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beyerdynamic Tesla T1

97% Positive Reviews
Rated #9 in Over-Ear


Pros: Soundstage, accuracy , tonal balance, slight fun factor, build quality

Cons: bothersome treble for 8khz sensitive people, slightly too "common" compared to the best headphones

Please forgive my english. It's not my native language and the text below is translated frome the french Original feedback here








It's really hard to give up his own tastes in any objective consideration when headphones are tested. Much of the feedback made by enthusiasts on the web related implys that the author likes enough the headphone to take the time to put his impressions on paper. However, it is uncommon to see written feedbacks dedicated to a headphone that the author does not like. But it is the case for me: I do not like the Beyerdynamic T1. If I had tried it in a store, I would have probably & definitely put it down  a few minutes later without ever touch it. It seems I'm very sensitive to the sharp 8 khz Beyer treble peak.


However, I made ​​the choice to keep the T1 and force me to listen to it for a few weeks because I really wanted to compare the Beyerdynamic flagship to my current sedentary headphones, the HD800. And patience have taught me a lot about my own assessment on headphones ... But also on the T1 and HD800 itselves. The T1 definitely deserves better than a flawed listening and expeditious statements, necessarily unfair, that would have resulted.


During the weeks of testing this Beyerdynamic T1, I gave him about twenty hours of listening and I used only my current headphone Rig : Metrum Octave DAC + DNA Sonett 2 Amp. I have often read that the T1 was not as finicky as my HD800 and the DNA Sonett 2 is technically adapteed to both HD800 & T1.


Now you know the context of the impressions that you'll find below.



Discovery / packaging / comfort


The headphone is delivered in a beautiful metal box. It looks great and the box is filled with with dense foam. The T1 is properly positioned there: In two words: A serious and useful storage. The HD800 comes in a cardboard box with a more luxurious fabric "velvet" appearance, but ultimately lower quality.


The headphone itself looks solidly built - we feel Beyerdynamic's experience of professional headphones - and seems to "weigh" in hand. The 350 grams of T1 are there, and you do not feel like buying a toy. Metallic cups like leather of the headband are well crafted and exude quality. Nothing flashy here: T1 has a simple appearance. Special mention to the thick, non-detachable cable that also exudes German quality. Some see non-detachable cabele as a disadvantage. Personally, it mostly means that the cable is directly soldered to the drivers, thus limiting the number of solder points between the Jack and the drivers.


The Beyerdynamic T1 fits very naturally on the head (mine anyway) and I forget it quickly. If the headphone "weighs" in hands, it's not the case on the head. Comfort is excellent, I have not felt any painful pressure points over time. The overall balance of the T1 is good. Moreover, the cups are wide and deep. The velours ear pads have the perfect consistency (neither too stiff nor too soft). Of course, the T1 does not  feel light and airy like the HD800 but it, unlike the Senn, doesn't infringe on my jaws. The HD800 still remains more comfortable over time. The insulation provided by the headphones is close to none. Don't expect much more insulation from the T1 against the HD800.


Overall impressions


Remember my introduction... The first impression that strucked me listening to the T1 for the first time was the assault of the treble. When I discovered the HD800, I immediately noticed the treble too, but I never had this immediate urge to remove the headphone from my head. If you are, like me, sensitive to potential peaks at 8 kHz, flee the T1 like the plague: Your ears will bleed very quickly. Many owners of T1, however, have no problem with this peak. I've personally loaned the T1 to a friend who did not feel any discomfort. Conversely, many enthusiasts who have tried this or other Beyer headphones are like me: allergic to this Treble. So this is IMO primarily a matter of personal sensitivity.


After several hours / days / weeks, my brain has done its job of self-equalization and peak treble became much more bearable, even for an allergic like me. I then enjoyed as it should be the other characteristics of the T1.


The fact is that the T1 will grow on you. It offers by no means a 'wow' effect on first listen. It is in all aspects a significant improvement over the DT880 but not really impresses during first listens. The great qualities of T1 reveal themselves gradually, hence the importance of the long term test of a headphone that could quite easily be underestimated.


The absolute highlight of T1, is IMO the soundstage. This was the case on the DT880, but the T1 - and the T90 for that matter - offers uncommon precision and layering. The foreground seems close and forward - much more than HD800 - and the soundstage background is distant. All that sits between the two is perfectly layered and easlily audible. The most pleasant point IMO is yet to come. The T1 has a very specific way to make audible the left and right extremities of the soundstage. In fact, T1 seems to bend the soundstage stage and bring the left and right closer to the ears, creating a very precise "bubble" in which we can locate details with much ease. This is a very cool effect. Compared to the HD800, the T1 offers a more compact and less diffuse soundstage. It feels more consistent, but weeks of listening let me feel that this consistency is a bit artificial and tends to "beautify" the crappy mixes, while not doing justice to the better recordings whose ultimate goal is to reproduce accurately acoustic resonnance, the feeling of the room , the concert hall or the studio. In this matter, in my opinion, the HD800 is the King.


So, The second statement I really would like to share is I felt that the T1 instills a little extra energy in the music. It's a slight effect and not at all outrageous or too unnatural. I could feel sound movements from back to front. Very 3D effect. It's really fun to listen and I feel of kind of groove/swing added to the music. The presentation offered by the HD800 is more "rigid" : it seems that The Senn places the music in air as if it was paintings and let us comtemplate the sound. Both presentation are very enjoyable in my opinion.


Overally and before going into the details of the various ranges, we can estimate that T1 is neutral with a feeling of extra bass and treble. We are not yet in the U-shaped or V-shaped signatures with recesseds mids, but in the slightly saline. In general, HD800 and T1 signatures are close and I do not really think that one of the two is more neutral than the other, contrary to what I read here and there.

I used the T1 to listen to all genres I usually listen to with the HD800. I was quite surprised to find it extremely good for classical. I had assumed that the HD800 would be much better in this area but it's not so true. The Beyerdynamic is truly compelling for classical, although I always tend to complain about the same flaw, namely a slight metallic treble that can affect the perfect reproduction of acoustic instruments tone. I didn't notice any music where the T1 seemed downright uncomfortable, even if it does not seem much more forgiving than the HD800 with the quality of the recordings. I finally listened to some tracks whose style is better accorded with the T1: I am thinking of "Animal As Leaders" (progressive metal) that sounds good with the HD800, but frankly better - more impacting more cohesive and just as fast - with the T1.


Both headphones will shine on different music and differently designed recordings. The HD800 will be more oriented to the reproduction of music as a whole including its sound environment and atmosphere. The T1 will provide a more lively and sraightforward experience with a very high level of separation of the different components of music.



In detail ( vs HD800):



- Bass: The DT880 already dealt superbly this register but the T1 does better. Excellent extension and no lack of sub-bass be felt in demanding music in this area. bass are tight and fast and does not overflow on the mids at all. they are tight without being dry. Because of the presentation that offers the T1, Bass has this elasticity and dynamic projected character that does not offer the HD800. I think the impression of "more bass" from the T1 comes from that. The drawback is that bass are slightly more "one note" than HD800. Different components are less audible less detailed, less textured than those proposed by the HD800. According to different muusic or your tastes, you can prefer one or the other. For example, I found that the electric bass (Animal As Leaders) sounded better with the T1 although the different bass layers in my favorite EDM (Shingo Nakamura, BT or Burial for example) or Doublebass (Renaud Garcia Fons) are better with the HD800.


- Mids:  A few month ago,I would have said that the HD800 is the king of the medium. That's not true. The medium of the HD800 lacks a slight bit of meat and body. The real King is the Stax SR009 and it needs a lot of work on the upstream HD800 rig to obtain a meatier mid with the Senn. T1 seems to be in the same boat: the midrange sounds very good, very clean. Neither hollow or pervasive. It has not, however, the slightly euphonic and refined charm of The King Stax. Overally, the T1 is not more euphonic than the HD800. The medium of the latter remains more detailed, richer, more textured, more appealing. The medium of T1 is very slightly "off" in my opinon. I listened and listened to a lot of voices (Norah Jones, Newton Faulkner, Andreas Scholl) and it seems to me that the HD800 offers a more refined level of restitution in the matter. But it does nothing to actually penalize the T1, since the HD800 is still a tough competitor.


- Treble: now we are going to reach points that annoy and divide. The high range of the HD800 as that of T1 can be problematic and show an excess compared to the strict neutrality. So we have two headphones who undoubtly tend to be slightly bright. I say slight, but a lover of darker headphones would certainly find that both T1 and HD800 have too much treble. Someone who loves brighter/lighter signatures (myself for example) will however appreciates the detail, the sparkle and the bite air brought by those slightly boosted treble. HD800 as T1 are moreover, one like the other, not short on details. I would say at first glance that the T1 is perhaps the best for foreground details location - see paragraph above - and the HD800 for the best reproduction of low-level detail - reverberation, resonance and acoustics of the place of recording - giving my opinion a greater sense of realism to the sound material ... When this material is present in the recording. As we say the measures (see measurements of two headphones on the web) the HD800 provides ongoing treble boost from 4 kHz to 8 kHz, with a max at 6 kHz. The T1 offers him a sudden peak at 8khz and keeps elevated treble in higher frequencies. Choose your poison depending on your sensitivity and your preferences. What's funny is that during A/B comparison between one and the other, I could hear very well the difference, and according to different tracks one or the other sounded brighter. The one and the other may show sibilances and both seem not so much forgiving for poor recordings. Personally, and my opinion has not changed in three months of T1 owning, I appreciate the HD800 treble, while T1's one is almost unbearable.


- Soundstage: Two beautiful soundstages, but - as I have already said - very different and thus the personal preferencs will encourage us toward the Sennheiser or the Beyerdynamic. Compactness, density, precision and sense of movement with the T1. Cloud of music with a strong sense of the different sound patches and a great feeling of the reality of the music in its environment with the HD800. The HD800 "deploys" the music. I have often thought in this roundup that eventually the T1 had the best soundstage. It's almost true. Almost, because from my point of view, although T1's soundstage is fantastic, but "headphone-like". The HD800 looses some of that accuracy to go to a more extraordinary way to reproduce the music. HD800 doesn't either offer this "Music in Motion" feeling offered by T1. The diffuse presentation of the HD800 can bother too. I also said that the T1 was ultimately more analytical than the HD800. This is not entirely true either, but the idea is there: the precision of T1 impresses.




I still do not like the T1, and I really had to force myself to keep on the ears since I have. However, I think I managed to be patient and try to be fair. this headphone deserved it. I have to say again that the T1 in reveals its strengths after many careflu and attentive listening. Certainly a very good headphone, so of course we are not allergic to Beyerdynamic like me.

The T1 offers its share of "fun", but can still not be considered deliberately calibrated for that. It shows very little color or added euphony and stays accurate. In Beyerdynamic family, for whis is seeking more fun and less accuracy, I sincerely think the T90 worthes a serious try.


Finally, T1 vs HD800 ... HD800 headphones keeps in my opinion its superiorité for a few specific reasons: Better mids, an overally more refined sound - with a blacker "background" - a hgher level of detail and resolution over the entire spectrum and especially a more "extraordinary" persentation, where T1 is still a great headphone, but only a great headphone. That said, I do think that the HD800 can demonstrate these qualities only with recordings who can highlight them and, so, although higher in absolute terms, it will not be always more enjoyable. In any case, I don't allow myself to state that HD800 will always be greater than T1 for YOUR listenings.


For my part, I'm ending this review while listening to Ane Brun and The headphone I've forgotten on my head is the HD800. I'll be a bit sad to see the T1 leaving the house though.


Pros: World class sound and comfort from Beyer

Cons: Cable isn't as pretty as rest of headphone

This is not going to be as thorough or long as my normal reviews for now - but I wanted to get something in place.  I have always liked Beyer headphones, but they all had some very defining character or flavor - even the most neutral, the DT880/600, was a little hot in the treble and a little light in the bass, IMO.


Well, the T1 changes all that.  While maybe just a touch lush, it is possessed of an amazing transparency and neutrality.  While slightly behind the Sennheiser HD800 in terms of midrange transparency and soundstage realism, it beats all other dynamic headphones in those areas, and slightly bests the HD800 in terms of treble smoothness and realistic bass.  The T1 has an absolutely unique ability to make music sound natural, in my experience.  Music simply flows from the T1 in a way that makes it unbelievably enjoyable to listen to, but without requiring any kind of noticeable coloration to get that job done.  In my experience, it is that combination of neutrality, accuracy, and musicality that makes the T1, for me, the king of the dynamic headphones.




My basic description is as follows:


* Very neutral overall response, but perhaps just a tiny bit lush

* incredibly nuance and detail

* completely grainless

* an amazing transparency

* tremendous imaging and soundstaging


The T1 is, undoubtedly, a phenomenal headphone, and an enormous step forward from the DT880 (or its siblings). In terms of looks and build, it's basically like a much, much better build 880. Same basic size and shape on the exterior, but better materials and a higher level of workmanship. But sonically, it is on another level altogether.

This is a terrifically balanced headphone in terms of its sonic presentation, and as a result, it sounds VERY natural, or, more accurately, music coming from it sounds very natural.


One thing which I think is a VERY good sign - different songs sound VERY different from each other - there is absolutely no homogenizing of the sound. So you have to listen to a bunch of songs you know REALLY well to get the right measure of the T1 - as one recording will often sound very different from the next, due to the recordings themselves.

Comparisons: w/r/t the HD800, I don't have them anymore, and so I'm not sure my comparison would be valid. But from what I've heard over the last few hours, with no break-in, I think the two are in the same league, and there are subtle differences. From memory, the HD800 has the even more expansive soundstage, but the T1's have a presence to the mids that lends a sense of musical realism beyond what I ever felt from the HD800. The T1 has the stronger bass, although it’s in no way overbearing or bloated. And the T1 has the slightly less aggressive treble, while still being just as extended. They are also a very significant cut above the HifiMan HE-5, in every respect, as good as I feel those headphones are.


Maybe the best description I can give the T1 is that it is highly musical, but without having to be a technological apologist An incredibly comfortable, well-engineered headphone, but one that still lets the music come shining through.


Pros: Soundstage, balanced, detailed, liquid mids

Cons: Headband is a little flimsy

The Beyer T1 will always hold a special place for me. This is because this was my first flagship headphone. I had thought long and hard over choosing the HD 800, LCD 2/3 and the T1. Many thanks to Wilson and Claire for their ceaseless patience and unstinting hospitality as I went back and forth between the various candidates over a month or two. 


I finally settled for the T1 as my first pair for two simple reasons: the liquid mids and the fact that Jaben in Singapore had "balanced-ready" T1s whereby the T1s came modded with mini XLR connectors. Which was wonderful so that I could use them single ended or in due course balanced.


How time has flown and I now have a little collection of very nice headphones: AKG K702& K812, LCD 2 & 3, HD800, Beyerdynamic T1, Hifiman HE-6, HE-5LE, HE-500, Fostex TH900, plus all the higher end Grados (save for the PS1000) and the Abyss. 



Build Quality


The build quality of the T1 is pretty good. However, the adjustment mechanism of the headband does seem a little imprecise, while seeming to be a bit loose in most pairs I tried. This of course is of some concern since each end of the headband had a cut out of "T1" which surely is a stress point for the metal and will surely lead to metal fatigue and it giving way.


The stock cable which came with the T1 is probably the best stock cable I have seen on a TOTL can. Is anyone from Audeze, Sennheiser and AKG reading this? I recall that unlike the normal cable which Beyer tends to do in-house, for the T1, they sourced the cable from an external cable specialist. And it tells! I will frankly admit that my removable cables - SE or balanced are actually made from stock T1 cable and even though now I have really exotic cables in my modest cable library, I think that that the T1 still probably has best synergy with the stock cable. And that tells you something about the quality!



Comfort and Isolation


The T1 is actually quite comfortable. Very, in fact. While it doesn't fit me to a T as the AKG K812 does, it certainly feels more secure than the HD 800. The ear pads are a light touch - nice and cushy without being too soft.


Isolation is actually not bad in the bigger scheme of things. But of course because its an open can, isolation is not why you choose this can.



Music Genres


I have a pretty comprehensive music collection: the fact that it's stored in a 4 by 4TB NAS (and its almost reached capacity) speaks for its repertoire. Early church music, through the classic jazz era to today's jazz, rock, pop, acoustic vocals and even some trance (thanks to my good friends, Terence and Shawn, who are desperately trying to educate me).


What I discovered early on, especially once I had worked out that the T1 craves driving power, is the T1 is pretty much comfortable with most genres. Once I had ensured sufficient driving power for the T1 and ran it balanced, there was really no turning back. I think it struck me one day that I was literally rocking to Depeche Mode 101 and Keane's greatest hits. On the venerable T1! 


Of course, there is a special category which I love the T1 for: vocals. I remember reading somewhere, after I had purchased the T1, that it had liquid mids. That hit the nail on the head - the T1 has such lush and easy flowing mids. Wonderful for vocals.



Sound Quality


In my view, the T1 is fairly well balanced: the trebles are extended, the mids are bordering on lush. The bass, while it is quality bass, it is not quite in the same class as the AKG K812. I would say that the T1 also attracted me because I liked its soundstage - it was not too wide, but had some depth to it as well. And there were details galore.


I constantly read reviews complaining about the T1 sound and how its trebles are too much or that it compares poorly to the ethereal soundstage of the HD800. Well, all I will say is that I never quite understood the fuss over the trebles because I have always felt that the T1 had excellent controlled treble extension. As for the soundstage, the HD800 has a soundstage which is not suited for all genres - eg. with rock, the soundstage is spread out so far that there is a total lack of energy. On the other hand, the T1 is more versatile and is competent to very good with most genres.





I currently run my T1 off a a desktop rig of modded Mac Mini (with external linear PSU) via USB to a Bricasti M1 DAC, with balanced out to the Bryston BHA-1 and RCA to a Woo Audio WA2. My favourite all round set up is to run the T1 on dual 3 pin XLR on the Bryston - the T1 really opens up: the tonal richness of the T1 run this way is really something to behold. Of course, when I want to listen to slightly more acoustic vocals or I want a more organic tone, I listen to the T1 via the WA2. 





I am grateful that Wilson and Claire were kind to me when I was first looking for a flagship can. And that I did choose the T1 with my ears. It still gives me immense pleasure. There is nothing more anyone could ask for.


Pros: Excellent detail and instrument separation, good balance between bass, mids and treble; relatively lightweight and comfortable

Cons: unacceptable distortion, erratic highs, this is not worth $1,400, not even close

Please be advised that I am only writing this review to help other buyers. I am not trying to upset any T1 owners and it's my honest opinion. If you think it's unfair please state so in the comments and I can reconsider although I have enough experience with headphones now to know what I like.


First, let me note for the reader that if you google the three words beyerdynamic t1 deal, you'll see that every month or so an internet retailer sells brand new T1s for $750 to $780 (and these seem to be authorized retailers, for example one deal was from Buydig which is Beach Camera if I understand correctly, which is listed as an authorized retailer on Beyer's website; that deal even included free overnight shipping and no tax). These constant deals beg the question of why these "flagships" consistently go for mid-tier prices; The answer became apparent when mine arrived.


The only other top tier headphones that I have ever tried were the Sennheiser HD800 and the Audeze LCD XC. I preferred the HD800's sound signature, but I could appreciate the quality of the Audeze. For example, if you play the sound of a single guitar string being picked, you'll see that it's a noise which starts somewhat low in the frequency range, and rapidly, very rapidly, goes smoothly up in frequency until it reaches a high note. It takes a fast and capable driver to reproduce that well, and the XC could do that; it would send a chill up my spine. The HD800, well, I shouldn't have to explain why it's a flagship but let's just say its spatial imaging and magic are renowned.


The T1, though, is not even close to being in the neighborhood of those two. The best way I could explain the sound of this headphone in a relatable way, is to say they are an upgraded Shure SRH840. The way I tested them is to spend hours listening to and re-listening to my set of favorite songs, songs which I have played dozens of times and essentially memorized. I also listened to and relistened to very specific parts of songs, such as the sound of that guitar string being picked. The headphone was powered by a JDS Labs Objective 2 amplifier and I was generous with the volume, playing it at about 65-68 db ear level.

1. The bass, while relatively strong and booming, is distorted at the very low bass frequencies, which is less than you would expect from a flagship. There is a distinct way that the HD800 and especially the Audeze hit low frequency bass notes that distinguished them from mid-tier headphones. If you've heard it you know what I'm referring to (the SE846 is another example of clean undistorted low frequency bass). The T1s have plenty of bass, they're kind of boomy actually relative to what I normally listen to, but they hit bass notes in a subtly distorted and less than satisfying way. The measurement charts from innerfidelity objectively confirm the T1's bass distortion. Very common in $500 and under headphones; unacceptable for a $1,400 flagship.

2. The treble sometimes has what I can best describe as a subtle but annoying form of that "listening to treble on a cheap pair of ear buds, or a clock radio" effect. I'm obviously not saying it sounds like a clock radio, but let me see if I can put it another way. If you were to play a tone that smoothly goes up in frequency, it would not sound smooth on the T1. The T1 produces some treble frequencies at much higher DBs than others and this is not flagship sound. Very rarely it produces a particular treble frequency at such an unexpectedly high volume level that it causes that fingernails on a chalkboard effect. Good treble should be smooth, not jarring. Listening to classical music on an HD800 will exhilarate you. The Audeze wasn't as good as the HD800 in this respect, but it was no slouch and played smooth treble. When it comes time to play those songs and parts of a song on the T1, all it does is cause you to purse your face in disappointment. Again, if you read the innerfidelity charts for the T1 it's all there in objective science. The treble response is a mess with these, and my ears confirmed it. One important note about this issue: please keep in mind that one, just one, "fingernails on a chalk board" treble note can ruin an entire song for you. That noise stays with you. Mid-tier headphones either try to be airy, and have this effect or, more commonly, they just punt and roll off the treble. That's fine at that price range, but I don't ever want to hear that uncomfortable sound out of a flagship.

3. The midrange, to its credit, is very good, maybe even slightly better than the Audeze and the HD800. I couldn't definitively say which was better, but I had no complaints about the way the T1 reproduced voices, and I was impressed by the detail of its voice reproduction at times as it did things the other two could not do, in certain spots, particularly with a mid or deeper female vocals. So I will give it that. If I were just listening to people talk, or singing acapella in a middle range octave, I might choose the T1 over the HD800 and LCD XC.


4. Its detail is excellent, better than even the HD800. But since the HD800 was getting close to that "maybe this is so much detail that you're taking away from the joy of the music" territory, this may have gone over that threshold. I actually really like detail, but combined with the T1's other problems the excess detail was too much. But if you need to do an auditory detail spotting test, use these.

5. Instrument separation is also excellent for the same reasons as above. The way those instruments sound, though, is another matter as described above. But they're separated well.

6. Spatial imaging is, as expected, not anywhere near as good as the HD800 but better than the closed back LCD XC.


7. With its somewhat punchy bass and erratic treble, the T1 is more fatiguing than the HD800 or LCD XC.


A few other notes. For some reason people had me expecting these to be heavy like the Aude'ze but they're not heavy at all. They're in the HD800 territory in terms of comfort; very comfortable, so don't let that be an issue. They not made of fancy material, unlike the Aude'ze. They seem to have the build quality of your average $100 headphone. The cables are also not detachable which is very unusual. The case is a beautiful and compact aluminum. Very nice case. I uploaded a picture of the case so you can see. Much smaller and lighter than the needlessly big and heavy HD800 case and much nicer than the plastic audeze case. The T1 is also not unusual looking like those other two so you won't attract attention to yourself by wearing it.


If I could summarize by analogy, a Mercedes E-Class is a great car in its peer group, but if it tries to compare itself to S-Class AMGs, Bentleys and so on, it's a low performer. Same with this. It would get a higher rating if its MSRP were lower, but I have to rate it like a $1,400 headphone.


And to settle that mystery alluded to earlier, there is a perfectly logical explanation for why Beyerdynamic allows authorized retailers to sell this for $750, it's the only way they can clear inventory when trying to sell this for $1,400.


Pros: Very musical with great detail,bass and a stellar high end

Cons: expensive

When I ordered the T1 I really was not sure it would be a keeper. I bought a open box unit with full warranty. The headphones were burned in so listening time was much quicker for me as they needed no burn in. The first time I put them on using my Matrix M Stage and Marantz DV6001 was uneventful. There were no wow moments with this headphone.


During the weeks that followed with the T1 I started to realize there were no problems or colorations I could identify. I started to realize that there was something special with the T1. The sound reminded me less hifi and more of a live musical event. I had noticed the tone of instruments were nearly what I had heard live in a concert ,whenI attended with Chris Botti and the Philadelphia orchestra.


The sound coming from the T1 is really unique in a headphone. It is balanced with great detail and an open window into the sound stage that extends both wide and deep depending on the recording. The midrange is grain free with well defined imaging, and the transparency is like I have never heard  other headphones. The bass is tight ,well controlled, and sound almost perfect. There is no tipping of any bass or treble with these cans


The most impressive quality of the T1 is can be used with any genre. It feels comfortable whether playing Pink Floyd or Beethoven. Vocals are presented with a lifelike transparency with no sibilance on  vocals unless it is a poor recording. The T1 just plays music as recorded and presents what the source is presenting.


Beyer manufactured a headphone that is built like a Mercedes Benz and will provide the listener with years of enjoyment. The T1 has performed with my Matrix M Stage to a very high level. The headphone is the most neutral headphone I have heard to date. It just plays music as it was meant to be heard.


The T1 is not a wow headphone. It is a reference headphone that plays the recordings as they would be played in a live setting. The most important quality that I see in the T1 is that it is so good playing all types of music, and it is the only can I own that can do that. If you are looking for IMO the most near perfect phone, the T1 is a can't miss can to own. I find its gets the most of my head time and I decided tyo buy the T1 as I feel this will be my end all headphone. I am sure there is better but I have not heard any that will perform as near perfect as the T1. Very highly recommended and a true Five star performer.


Pros: Incredibly balanced and the best all rounder I've heard

Cons: Nothing yet.

My comments echo Skylab's. These are simply the best dynamic headphones I've ever heard. While the may not be technically equal to the Sennheiser HD800s, they certainly make up in the fact that their overall presentation simply works better than every headphone I've heard to date.


I love the HD800s, but I limit listening to them to jazz, classical, and some prog rock. The T1s on the other hand are incredible all rounders and work with everything that I've ever thrown at them. They even rival my all time favourite rock cans the Grado RS1s.


These are simply amazing cans and my personal favourites! Well done beyerdynamics!


Pros: Neutral, Comfortable, Well built, Detailed and comfortable sound, Soundstage!

Cons: High Impedence means you cant use it with portable sources like iPods

I have been a fan of Grado sound for over 4 years now. My first set of cans was Grado SR60 which I replaces with the RS2 and finally with GS1000. I loved their fastpaced and fun sound, they are and forever will be the perfect Rock and Metal and Bollywood cans! (Yes I am a big fan of music from India). But I could never wear them for more than an hour because my head would be hurting with what some call harsh treble.


Now before I go further in this review, I want to talk a little bit about my music philosophy (for whatever its worth  ): "When headphone makers such as Grado, Sennheiser, beyerdynamic, AKG release their headphones they never tell you what source or amplifier to use. Thus I believe that for a headphone to be 'really' good they must sound good with any amplifier as long as they are impedence matched."


The reason I mention this is because just because I get a new headphone I must not change my entire source / amplifier setup. Which essentially means that the headphones must be Neutral. They should sound exactly like the sound coming out of the 'headphone out' of the amplifier. Now many have suggested that the panacea to overcome Grado treble is to get a Tube amp like Woo Audio 6 or Zana deux, but I say why, the sound coming from the extremely detailed Benchmark DAC1 or the slightly warm Lavry DA10 should sound good and the headphones should not add to any harshness other than that present in the original recording.


Thats where Testla T1 come in. They are neutral: they donot provide any texture to the music other than what the source / amp provide. Therefore when I plug them to my Macbook Pro or Lavry Da10 or any other source they sound musical, they donot accentuate lack of detail in the Macbook pro output or muddle the bass in the Lavry DA10 warm headphone out. This is something which the GS1000 and RS2 lacked sorely. They needed me to use the EQ to sound 'natural', using Grado is like having headphones with a built in Loudness button, extremely groovy and fun but lacking the comfort and left you feeling as if you are listening to some part of the music - this is called by many as a dip in the mids.


Both GS1000 and T1 are extremely fast they have great sound stage but the T1 beats the GS1000 handily in width of soundstage. You can feel different instruments placed in 3D space as if you are present at the time of performance. This is especially true of Vinyl recordings that were not badly remastered to make CDs.


GS1000 have more visceral punch in the Bass which T1 definitely lacks. T1 is not Bass light but if you switch from Grado to T1 you feel something is missing, but as time passed I realized that I am not missing anything but gaining immense details in the mid bass and vocals.


T1 treble is more refined that Grado, which comes out a grainy in comparison.


In terms of comfort GS1000 are much more comfortable that T1. The light wooded construction, classy goat skin leather headband and the roomy bagel pads  were a perfect fit on my medium sized head. T1s are a lot heavy and cause my neck to hurt if I am sitting with them with neck bent to work on my computer. Having said that T1s feel more solidly built and come with 5 years of warranty from beyerdynamic as compared to 1 year with Grado GS1000.


Stock cables on GS1000 and T1s are 24AWG oxygen free copper, which to me sound just about okay for headphone application. It might be worthwhile to upgrade the cables to 18AWG (such as ones ALO audio provides), but I wouldnt recommend anyone to go for overpriced 24 AWG cable. I am an electrical engineer and there is no way 'snake oil' covered 24AWG cable will make any tangible difference in the sound of the headphones.



So which do I prefer, ofcourse the Tesla T1.Dont get me wrong GS1000 are better than every other headphone I have heard, save for the T1.




Pros: Comfort, transparency, staging / imaging, versatility

Cons: Will absolutely reveal your weakest source links

Beyerdynamic are a well known name in the headphone industry and in the professional audio world. I have toyed with the idea of purchasing Beyers on many occasions, but never pulled the trigger... until now.


  • Style:  Semi-open
  • Frequency response:  5 - 50,000 Hz
  • Impedance:  600 ohms
  • Nominal SPL:  102 dB


The T1s sit squarely at the top of the Beyerdynamic tree of headphones and were their first Tesla headphone. The Tesla nomination relates to the amount of magnetic force in the driver mechanism of the headphone. In general terms, 1 tesla of magnetic force is massive and it means that the drivers are very sensitive. I want to equate it to a car with lots of power and huge brakes, but that doesn't account for the handling and the T1s are also nimble and agile, not just quick to stop and start.


In a speaker (or headphone) driver, the ability of the voice coil (the bit that drives the movement) to respond rapidly and accurately is the key to transparent and accurate sound as well as efficient creation of volume without requiring massive power. At 600 ohms, the T1s would traditionally be considered "hard to drive", but the Tesla driver means it produces volumes comparable to 350 ohm headphones like the Sennheiser HD6X0s given equal amounts of power.


I have seen measurements that would suggest the T1's Tesla driver is quite noisy in terms of distortion at various frequencies and it doesn't measure as favourably as drivers like those found in the Sennheiser HD800s, but the proof's in the pudding for me and I wonder if sometimes technical inaccuracies can lend themselves to more enjoyable experiences - tube amplifiers are a perfect example where the distortion and "inaccuracy" of tubes actually makes them more musical and enjoyable. I try not to get caught up in too much sound science because it can interfere with the enjoyment of music, but I wanted to mention here that the measurements aren't everything based on what I'm actually hearing. I'm not saying the measurements are wrong or irrelevant, just that there might be more to it and it's the resultant experience that really matters.


While we're talking impedance, I've always favoured high impedance systems with "traditional" driver setups because, if they have sufficient power, they tend to provide better sound to my ears. I've always put this down to the high impedance helping to damp and control driver movement. So, if we combine the Tesla design's claimed agility and sensitivity with the high impedance's damping factor, this should make for an amazing headphone.


Design & Comfort

Beyerdynamic T1 Headphones

The T1s are designed almost identically to their siblings, the DT880s, DT990s, T90s, etc. It's a design that is clean and functional, but attractive. On the T1s, the round cups are made of metal and feel solid, but light in the hand. Each earpiece is covered with soft, black velour pads and the headband is made of leather and is nicely padded.


All-in-all there's nothing special about the external design of the T1s, but everything's done right. They're all quality materials and it appears to be a case of function and form being equally considered. The end result is a very comfortable headphone on par with the likes of the HD650s which have long been my standard measure of comfort.

There are two other design features worth mentioning.


Cable Entry

BeyerT1 - strain relief

The cables for the T1s enter on the base of each earcup unlike many headphones that choose a single entry and then run a cable through the headband. Although this design might make the T1s a little more fiddly to store and put on and off, I believe it's a good design as I've often wondered about the quality of the cable used to run through headbands. This way you know that each driver is receiving an identical signal through identical length and quality cables. That may sound picky, but at this level I think it's worth consideration.


The T1 cables aren't removable which is concern for some, but many reports claim the stock T1 cable to be excellent and I certainly have felt no need to change it. There are always services to recable if you really feel the need, but I don't see myself ever walking that path (despite being a big believer in the improvements offered by the right cable) because I think Beyer did it well to begin with.


Beyerdynamic T1 Neutrik plug

The cable entry is sturdy and well reinforced so I wouldn't expect any troubles at all from normal usage. Similarly sturdy is the large, gold-plated 6mm Neutrik plug which also boasts solid strain relief and reinforcement.


There's no doubting that the build quality of the T1s and all parts attached are excellent. To top it off, they come with a lightweight metal box with a moulded foam interior for storing and transporting the flagships. Bravo Beyer for doing a great job of designing a headphone with every piece at the same level of outstanding design quality.


Angled Drivers

Beyer T1 Angled Drivers

The other design feature I want to highlight is the angled driver mounting. Hopefully you can see in the image above that the inside of the ear cup (left side in this image) has the driver offset and sitting behind a semi-transparent baffle. It's hard to capture clearly in the image, but the driver is placed forward of the centre of the cup and tilted back. The result is that the sound enters the ear from the front, not the side, when you're wearing the headphones. Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser both have this angled driver design and for good reason - it works. The angled drivers create a far more natural presentation of the sound and the imaging and the staging that results is nothing short of exceptional.



When someone spends $1000+ on a pair of headphones they expect some pretty exceptional sound so are the T1s worth the dough? You bet!


The T1s are an interesting headphone - as are most flagships. They have followers who love them and others who will tell you they're a complete waste of money. For me they are worth every cent and do what they do better than anything I've heard so far in my headphone journey. So I guess I should explain what it is exactly that they do.


In general terms, the T1s offer a crystal clear window into your music with perhaps a slight rosy tint. They probably aren't 100% accurate in the strictest sense, but they don't add musicality or warmth at the expense of detail and resolution. The number one reason I love these headphones is because they are enjoyable with everything that I have every listened to... provided they are connected to a decent amp. Let me explain.



The treble presentation is the most debatable aspect of the T1s. They have the "Beyer spike" at 8-9kHz which can cause some issues, but I believe it is also the source of the T1's magic. (Note: this final statement is based on opinion and some experimentation only so please take it with many grains of salt.)


The treble of the T1s is quite smooth overall, but the spike can bite given the wrong track through the wrong source. I personally found that it was a matter of getting used to it (my T1s were second-hand so I can't comment on burn-in). Today, if I drive my T1s with my Audio-gd NFB-5.2, Bottlehead Crack, or Bottlehead SEX, the results are all quite listenable.


Early on, I did find the solid state edginess of the NFB-5.2 to cause some troubles with the T1s, but I think that was also partly because I was coming from the ultra-smooth HD650s.

Many T1 users report great results when paired with tube amplifiers and I have to agree - the T1s are at their sweetest with tubes.


Treble Performance


You'll start to see a theme here soon, but I'll start by saying that the T1's treble is accurate, precise and agile. There's plenty of extension right up to the highest frequencies, but the drop-off above 1kHz keeps the sound smooth.


Detail and texture in the treble is outstanding with cymbals and percussion sounding textured and rich. Sometimes the T1s treble will even let you in on secret slip-ups made by engineers. I was listening to a George Michael track one day and thought I had a piece of hair stuck in one of the drivers because of an annoying buzz / vibration in one channel only. I swapped the RCA channels over to check if my new headphones were temporarily stuffed and discovered that the buzz was in the recording - a recording I've had for around 10 years and never before heard in this way!


Of course, highly resolving treble (especially with an 8-9kHz emphasis) will tend to show you some flaws in terms of noise and jitter in your system. I certainly notice the limitations of my DAC now. Even though it's a good DAC, it's not up to the standards of the T1 and will be finding a new home soon to make room for something more suitable. I also found that I benefited from an upgraded USB cable and different, better tubes in my Crack amp.





I didn't expect incredible midrange from the T1s because everything I'd read seemed to talk about their treble presentation (for better or worse).


I continue to be amazed by the midrange quality from the T1s. The mids are smooth and clean with incredible texture and detail. Some headphones seem to create great mids by pushing them forward and smoothing over the bumps. The T1 seems to create greater mids by showing you everything there is to hear, but doing it smoothly and gently somehow. The nearest analogy I can give is that it's like the ultimate sports touring car where you can feel everything that's happening through the steering wheel and chassis, but you're completely comfortable while driving all out in it.


I absolutely love the way the T1s present pianos, synths, drums (specifically toms) and guitars. Everything has texture that I've never heard before in the recordings. Pianos have the same depth that you hear when they're live, every drum has texture and depth, synths and guitars have character, buzz, texture and detail. It really is a magical experience to rediscover your music library with the T1s.


I promised a theme when I spoke about the treble and that theme is agility. The thing which makes the T1 so special to my ears is its ability to move effortlessly from each sound to the next. Nothing ever gets muddy. Everything is clearly in its place, but still a part of the overall musical picture.



I was coming from the Fischer Audio FA-011 Limited Editions when I first tried on the T1s and the Fischers are a hard act to follow when it comes to bass quality and quantity. The T1s don't deliver the same quantity of bass as the 011 LEs, but the bass they deliver is probably more accurate while the 011 LEs are more on the fun side.


The bass from the T1s is solid and punchy - perhaps a little forward of neutral, but beautifully balanced with the overall sound. The bass supports and complements the overall presentation from the T1s without muddying or clouding the sound or being overshadowed by other frequencies.


The impressive part of the T1s bass is its depth. The T1s bass truly goes all the way down and you can clearly hear (and feel) rumbles from as low as 30Hz and perhaps lower as I haven't formally checked.


Once again, the delivery of the bass from the T1 is agile, just as it is with the mids and treble. Fast bass passages are clean and punchy while deep rumbles will vibrate your ears in impressive fashion while the mids and treble sing pure and clear over the top. The bass on the T1s doesn't stand out in any way during listening, but that's exactly why it's brilliant.


Staging and Imaging




The angled driver design is one of the key features of the T1s along with the >1 tesla of magnetic flux (energy / force). As explained earlier, the angled drivers are meant to deliver the sound waves to the ears in a more natural way which is supposed to result in better imaging. Well the Beyerdynamic sound engineers weren't wrong. The imaging and staging from the T1s is exceptional, bettered perhaps only by the Sennheiser HD800s.




The stage from the T1s extends a little outside the head to the left and right while also being quite tall and as deep as any headphone I've heard yet. It might not quite extend in front of you, outside the head, but it's close - right at your forehead if not slightly beyond it.


For me, the staging is pretty close to perfect - perhaps it is perfect? I feel like anything significantly larger could become less coherent or a bit unnatural whereas the T1's staging is natural and realistic while still being large enough to fool me regularly into checking for sounds outside of the headphones. For example, just this morning I was listening to "Gator Blood" from Mark Knopfler's new album, Privateering. I fired up the Bottlehead Crack and plugged in the T1s while my fiancée was still asleep. No sooner had the track begun than I took a massive double-take as a reached for the volume knob thinking that my desktop speakers were connected and active. Even after convincing myself that they couldn't be on, I still had to lift the T1 earcups away from my ears to check.


That kind of epic imaging doesn't happen on every track, but it's more a reflection of: (a) getting used to the sound of the headphones and (b) variations in recording quality limiting the performance of the headphones.




Equal to the quality of the stage created by the T1s, the imaging is absolutely spot on. Instruments are clearly placed in all three dimensions and you can hear a singer's voice higher than the guitar they're playing and in front of the orchestra behind and beside them. I love the way instruments leap out of the background on the T1s, not in an artificial way, but just cleanly and clearly. Lower level headphones I've heard seem to blend from one instrument / sound / texture to the next like a painter allowing one colour to bleed into the next. If other headphones are slightly blurry in this regard, the T1s deliver everything in high definition. Sounds are crisp, sharp and defined, but not emphasised, edgy or separated - everything is coherent, musical, exciting and enjoyable.



I can honestly say that there isn't anything I dislike about the Beyerdynamic T1s. It's true that they will reveal a poor DAC, amp or recording and may sound harsh as a result (more so with a poor DAC or amp than poor recordings), but this is more because they are true to the source rather than them being flawed and difficult to drive. They also do seem to pair really well with tube amplification because of the smoother presentation, but I have also enjoyed them from solid state amps like the Audio-gd NFB-5.2, Aune S2 Panda Mk2, and Matrix M-Stage amp, all of which are mid-level at most so it's not like you have to break the bank on an amp to enjoy the T1s. That said, you will reap major benefits as you upgrade your source units with the T1. As with any top-end headphones, they scale very well with better gear giving outstanding results.


I am yet to find a track or genre that doesn't sound great on the T1s and I know from much discussion on Head-fi's T1 thread that I'm not alone in that regard. To me, these could be the ultimate all-rounder flagship. Other headphones like the LCD-2, HD800s, etc. may do certain things better, but I doubt you'll find a headphone that does anything better (without possibly getting into electrostatic territory which I can't comment on).

Final Comments

There are a number of mods around for the T1 including mods using felt, cotton wool, and acoustic foam inside the earcups to dampen some of the treble. I experimented with the felt mod when I first received the T1s, but every version I tried resulted in tamed highs, but a reduced soundstage and a loss of something magic about the T1s. I kept feeling like they were good with the mod, but exceptional and addictive without the mod.


I haven't exhausted all options so I'm not discounting the possible benefits of some of the other mods discussed, but the best things I found to maximise the T1's performance are a good system including a good USB cable (if using computer audio), a good DAC, and a nice amp (tube or solid state, but my preference is towards tube).


Pros: Soundstage Fidelity, Depth, Highs, Lows and everything in between

Cons: none since detachable cable now added...

The most perfect, all-round headphone!  The Beyerdynamic T1 (2nd gen) repaired the only 'negative' I could find in the first gen:  I wanted the detachable cable and the 2nd generation has done it. 


These have the most perfect, natural sound I have ever heard.  The soundstage is remarkable, the highs are rich without being shrill, and the bass is beautiful, natural and without any 'coloring' for those who listen to heavy bass music.  


The T1 is marvelous for anything; classical, folk, rock, blues, and so on.  It handles deep driving bass, just as well as it handles high vocals.  It is the most 'all round' useful headphone that is comfortable for hours and allows for clarity that is how it was intended to be heard. 


The T1 when used with Chord Mojo presents stunning clarity and music the way it was meant to be experienced.  These are perfect life long headphones! 


Pros: Good frequency response, separation,rhythm and drive, details, layering. Coherence in presentation. Perfect for all string instruments sounds.

Cons: Unforgiving for harsh sonic material, bad recorded music or weak gear.

I like T1 V2 for overall competence in sound presentation. Solid build and comfort. There are better headphones in particular areas but these others are not that good all-rounders as T1 are.


I do listem many genres of music (I love movie scores, acoustic music, hard rock) but symfonic music is where T1 shines. The dynamics and layering is just great. You will never be bored with classical music on T1. The details, linearity, clear view for the sound is just amazing. I was looking for such a headphones for 2 years, hearing many others. And only few I was considering seriously were HE6, but I did choose solid german tradition in this matter. Beyerdynamic does not produce perfect headphones, but the headphones with less possible faults possible, while many other headphones did have lot of faults... In sonic reproduction and also in build. So the decision was basing on sound, and overall quality approach and durability of product ( I don't know why in US there is a lot of driver mismatches and so problems with Beyedynamic headphones...)


There is opinion that T1 V1 sound good with OTL amps. IT could be. But I did not find the OTL sound pleasing to me (in my particular experience) and the Solid State in my case was much better sounding. But what I want to say is: don't be afraid to check T1 V2 with SS amps. You may be surprised.


Are the T1 V2 bright as many people say about T1 line? Well, I'd say these are 'well lightened' in sound. The smoothness of heights and mids does not make them harsh, or strident (like for example TH900/600 are to me) V2 is a bit different from V1. How much? It is hard to describe. But I know people, like me, who didn't like V1 that much to buy it while V2 are in my possesion.


These are absolutelty worth to audition in our flooded heapphones market. These grow up with time in your audio chain, but are not for everyone. These are not great for example for modern pop and music like Justin Bieber or 'digital trash' rock. As such music is far away from good dynamics and nuances and 3-dimensonality (while in contradictory Daft Pank sounds perfect with them). Clou: the better the music the better the sound with T1.


Here's the list of headphones I was considering as final group during the research (audiotioned)

First position is best liked and the last less liked (my totally subjective likings):


T1 V2



Ultrasone Edition 5

Pandora Sonorous VII










AQ Night Hawk






beyerdynamic Tesla T1

The completely redesigned transducers achieve values of over one Tesla (a unit of measurement for magnetic flux density). That provides the listener with almost double as much volume as traditional headphones. The increased efficiency also leaves the T1 with greater power reserves for dynamic, undistorted sound and lossless conversion of electric signals into sound waves. The extremely lightweight 600 Ohm voice coil provides transparency and perfect impulse fidelity.The elegant look of the T1 compliments the technical achievements, with even the smallest of details selected by hand. This model reaffirms beyerdynamic's commitment to world-class "Made in Germany" quality. Perfect match with beyerdynamic A1 headphone amplifier (see LINKS).

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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