Bang & Olufsen has introduced the Beoplay HX noise-cancelling headphone, and in a turn up for the books, B&O have made a pair of headphones cheaper than the Apple AirPods Max.

It’s not often we call a pair of B&O headphones relatively affordable compared to the competition, but the Beoplay HX ANC model is. Well, compared to the Apple AirPods Max.

At £449 / $499 / €499, the Beoplay HX aren’t exactly cheap, but you do get a little more bang for your buck, as well as B&O’s trademark craftmanship and design.

The audio experience is powered through two custom designed 40mm speaker drivers with neodymium magnets and bass ports to ensure optimal bass. Speech delivery has been improved, while B&O says the HX sounds even more immersive as a result of its ANC performance. There are also four dedicated microphones (two shared with ANC) to enhance call quality with its advanced beamforming technology.

Battery life is up to 35 hours, 15 more than the AirPods Max and a few more hours than either the Sony WH-1000XM4 or B&W PX7. That’s with active noise cancellation switched on, which certainly puts its numbers above some of the best headphones on the market. Turn ANC off and you can get 40 hours from the HX.

With the Beoplay HX, B&O has touted its next gen Digital Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, which it claims cancels unwanted noise without “compromising on sound quality”. ANC presets can be flipped through in the B&O app, which also allows users to switch between sound profiles too.

Comfort levels have been a priority with the HX intended to be both lightweight at 285g and durable, making use of soft leather, recycled plastic and polished recycled aluminium. The ear cushions are made out of soft lambskin, while the inner material uses memory foam that adapts to the shape and curves of an ear. The headband structure has been revamped with a centre-relief zone to alleviate the pressure on the head when used over elongated periods of time. That re-jigged headband – made out of cow hide with a smooth grain and  knitted fabric – should also allow for the Beoplay HX to fit over a “broad variety of head sizes”.

Bluetooth connectivity is v5.1, with support for SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive codecs. The headphones also bag support for Microsoft Swift Pair, Google Fast Pair and Made for iPhone (MFi), so they should present a speedy connection with any mobile device.

Available in Black Anthracite, Sand and Timber colours, the Black Anthracite version is on sale now with the other two versions listed as ‘coming soon.

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