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Beyer T 51 i headphones are a sonic treat for your iOS device

Beyer has a long engineering tradition going back to 1924. Its well-regarded headphones are used by consumer and professionals in recording studios. The German company sent a pair of its Beyerdyamic T 51 i iOS compatible headphones, and the sound was terrific.

Specifications

  • Transmission type Wired
  • Headphone design (operating principle) Closed
  • Headphone impedance 32 ohms
  • Headphone frequency response 10 Hz - 23,000 Hz
  • Nominal sound pressure level 111 dB
  • Construction Supraaural (on-ear)
  • Cable & plug Stereo jack plug 3.5 mm (1/8") & ¼" adapter (6.35 mm)
  • TRRS standard CTIA (adapter cable for OMTP included)
  • Net weight without packaging 174 g

Design Highlights

The T 51 i phones ( US$313.99 but lower from online merchants) have a three-button remote control for phone calls and media playback. The phones use a 1/4" jack adapter for older audio equipment, and an in-flight adapter for airplane audio systems. The ear cups swivel 90 degrees and the headphones come in a nice nylon carrying case.

Using and listening

I'm pretty picky about sound and comfort, and I have to say this Beyer product came out very well. Listening to classical, jazz and rock the headphones acquitted themselves well. Strings were pure and smooth, bass was deep and not artificially enhanced. Comparing them to my B&W P5 phones ($299.99) I found the Beyer model very similar, but it reached a little deeper into the bass.

Comfort was very good on the Beyer phones, and the memory foam around the ears made for a nice fit. I would rate the Beyer a tad more comfortable than the B&Ws. The sonic signature of both was similar. Besides listening on my iPhone, I listened to some High Resolution tracks through my Oppo BDP-103 disc player and the sounds were even better with more extended frequency response and more precision of instrument placement, so it's clear the Beyers can be used in a mobile environment or at home with the highest quality equipment.

Testing against my headphone of choice for home listening, the Sennheiser HD 600, ($399.95) I thought the Beyer had a better low end, while the Sennheiser headsets were able to squeeze a bit more out of the highest frequencies. The Sennhesiers are large, and the driver is well off the ear, while the Beyer T 51 i drivers are right against the ear, like the B&W. That alone makes for a different kind of sound, with one approach not being necessarily better than the other.

My only beef is the headphone cord is not replaceable, but instead it is direct wired.

The T 51 i is a sibling to the Beyer T 51 p, the former being designed for mobile. Both phones have the same drivers.

Conclusions

The T 51 i is a terrific headset. It sported a smooth frequency response, and comfort was high, even after wearing the phones for extended periods of time. I appreciated the lightweight nature of the headset, never feeling it was squashing my ears with undue pressure. Listening to string music from Mozart and unamplified instruments from a Jennifer Warnes CD were all clean and realistic.

Beyer has a winner with the T 51 i. If you are looking for high quality headphones or wanting to step up from your Apple supplied earbuds, give this headset a try.

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