Bang & Olufsen Form 2 Headphones Reviewed

Bang & Olufsen Form 2 Headphones Reviewed

This always reliable company produces headphones that "sound wonderful" and possess "incredible dynamic prowess, high-frequency detail and surprising true bass response." In addition, the "high-frequency response is light, airy and natural" while midrange is a strength and "warm, rich and very non-headphone sounding"

Bang & Olufsen is one of the oldest brands in the consumer electronics business, manufacturing products ranging from loudspeakers to telephones. Throughout the years, the B&O creed has been simple: create quality, user-friendly products for everyday use. B&O has been largely successful in upholding this standard. Many will say B&O has traditionally been overpriced and, until recently, has built products that cater almost exclusively to a richer Bose clientele. While there is some truth to this statement, B&O has been manufacturing quality, affordable products that fit within its brand image for years, as evident in the Form 2 headphones reviewed here.

Additional Resources
Read dozens more headphone reviews from the likes of Bowers & Wilkins, Grado, Ultimate Ears, Monster, Stax, Audio Technica, Sennheiser and more.

The Form 2 headphones retail for $100 and are attractive, to say the least, if not a touch '80s à la Miami Vice. Though unlike neon and black lacquer furniture, the Form 2 still looks high end in every way its smooth black matte and chrome finish. The Form 2 has an over-the-skull design and is not sound-isolating in any way, unlike many of the popular headphones on the market today. While most over-the-skull headphones feature massive padding to aide in long-term use, the Form 2 takes a different, lightweight approach. The Form 2 weighs a stunning 2.4 ounces. To put that into perspective, that's the weight of nine one-dollar bills stacked atop one another. It features simple rectangular earpieces that rest gently on the ear, padded by simple foam caps. B&O doesn't go to any lengths in describing what sort of driver is used in the Form 2, except to say it is extremely dynamic and natural, regardless of volume. The Form 2 has a frequency range of 40-20,000Hz, with 30-ohm impedance. The Form 2 has a nearly ten-foot-long cable, capped by a mini-jack plug. The Form 2 comes equipped with a quarter-inch jack adapter that allows the headphones to be plugged into a wider variety of electronic components. Additionally, it comes with replaceable foam ear pads.

High Points
• The Form 2 headphones sound wonderful at all but insane levels, possessing incredible dynamic prowess, high-frequency detail and surprising and true bass response.
• The Form 2's high-frequency response is light, airy and natural. The midrange, a Form 2 strength, is warm, rich and very non-headphone-sounding, but it's the bass that is most surprising.
• The Form 2 sounds good plugged directly into a source, negating the need for a separate headphone amp.
• While the Form 2 has a distinct style that some would criticize as "out of date," I would argue it's far more fashionable and timeless than many "look at me now" headphones of today that make users appear as though they belong on a jetway at LAX.

• I've personally owned a pair of B&O Form 2s for over six years, using them daily since purchase, and they work as well now as they did the day I bought them. Two other pairs of headphones I've owned during the Form 2s' reign, both costing more than the Form2s, have not fared as well.

Low Points
• While lightweight, the Form 2 can become a bit physically fatiguing on the ears after long periods of wear. Around the two-hour point, I had to give my ears a break, for the foam padding had become a bit flat. Having been a Form 2 owner for over six years, I can attest to the lack of longevity of the foam pads, which need to be replaced every six months or so.
• The Form 2 cord is ungodly long, thin and prone to twisting over time, which can cause some static in the Form 2's performance. I've found a simple cable spool, usually used for hiding or simplifying computer cables, helps keep the Form 2's cable neat and tidy.
• The Form 2 does not collapse or come with any sort of carrying case, other than the box it's sold in, making storage and travel a bit of a pain.

Conclusion
I'll be the first to admit I'm not much of a headphone fanatic, though I use them every day, sometimes for hours on end. My headphones still must sound good and that's what I've found with the Form 2 from Bang & Olufsen. It is every bit as good as similarly-priced competition and then some, and looks good while being incredibly lightweight for an over-the-skull design. It is dynamic, musical and possesses an upper-end sweetness and low-end slam that you wouldn't expect from a somewhat old-school design. However, the biggest draw for me is how reliable and trouble-free it's been over the years, out-performing and outlasting several other brands by wide margins.

Additional Resources
Read dozens more headphone reviews from the likes of Bowers & Wilkins, Grado, Ultimate Ears, Monster, Stax, Audio Technica, Sennheiser and more.

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