Germans. Great sausages, great headphones. Beyerdynamic used to be known for its high performance studio headphones. Audiophiles will also certainly be familiar with the company, which has been around for almost a century. But lately, the brand has been dipping its toes in the consumer market. And now, they’ve released their first noise-cancelling headphones to compete with companies like Bose and Sony. So, what can you expect from these $400 Bluetooth cans? Let’s take a look in this Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC Review.
Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC Review
IN the BOX
Soft and pudgy, the Lagoon’s leather earpads are snug without being too firm on the head. And they felt unobtrusive even during long listening sessions. My hairless friends will appreciate the generous padding on the headband as well. The sound isolation is also decent when the active noise-cancellation is turned off. So, no problems in this department.
Controls and Functionality
The Lagoon employs a touchpad to control most of its functions. With a couple of swipes and taps, the earcup allows you to adjust volume, skip tracks, fast forward/rewind, activate your computer assistant and accept/end calls. There are also two switches on the side of the earcup, one of which lets you control the level of noise cancellation.
Active Noise Cancellation
As mentioned above, the Lagoon lets you choose between two levels of noise-cancellation, while also giving you the option of turning it off altogether. Though I haven’t done an AB comparison between the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Lagoon, I would say that the Lagoon comes close to reaching the same noise-cancellation effectiveness. That being said, may people don’t like the feeling of pressure that the ANC generates on the ears. So, having the option to adjust the levels can be an important feature.
Calls sounded clear, and my buddy on the other line said there was minimal interference from ambient noise.
You’ll get 45 hours of use with the noise-cancellation off. And with ANC on, you can expect around 24.5 hours of playtime. The lagoon charges via the included USB-C cable. And if you completely run out of juice, you can use the included 3.5mm cable for listening in passive mode.
The Lagoon supports aptX™ LL, aptX™, AAC, SBC.
Bells and Whistles
Beyerdynamic offers an accompanying app called, “Mosayc,” which tests your hearing and makes up for any deficiencies so that the mix is right for your ears.
Now, some audiophiles might find this gimmicky, but Beyerdynamic wants to show the kids something trippy. How about earcups with disco lights? Well, these lights actually have a function. And each color indicates something different. For example, green means that the headphones are fully charged, while orange means that the headphones are paired to your device.
These cans fold, swivel flat, and they fit in a surprisingly small hard case, making them easy to throw in your backpack. Might be too big for a fanny pack, though.
Depending on whether the active noise-cancelling function is turned on or off, you can expect two different profiles in the low end. With ANC turned on to the highest level, you’ll get an extremely warm, forward leaning and punchy bass. Quite un-Beyerdynamic like, though it works great for pop and hip-hop. But when the ANC is off, the balance is a lot more neutral and more in line with what I’m used to hearing from the brand. So, when listening to genres involving acoustic instruments, you’ll hear a much more natural presentation with the ANC off. Separation is infinitely better, and you’ll get a cleaner, more detailed sound overall. In fact, in its natural state, the Lagoon reveals tons of substance and nuance in string instruments, like cellos and double basses. And note progressions sound precise and well delineated with no bleeding into the higher frequencies.
The Lagoon gives plenty of love to the mids, which present a relatively even balance throughout this range. As a result, rock and pop-rock choruses feel expansive and all-encompassing, and vocals avoid sitting artificially forward in the mix. But again, what is most impressive is how clean these cans sound. The layering of instruments is so clearly unveiled that not one component is lost in the mix, even in the most convoluted of arrangements. And the level of clarity is also fantastic; listening to John Lennon’s Watching The Wheels, the snare often sounds compressed on wireless headphones. But in this case, you could hear so much detail in one snare hit, that it was as if the recording had been slowed down. I’ve only heard this kind of subtlety on maybe one other wireless headphone. And it was a lot more expensive. (Also Beyerdynamic).
With the ANC turned off, these cans lean on the brighter side at times. But the highs avoid overkill, and pop fans will appreciate how crispy percussion sounds on funky tracks. But what was most pleasing to the ears in this range was vocals. Airy and buoyant, my girl, Rihanna never sounded better on wireless headphones; her breathy modulations are unveiled in all their glory. So, certainly, the level of precision is sustained in this range, adding intricacy to strings and other acoustic instruments as well. Indeed, classical and jazz fans will also be thrilled with this sound signature.
The Lagoon presents the most multidimensional soundstage I’ve heard from a Bluetooth headphone at this price point. Although you won’t get the vastness of an open-back headphone, the gradations in width, height and depth felt so precise that it was like flying through constellation of sound. Of course, my ayahuasca tea might have played a part. But even the most distant instruments were well delineated and maintained their richness, while on other wireless cans, (I won’t name names) these far out instruments would sound foggy. So, to get this kind of holographic experience, you usually have to spend a lot more.
The Lagoon is, by far, the most skilled wireless headphone I’ve heard under $400. So, yes, it certainly beats its competition in terms of sound quality. Beautifully balanced, highly versatile and impressively detailed, these cans work just as well for pop as they do classical music. It would be great if there wasn’t such a huge difference in bass response with the ANC turned on. But this is an issue shared by all ANC headphones. And life is a series of compromises, so I’ll just have to get over it.