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Beyerdynamic T5p

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #62 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: Clarity; comfort; detailed sound; build quality; looks; versatility; fun factor of sound; etc.

Cons: Less-than-ample bass; price; non-detachable cable; isolation could be better.

 

Introduction

 
I have been researching closed-back portable headphones for a couple of years, off and on. I sometimes have to drive a few hours to see family or travel to events, and I've found that the better the music I listen to, the more likely I am to remain awake at the wheel. Also, I recently gained a part-time roommate, as one of my very good friends is having marital difficulties and stays at my place about 50% of the time. We very rarely work the same shifts (we both work retail), and sometimes need to do our own thing in the same room. I have a pair of LCD-2s that I absolutely adore (one of my absolute favorite things I own), but if he is talking on the phone (or doing whatever), I can obviously hear him. Also, I tend to listen to music (or watch TV shows on my tablet) as I lay down to go to sleep, and I prefer to use headphones in deference to both audio quality and the poor SOB trying to sleep upstairs. 
 
I find myself using my HD25 pretty frequently for different things in different settings (even sometimes at work, if I'm trying to box everybody out and really gear down into a project or something), so the utility of a pair of portable, closed headphones is pretty apparent to me. And being an audio nutjob gear whore, I naturally had a strong interest in the top-of-the-line offerings from a number of different companies. While the Fostex TH900 sounds like it would be absolutely amazing, that's simply a significant amount more than I'm willing to spend at the moment, so my search really came down to the T5p and Signature Pros. Each seems to have a lot of conflicting feedback from users, and both seem to incite both strong affection and strong distaste, so it was a bit difficult to figure out which way to go. Ultimately, I leaned towards the T5p, particularly after reading NZTechFreak's notes on how they sounded on metal in direct comparison to the Sig Pros. But I resolved to keep my mind open to whichever came up as a good deal first, and lo and behold, last week I saw a pair of T5p in the classifieds at a reasonable price, and pulled the trigger. 
 
These thoughts were captured at various times throughout the day in different situations with different combinations of gear. This should hopefully explain the somewhat haphazard and disjointed nature of some of the comments below. To be clear: I am not a professional reviewer; I do not claim to have an absolute understanding of what these or any headphones sound like to anyone else; and my impressions do not undermine or invalidate the impressions of anyone else. I'm just a guy who loves music, headphones, and being a bit verbose at times. Anyway, I hope this helps point somebody in the right direction!
 
 
Background Info and Gear Used
 
I have plugged these into: 
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 straight (no external amplification)
  • iBasso D6 as amplifier w/ JDS Labs ODAC from S3
  • Yulong D100 (both low and high outputs)
  • Schitt Lyr w/ Mullard E88C tubes
  • JDS Labs O2 amplifier (from D100)

 

When listening to the T5p on the Schitt Lyr, I enjoy the sound quite a bit, but there is a very noticeable amount of hiss even at low volumes. Probably predictable given the 6 watts of power going to a 32 ohm set of cans. 
 
These work well out of my S3 without additional amplification, but they improve noticeably when plugged into an external DAC and amp. Things get clearer, more involved, and the upper or midbass (not sure which is technically accurate) gets significantly less congested. 
 
I tend to listen at pretty low volumes, and the volume control on the D100 was not nearly granular enough to suit my needs here. I've got them plugged into the D100 as I type this, and I've got it literally three notches up from the absolute bottom, and both of the two notches below this one have severe channel imbalance. On the O2 I ended up listening a bit louder than I really wanted to due to the channel imbalance at low volumes. I would also add that the O2 sounded a touch more brash and less clear than the low output jack on the D100, so if you're listening to busy music (massed strings, or Thomas Giles' 'Pulse' in my case), the O2 might not be the best match. Not a huge difference, but enough to notice when paying attention. 
 
My source for all my desktop amps is my computer, a frankenbox running Windows 8 Pro. I use JRiver MC18 (currently 18.0.106) for all my listening. I have a several terabytes of music that I've purchased, ripped, and downloaded through the years. Most of it is CD quality, as usual. All my rips were done to WM Lossless using EAC. I have some 24/96 and 24/192 stuff, but I tend to listen to the music I'm in the mood for, not the bitrate and whatnot. When I do listen to MP3s, they are typically 320kbps. 
 
My S3 is running stock 4.1 (Jelly Bean), but it's rooted. I use Neutron for all the music I have stored on the device and MOG for most of my streaming music. (As an aside, I was really quite surprised by how much poorer the music quality was when running AOKP on my phone than stock... Apparently Samsung did spend some time on audio quality, even though they did end up leaving us Yanks out in the cold when it came to the Wolfson DAC they used in Europe). 
 
I listen to a lot of music, and while my tastes in a single day can run from light vocal jazz to small string ensembles to grindcore to triphop to god-knows-what-else, I listen to more metal than anything. I tend to prefer music that uses nonstandard (= not 4/4) time signatures, complex rhythms, and often a lot of dissonance. (Arguably my favorite 5 bands are Opeth, Dillinger Escape Plan, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, and Nine Inch Nails, if that provides any insight). I do tend to listen to entire albums, and almost never just listen to one song. (I've only done the one-song thing today once, and I'm auditioning a new headphone). 
 
I tend to value tonality and texture pretty highly. I don't care a lot about soundstage (I think my many years of wrestling and subsequent surgery on my ears has probably diminished my ability to pick up on spatial cues somewhat). I gravitate towards more driving, engaging sound (most of the time). I (apparently) like bass more than I realized before I got this headphone, although I have never been a guy to crank up the bass on anything, and actually am typically the guy who hates it when people crank up bass for no reason other than to irritate everyone for a quarter mile in every direction. 
 
 
Build Quality
 
Very good. These look and feel like a quality, high-end product, and I love the understated modernist aesthetic. They are quite comfortable (with some caveats below), and are surprisingly lightweight. 
 
I frankly find these to be borderline gorgeous in their understatement. These are the hot librarians of the headphone world for sure.
 
It does drive me crazy that these headphones don't have removable cables. The cable that comes with it is about 6 inches too short, and as I often use my phone as a source when I'm on the go, having the ability to use a cable with a phone mic is fantastically useful, but nonremovable cables make this a pricey and time-consuming affair. Manufacturers: there is just no reason to do this. Ever. [/tirade.]
 
The cable looks a little bit skimpy for a high-end headphone. Not a big deal, but I would have liked something a little nicer on a can this expensive. It is very pliable though, and microphonics aren't an issue at all (as you'd expect from a circumaural). I didn't know how well the dual-entry cables would work out when out and about, but I had zero problems with them. 
 
The tactile element of these are just great-- they feel great in the hands and on the head. 
 
These are sharp-looking enough that I would feel perfectly comfortable displaying them on a nice stand in my home. 
 
My unit came with the zippered carrying bag, but no metal box. The bag seems like it would be useful for avoiding scratches, but as it isn't reinforced, it doesn't seem like it would be much good defending my cans against the rest of the stuff in my backpack. Something like the V-Moda carrying case here would be perfect and a substantial upgrade. I'm thinking of looking into a Pelican case or something to carry them in, but it would have been nice to have one included. I personally imagine I'd find the metal case to be impractical for daily use, so again, a molded V-Moda style case would be a slam-dunk here. (Anybody wanna make one?)
 
 
Comfort
 
My ears got fatigued a couple of times in places where they were touching the earpads, but a simple position adjustment easily fixed this. It seemed to happen either almost always our always outright with my left ear... But again, this probably has more to do with my biology than anything with the Beyers. 
 
I would have liked slightly bigger space for my ears, as I do find myself readjusting every so often to try to keep the sides from wearing my ears out. But the more I wear them, the less this is an issue, so it probably is simply a matter of getting used to how to best situate them on my noggin.
 
I picked up these cans from the post office this morning at approx 9:15am. As I type this, it is 5:30pm, and the only time these have been off my head was for about 45 mins as I tried out a local Indian restaurant for a late lunch. (Worst Indian I've ever had btw... Who would have thought Cookeville, TN wouldn't excel in foreign cuisine?) I can say that although I've had to make a few adjustments throughout the day, these are exceptionally comfortable cans. I could never wear my HD25 this long without my ears really starting to hurt from the pressure. (Update: I had to take them off for roughly an hour for a phone call later, but it's now 9:00pm, and I'm still wearing them without physical or aural discomfort. Pretty damned impressive.)
 
 
Isolation
 
Noise isolation on this definitely leaves something to be desired. While it's not reasonable to expect the T5p to do as well as custom IEMs, it still reduces outside sounds significantly less than the HD25. 
 
I rode around town running a few errands today, and due to the inexplicable decision of my vehicle's previous owner to drill a screw into the door near the window, the wind noise is noticeably higher in my car than most. While the sound was obviously diminished, I could still hear the wind noise while riding around town. Not enough to be a major irritation, but definitely enough to keep one from critically listening. (As if anybody does that while driving, but I digress). 
 
 
Sound Quality
 
Certain parts of songs sound absolutely AMAZING, and other parts are very underwhelming. Listening to Opeth's 'Heritage', some of the 70s-sounding electric guitar parts sound just fantastic. Mikel's vocals, however, seem somewhat pushed back at times. I found this occasionally on different vocals (Melody Gardot is another). Also, this is one of those cans that makes reverb pretty obvious on a song-- not so obtrusive that you can't ignore it, but the clarity of the sound makes it fully apparent when present. 
 
These manage to be very detailed without being bright or fatiguing. I disagree with the comments that I've read that call the T5p a bright can. It sounds smooth in a very pleasant, non-veiling way. The more I listen to it, the more I think this is (along with the suitability to both portable and high-end sources) one of the more impressive engineering marvels I've encountered recently. I'm not as well versed as many on Head-Fi, but I'm not sure there is anything else out there that matches the T5p on the portability and listenability fronts while presenting such impressive sound. 
 
These have GREAT tone and texture to them!! Guitars have an awesome crunch to them (just not much weight in the bass). As a metalhead, this is hugely important to me, and well-recorded metal sounds GREAT. An overwhelming amount of metal, however, sounds like it was recorded in a shoebox on a cassette player (I'm looking at you, Norwegian black metal). Fortunately, these manage to be revealing without becoming ruthlessly so, and they don't make poorly recorded music miserable. Again, this strikes me as some kind of engineering miracle. 
 
At one point, the sound got really fatiguing while listening on my desktop station. I then realized that I had the music up WAY too loud. Turning it down a good bit solved that, and the sound hasn't been even remotely fatiguing since. But do heed the warnings elsewhere on HF of the danger of volume creep with these bad boys.
 
Melody Gardot's vocals on 'Worrisome Heart' seem somewhat recessed. They don't sound bad, but she isn't crooning right to me like she does on my LCD-2 and iE8. Note the use of the qualifier "somewhat" here-- it isn't a major thing by any means. 
 
These things capture the energy and technicality of Protest The Hero's 'Scurrilous' extremely well. They ROCK!!! (These moments of exuberance seemed to come mostly during well-recorded fast-tempo metal music... which is just great for me. I was literally belting out every line of almost every song on the album-- which is a good sign IMO.)
 
 
The Bass Controversy
 
Perhaps my expectations were off (my other headphones tend to be a touch bassier than the norm: Sennheiser iE8, Sennheiser HD25i-II, Audeze LCD-2 (rev 1), Klipsch X10), but I don't see how anyone could listen to what I'm listening to and try to say the bass is not very seriously lacking. While the bass that's there is clear and well textured, there's just shockingly little of it. I know this has been said before, but it's worth repeating, because this is by far (IMO) the Achilles heel of this design. UPDATE: as I continue listening, I realize I'm acclimating to the sound more, and find the lack of impact and bass less objectionable. I'm sure that if I were to put on my LCD-2 for a moment and switch back, the lack of heft to the bottom end would become painfully obvious again, but for now... it's not so bad. 
 
EQing the bass up a bit helps out, but while it increases quantity, it seems that nothing actually gives the bass that punchier quality on aggressive drums and the like. With the bass turned up in Neutron as much as I can without causing distortion, I can hear the bass line at the beginning of Massive Attack's 'Angel,' but it doesn't really have any impact. As it stands, it doesn't look like the T5p would be great for listening to trip-hop, which I do on occasion. (I later found at least a moderate improvement in the visceral punch of the bass by going bananas on the EQ in JRiver, as noted elsewhere).
 
Additional messing around with the EQ has made things better, but there still doesn't seem to be the impact that some songs should have. I've read some reviewers and posters talk about the lack of impact being somehow more true to life-- but I cannot recall a single metal concert I've been to where there wasn't a kick to the drums and a deep-in-your-guts mandate to move when the bassist digs into an awesome groove. Perhaps the T5p sounds exactly as a solo violinist would, and that's great-- I'm sure my Masada String Trio and Kronos Quartet stuff will sound great as a result. But the bass does, in my opinion, lack the quantity necessary to really engage  you on a bass-driven groove sometimes. In the long term, this will probably be the thing that determines whether I keep these or not. I LOVE the guitar tone, the detail, the clarity, the amazingly versatile nature of the cans, their impeccably clean looks, etc etc ad nauseum. But the bass is simply less present than I'm used to, for better or worse.
 
Update: I've dramatically increased the bass in the DSP Studio in JRiver, and the bass does sound much better, and starts to sound like it has a bit of impact to it when listening to Puscifer. The problem is that I could still use a touch more bass presence, and this is with it damn near maxxed out on a very powerful EQ application, which I won't really have when I'm on the go. So I'm not sure this is going to be the saving grace of the T5p bass.
 
 
Miscellaneous
 
These are SO CLOSE to being the perfect high-end portable headphones for rockers and metalheads... the bass problem is a real killer though. And better isolation would help out a good bit too. 
 
Considering bass quantity and isolation are two of my issues, I wondered if changing out the pads would make any difference. After reading the stellar review given to the earpads Jaben uses in their mods (from NZtechfreak here), I sent them a message inquiring about the cost of the full suite of modifications and of the pads by themselves. I'm hoping I can get the pads at a reasonable cost, as they sound like they might be right up my alley... I should also note that when I press in on the cans slightly, isolation gets noticeably better. Bass does too, as long as I don't press in too hard. So maybe some new pads could help!
 
I have had my T5p for less than 24 hours, so some New Toy Syndrome is to be expected. I've tried to temper it somewhat, but as an unabashed gear whore, I have to admit that I want to love these babies. 
 
 
Conclusion
 
I have had the T5p in my position for a very short period of time thus far, so my opinions are going to be thusly colored. But I can say that in a LOT of ways, beyerdynamic really nailed it with these. While no headphone can be all things to all people, this one come damn close. Ultimately, the (to my ears) de-emphasized bass is a shortcoming that keeps these from being the mind-blowing slam-dunk they would otherwise be. I have a few other minor niggles (no replaceable cable, insufficient carrying solutions available, isolation could be a good bit better, cable is too short, it's too expensive at retail price, and a few others), but they would all be washed away if the bass was simply more enjoyable by being more there. But that doesn't keep me from lauding these cans for their many successes (listed at great length above), and as it stands right now, I intend to keep these. I am still interested in hearing the Sig Pros, but I'm not sure the assumed improvement in bass would offset all the strengths the T5p possesses. 
 
Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope this helps somebody out!!
 

Posted

Pros: Accurate. Not Grainy. Very good dynamic range.

Cons: Case. No removeable cable. Presentation

EDIT: After trying more TOTL headphones and electrostats, I bumped the rating down.

Preface:
Please keep in mind I'm reviewing them for the purpose they were created. Beyerdynamic targeted them at mobile users who are looking for high end portable cans. I spend 2-3 hours on the go every day and the transit here is very loud so I need something that isolates. I also can't really be using semi-open or open backed cans in the library where I'll be distracting people.

Build Quality:
The build quality is VERY high in my opinion. Everything feels very sturdy. The cups swivel a bit so you can move one side behind your ear if someone is talking to you. The hinges feel very sturdy which was a big concern for me when I bought them but the materials used are very strong.
The padding is fantastic. As long as I put them on correctly (will talk about that more later) they were very comfortable. It's all natural leather (or so I have been told).
I really would have liked for the cables to be removable.
There's one design flaw which I will discuss later on.

Presentation:
Presentation was very poor for a $1300 pair of cans. It came in a small white cardboard box. The headphones themselves were tucked into their felt case which was really disappointing since they originally came in a nice aluminum case.
When I received them I thought they were the wrong model, it just looked so underwhelming when compared to the presentations of headphones like the D7000 and LCD2.

Comfort:
the comfort is superb. the only headphones I've tried that were more comfortable were the HD800. The padding is nice and thick so your ears don't touch the driver/the inside of the cups.
The padding for the headband is very plush and just forms around your skull to perfectly distribute the weight.
Placing them correctly: It took me a while to get these on correctly at first. The pads are very large and you have to place your ears right in the middle so that the top of the pads don't rest on your ears. If they do, you'll probably notice discomfort very quickly. The headband has to be positioned perfectly as to not affect the sound or comfort. Since the drivers are angled, any change in the angle of the headband can affect the sound.

Isolation:
They isolate very well, which is not surprising considering they're marketed at high end portable use.
I use these in public on transit such as buses and trains. They don't isolate as well as the Bowers and Wilkins P5 or the Bose QC 15 but they do a good job for most situations.

Sound:
Even though they're meant for portable use, I find they need to be driven by an amp. This led me to buy the Fiio e17 amp which I find pairs decently well with it. I leave it on low gain with some bass boost and a tad bit of treble boost.
Bass: The bass is VERY weak on these and if you're switching from bassier cans like the D7000 it can be a bit of a shock. There's also a dip in the mid-bass which made me think that they were defective at first since I couldn't hear the opening notes of a particular song.

On the upside, the bass is nice, tight and impactful. Sometimes too tight. Some songs have a very fast bass beat that gets smoothed out with slower cans but with these, you won't get that and sometimes might ruin the song, though, these headphones are not targeted for people who listen to that music anyway. The bass does not bleed into the mids like it did with my Bowers and Wilkins P5 headphones. They respond well to bass EQing with my E17 to give even more punch but they won't match up to basshead cans.

Mids: I found the mids VERY forward and I'm not someone who is mid-centric. I thought these headphones were quite warm.

Treble: The treble is bright which is good for me. Others may not like it as much. It's very crisp and clear with no noticeable graininess as long as your source files are good. These headphones hit all the highs and lows with precision.

Tonality: Something about beyers always sounds a bit off to me, unnatural, regardless of source and amping. This includes the T1, T5p, T90, etc.
----

Problems:
The new carrying case for these is horribly flawed. The case crushes the connection cables to the cups and caused the connection in the left cup to break after a measly 2 months. I don't think this would have happened if they stuck with the aluminum case and it's very disappointing to have to send in a $1300 pair of headphones in for repairs after 2 months. Save yourself the trouble and get a good case that suits your needs without breaking them like the case for the lower models or maybe the Hippo Case L.

EDIT: Apparently Beyer is now offering the aluminum case again with these


Please leave feedback on my review in areas where I can improve! This is my first review so any constructive criticism is welcome

Posted

Pros: Supremely comfortable, good isolation, exceptional bass

Cons: Expensive, too bulky/fragile to use on-the-go

I bought these after someone described them as his "desert island headphones" in the annual Head-Fi Gift Guide about 2 years ago. I was looking for something to wear at my desk in an open office environment, which meant that I needed something closed-back to block out external noise (and to keep my music to myself!). Every other closed-back headphone I'd tried suffered from either mediocre audio quality (e.g. Bose QC15) or a poor fit that made it uncomfortable for extended wear (e.g. AKG K550). I hadn't set out to get a $1000 pair of headphones, but I figured they were worth a try.

 

And I've been delighted ever since. For my needs, it's hard to imagine a better headphone. I plug them into a Burson Conductor amp, which is a beautiful piece of solid-state equipment, and the result is a clear, neutral sound that I can crank up as much as I like with no audible distortion. The bass stands out as exceptional, and by that I don't mean that it's loud. I mean that it's at exactly the right level, and has a richness that I haven't heard in any other headphone. There's the visceral "thump," but there's also timbre. As far as the physical design, the large earpads distribute the weight of the headphones evenly around my ears, with just enough clamping force to provide good isolation. As a result, I can wear the T5p comfortably for hours on end.

 

In short, I can't praise the T5p highly enough. I tried the Audeze LCD-XC when it came out (to the excitement of Head-Fiers everywhere), but I couldn't stand the weight of them, and I didn't find the audio quality to be substantially better. So for my money, the T5p is the king of closed-back headphones.

 

I'd also like to put in a good word for the Beyerdynamic T70 (or T70p, the low-impedance version). I've recommended it to several colleagues who balked at the T5p's price tag, and they've all been very happy with it. It features a very similar design at half the price. It doesn't quite have the T5p's clarity, but I believe it's the best-sounding closed-back at its price point (around $500).

Posted

Pros: great sound (details!!!), luxurious design (real leather earpads and headband), driven straight from your smartphone

Cons: non-detachable cables, lack of bass quantity

Deal or No Deal - that's the first thing that went through my mind when I took out the aluminum case T5p came in. Apparently at $1,399 its a BIG DEAL. This is a high class Audiophile Quality headphones designed FOR use with mobile devices! I had a very rare opportunity to test drive these for a short time period, and would like to share with you my experience.

I already mentioned about aluminum case these were stored in, though the case itself arrived inside of a rather large packaging box. With high definition pictures and detailed list of features, you get right away a heads up about something special that awaits you inside. Opening the aluminum box/case was exciting as well, and really adds to the value for those who invested into purchasing of T5p. Inside of the case, lined with form fitting foam cutout, you will find T5p headphones with 1.2m double sided attached non-removable cable, 1/4" adapter, in-flight adapter, 3m high quality heavy duty extension cable, and felt carrying drawstring bag for headphones, and another smaller bag for extension cable. The design of these over-ear headphones is common with other Beyerdynamic headphones, but this particular T5p model stepped it up with details to underline the luxury of this design. A rather large earcups have a neatly designed aluminum cover plate on outside with a soft touch hard plastic material around it. Each earcup has a nice strain relief for a non-removable cable which is thin enough for a portable mobile use, but still strong enough to take some abuse. And since I'm on a subject of the cable, both sides come together in minimalistic y-splitter and continue attached together into a straight gold plated 3.5mm connector.

Now, back to earcups, I was very pleased to find a real genuine leather earpads. These are not fake pleather or leatherettes, these are pure high quality soft as a butter earpads. To my surprise after using these headphones for extended period of time my ears never got hot or sweaty considering I was dealing with a real leather. Inside of earcups, you have a rather interesting design with angled placement of the drivers and a large opening space for a sound to travel/bounce. Also, Beyer engineers used a very unique material to line the Tesla driver and the rest of the interior. The steel y-fork holds earcup secure and allows a decent room for a tilt and even some degree of rotation to adjust earcups around your ears/head. The headband adjustment/extension has a great degree of control and indicator to know exactly how far you are out. Headband itself has a very soft inner padding wrapped in the same high quality genuine leather material. The clamping force of the headband, which is a solid steel band inside of that leather luxury, was very comfortable and contributed to a great passive noise isolation. The ergonomics of the design is very balanced to the point where even at 355g (measured together with an attached cabled), they felt featherlight and very comfortable sitting on my head.

As you can see, the quality of the design and the selection of the material takes it to the high level, but to claim audiophile status you need to justify it with an adequate sound quality. That is where I'm heading next. T5p, where "p" obviously stands for portable, is a close sibling of T1 model which has 600 ohm impedance drivers. That is great for home use, but will be impossible to drive with smart devices and even with a number of portable DACs/Amps. That is why Beyer introduced T5p model with 32 ohm impedance to be able to drive it straight from any smartphone or tablet. I can confirm that I had absolutely no problem driving it from my Note 2 or Nexus 7 or even straight out of the laptop. It worked equally great being driven from X5 DAP or Beyerdynamic A200p connected to the phone. I know it sounds bizarre, but I actually found these headphones to produce a deeper lows being driven directly without amp or dedicated DAP. I don't know how to explain it, but considering I typically crave more bass - I actually enjoyed T5p directly from Note 2 rather than from X5 or through A200p. So, let's talk more about the sound.

To describe overall sound signature, I would say these are balanced warm, more on mid-centric side, but not too bright. The level of details is simply amazing, and the separation of instruments is phenomenal. Unlike other over-ear headphones I tested, I felt this closed design had a lot of width and air and gave the sound more depth, far more than a typical headphones sitting on your ears. If you look closer into sound details, starting with lows, I found bass to be there in quality but not in quantity. I have been spoiled with T51i mini-Tesla drivers tuned to a more bass dominant sound. T5p have a very detailed and accurate bass, fast and high resolution, great separation without spilling into mids, but I was left feeling a little hungry for a sub-bass while listening to my test tracks where T51i or other headphones used to give me more low end rumble satisfaction. That is why I was happy when I switched directly to my smartphone as an audio source where I got back a little more sub-bass but at the expense of loosing some upper frequency details. From either source, mids are still very detailed and smooth, definitely more upfront. Treble is extended, crisp, but still easy on your ears for extended period of listening. To my ears, mids and treble sounded relatively natural with a great tonality. Beyer did a good job of tuning the upper frequency content to be bright and detailed without actually sounding too harsh. Though for my personal taste I would prefer a little more bass, overall I think a lot of people will find these to be satisfying and adequate for a wide range of music genres.

Overall, I think it was a great experience for me to get a taste of fine headphone luxury. Obviously, these headphones are not for everyone. But those who appreciate high quality of the sound and want to continue their audiophile experience on the go - you no longer have to compromise with your headphones. Ironically, T5p is not exactly a "portable" design since it has a rather large earcups, and can't be folded into a more compact footprint. What makes them portable is that you can take these headphones outside of your house and connect directly to any mobile device without a need for any external DAC or amplifier. Also, though as an owner you will know a true value of these cans, they don't scream out loud "look at me, I'm $1,400 headphones". T5p has a rather modest bulky look with a German engineered bell'n'whistles under the hood, where you can wrap your ears in a luxury of high quality genuine leather and audiophile performance on the go!

 

Here are the pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted

Pros: details, build quality, dynamic

Cons: heavy

I've been looking for a over ear closed back headphones that I could wear anywhere for a while. My Bose QC15 is great when I take a plane or train (good noise cancellation, very comfortable), but the sound quality is rubbish. My Grado SR325 sounds amazing at home, but I couldn't even wear it on my bed because my girlfriend would complain about the sound leak. My Bowers & Wilkins p5 looks cool but sounds rubbish and uncomfortable because I wear glasses. My Shure SE530 sounds very good but doesn't have the slam and the airiness the full size headphones does. The Beyerdynamic T5P is just simply like having all of those headphones combined. The details is just amazing. I couldn't even believe a closed back headphone could sound this good. The price is pretty high, but it is still cheaper than buying 4 "one trick" headphones I mentioned above. 

Posted

Pros: Everything

Cons: Not very portable

 

This is still my favorite headphone, when something else impresses me beyond this then I'll upgrade.

 

When I compared this to my Audio Technica A2000X, the A2x sounded thin and delicate, the T5p had more life, it sounds alive, the T1 is smoky and refined, STAX has a different sound, transparent.

 

In fairness, I listened to the A2000X a little more, so perhaps the T5p sounds very impressive, but isn't as ethereal.

 

It has an "r type" sound, but the bass is extremely good quality, like the rest of the frequencies.

 

I've heard people say it's overpriced... is it really?  If it's my favorite headphone ever so far, and sounds significantly above and detached from the DT770/DT880/DT990 series, then the price is fine.

 

The smell of real leather on the headband and earpads is very nice, like an expensive black leather couch.

 

At the end of the day, I prefer speakers and IEM's to headphones, so I'm not an avid critic, but the T5p can make me listen to music and albums I'd never touch with cheaper gear, so it serves my music fuel very well in that sense.

 

Mine has scratches on it, so I may as well start using it outside now, but it doesn't look very sleek, and I'm a bit concerned what will happen if it starts raining

 

The first time I auditioned the T5p, I also listened to -

 

Audio Technica W5000

Audio Technica W1000X

Sennheiser HD800

Ultrasone Edition 10

Ultrasone Edition 8

LCD-2 (revision 2)

 

In that audition, the only one I'd consider is LCD-2.

 

I think I'd enjoy metal music more with the Grado SR325, and violin and trance music slightly more with the A2000X.

 

I think the vital question here though, is... which is better, the Tesla T1 or the Tesla T5p?

 

 

I really enjoy/love the T5p, but I think I just want to sell this and pick up a new speaker or custom IEM, call that my individual preference and continual curiosity. - I really don't think I'd sell this and get the T1.

 

I suppose what the T5p has really done to me, is not make me impressed by how good it sounds, rather I'm just so acclimatized to it now, that all other full-size headphones (like the DT770 / DT880 / DT990) sound completely useless to me.

 

It has an immense depth to the sound, it's the most alive sound you'll ever hear, I am pretty sure this is the driver technology.

 

The bass sounds like a sub-woofer (on low volume), if you can imagine that, not like the typical air-moving bass, you sense it more than you hear/feel it.  If you touch the outer cups lightly, the bass will pulse into your fingers, just like a sub-woofer pulses into your feet.

 

The mids are the highlight here, the natural sound is very good, it sounds like quicksilver / mercury, not quite liquid and not quite air (yes, liquid metal, whatever)

 

The highs are extended and very nice, like fresh summer, and dark winter at the same time.

 

I can't hear any specific resonance to speak of.

 

The drivers are very angled and sensitive to the distance to your ear, so moving the headphone around changes the projectile of the sound i.e. layering effect and the frequency response.  The Sony SA-5000 has angled drivers too, but I can't recall that effect right now.

 

It's possible this headphone isn't clear as glass transparent, it could have unnatural overtones or whatever.

 

It has a somewhat fixed sound.  It has a "T5p-ness" to it, irrelevant of source.  I usually imagine music (the electrical signal) as pure white, and then headphones individually colour the signal to differing extents, which is what I call source-transparency, or lack thereof.

 

I don't consider it to score high in source-transparency, however it will shine with amplification (my stereo receiver is fine) and it's slightly synergistic, however only one third of the A2x in that respect.

 

I may extend the review one day to cover synergy one day.

 

The OPA6271 sounds very good with the T5p, they intertwine nicely giving a sense of completion to the sound, lacking in neither X nor Y, however not exactly an uplifting sound, more like a dark misty night.

 

If you want further reading, I'd recommend this review - http://www.avguide.com/review/beyerdynamic-t5p-headphones-playback-38

 

As the introduction states "The Beyerdynamic T5p is certainly not a sonic clone of their T1".

 

That's correct, I should note it's not a closed-back T1 with lesser performance (as per 600 versus 32 ohm).

 

I don't think higher ohms indiciate higher performance in my experience, that's just Beyer's advertising in DT series, which may hold true there for some reason, but 16 and 32 ohms usually have a cleaner and less filtered sound in IEM's compared to when I increase them to ~100 with the Etymotic cable, however in some cases (such as the ER-4) the extra resistance seems to improve the FR, imaging and tone.

 

If the T5p is actually the T1 with less resistance and less ventilation and that's it, I really don't care, the T5p sounds extremely nice.


Remember the part of the review where I called the T5p quicksilver, in that respect the T1 sounded like

Helium.

 

I'd like to extend the review to include synergy but I don't like sitting at home listening to music all day so I think I'll just sell it now in light of my IEM passion and their versatility to use anywhere.

 

 

Colour:  Very dark, with overtones of violet.

 

Season:  Winter, with stark sunlight and clear transparent blue water.

 

Character:  Natural, extreme depth, liquid metal, slightly volatile.

 

 

Looks:  6/10 (not a fashion icon)

 

Technology: 10/11

 

 

Thanks for reading and enjoy this headphone if you ever have the chance to hear it!

 

 

© kiteki

Posted

Pros: comfort, build, isolation, sparkling treble,soundstage

Cons: lean bass

Leather earpads and headband are as soft as butter. Excellent build quality, feels extremely solid. Heavy due to the solid build, but since it's so comfortable, we tend to forget the weight. Isolation is excellent due to the seal of the leather earpads around your ears.

Details, trebel and midrange are all good, but the bass is lean.

 

Posted

Pros: Comfortable,?Easy to drive?,nice build (both drivers and HP), leather earpads and headband, good isolation and soundstage?,felt carry case and ext.cbl

Cons: 'r-shaped' ssig or EQing the bass to get a 'lush' sound if desired is not for everyone. Cable not removable...Diffused soundstage/high THD in the mids

I mostly agree with the avguide review http://www.avguide.com/review/beyerdynamic-t5p-headphones-playback-38 read that review, since it actually describes the sound very well and seems in general pretty honest.

T5p have terrific comfort to isolation ratio of all the closed HP I've tried (good enough to barely hear yourself type on quiet passages of classical music, but no pressure related problems). The sound has a noticeable bass roll off and mids/treble peak (minor absolute I guess, moderate perceived due to the bass roll-off). T5p sound somewhat similar to DT48e. T5p has less dramatic bass roll off and less serrating highs (and not quite as prominent mids) or bears trying to crush your skull. As the avguide review suggests, this is likely because Beyer wanted to trade some lower end extension for perceived clarity at the top end in their 'natural state'. (as I'm guessing was the case with DT48e). BUT the top of the ear-cups inside may touch your ears and feel uncomfortable.

I find they're well suited to classical and other genres and recordings where the top end is important and wide sound-stage desirable (and hopefully hasn't been EQed to +10db past 2khz to crisp on ye-old-boombox).
If you like a fun bass-laden sound, or can't stand bright headphones, I'd probably stay away from these. For those looking for a fuller sound out of say your large scale orchestral works (or piano + orchestra), you'll probably want to EQ the bottom shelf as (60hz, 80hz, 100hz - +3db,2db,1db), T5p has no problem dealing with the EQ (even if you do +6,+4,+2). UNFORTUNATELY, the wide soundstage sounds somewhat artificial and smears details.

T5p should be ok when driven by portable sources (e.g. Cowon D2 @ 35/50 is more than adequate volume-wise even for really quiet classical pieces with no track gain and deafening for modern volume leveled pieces ). Keep in mind that if your source has a bass roll off with harder to drive HP (>=32ohm ), combined with T5p it will sound very thin (like the D2 biggrin.gif). That said, it needs a good amp to sound best and it's not easy to pick a good one for it (D100, MD11, 3ch cmoy didn't suit it much).



EDIT: Tyll measured T5p, and it looks like the smeared soundstage is the distorted mids http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BeyerdynamicT5p.pdf see the THD measurements... That's...Disappointing.

Posted

Pros: Soundstage, transparency, details.

Cons: Weigt and size when considering portability.

I will see how these perorm in the long run.

 

EDIT:

 

I have had these for a few months now with a few hundred hours on them too. I use them with Meier Audio Stepdance portable amp and my laptop - a DAC to be purchased.

 

I have to say that in the beginning I was realy overwhelmed by the brightness of these phones. Stepdance did help with that though, and a lot. After around a hunder hours the harsh brightness disappeared, at least partially and now these are great phones. 

 

They are extremely detailed and transparent. They provide great sound stage with good positioning - especially for a closed headphone. 

 

The only grape for some might be the bass - it is not very heavy and really only is there if you use a good amp like Stepdance. 

 

They provide quite good isolation - just enough for portable use. They have a bit of clamp, but if stretched a bit become very comfortable - if not tiny bit heavy. 

 

I would not suggest using these without a nice portable amp.

Beyerdynamic T5p
Description:

Features: • Audiophile Portable Headphone • Newest Tesla Driver Technology with the highest efficiency • Perfect transient and phase fidelity (32 Ohm voice coil) • Outstanding neutral and very natural sound • Very high wearing comfort due to leather ear and headband padding • Symmetrical double sided headphone cable with extension cable • Including protective felt carrying bag • Sound coupling to the ear: circumaural • Headband pressure approx. 2.8 N Transducer type: dynamic Operating principle: Closed Frequency response: 5Hz - 50,000kHz Normal impedance: 32 ohms SPL 1mV: 102 db (1mW / 500 Hz) Nominal THD: < 0,05% (1mW / 500 Hz) Power Handling Cap.: 300mW Max. SPL: 126 dB (300mW / 500 Hz) Power Handling Cap.: 300mW Max. SPL: 126 dB (300mW / 500 Hz) Sound Coupling to Ear: circumaural Cable: 1.2m (4ft.) double sided, extension cable 3m (10ft) Gold Plated Neutrik Rt. Angled 3.5mm Plug, Adapter 6.35mm, in flight adapter 2 x 3.5mm Weight without cable: 350 grams (12.3 oz.)

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