Bang & Olufsen’s latest pair of headphones are the Beoplay HX. They’re over-ear, noise canceling, and offer up to a truly impressive 35 hours of battery life. The headphones launch in black today for $499 (£499 / €499), but there’s a white model coming at the end of April, to be followed by a white and brown version in May.
At $499, the Beoplay HX are among the more expensive wireless noise-canceling headphones available. But this isn’t unfamiliar territory for Bang & Olufsen: the previous Beoplay H9 headphones cost exactly the same — and this is the company that also sells an $800 pair of Bluetooth headphones.
Thirty-five hours of battery life beats pretty much all competitors (and it rises up to 40 hours if you turn ANC off). The $549 AirPods Max are rated at just 20 hours with ANC on, while our top pick $350 Sony WH-1000XM4 can go for up to 30 hours. Others, like the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless or Shure Aonic are rated for 16 hours and 20 hours, respectively.
Beyond battery life, the other thing your $499 gets you is build quality. The Beoplay HX’s ear cushions are made from lambskin with a memory foam interior, while the headband uses cow hide and knitted fabric in its construction. The ear cups themselves feature an aluminum disc surrounded by a plastic housing, and the arm sliders are also aluminum.
The rest of the Beoplay HX specs are typical. There’s a USB-C port for charging, a 3.5mm jack for wired connections, buttons on the left and right ear cup, and also touch controls on just the right side. The headphones support Bluetooth 5.1, and for codecs, you get aptX Adaptive, AAC, and SBC. Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair are both included for easy pairing with their respective platforms. And yes, the headphones come with a 3.5mm cable in the box, unlike the AirPods Max.
Correction, March 26th, 1:58PM ET: This article originally stated, based on information provided by Bang and Olufsen, that the headphones used recycled plastic in their construction. Bang and Olufsen has subsequently corrected its press release. The headphones do not use recycled plastic.