Published on October 25th, 2013 | by Greg0
Beyerdynamic DT1350: An Incredibly Detailed Value
The most expensive headphones that we have ever tested were some of the first- almost five years ago, when we reviewed a $2700 pair that continue to make most other sets feel fairly dull or artificial by comparison. We’ve since tried out hundreds of sets in every price point, from the cheapest earbuds to some audiophile specialty cans that cost as much as a used car. But the standards set by that company are pretty high- and today’s far more affordable set from the very same firm does a great job of meeting them.
beyerdynamic – and yes, the name is technically lower case- offers a wide range, and one of their classic models has recently undergone a facelift. The DT1350 Tesla closed headphones are some of the best portable models for classical and jazz and orchestral music- anything where you can appreciate crescendos, subtlety, nuance, and vibrato. Sure, you can listen to Miley Cyrus on them, but it sounds much as it does anywhere else- a bit over-produced. Bass lovers might find these a bit flat, but there aim is authenticity, not a rattle or hum. Neutral, sure, but that’s an ideal that many strive to reach and cannot.
The manufacturer claims that “highly efficient ambient noise reduction and an impressive maximum sound pressure level (129 dB) make the DT 1350 an ideal compact over-ear headphone for audio engineers, broadcasters, musicians and DJ’s”. We don’t really fit into any of the latter categories, and if you do, more power to you. But even for your average listener, you’ll appreciate plenty about the DT1350s- which is why the facelift didn’t really change all that much really. The biggest pair of changes- larger earpads and a newly designed headband- offer improved comfort and these certainly are perfect for long listening sessions where others tend to cramp your ears.
But both changes are relatively minor, and the drivers and core materials have remained the same, to their credit. Why change what isn’t broken? We’ve seen gaming headsets from them, and our favorite ultra-portables, the T50ps which we raved about last year. The DT1350s are certainly a bit larger than, but more comfortable, even cozy- and they still have the sleek look of most of beyerdynamic’s sets. More than any others we can compare to though, the triumph of engineering here is a sort of absence- a cold tone where many others sound warm, almost icy, sparkling, sharp. It’s the sound of contrast being turned way up, and might be harsh to those who want a tube-amp sort of sound. Put on some Wagner though, and the Valkyries scream like with few other headphones. The Sennheiser Momentums we checked out earlier this month are a study in differences; both great, durable, and but very different in their sound.
In the end, the bottom line is that you get more than what you pay for. Available online and in stores for under $200, the beyerdynamic DT1350s are a bargain- but note that the updated editions might not be widely available yet. Tight, focused, lightweight, and beautifully designed, they are easy to love and great companions that should last.