I am reviewing the Bang & Olufsen Form 2 headphones which are a very stylish set of premium lightweight headphones that are suitable for use with your portable media player, smartphone, or laptop. Here, these headphones are designed and made by a company that is one of a few “names of respect” when it comes to audio-equipment and speaker design. I have even raised this name in this site in connection with their involvement in designing the sound system for some of the ASUS premium laptops.
Regular followers of this site may have noticed these headphones as a prop in a picture that I took of the HP Envy 15 laptop, where I was emphasising the “Black Label” positioning of this premium laptop.
These “over-the-head” headphones sell at B&O stores for $199 and if the earpads wear out, you can replace them for $10 a pair but I had received this pair from some close friends as a 40th birthday present. As you will read further, you will find that they are a real treat to use.
Like with all B&O products, the style of these headphones is a very strong point. Here, there is a large black aluminium headband with the square earpads anchored to the headband by bands that look as though they are part of an elegant watch’s band.
Even the plug is designed to match the look and positioning of these headphones. Here, it is a small plug with gold-plated contacts which are known to provide the high-quality sound transfer.
This has allowed for a snug comfortable fit on the user’s head with the earpads pressing in on the user’s ears. As well, they are not too heavy and will not fall off your head too readily unlike a lot of cheaper headphones.
Here, this allows for use of these headphones over a long time, yet you can still slide them aside if you need to talk to someone nearby while you are wearing them.
The real story with these headphones is in the sound quality, whether you are listening to music or audiobooks, watching movies, playing computer games or using them with a microphone adaptor for handling phone calls with your mobile phone, This has been based on B&O’s reputation in designing speakers and headphones that go with their stylish and luxurious hi-fi systems.
It is very much what you would expect from true hi-fi headphones. Here the sound was clear and tight and not boomy and it didn’t matter if the headphones were fed with music or sound effects from a movie or game. For voice applications, including telephone calls, the Form 2 excels on the voice clarity and could be suitable as part of a headset system for wideband telephony setups.
These headphones don’t have any noise-cancellation circuitry and are of the kind that sit on your ears. These factors may be a limitation with using them in noisy environments like aeroplanes, buses or diesel railcars but their snug fit reduces the noise impact from these environments slightly.
Points of improvement
There aren’t really any points of improvement except for B&O to make a derivative headset that has an integrated microphone for use with smartphones and other telecommunications applications. This would be of importance when it comes to designing a headset fit to be used with HD Audio and other wideband telephony setups.
As well, they could provide a “travel-kit” as an accessory for these headphones and other headphones in their range. This would consist of an elegant storage case, an active noise-cancellation module and a “jet-plug” adaptor to connect these headphones to inflight-entertainment systems.
I would recommend these headphones if you value good-quality sound, style and comfort from a set of “over-the-head” headphones. Even if you can’t afford a set yourself, it may be worth wish-listing it as a gift for an upcoming major birthday or anniversary. As well, once you use them, your ears will certainly know the difference between good headphones and cheap headphones.
I would even say that these headphones are a good partner accessory for a premium laptop like the Acer Ferrari or the HP Envy laptops.