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B&O H4

Bang & Olufsen updates $400 H4 headphones for assistants

Whether you use Apple’s Siri, the Google Assistant, or even Amazon’s Alexa on a regular basis, you’ll find headphones supporting regular interaction, and that update is coming to a B&O entry model.

We rely so much on our phones, it can be kind of crazy to put it into perspective. It’s not just looking at them for messages or calls, but talking to the assistants on board.

In fact, assistants have become rather of a necessity in recent years. You can find them on smart speakers, inside networking equipment, and of course on phones. And depending on the pair of headphones you have, you may be able to call on the likes of Siri, Alexa, or the Google Assistant simply by touching your headphone and making the call.

That idea is making its way out to more headphones lately, and Bang & Olufsen is no exception. The Danish audio company announced this week that its entry-level H4 wireless headphones would see an update before the year’s end, improving the touch controls, microphones, and giving its Beoplay H4 headphones a long overdue update with support for assistant access.

It was February 2017 that we last saw B&O make a change in its H4 headphones, introducing them back then as a somewhat inexpensive B&O option for folks who would love a pair of B&O headphones, but may not be looking to spend over $500 for the privilege.

Unlike the H8 and H9 B&O headphones that come with active noise cancellation, the H4 forgoes the ability to cancel out background noise, but does offer a circumaural around-the-ear design.

That hasn’t changed from the older model, but what Bang & Olufsen has improved are the controls with a dedicated button to call up a voice assistant, support for aptX Low Latency to improve synchronisation with videos, and the addition of an extra microphone to improve voice quality.

You’ll still find some premium materials here, with the B&O 2019 H4 headphones seeing aluminium in the design, as well as lambskin covered memory foam, using the fit to deal with passive noise isolation, distinct from the active noise control of its H9 big brother.

There will be two colours of the 2019 B&O H4, with black and limestone arriving in early December for a recommended retail price of $400.

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