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Build and design make this set of headphones worth the price

SINGAPORE — A good set of headphones is a long-term investment. It is the one product I use to “escape” from the world — especially on a crowded train.

SINGAPORE — A good set of headphones is a long-term investment. It is the one product I use to “escape” from the world — especially on a crowded train.

With big over-ear headphones back in vogue, there are plenty of options in the market. And if you are looking for something in the premium scale, it is hard to go wrong with the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H7 (picture).

The H7 is essentially a cross between the H6 and H8. Stylistically, it is like the H6 — a set of over-ear cans. However, it also comes with features carried in the H8, such as Bluetooth and an anodised aluminium touch interface on the right earcup to control playback and take phone calls.

There is one H8 feature missing from the H7: Active noise cancellation. This loss, however, is mitigated by a boost in battery life — the H7 can run for 20 hours compared with 14 hours on the H8.

Sound-wise, I found that the H7 did extremely well on the mids and highs. The bass, though, was distinctly weak. So while Robert Plant’s vocals soared in a listening of Led Zeppelin’s When The Levee Breaks, John Bonham’s thumping drumbeats and John Paul Jones’ rhythmic bass lines were slightly diminished.

I also found the H7 to be a bit too soft for my liking (I tend to blast rock music). To compensate, I wired the H7 up to a portable headphone amplifier — there was no loss in audio quality even when the gain was turned up.

The best thing going for the H7 is its ultra-premium looks. The H7 was designed by award-winning Danish designer Jakob Wagner.

Its over-ear cups are made from memory foam and soft lambskin, while the rest of the cans are made from a combination of luxurious materials such as aluminium, leather, polymer and fabric.

To me, the design and build of the H7 alone are worth about 3/4 of its S$649 price tag.

The B&0 Beoplay H7 is sold at authorised retailers. It is available in Black and Natural. Raymond Tham

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