eXtensions - Monday 19 September 2016

Cassandra: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H7 and H8 Headphones - Fair Bangkok Prices

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By Graham K. Rogers


I sometimes examine price differences between what is advertised in the USA and what the cost to consumers is here. The last time I did this for Apple's products was October 2015. I am waiting for new Macs to be announced before updating that page.

My process is to use the current conversion rates in the Mac's Calculator app and from the figure add on 7% to take account of VAT. US prices do not include taxes. In the main, Apple fares quite well and the fees here are always within a reasonable range. As currency rates change, so these prices are sometimes adjusted.

Last week with the idea of Apple's new AirBuds in mind, I saw some attractive Bowers & Wilkins wireless headphones in a glowing review. I found a dealer in the center of Bangkok, but when I went there was surprised by the price: almost twice that of the advertised price in the review. I wrote a comment on this, including the local pricing for AirBuds (about 950 baht higher than the US price when VAT is factored in).

On Twitter I was taken to task for writing about these two expensive products, although my point was to highlight what I considered unreasonable pricing of the B&W headphones here. Another manufacturer of high end products is Bang & Olufsen which has a number of outlets in Bangkok. The main site lists Beoplay H7 and H8 wireless headphones at €449 and €499 respectively. These appear cheaper on Amazon (and for once these do ship to Thailand) but the shipping charges are high.

For my comparisons I am using the B&O website prices in Euros. These convert to 17489 baht and 19437 baht. Adding VAT of 7% gives 18,713 and 20,798 baht. These are certainly not cheap, but B&O are highly regarded and make quality products. There are plenty of headphones below 1,000 baht available here, but in audio (as in other areas) you usually get what you pay for.

I visited a store that sells Bang & Olufsen headphones in Siam Paragon. Another store in Gaysorn Plaza has a wider range of B&O products, but I did not go there. Both the H7 and the H8 were on sale, but like the B&W headphones I looked at last week, there were no demonstration models available. The pricing was 18,990 baht for the H7 and 20,990 baht for the H8. These prices are as close as we are likely to find in Bangkok to the original prices and (as with many of Apple's products) importers of these B&O products do not add on any excessive charges.

I took the time to examine the technical specifications for the H7 as well as technical specifications for the slightly heavier (and better equipped) H8. I must admit that the H7 headphones are looking rather attractive at that price,

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)



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