Electronics Reviews

Review: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H5 Wireless Earphones

The last time I reviewed earphones on my blog was back in 2016 when I purchased the Sennheiser IE80 earphones. I still have them, I still love them, and I still constantly use them when I travel. But, since getting an iPhone X and losing the headphone jack, I decided to explore my wireless options. I mean I don’t mind using the dongle to connect my earphones to my phone, but I was just curious to try and go wireless.

I don’t like the way the Apple AirPods look so I didn’t even consider getting them, so after a bit of research, I narrowed down my options to the Beats X and the Beats PowerBeats 3. I really didn’t want to be cliche and go with a pair of Beats, but both pairs contained Apple’s W1 chip to make connecting across all my Apple products easier, and honestly, the X looked pretty minimal and slick. But, I decided I’d go with the PowerBeats 3 because they were better for working out and had a much longer battery life (11 hours). Just before getting them, I decided to check out the reviews on Amazon and damn, they were terrible. Loads of people were complaining about the reliability and how they would suddenly stop working, so I decided I was just not gonna bother with wireless and stick to my IE80s.

Then, a friend of mine decided to get a pair of beautiful Bang & Olufsen wireless earphones, the BeoPlay H5. I was with her when she purchased them and so was kinda tempted to buy a pair for myself, but at KD85, they were just more than I wanted to spend, especially since I really loved my IE80s. Luckily for me though, after using them for a couple of days, she decided she didn’t like them. The earphone cable kept getting tangled up in her hair and so she decided to stick to her AirPods and offered to sell me the H5’s for half the price. So I got them.

Now that I’ve been using them for around 10 days, I’m not sure how I feel about them mostly because I’ve got two main issues with them:

Battery Life
B&O say the H5’s last for up to 5 hours and that’s just too little for me. If I’m traveling to Beirut, that’s a flight that’s just over two hours long. Add two more hours of use on top of that at the airport, and if I’m listening at full blast (which I always do) the batteries are going to be dead by the fourth hour. And this is a short flight, forget about using these on longer flights. You can’t even charge the earphones with a standard USB plug which means if you want to charge the earphones on the go, you would need to carry around the included charging stand which has a pretty long cable attached to it.

Volume Level
The second issue and what is probably annoying me more than the short battery life is the volume level, it’s just not that high. I tend to listen to my music at pretty loud levels and the H5 are not loud enough. Whenever a good part of a track kicks in I keep reaching for the volume to try and increase it only to realize it’s already on max. The H5 feels like it needs to be at least 25% louder.. all the time.

But, on the bright side, the sound quality of the earphones is pretty good, they’re not bassy but they’re also not too bright which I was worried they would be. They’re also super stylish, I’ve got the “Moss Green” version and I just love the way they look. These are definitely the nicest pair of wireless earphones you can get.

But, I’m not sure if these are enough reasons for me to keep the earphones since they definitely won’t be replacing my IE80s. Right now I’m sitting at Arabica listening to my music with the H5’s, and I appreciate that they’re wireless since I’m moving around freely without having to keep disconnecting my headphones from the computer or getting the wire tangled up with the other items on the table. But I’m also constantly hitting the volume up button trying to make them louder, and I’ve already been here for 3 hours so not sure how much longer they’re going to play before shutting down. They sure do look good though…

If you’re interested in a pair, you can find them at the B&O dealer in Symphony mall or on Amazon for slightly cheaper [Link]

18 replies on “Review: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H5 Wireless Earphones”

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i hate how all earphones become in-your-ear-canal type. i think i’m the only one who still use old school earphones that came with old sony walkmans that have a sponge thingy.

their’s no good wireless earphone that have this type, i feel alone and left out 🙁

Not sure what you’re talking about, there are a lot more wireless options that are NOT “in-your-ear” than there are “in-your-ear”.

But, if you want a great headphone with a sponge thingy then check out the Sennheiser PX 100-II. I have a pair and love them as well. I mostly use them on super long 10+ hour flights since they’re more comfortable than my in ear IE80s for longer periods.

I think you mean over ear. As for in your ear, there are two types as far as I know, the ones that go into your ear canal are noise canceling, the ones that just hang like Apple earpods are not, and leak external noise (which are safer if you’re cycling or running on the road).

I have a bit of a habit collecting headphones.

My wife got me the Bose QC35 wireless ones (they are great for flights, since they are active noise cancelling). They are over the ear type, but since the cups are very big, they cover even my elephant sized ears nicely. Very comfortable. The sound color is a bit more flat (less bass and more neutral). You’ll look a bit silly wearing these with your iphone as a handsfree headset (although they include a mic and have excellent audio reproduction).

I also have a pair of airbuds which I use with my iphone X – they are not going to win any awards for music quality (they are shockingly unremarkable for their price) but for phone calls they are great.

I can never find a proper fit for the sponge-squeeze in-ear types (like the UE in-ear ones). The most comfortable ones for me out of the box are the Bose 20i; too bad they are wired though 🙁

I didn’t try the wireless equivalent, because I really can’t stand the rope-around-your-neck style earbuds.

I am considering the soundsport wireless ones – but they aren’t NC unfortunately.

i can never get a decent fit with the silicon in-ear earbuds but the spongy ones fit perfectly since they expand to find your ear canal. But practicality wise the silicon earbuds work better. So if I’m in an environment where i have to interact with people by taking off the earphones constantly than i use the silicon earbud. When i’m traveling I use the foam (which seal better and sound better).

I considered an over ear wireless but they just seemed too bulky and when i travel my backpack already is usually packed.

Last year I shifted my travel habits a bit and started carrying only a backpack (the Aer Travel Pack, if you are interested) as much as I can.

So I was really surprised to find out that due to the way the new QC35 fold, they take up considerable less space than the older gen which simply layed flat.

Its almost 40% less in size.

I also went and splurged on the Pioneer Rayz Plus (designed exclusively for the iPhone) which are the in-ear type with active noise cancellation.

They come with an app that allows you to configure the noise cancellation level and other tweaks.

The only reason I got them is because they include a bypass lightning port so you can listen and charge the iphone at the same time.

I used them twice; sound quality was not to my liking; and they felt too light – like they would fall out any second.

H5 B and O, two years old, used 4 hours a week , days out of warranty, the damn things won’t work. No battery lights etc. B and O don’t want to know. Out of warranty. by days. Any suggestions, apart from don’t buy any more. ?

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