen, hvilket giver god mening sammen med 2,5” enhederne, som per design ikke er konstrueret til ultra høje frekvenser. Og så hænger det hele rigtig godt sammen! Altså det man kalder en homogen gengivelse af musikken.”