Last year when Beyerdynamic went all Tesla on us we were awash with amazing headphones such as the T1, T5P and now they are pushing that even further with the T70 and T70P recently announced. However the one area that didn’t hit the target was the portable headphone release with the Tesla driven T50P.

The T50P has a ton of mixed reviews in headphone forums around the world and indeed from first hand experience there were some physical build challenges to overcome with the headband clamping being a tad loose and a rigid leather ear pad that led to problems with isolation and indirectly with bass quantity.

That being said the T50P has plenty of plus points with the superb Tesla driver giving gorgeous highs and was one of my favored set of headphones with a nice warm tone. I also had the unique pleasure of a great Beyer service out of Singapore who very kindly reworked the clamping on my T50p to give better isolation.

With the DT1350 it really does look like the whole clamping and isolation issue had been taken on board and in doing so it’s their boldest statement yet that they are taking on Sennheiser’s venerable HD25-1 II at their own game. Beyer have nailed their colors to the mast with this one.

The DT1350 does not come cheap, it is $100 more than the HD25-1 II but it does in my opinion have a classier finish than the HD25 – 1 II and does look like some slightly more expensive materials have been used. The HD25 has been on the go for ages now so I would expect any new competitor in the market now to have to raise the bar if they are too compete.

Beyer DT1350

Beyer DT1350

Beyer have gone for the dual adjusting headband frame favored by the HD25 and it really does work very well without adding any undue pressure on your head. It certainly is a looker and for those who tested it with me did note that the fit was excellent and the isolation, though being passive, was much improved on the T50P. The headband connection to the cups has also been strengthened and as in the T50P you can lie these flat which is great for those who want to walk around with them round their neck and of course they pack away nicely also with the cups flattened.

Striking black on silver design

Striking black on silver design

I do wish they had stayed with the all aluminum brushed metal affect as in the T50P but of course this might be confusing so instead we have a mixture of black on the band padding and rubber wiring enclosure and the cups. It is still pretty striking but I am a monotone kind of guy and do like my color coordination to be minimalist to be honest. Its not a deal breaker though and I think a few will like the new more striking design.

The last key change in the DT1350 is the wiring. This is single sided now as opposed to dual entry and this much better for comfort and usability. It is also a direct shout out to the DJ and monitoring community which often votes for single sided cable entry setups for ease of moving around.

So does it put the T50P raging debate to bed? In terms of physical build I would say 100% yes. The fit is excellent and no signs of this falling off my head. A few pogo jumps even confirmed that! The higher stiffer ear pads have been replaced by softer flatter pads of similar size that do adjust better to the contours of your ear and as a result the isolation has improved.

The Sound

In terms of sound I am not so sure it has answered the relevant questions but rather moved the debate onto somewhere else altogether. In short it just sounds different to the T50p. Not worse, not better – but different.

To quote Beyer on this:

From the technical side the driver of the DT 1350 headphones has been re-engineered for higher maximum sound level (129 dB). The sound has been especially adjusted for professional use; natural and balanced sound, while the T 50 p has a little enhancement in bass and treble.

So yes this is confirmed, we are not talking about the same drivers here. It seems Beyer have tried to go for a smoother delivery through the spectrum. Now for me I am not sure the T50P has enhancement in the bass department, certainly the treble was divine. The fact it can be driven harder is a plus and one suspects this is again a deliberate ploy to have the headphone pitched into noisy club arenas where DJ’s have to turn that dial up a touch.

We had the opportunity to get this unit tested at Inner Fidelity for the FC and boy did it throw up some really interesting results on paper. The overall summary was one of admiration for square wave responses (almost dang perfect and better than the T1) and a much improved neutral FR over the T50P. This certainly on paper indicates the DT1350 should have a good transient response which means the headphone sounds “quick” (can react to changes of sound frequency and amplitude faster) and more accurate – something I suspect they wanted to ensure for their target audience.

When putting these through their paces I do agree the sound is more neutral, fast and does retain plenty of that wonderful Tesla detail. There is no sibilance to speak off and everything sounds much meatier from bottom to top than the T50P – one would say a much more aggressive sound signature than the meeker T50P and less suck out on the mids (less but with a slight exception as explained later).

The bass is still slightly anemic and don’t expect this to be a mini ATH-M50, but it is more substantial than before and I don’t find myself compressing the cups by hand to check if I could have had more bass which is a good sign. It is extended and well defined though lacking in deeper slam. The reach is satisfying though and more noticeable than the T50P of old. The pads and clamping certainly help in that respect. The FR chart with the left to right flat line and gradual slope downwards has been a vote winner for those treble sensitive ear buying public and in my own time with them I certainly do find the response to be easy on the ear.

Compared with the likes of the ESW9 though I don’t find these quite as musical, in fact they sound very dry indeed, less liquid though not bright in any sense. It is a very balanced headphone overall but I do detect a little suck out again at the upper mids but not as problematic as the T50P which was accused of being disjointed somewhat. Some others rage that its a huge hole but I don’t believe this at all. For the average listener this should not really distract. For me the dry aural taste is the salient drawback since I do prefer a slightly more organic and liquid sound.

Conclusion

Though not a perfect 10, the DT1350 do sign off on a lot of issues with the previous T50P physical and sound quality, particularly in the clamping, pads and smoother FR. It is more aggressive and forward and still retains that bigger than average sound stage of the T50P. The dry SQ though can at times sound slightly unnatural and there is a hint of suck out at the upper mids that give some areas a dark tone. The highs are not peaky and very smoothly done with some treble roll off which will suit those with sensitive ears. Extended play without fatigue is a definite possibility though and overall I find these to be an enjoyable though not perfect set of headphones.

About The Author

Editor

Founder & Owner of headfonics.com. I first started reviewing in the late 80s (ouch!). Back then it was albums, rock concerts and interviews with a typewriter for the local rag. Now its desktop/portable and digital 2.1 audio on a rather nice laptop. How time flies.

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  • Sherwino

     So is it worth getting over the HD25 or at even the A100’s?? Jude from head-fi seemed to think a lot about these DT1350.. it even got me seriously interested… 

    • Anonymous

      It honestly depends on what you are looking for out of your choice. Having not spent any time with the A100 I honestly don’t know, perhaps Racio can post a review sometime to help that one along. As for the HD25, and this is pure aural memory, I think the two sq wise are different with the HD25 being harsher and more aggressive with more slam than the DT1350. Where the DT1350 excels is the balanced approach across the spectrum, with a nice fast detailed response – they are indeed quite nimble. The upper mid drop out though and the dry tonality may not be for some though. For DJ’s I still think the edge is there for the M50, HD25 and the TMA-1, but the DT1350 is more accurate and less bloated than all these three and suffers from no sibilance or hot highs unlike my perception of the HD25 stock. It is a toss up really since all possess traits that I think many will like.

  • Anonymous

    I really want to hear this soon. I think I’m falling for the design and the overall balanced sound. Post me as interested.

    • Anonymous

      The design does grow on me day by day and has a more edgy look than the T50P.They do look pretty wicked also with the dual headband arms at full stretch!

  • D_t_h_o_r_n

    This is a really good review, very thorough.  It pretty well concurs with my experience, but the more familiar audio terms in this review will help people understand the actual sound better.  I’m hoping in the next few weeks or months that some of those PX-100ii fans will have a chance to audition the DT-1350.  I think they might like it. 

    • Anonymous

      That is an interesting face off you put there Dale, the PX-100ii and the DT1350. I must do a comparo of those in June sometime since I didn’t really think of these two in the same class although it is possible they carry the same sq. I might do a follow up on this if I find some interesting points out of this comparison.

      • D_t_h_o_r_n

        Actually I would not put the PX-100ii in the same class as the 1350 since the 1350 will take a lot more juice without distorting, and has a wider frequency range, etc. But I have the feeling that people who like the PX-100ii would also like the 1350, so it would be a good logical upgrade.

        • Anonymous

          So did you get also feel that there was a dry tinge to the sq when put through it’s paces? For some reason some tracks felt like they were, how shall I put it, wading through a sand dune.. like the cymbal crashes and snares came across as a bit recessed? I mean it’s not a deal breaker but it does give a very unique sq to the DT1350 I have not heard on too many other headphones.

          • D_t_h_o_r_n

            Dry it was, yes. How a person will relate to that depends on how they use it at first. If they play mostly very familiar music they might have a negative reaction to some of the differences they hear. But when they play music they are not that familiar with, they might find themself enjoying the new sounds. I’m making a note to myself right now – next time I get a new headphone to evaluate, I will play only music I am not familiar with, or play so rarely I don’t remember the details. That way my judgement will be on the experience and not on a comparison that has a prejudice for the more familiar sound.

          • Anonymous

            It is interesting you say that Dale since the norm for many is to have what they call”reference tracks” to try and compare like for like but to make a clean break and try something new is a good idea also. It really does clear your mind from preconceived notions that could affect your judgement of a headphone’s quality. Next time I will pack away my Sting collection and try something very different to test your theory.

          • D_t_h_o_r_n

            OK – I’m getting the idea now. When I evaluate the $1500 headphone I will pull out my reference tracks and make it prove its worthiness in that class. And when I try the $300 headphone I will do the other plan first and then maybe play the reference tracks last.

          • Anonymous

            I suspect when working with mobile headphones we do tend to be quite analytical and forget about the music. Not testing on generally accepted reference tracks might help actually to enjoy the music first and therefore the headphone. For a $1500 headphone your going to get lost in a series of permutations of amp, dac and power source before you even start!

          • D_t_h_o_r_n

            Uh oh – forgot about that amp thingie. Good thing we have the Fiio connection now, eh? BTW, if I buy Fiio by clicking on their ad I assume Headfonics gets credit for that?

          • Anonymous

            Well certainly Fiio wont complain but we don’t benefit it from it financially – the companies are here because we love them and they love us 🙂

    • Donunus

      If I am one of those px100-II fans you are talking about, I am really aching to listen to these but its too bad though that I can’t go to manila during the meet. I wish it would show up on my doorstep one day after the meet for me to try out. I can ship it back to marcus after a two day trial 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Actually next stop Beyer SG Don, some local movers and shakers on the ground here are looking to bring in Beyer for Ph distribution so fingers crossed a lot more things show up on our doorsteps as we move along.

        • Donunus

          alright then

  • Abracadabrapl

    The Dt1350 is better than the DT150, which is already excellent. The DT1350 vs HD25-1 clearly gives priority to the palm of the 1350. Beyerdynamic shot themselves in the knee since the T5 is simply weaker than1350.

    Playing Live Zoom H1 shows that they are the best headphones currently available on the market. Neither the 1910 or Ultrasone mdr3000 Sony and Denon 7000 are not a threat to the1350 Beyerdynamic 

    Good job.

  • I am looking for cans for use on the go w/o an amp, and beyer 1350 are in my shortlist.

    My current headphones are Sony V6, Denon 2000 and a Porta Pro. DAPs are Fuze, Clip+ and 2gen Shuffle.
    V6 is OK with Clip+, still rather bright.
    D2000 is best with Fuze, still it’s bass is bloated.
    Porta Pro is fine with Shulle, stil it has too much mid-bass, and it leaks. It is mainly used by my daughter.
    Other cans include K 701 (wonderful soundstage, should sell as  I do not use them – they don’t involve), DT 880/600 (precise, even sterile, hard to drive, need a better amp), HD600 (the best – but only where they are practical (at home and at work)) and HD 515 (unnatural, gave to my daughter as a toy). I have sent back DT990 pro (no mids), DT770 pro 250 (impossible to drive by DAP alone) and HD 598 (sound boring). My musical preferences include Furtwengler, Glenn Gould, Patti Smith, Anna Calvi, Led Zeppelin, The Smiths and Аква́риум, mainly 192-320 bit MP3 or FLAC, home system is Lowther Fidelios amped by SE 300B.

    I initially considered beyer T5p, T70p,T50p, DT770/32 or DT1350, then also Audio-Technica A900 or ESW9. Now Shure 940 seems interesting, too. Unfortunately I have no chance to listen to most of them unless I order a pair.
    Now T70p, DT770/32 and A900, and also Shure 940 are not really portable – I have used D2000 on the go, but I prefer the size of V6. And I’d rather have more metal in the construction than less.

    All this points me towards DT 1350. 
    Any caveats?

    • D_t_h_o_r_n

      Since you are very experienced with different headphones and also very selective about what you like, I would highly recommend you try some EQ settings if you buy the 1350. It has the clarity you would like, the bass is exceptional and not bloated, so with a tweak or two you could have a near perfect sound. I’ve followed comments from many users in different venues, and most of those suggest the same thing – a very clean and clear sound, but needs some minor EQ to sound its best.

      • Thank you for the reply!
        I think I will bite the bullet and order DT 1350 (from a vendor which has a good return policy). I have a strong prejudice against the ue of EQ – since I parted with my last integrated amp round year 2000, I have abstained from EQs; moreover, Shuffle has none, and Sansa players are not Rockboxed (and their proprietary EQs  have really awful effect on SQ).

        • D_t_h_o_r_n

          It’s true that the proprietary EQ’s in players like the iPods are mostly awful, some worse than others. I have a few thoughts on that. One is you can get apps for EQ on the iPod (if not other players) that do a good job. My second thought is that having scuttled several otherwise good headphones for colorations, I’m not going to make that mistake again until I satisfy myself with the questions “Does it sound good enough to keep without EQ? If not, do any of the canned EQ settings make it better (acceptable), or the same or worse? If not, is it convenient enough to use a purchased app to EQ the thing, i.e. will I have problems or incompatibilities with my existing music when using the app?

          I too have always been a purist, and maybe I still am, but I’m experimenting with EQ more now because a lot of significant products are coming out that offer sound, comfort, convenience and other things that may not be available in a competitor’s product, and if all that’s standing between my satisfaction and a bad purchase is a little bit of experimentation, I’ll stifle my purism for a while and see what I can do, if it makes a difference.

          I’m still looking for an ideal portable headphone BTW, and I need a second round with the DT-1350 one of these days, having let go of mine before I started experimenting.

          • D_t_h_o_r_n

            Oh – I almost forgot. Some people have complained about the fit or clamping pressure with the 1350, and it was slightly uncomfortable for me at first. My advice is, unless it’s absolutely unbearable, give it a series of short listening sessions until you get more used to it, and resist re-bending the headband if at all possible. The 1350 has a fabulous bass that’s not especially warm and never boomy, but deep and impactful, and you could lose some of that stretching out the headband.

      • I’m listening to DT 1350 since this morning. Fine with 2gen Shuffle, better with Fuze. Plays well most things from Pachelbel organ works and Gould’s recordings of Goldberg variations till Ramones and Bloodhound Gang. While Gould’s piano sounded a bit like made of glass (that indeed worries me), and  “Puff, the Magic Dragon” did not benefit from analytic sound, Ramones “End of the Century” wall-of-sound mastering was more enjoyable than on other phones.
        So I wouldn’t call DT 1350 euphonic straight out of the box. Still I kind of prefer them to Denon D2000, who’s bass is beyond contol, and Sony V6, who’s treble can be really harsh. DT 1350 are not too forgiving: in an older Furwengler’s recording of Beethovens 7th all the imperfections were laid bare. Yet the presentation was involving, and the whole spectrum was present. That was not so with some other phones, which made it sound like a feeble midband-only mess. An unexpected major plus there.
        Besides, as a portable phone DT 1350 is most comfortable — big and cozy D2000 are actually very difficult to handle, thus really uncomfortable as a portable solution, even light and cheap CAL! is more hassle than DT 1350, as DT 1350 are small and tough, while CAL! are bigger, flimsier and do not have a case, just a pouch. Only Sony V6 came close, as they are cheap, tough and quite compact when folded.
        Placement does not seem to be a problem – just memorize what has been said on the method of adjustment, then adjust them till you are satisfied. It takes some time, and it does not get quicker or easier when done for the 2nd or 3rd time.
        I still have to properly compare DT 1350 to full size open phones (K 701, HD 600, DT 880/600), but I expect DT 1350 at least to hold their own (esp. after some burn-in).

        • D_t_h_o_r_n

          Thanks for the reply. Be sure to let us know how you progress with the DT-1350. I want to get back to these someday and your experiences will help me make some decisions.

          • Tried with Sansa Clip+ (need to replace this DAP as it has bad 3.5mm jack connection). Mixed bag. No better than Sony V6, different, but not better. Probably it’s just my ears being exposed for >6 years to Lowther speakers, but ultimately I sign under “the midrange is where we live” any day, and it seemed that all was not good in that department with DT 1350 plugged in Clip+. A hint of bass/mid-bass augmentation was welcome, but overall Clip+ was not as good match as Fuze.
            Tried with Audiolab 8200CD-Promitheus inductive volume control-MF V-can, — CDs, also DVD and Blu ray sound (Audiolab as DAC). Briefly compared with DT 880/600 (’05), HD 600 (white screens), K701 and Denon D2000. I guess I will part with D2000. And then possibly with DT 880. Jury is still out on K701, and only HD 600 is definitely a keeper. Back to DT 1350 – they scale up excellently. I must switch to FLAC files and possibly get a portable amp (Neco Soundlab V2 in shortlist).