Bang & Olufsen launch noise-cancelling headphones to rival Sony WH-1000XM4 – but they'll cost you

noise-cancelling headphones
(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

Bang & Olufsen have launched a new pair of luxury noise-cancelling headphones, specially designed for use while traveling. 

The Beoplay H95 were created to celebrate the Danish audio brand's 95th birthday, and they look suitably opulent for the occasion – and they have a price tag to match. 

Available in black and silver, the new over-ear headphones will set you back an eye-watering $800 / £700, which works out at around AU$1,100.

That's over double the price of the best headphones of 2020, the Sony WH-1000XM4 – although it's not unusual for Bang & Olufsen's headphones to come at premium prices. 

Their previous wireless headphones, the Beoplay H9, cost $500 / £450 / AU$840, and while we found that the luxury materials, battery life and active noise cancellation worked really well, their overwhelming bass, lack of features and high price made them difficult to recommend. 

Luxury materials

So, what do you get for your money? The Beoplay H95 certainly sound high-spec, with a luxurious design to match. 

Moving away from the circular design of their predecessors, the H95 feature oval-shaped earcups, with "soft lambskin ear cushions" – they certainly sound comfortable, but unfortunately won't be suitable for anyone who avoids using animal products. 

Building on that travel-friendly design, the wireless headphones fold flat into an aluminum carry case.

The user interface comes from a mixture of touch controls and "mechanical dials" that were "inspired by the focus rings on the lenses of high-end cameras"; the dial on the right earcup controls volume, while the dial on the left adjusts ANC and transparency.

noise-cancelling headphones

(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

Inside the headphones are a set of 40mm titanium drivers with "neodymium magnets mounted in ported enclosures; these dynamic drivers should create a powerful bass response by displacing lots of air as they move.

Support for AAC and aptX Adaptive should prevent any latency issues when using the headphones to watch videos, while Bluetooth 5.1 means that the wireless connection should prove to be very stable indeed.

As for the noise cancellation, Bang & Olufsen says that its "the most advanced" of any of its headphones, working in tandem with the passive noise cancellation provided by the design of the earcups to block out environmental sound on airplanes, in train stations and office spaces, and on the street.

The battery life of the new headphones is pretty impressive, coming in at 38 hours of playback from a single charge – that's with ANC turned on, making the H95 longer-lasting than the Sony WH-1000XM4. 

 If that all sounds appealing – and money is no object – you can buy the Beoplay H95 from the Bang & Olufsen website now, or from physical stores from September 10. 

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.