What do you get when you combine the comfort of Beyerdynamic DT Series with Bluetooth technology? What you get is Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless headphones, which features a 30 hr+ battery life, Bluetooth 4.2, and an innovative Make it Yours (MIY) My Music App which can adjust sound levels to best suit your hearing (more on that later). Priced at $699, we get a premium pair of headphones that offer a lot of technology for the money.
In typical German minimalist style (which I love), this package includes: a semi-hard case, power and 3.5mm cables, and headphones (warranty and manual sit outside the box).
How I started: First, I plugged the charging cable into the headphones and the other end into my USB charger. An orange light started to blink, indicating that it’s charging. The light stopped blinking in about an hour, yet remained lit after the headphones were fully charged (I like that, since I want to be able to see the light telling me it’s charged). While it was charging, I installed Beyerdynamic’s innovative MIY app from the Apple store. Once it installed, I paired the headphones with my Apple device and then went back and opened the app. I had to exit and restart the app completely, at which point it asked for permission to pair. Once paired, the app was ready. I then proceeded to perform a hearing test, which involved about 20 different sounds (to cover a wide frequency spectrum) in each ear to analyze your hearing. Once that finished, I was ready to listen. Mind you, the test and app are entirely optional. I did it because not only did I want to go through the process, but I am also getting older, and was curious to see if I can or can’t hear certain frequencies. I did want to see a basic chart to see if I pressed correctly at each sound frequency. It would not diagnose me, but at least allowed me to either redo the test to make sure I didn’t miss-click, or confirm deficiency in a certain spectrum.
Before I address the Bluetooth capabilities (the primary allure of these headphones), let me address the wired aspect. While wireless offers many advantages over wired, the wired option will always have the best sound. No matter what compression used, listening to uncompressed music wired, with a proper D/A conversion and amplification will always sound better than listening to headphones wirelessly. With that in mind, I spent a good few hours listening to them wired, and of course, they sounded great (I had them plugged into a portable Amp/DAC, which was plugged into laptop via USB. Being 32Ohm, it wasn’t needed as the Amirons are easy to drive, but I just couldn’t help myself). To me, they are more neutral and resolving than the Beyerdynamic 770’s, but if your goal is to listen to these purely wired, then there are better options available at this price point.
Usage / Testing:
In my tests, I concentrated on 3 main points: Music from a dedicated DAP (Onkyo DP-X1) – mainly FLAC, DSD, PCM and few old school mp3’s. Music from a laptop and phone (streaming), and lastly but very important to me – a TV. The last, in my opinion, is just as important as anything else. Because I live in an apartment, I have to keep the volume down, which also offers a few other unique situations that I was able to test. Main reason being: that I enjoy binge watching TV shows, so having headphones on your head for 8 hours would be a good test for its comfort. I like to use this saying: “People come to restaurants for good food, but return for good service.” Same applies to headphones. People buy it for brand/model/features but keep it for comfort – if it’s not comfortable, then the rest is pointless.
With that in mind, I watched the entire season 4 of Bosch on Amazon Prime in 4K HDR. I started just before 2am and finished around 10am. That included 3 popcorns, 4 bottles of water, and of course keeping the headphones on for 8 hours. It was a breeze. Let’s just be clear, I already own 4 pairs of Beyerdynamic headphones, so I knew what to expect. I am quite familiar with 2 elements of my journey: how BD’s feel on your head and the size of my head :). While these are little heavier than 770’s, they are still below 13oz’s, and fall within my tolerance level of 16oz for any and all headphones. So, how did they sound? Well, great. Sound is clear, connection is strong, effects have tight imaging – so when some action occurs, you only hear it in certain parts of your ear, to make you think that it’s more 5.1 setup. To me, it means that Bosch was mixed well and it even shows when wearing headphones that can amplify this.
Later, once I recuperated from my Bosch session, I spent my Sunday with the Onkyo DP-X1. Once I paired it, Onkyo let me know that AptX was activated, which is always reassuring. I first listened to Roger Water’s In the Flesh live recording: “Welcome to the Machine”. I know that song very well. I heard it hundreds of times. It’s one of my go-to songs when I test headphones, as not only do I know it well but I find that it really works to test bass and separation. My main comparison was Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 over-ears model. They have been my favorite Bluetooth headphones for the last 2 years. One can’t imagine how small things, when done well, can have a massive impact on the overall performance. While the Sennheisers are a bit different and have active noise cancelling (which makes ideal for traveling and noisy places), I find these Beyerdynamics perform better for music/TV. Not only are they more comfortable for me (my ears tend to sweat…ya TMI), but the Amirons are also more neutral, so dialogue on TV seems to be more crisp and natural sounding (as if it comes out of my sound bar). I imagine that’s the main benefit of Tesla drivers. These headphones are also more linear and neutral than Momentums, which tend to be slightly on the warmer side.
Now, let’s take a look at controls and other features. Typically, I am not a fan of using Bluetooth headphones without a dedicated boom mic for calls. These headphones have a mic in the cup and in a pinch, it sounds fine, but like my friend said (to paraphrase) while you sound okay, it feels like you’re speaking while in a tunnel. He and I know though, that these are not specifically designed for that use, for that I have the Beyerdynamic MMX v.2 model, which is great (I did have to buy a 3.5mm x 2 to USB adapter separately for it though). Overall, the power button and touch controls on the cup offer every kind of control, from picking up a call to switching calls, to controlling music (see the manual for complete details). The touch controls also worked well. They felt intuitive and responsive. One thought did cross my mind: when you are using touch controls, I wondered if I’d like to hear a beep, to acknowledge that the change was just implemented. One thing I would have wished for is a slightly more protruding power button. In the first week of use, it was hard to find it (while keeping headphones on my head) and then press and hold to power on and off. Sometimes when I pressed it and I felt the button depress under the pressure, nothing happened. I think it’s due to not pressing evenly, and only when I took off my headphones and pressed it in the middle did it work every time. I don’t believe it’s a problem, per se, as I am sure I’ll get used it to after using them for longer period of time, but initially, it was a bit frustrating.
Can it be better?
What would I improve on (otherwise known as my dream list)? A few things really: Bluetooth 5.0 (not important in the next 6-12 months as barely any headphones have or support it currently, but for the future…). Optional active noise cancelling – yes, it will decrease battery life but in many circumstances, it would be useful (my A/C and heat are forced air, so it can get pretty loud. Therefore, having ANC would be a benefit for me). A few far fetching ideas – they could make it easier to replace cups, and add a flexible detachable mic. Adding 2.4 GHz wireless with a USB thumb-sized dongle would basically allow me to get rid of any and every other wireless headphones.
I would conclude this review with a simple (right!) statement: Are these headphones for you? And if not, who are they for? To me, it’s simple: they are for you if you want the portability of Bluetooth while retaining the comfort and high quality sound of Beyerdynamic Tesla drivers. Are they better than Momentum 2.0’s? I would say yes, unless you need active noise cancelling. For everything else, these are a step ahead of them. Are they better than all other headphones out there? That’s hard to say, but keep one thing in mind: these are very comfortable and for a larger head like mine, there are not many that fit well. To me, comfort is a major part of the headphones, so I probably value it much higher than others may (who may only wear them for a short time, for example). Are they worth $699? Only you can answer that, but I am usually wearing headphones 8-12 hours a day, so, to me, they are definitely worth it.
About the Author:
DK is a very experienced headphone enthusiast who has tested and reviewed headphones ranging from $50 to $6,000. He has worked with several major headphone manufacturers in the past 5 years, in both improving headphones and developing product lines.