B&O BeoPlay H4 - Review

April 06, 2017

We took a first look at the B&O BeoPlay H4 over-ears back in February. Among the B&O Play range of portable audio gear, the H4 is its most affordable wireless headphone. We dive into a review to find out how it fares!

Type - Wireless Over-Ears
Price - USD 299 / EUR 299 / SGD 399
B&O BeoPlay H4

Pros (+): Comfortable fit; App support; Good sound delivery.
Cons (-): Basic feature set; No pouch; No voice notifications.

In The Box
There are 3 colors available at present - Sand Grey, Tangerine and Charcoal Grey. For our review, we were provided the Charcoal variant.
B&O BeoPlay H4 packaging

The unboxing is quite straightforward - pop up the solid B&O box which gives you the headphones. You then pull up this layer to get the rest of the accessories packaged in 2 thin cardboard boxes. The packaging contents include:
  • B&O BeoPlay H4 headphones
  • USB Charger (micro-USB)
  • 1.25m Audio Cable (3.5mm to 3.5mm)
  • Quick Start Guide
B&O BeoPlay H4 packaging contents

The Jacob Wagner designed headphones weighs an average 235g taking reference to its peers in the over-ears category such as Bose AE2 SoundLink (198g) and the Sennheiser URBANITE XL (300g).  It is characterized by very plush ear cups made of lambskin leather that I wore for 2 hours at a stretch without any discomfort. The cable supplying the audio runs through a braided textile cord, a shoelace like material very much reminiscent of the BeoPlay H5. 
B&O BeoPlay H4

Check out our First Look at the BeoPlay H4 for our initial thoughts on these over-ears. 

The feature set is very much like what B&O Play touts: pure essentials. To illustrate the general differences between the H4's brethren (namely the H7 and H9):

1. No Touch Controls
The H7 and H9 touch controls consist of swiping to adjust playback and volume. For the H4, there are 3 physical buttons on the right earcup that you can actuate, which can be a relief for folks who are comfortable with reassuring feel of button feedback. 
B&O BeoPlay H4

2. No Active Noise Cancelation
Yup, no ANC for the H4, but of course you can still depend on the noise isolation provided when the cups envelop your ears. 

3. No Pouch
You have to probably hang them around your neck else get a separately purchased pouch 'cos there's none provided.

Ok, now that we've gone through the differences, let's see what other features the H4 has.

Playback Controls:
There are 3 buttons - a multi-function button at the centre flanked by two for volume adjustment. The central button is for play / pausing music and taking calls while double tapping will skip tracks. A notification LED lies right in line with the buttons.
B&O BeoPlay H4

Bluetooth Pairing:
Pairing can be done either directly using your music player or through the Beoplay app that you can download from the App Store or Google Play. When directly connecting, turn your smartphone Bluetooth on, hold the headphones' power button and select the Beoplay H4 to complete the pairing. Running on Bluetooth 4.2, there's a 10 metre operating radius and pairing is to a single device at any one time. During pairing, there's absolutely no voice notifications so you'll have to rely solely on either the sound blips or LED for confirmations.

App Support:
The Beoplay app (iOS and Android supported) provides options to personalize (change the headphone name / color) while the main feature is probably the Tonetouch, a simple user interface where you choose an area spanning quadrants named Warm, Excited, Bright and Relaxed to adjust bass / treble intensity. If you are short of ideas, there are 4 selectable presets too. Personally, the area between Warm / Excited sounded ideal.

You can experience the BeoPlay H4 in two modes - wireless and wired.


Using a Sony Xperia XA, directly connecting through Bluetooth was straightforward though using the Beoplay app, the app mentioned it was still connecting even though I was already going through the motion of playing music wirelessly.

You can plug in the provided audio cable for flexibility to connect to your traditional music devices (here's looking at you, iPhone 7). Just insert the audio cable to the right earcup and you can play music indefinitely. A thing to note is the playback controls will not function in this mode. When you swap from wireless mode, there will be just a short pause in the music while 
you auto-disconnect and a single white LED flash will confirm this.
B&O BeoPlay H4

Sound quality:

We sampled EDM, classical and rock to check out how the H4 fares. On wireless mode, Calvin Harris vs Alesso's pounding Under Control (EDM) brings lots of bass though never overwhelms while Theo Hutchcraft's vocals come through distinctly. Arctic Monkey's hard hitting I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor is received by the H4 with little distortion even at higher volumes while the vocals and orchestration in Sarah Brightman's version of Dust In The Wind flow well together.

Now when jumping to wired mode, the vocals are even clearer and high / low frequencies are separated for an overall balanced sound. If the default wireless sound profile doesn't work, there's always the Beoplay app to change the sound and spatial range to your comfort level.


According to B&O, you get 19 hours of playback from around a 2.5 hour full charge to the 600mAh Lithium-ion battery. This is an average number when compared with its over-ears peers like the Bose AE2 SoundLink (15h) and Sennheiser URBANITE XL (25h). You just need to plug in the micro-USB point to the right earcup and the LED will flash orange.
B&O BeoPlay H4

The B&O BeoPlay H4 is not the top of the line headphone that Bang & Olufsen offers. It is what it is - a no frills wireless over-ears that delivers just the essentials. There's no pouch, touch controls but if you just need a good sounding headphone that you can wear for long stretches, this is one worthy consideration.

Where To Buy
The BeoPlay H4 headphones go for USD 299 / EUR 299 / SGD 399

You can visit the B&O Play online store or if you are in Singapore, you can visit Bang & Olufsen Grand Hyatt Showroom. Alternatively, if you felt this review helped you in deciding what headphone to purchase, you can buy it from Amazon via this affiliate link

Credit to B&O for an evaluation unit.

B&O BeoPlay H4

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