The Beyerdynamic T51i on-ear headphone is a rare bird, if birds are headphones that aspire to be good but usually aren’t. In essence, these headphones exceeded our expectations in regard to how an on-ear headphone should sound AND feel.
Oh My Gawd, Like, it’s the Beyerdynamic T51i
When you put these headphones on, you’re immediately struck by the quality design and materials used. Primarily aluminum and leather, with a little plastic and rubber probably thrown in for good measure, the cups are made to swivel a full 180 degrees, while they angle another 45. That’s not taking into account the general give of the headband – leather padded twin bands of aluminum riveted to the cups. The whole setup offers a tight seal on the ears, ensuring that people around you can’t hear what you’re listening to. So you can really crank that Carly Rae Jepsen or whatever else those teenagers listen to today. Even as I write this review, I am jamming to some Britney Spears, with nary a ball-busting from my coworkers. Truly a blessing.
Which brings us to sound quality. Are they any good? Why yes, yes they are…with one single “but.” If you are going to get a decent sound out of the Beyerdynamic T51i headphones, you need to feed them power. They need power. They crave it. They love it. So using a DAC or amp may be necessary to get the full benefit of these $299 headphones.
Plugged into my iPhone, at half volume, music sounded muddied and flat. but amping them up (and later, switching to a computer) offered a much more rich, much more full sound. The frequency range on these puppies is a beast: 10-23000hz. Mids and highs sound fantastic, but I just love the low end on these headphones. Coupled with the tight, on-ear seal, and the impedance/high volume, I can feel bass in my cerebrum.
Is there any type of music they don’t sound great with? Not really. I was thinking classical music would suffer, but it doesn’t. Instead, just about anything I listen to sounds better on these headphones than when I listened to it on any other headphone. Why? The design of the Beyerdynamic T51i minimizes distortion and offers a cleaner sound. So bass doesn’t obliterate the mids and highs like it does on shitty headphones (read Beats). So not only can you hear the violins, but the piano notes, and the cellos. THE CELLOS!!!
The only fault I can find with the sound is that there is bass. Personally, with bass this good, I don’t really give a hoot. But, if you’re one of those types who doesn’t want ANY BASS, skip these headphones. You aren’t going to like them.
If, on the other hand, you like lots of bass or just a middling amount of bass, these headphones may just be your One True Headphones. And I say that not as an employee of a company that reviews and sells headphones, but as a human being who has blessed his ears with their sound.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get “Beyerdynamic T51i” tattooed on my lower back with a heart and some goldfish.
Stay classy, folks.