Bang & Olufsen Vs. Bose Headphones: Which Brand Is Better?

When it comes to high-end headphones, Bang & Olufsen and Bose are two of the biggest names on the market. Both brands are known for their premium build quality, elegant aesthetics, and exceptional sound. But which one makes the better headphones?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Bang & Olufsen and Bose headphone models on critical factors like sound quality, comfort, design, features, and value. Read on to find out if Bang & Olufsen or Bose come out on top.

A Brief Comparison Table

CategoryBang & OlufsenBose
Sound QualityNatural, balanced sound with tight bass and open soundstage. Excellent audio for music.Vocals are emphasized for podcasts and calls. Bass is less tight.
Noise CancellationEffective at reducing low rumbles but allows in some ambient noise.Industry-leading ANC blocks even high frequencies very well.
DesignStunning minimalist aesthetics using premium metals and leather.Simpler but still solid build quality with plastic and metal.
FeaturesIntuitive touch controls, EQ tuning, transparency mode.Physical buttons, adjustable ANC, Alexa support, AR audio.
ComfortOval earcups with plush padding remain comfy for hours.Extremely plush earpads and headband for all-day wear.
ValueVery expensive starting around $400. But superb craftsmanship.More affordable at $200-400. Excellent features for price.

Overview Of Bang & Olufsen Headphones

Founded in 1925, Bang & Olufsen is a Danish consumer electronics company that has long been renowned for their striking, minimalist designs. While they produce audio products like speakers and TVs., Bang & Olufsen have also made a name for themselves in the headphones space.

Bang & Olufsen Headphone
Bang & Olufsen Headphone

Some of their most popular headphone models include:

  • Beoplay H9: Over-ear active noise cancelling wireless headphones
  • Beoplay E8: True wireless earbuds
  • Beoplay H95: Flagship over-ear noise cancelling headphones
  • Beoplay Portal: Premium gaming headset

Across their headphone lineup, Bang & Olufsen emphasizes luxurious materials like leather and aluminum. They also focus on providing a natural, well-balanced sound signature. Their products don’t come cheap though – most Bang & Olufsen headphones cost $400-600.

Overview Of Bose Headphones

Bose is an American audio equipment company founded in 1964. They helped pioneer noise cancelling headphones and have extensive research into psychoacoustics – the study of how humans perceive sound.

Some of Bose’s most popular headphones include:

Bose Headphone
Bose Headphone
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Flagship over-ear noise cancelling headphones
  • Bose SoundSport Free: True wireless earbuds for workouts
  • Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700: Premium over-ear Bluetooth headphones with Alexa
  • Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Active noise cancelling true wireless earbuds

Key traits of Bose headphones are their excellent noise cancellation, clear audio for vocals, and comfortable fit. Bose headphones also don’t come cheap, with most models ranging from $200-400.

Now that we’ve provided an overview of each brand, let’s directly compare Bang & Olufsen and Bose headphones across various categories.

Sound Quality

When choosing between premium headphones, sound quality is often the most important factor for audiophiles. How do Bang & Olufsen and Bose cans compare?

Bang & Olufsen:

Bang & Olufsen headphones produce highly natural, balanced sound with realistic timbre. The soundstage feels quite open, without overemphasizing any frequency ranges.

Treble and mids sound crystal clear, and you can hear minute details in acoustic tracks. Bass is punchy and tight without being boomy or bleeding into other frequencies. Overall, the sound signature provides an immersive listening experience.


Bose headphones are tuned to make vocals really shine. Midrange frequencies are pushed forward to provide very clear speech in podcasts, audiobooks, and calls. Higher frequencies also sound crisp and defined.

However, bass isn’t as tight or extended as Bang & Olufsen – low frequencies sound a bit vague and indistinct on Bose. The soundstage also isn’t as spacious. But for vocal-centric content, the audio on Bose headphones is tough to beat.

Verdict: Bang & Olufsen edges out Bose when it comes to overall sound quality. The natural audio profile makes music really come alive. Bose is better optimized for vocals in the midrange though.

Noise Cancellation

For frequent travelers and commuters, noise cancelling performance is hugely important when choosing headphones. Let’s see how B&O and Bose models stack up.

Bang & Olufsen:

The active noise cancellation (ANC) on Bang & Olufsen headphones effectively blocks out low rumbles like engines or A/C units. Higher frequency sounds like voices come through faintly in the background.

Overall, B&O ANC provides a noticeable hush that enhances immersion but you can still hear ambient noise minimally. It strikes a good balance for situational awareness.


Bose basically pioneered noise cancelling tech so it’s no surprise their ANC is industry-leading. On Bose headphones, even high frequency sounds like nearby conversations get significantly muted.

You really feel cocooned in your own private sound bubble with Bose ANC. The technology is impressive but can feel isolating at times.

Verdict: Bose wins for noise cancellation. The ANC on Bose headphones is truly remarkable at blocking external distractions across the frequency spectrum. Bang & Olufsen lags slightly behind.

Also Read: Is Beoplay H9 Better Than H95?

Design & Build

Premium headphones should look and feel the part too. Let’s compare the design philosophies and build quality of these brands.

Bang & Olufsen:

With Bang & Olufsen, you’re paying for exquisite Scandinavian aesthetics. Their headphones feature minimalist shapes crafted from premium metals and leather.

Delicate stitching and trenching add elegant accents. The headbands provide a perfect balance of flexibility and sturdiness. Overall, the look and feel screams luxury.


While not as ostentatiously high-end as Bang & Olufsen, Bose headphones still exhibit fantastic build quality. Models like the 700 feature glass-filled nylon and milled aluminum.

Design-wise, Bose goes for simpler understated looks. While they may not turn heads, the build feels solid with no creaking. The earpads and headband foam are also extremely plush.

Verdict: Draw. For design, Bang & Olufsen wins hands down. But in terms of sheer build quality, both brands are comparable. You really can’t go wrong with either.

Features & Controls

The features and controls of headphones greatly impact their usability. Let’s see how B&O and Bose cans compare in this aspect.

Bang & Olufsen:

Recent Bang & Olufsen headphones feature intuitive touch controls to manage music and calls. For example, you can swipe to change volume or tap to pause tracks.

Their mobile app allows you to tweak sound via an EQ and see current battery levels. In terms of extras, B&O models offer transparency mode and wireless charging in some cases.


Bose headphones provide physical buttons for core controls instead of touch inputs. While not as modern, the tactile feedback is appreciated.

The Bose Connect app unlocks adjustable ANC and EQ plus software updates. Unique features like preset NC modes, Alexa voice access, and AR-enabled navigation set Bose apart.

Verdict: Bose edges out thanks to valuable extra features like Alexa integration and augmented reality audio. Bang & Olufsen relies more on the basics.

Comfort & Fit

Since headphones sit directly on your head, comfort is non-negotiable. Here’s how Bang & Olufsen and Bose cans fare in this category:

Bang & Olufsen:

The oval earcups on Bang & Olufsen headphones are generously sized to avoid pinching most ears. Padding on both the headband and earpads is plush.

Overall, B&O headphones remain comfy for multi-hour listening sessions. The weight is evenly distributed so you barely notice them.


With ultra-plush synthetic protein leather earpads and foam headband, Bose basically sets the bar for headphone comfort. The earcups fully envelope your ears without applying excess pressure.

Bose headphones stay comfortable even for all-day use. Their light weight also prevents neck strain over time.

Verdict: Bose wins for comfort. While Bang & Olufsen isn’t bad, Bose still reigns supreme when it comes to wearing headphones for extended periods.

Also watch the video!

Value & Price

Lastly, let’s examine the value proposition and pricing of Bang & Olufsen versus Bose headphones:

Bang & Olufsen

With premium materials and standout aesthetics, you certainly pay a lot for the Bang & Olufsen name. Their headphones start at around $400 and can reach upwards of $900.

Given the exquisite craftsmanship and audio quality, audiophiles may find B&O headphones worth the investment. But for average consumers, more affordable options with similar performance exist.


Although cheaper than Bang & Olufsen, Bose headphones still command premium pricing ranging from $200-400 typically.

The headphones justify costs with excellent noise cancellation, plush comfort, and strong vocal performance. While not cheap, Bose offers good value for the advanced technology.

Verdict: Bose offers better value overall given the lower prices for similar quality and features as Bang & Olufsen. But B&O provides superior value for design-conscious audiophiles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Bang and Olufsen headphones better than Bose?

In terms of pure sound quality, Bang & Olufsen headphones do edge out Bose. They provide a more natural, immersive listening experience. However, Bose headphones are superior in categories like noise cancellation, comfort, features, and value. So for most buyers, Bose may be the better choice over Bang & Olufsen.

What headphones sound better than Bose?

Some headphones that can compete with or surpass Bose in sound quality include:
Sennheiser Momentum 3
Sony WH-1000XM4
Bowers & Wilkins PX7
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95
These rival headphones offer more well-rounded audio with tighter bass and sparkling treble compared to Bose. But they are similar in price range.

Do Bang and Olufsen make good headphones?

Yes, Bang & Olufsen make excellent high-end headphones. They stand out for their natural, balanced sound quality. Build quality and Scandinavian aesthetics are also superb. However, they are very expensive and other brands offer better value. But for design-conscious audiophiles, B&O headphones are appealing.

Are Bang and Olufsen earphones worth it?

Bang & Olufsen earbuds and in-ear headphones undoubtedly look very stylish. And they provide great sound with tight bass and clear mids/highs.
However, you’re paying a premium for the brand name. More affordable earphones can match B&O in performance. But if you appreciate good design and materials, B&O earphones may be worth the splurge.

Also Read: Comparison Between Marshall And Bose Headphones.

Final Verdict

So which brand comes out on top in this battle of premium headphone heavyweights?

Here’s a quick summary of how Bang & Olufsen and Bose headphones compare:

  • Sound quality: Bang & Olufsen
  • Noise cancellation: Bose
  • Design & build: Draw
  • Features: Bose
  • Comfort: Bose
  • Value: Bose

As you can see, Bose wins in more categories for their class-leading noise cancellation, comfort, features, and value. Their optimized vocal sound also appeals to more consumers.

However, Bang & Olufsen headphones edge out Bose in terms of pure sound quality and aesthetics. So hardcore audiophiles may prefer Bang & Olufsen.

But for most buyers, Bose headphones represent the better choice overall. You really can’t go wrong with their noise cancelling models.

Both brands make excellent headphones though. So weigh your personal priorities to decide if Bang & Olufsen or Bose is a better match. Hopefully this comparison has provided a detailed overview of how these premium headphone brands stack up! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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