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.
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The Form 2 headphones retail for $100 and are attractive, to say the least, if not a touch '80s a 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.
• 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.