Gadgets bey-t51p_3

Published on April 2nd, 2014 | by Greg


beyerdynamic T51p: Singing The Praises Of Germany

Yesterday, we talked about how difficult it can be to find good sound in an earbud, especially in the ~$100 price point. We’ve seen in-ear monitors that can range up to $1000, but you probably wouldn’t want to carry those on the subway (or throw them in your gym bag). But earbuds are a major compromise for most serious listeners- you can only do so much with those physical limitations. Over-ear headphones offer better noise isolation, but are typically huge. Thus, you’ll typically find us traveling with on-ear headphones, which sit atop your ears- they aren’t as comfortable in general, but produce a much wider range of sounds and are still quite portable.

The manufacturer we focused on yesterday is back in the picture today, with the beyerdynamic T51p, their new portable, closed hi-fi on-ear Tesla headphones. The T51ps are impressively compact, a replacement of the T50ps that were one of our absolute top on-ear set in this price range. Not only engineered but made in Germany, they have the look and feel of an ultra-expensive audiophile set that beyerdynamic is famous for, but at a much lower price point that you’d expect. The metal build holds up well to heavy use, and they come with a two-year warranty standard, double that of most competitors.

Cabling could be better, and you might miss the in-line controls and microphone if you’re looking for them, but it means that these are aimed at pure listening. With a set like these, we definitely recommend using amplifier or amp/DAC combo, even a portable one- we’ve been testing with a new Matrix model and the Cypher AlgoRhythm Duet, but just about any will do, especially if you intend to use a digital source. The ear cups swivel flat, so you can carry them more easily, and they adjust to just about any head size or shape. And they stay comfortable- not cushy perhaps, but just slightly less comfortable than other favorites, the Bowers and Wilkins P5s, P7s and a bit less portable than the P3s. They are crisper sounding too, more detailed, with better bass on hip-hop or orchestral sounds, if a little too sharp on electronic tracks.

If you’re in need of a portable, great-looking pair of portable headphones, there’s not much better out there in this price range. Memory foam cups, metal construction, and a wide open, very full soundstage with incredible punch on the low-end make the beyerdynamic T51ps one of the best sets so far this year. Pick up a pair of your own for around $289, online and in stores- you’ll love ‘em.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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