With both companies’ ethos centered around the importance of design, craftsmanship and innovation, a collaboration between luxury electronics company Bang & Olufsen and luxury luggage company RIMOWA was bound to happen. Both use aluminium as a central material in their designs and understand the importance of finer details, so when the news of these headphones hit my inbox, I knew they were going to be something special.
Celebrating the unique relationship that has spawned between travel and sound, the headphones are a culmination of Bang & Olufsen’s exquisite electronics expertise and RIMOWA’s ability to create head-wearing luggage that looks beautiful. The Beoplay H9i headphones are a combination of existing products and design ideas, but with no less attention to the build and look of the product, these headphones are unique, not upcycled. Incorporating B&O’s Signature Sound and noise-cancelling technologies, with RIMOWA’s anodised aluminium and signature finish, the wireless headphones bring together sound and design to that finishing touch to your travel experience.
“RIMOWA and Bang & Olufsen share a passionate approach to purposeful and elegant design. Both of them celebrate aluminium in their products, to strengthen the natural relationship between sound and travel, we have proudly partnered to create the RIMOWA x Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i headphones.” – Alexandre Arnaul, CEO of RIMOWA
Now let’s talk technical, for all you musicophiles out there. The headphones are built on the same award-winning technology in Bang & Olufsen’s other headphones, with advanced noise-cancelling and ambient noise technology. They have enchanced the bass frequencies that the headphones can produce (upto 22,000 Hz, 40mm drivers, 4 ANC microphones) and the sound in general is crystal clear and full of emotion, something I find can disappear with over-ear headphones. Bang & Olufsen have also added a proximity sensor that stops playback when you remove your headphones, and you don’t have to remove your phone from your pocket to answer a call, change track or adjust the volume, this can all be done on the side of your headphones with elegant swipe gestures. 18 hours of ANC playback, 23 hours of Bluetooth playback and an attachable jack cord for plugged-in needs, these headphones boast all the features you need for a comfortable on-the-road experience.
Design-wise, where do I start? The brushed aluminium is beautiful and stands out, the lambskin and memory-foam ear and head cushions are soft, and protect your head and ears from fatigue on those long trips. The headphones come in a mini replica of a (to-die-for/the cutest) RIMOWA suitcase that is padded and embossed with the company’s logo. All-in-all, these headphones one of the best design collaborations I have ever seen, taking into account the product’s likeness to each brand and the technical performance. I am very, very impressed.
To celebrate the launch of the headphones, LA-based Swedish composer and record producer, Ludwig Göransson (who has worked with Childish Gambino, HAIM and composed the award-winning score for Black Panther) was invited to talk about the his relationship with music and travel, and features in the campaign.
Available online and at selected Bang & Olufsen and RIMOWA retailers, the Beoplay H9i headphones cost /$900/£750/8,000 NOK. But do not be put off by the price, because exquisite sound and comfort really is something worth paying for. I say this from first-hand experience of buying cheaper over-ear headphones and having them break or being disappointed with the sound quality. These Bang & Olufsen X RIMOWA headphones will last you a beautiful lifetime.
Need some music for those new headphones? Check out Janus Rasmussen’s debut solo album >>>
Tags: Bang & Olufsen, design collaboration, headphones, RIMOWA
Sophia is our Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director. She works as a freelance photographer and graphic designer, and is based in Reykjavík, Iceland.
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