I’ve always been a fan of Beyerdynamic’s high end headphones, so I’ve been itching to get my hands on the new Xelento Remote. This high-end earphone retails for a cool $999, and if Beyerdynamic’s past successes are any indication, this earphone is destined to sound amazing. But does it live up to that expectation? And how does it stack up to the competition?
The Xelento comes packaged with some accessories, including two silver plated cables (one of which sports a remote), ten pairs of eartips, a carrying case, a cable clip, and some a quick-start guide.
With a strong, durable build, the earpieces seem like they could take a fair amount of abuse. The 4 ft (1.3 m) detachable cables are equally solid. Comfort is amazing, thanks to the ergonomic design of the earpieces. Rest assured, these babies won’t be causing you any ear fatigue.
Frequency Range: 8-48,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 16 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 110 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA
As you can see from the specs, the Xelento boasts an expansive frequency range. The low impedance is perfect for portable devices and smartphones. Sound pressure level is decent, so volume shouldn’t be a problem. Lastly, distortion isn’t rated by Beyerdynamic, but the overwhelmingly clean sound leads me to believe it lands somewhere around the <0.1% mark.
The low end on the Xelento is marked by a decent bass – not too stong, but still lively. Ample detail also makes an appearance here, and good control minimizes bleed. The lack of any real distortion or bleed leads to a clean, articulate low end – just what I would expect from Beyerdynamic.
There’s some great detail at play in the mids. Again, this part of the frequency range is void of any distortion or compression, leading to a clean and articulate sound for instrumentation or vocals. All in all, this is a very competent midrange.
A tad bit bright but sparkling with detail, the highs of the Xelento are well-executed. Some trickier tracks revealed an earphone with a tendency to sound a bit peaky where the highest high notes are concerned – especially with shrill violins. However, this may just be byproduct of extreme accuracy – as exacting as those high notes sound, the Xelento’s high end never becomes too uncomfortable.
With good depth and good placement, the Beyerdynamic Xelento offers an very impressive soundstage. There’s a certain realism to the sound that I’ve seen in only a few other top-notch earphones (like the Shure SE846, and some of the high-end Final Audio products).
Thanks to some next-level clarity and separation, the sound on this earphone remains fairly roomy at all times. There’s a huge impression of separation and space, even with simpler compositions.
Fit remains comfortable yet light no matter how long I use these earphones. Even after an hour or two, there’s no fatigue or discomfort.
Efficiency is another hallmark of the Xelento. At just ?????? ohms, this earphone requires only a fraction of the power needed to drive other models. Saving myself battery life while reducing my playback volume to a measly 40%, what’s not to love?
For those seeking rich dynamic sound, the Beyerdynamic Xelento is a shoe-in. The sheer amount of detail and fantastic soundstage easily place this earphone in competition with the more established Shure SE846. While both of these earphones retail for the same price, the Shure may have a slight edge where midrange fidelity is concerned. However, the Xelento sports a roomier sound with greater separation.
Personally, I’d opt for the Xelento, but only because I prefer being able to hear every layer of detail in a track, as opposed to slightly more true-to-life upper mids. Really, though, it all boils down to personal preference. I highly recommend prospective buyers audition
The Beyerdynamic Xelento will strike you as a hard-hitting, highly-accurate beast. And with ample detail and a spacious, dynamic sound, I’d expect nothing less. To be sure, the price tag may be a bit staggering for the casual consumer, but dedicated audiophiles will be more than happy to audition this competent earphone alongside the more mainstream Shure SE846.