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Review of the all new Beyerdynamic T5p dynamic Headphone.

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 

Review of the all new Beyerdynamic T5p dynamic Headphone.

by Drew Baird, P.E. of Moon-Audio.com

 

It has been an absolute pleasure to have a chance at a sneak peak/listen to the all new Beyerdynamic Tesla T5p. It is the latest addition to the Beyerdynamic Tesla stable. The new headphone's call tag is the T5p. The "p" most likely stands for portable and that is the primary intention of this new headphone. Beyerdynamic's goal was to create the ultimate in high-fidelity reproduction for use by the "on the go" audiophile. I think we can all agree that society has become extremely fast paced and that most of us are traveling more or cramming more activities into our already hectic schedules. I know I am:) Beyerdynamic recognized that being able to get the most, while running around, from your portable audio rig is so very important. I am one of those audio snobs that simply cannot bear to use a pair of cheap earbuds with harsh sounding mp3's tied to my portable source. It simply will not do. My iTouch is filled with WAV format audio files and I bypass the internal iTouch headphone amp in leu of a portable amp. I have several portable amplifiers depending on my mood: the iQube V1, the iQube V2, the Ray Samuels Protector and others.  Before we get into the review, let's go over the specifications and see what we get for the $1295 US price tag.

 

beyerdynamic_T5p_small.jpgFeatures:
• 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)

Weight without cable

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.)

 

The Tools of the Review.

 

BeyerT5pReview1small.jpg

Anytime I sit down to evaluate a new product, I try to use the same equipment I've used in past evaluations. My goal is consistently to try and maintain a controlled environment. What I mean by this, is that the human's memory to acoustic reproduction is quite short. So the more familiar one is with the material used, both with audio equipment and recordings, the better chance one can pick up on the differences between the pieces being reviewed.

 

For headphone listening, the most neutral headphone amp I have in my wardrobe is the Luna amp. This was a prototype amp built and designed for Moon Audio by a good friend of mine Kevin Carter of K&K Audio. Our plan was to release this amp under the Moon Audio name, but because of everything else on my plate, it is still being called a prototype amp. Someday. Anyway, the amp sound can be described as a tube amp for the person who is a Solid State fan. It is very clean, detailed, neutral and natural sounding. It has wonderful dynamics and there is no colorful warm laid back lush tube sound emanating from this amp. However, it is one of those audio pieces that can be unforgiving. If the source material or equipment upstream is poor, it will for sure, let you know. As for sources my choice these days is the Cary Audio 303T SACD Pro. I have found it and it's big brother the 306 SACD Pro to be amongst the finest single box sources ever produced. I owned the 306 Pro, prior to the 303T, and only changed because of the new USB input option on the 303T. Streaming Audio is the future!

 

The 2 headphones I chose to compare with the Beyerdynamic T5p where the Denon AH-D7000 and the other Tesla, the Beyerdynamic T1. The Denon has a close normal impedance to the Tesla T5p @ 25 ohms and is also a closed back headphone. The Luna has dual headphone outputs and thus makes swapping between two phones very easy. Having the impedances close takes away the need to constantly tweak the volume control between the 2 phones. I also conveniently had a nicely burnt in pair of Denons from the last Headfi Audio Meet in Charlotte, NC.

.

My T1's, I must note, are also recabled with the Moon Audio Black Dragon V2 Headphone cable. But since the T1 and T5p utilize different stock cables, I did not see this as much of an issue. I will note that once I have a pair of T5p headphones for myself I will recable them with the same Black Dragon V2 cable. At that time I will post some follow up notes and comparisons between the two headphones. Having both phones with as many similar controlled variables as possible will help establish their true differences.

 

Because the T1 has a normal impedance of 600 ohms, I had to constantly adjust the volume control to compensate for the different sound levels produced when comparing to the Denon or T5p. But after a few exchanges, I was easily able to dial in quite quickly the equal sound levels needed to make my comparisons.

 

Any of you who have been to my audio equipment display tables at the local or national HeadFi meets, have probably heard the same test disc that I used in this review. I use a variety of songs from across the genres. There is classical, jazz, blues, rock, alternative etc etc. Here is that list of test track material.

BeyerT5pReview3small.jpg

 

Track 1: Looking for a Home by Keith Greeninger & Dayan Kai

Track 2: Lilianna by Jose Manuel Blanco & Jason McGuire

Track 3: Symphonic Dances from K2 HD Sound Album

Track 4:Zapateado  from K2 HD Sound Album

Track 5: Into the Mystic by Van Morison

Track 6: Psycho Killer "Live Acoustic version" by Talking Heads

Track 7: Tin Pan Alley by Stevie Ray Vaughan

Track 8: Stripped by The Rolling Stones

Track 9: Stairway to Heavan by Rodrigo Y Gabriela

Track 10: The Down Town by Days of the New

Track 11: Money by Pink Floyd

Track 12: Georgia on My Mind by Jacintha

Track 13: Sinkin' Soon by Norah Jones

Track 14 Money For Nothing by Dire Straits

Track 15 Chan Chan by Buena Vista Social Club

 

As you can see it is a pretty good mix of music. I also listened to some of my favorite Electronic music from such bands as Faithless and Underworld.

 

Without Further Ado, the Review.

 

BeyerT5pReview12small.jpgFirst I'd like to talk about the ergonomics of this phone. As such things can also be just as important as the actual sound quality. There is nothing worse than an uncomfortable pair of headphones sitting on your head for hours at a time. I can sometimes easily put 8 hours on a pair of phones during the day. I spend a great deal of time in front of a computer and the music makes the day so much more enjoyable. I cannot say enough about how much I love to listen to music. I could not imagine a life without it.

 

That being said, the T5p is extremely comfortable on my nub. The leather ear pads are probably the softest I have come across yet in the headphone market. They are obviously not the normal stock leather headbands that can be purchased as an option for any of your other Beyerdynamic phones. They look to be a new version. I cannot wait to get a pair for my DT880s. It might be my imagination but the leather headband also seems to be as soft and fuller than my T1 headband. My guess is that it is and the reasoning was that these were to be used for portable use where comfort is very important. Where the T1 uses a gold/titanium colored look on the cups, grill and yokes, the T5p features black cups, a dark silver grill and dark gray/black yoke. Other than that the 2 phones are very similar looking. Both are very well built and show no signs of cheap construction. They are very durable and tough. If you have young curious children, like I, that sneak into your man cave then durable and tough are an important thing.

 

BeyerT5pReview7small.jpgMy main focus of comparison was between the Denon AH-D7000 and the T5p. These 2 phones had a much larger difference in sound characteristic than between the T5p and the T1. The Denon is a warmer, more colorful, sometimes a thicker sounding phone. The Denon has been my favorite closed current production can for some time now. This phone does require some effort or experimentation in finding the right amp to acquire the proper synergy. Some amps can really make this phone sound bloated. Case in point, the Antique Sound Labs MG Head 32. This amp seems to sound better with open back phones and really shines with the AKG K1000. The Luna headphone is a much better match due to it's neutrality. It does a better job of tightening and controlling the low end. I found that on half of the test tracks the Denon's bass response to be a little thick sounding as I mentioned before. Usually this was with songs that contained a lot of bass information. For example "Money" by Pink Floyd. But on songs like "Looking for a Home" by Keith Greeninger & Dayan Kai, it clearly brought out low frequency information that the T5p produced at a much softer level but was much more controlled and articulated. The Denon does a great job with subsonic low frequencies. The Denon did a better job with music that had good instrument separation and susic styles that were more simple in nature. Any songs with lots of recording overlap tended to be thick and congested but I can see why folks that are into a lot of low frequency bass enjoy these phones so much. They really can rock the bells....When listening to Electronica, it felt like I was in a club.

 

The T5p provided a much better sound representation across all the test tracks. Nothing was over emphasized. Instrument separation was tight and controlled, there was more sense of air and depth than with the Denon. I can't say that the T5p had the depth of soundstage and 3D presentation the T1 has but for a closed phone, it was pretty impressive. Most closed phones have an "In Your Head" sound. The T5p reached out a little further from the head but I will give the T1 the higher praise for sound staging which can be attributed to the open back design and 600 ohm drivers. The 600 ohm driver option in the DT770/880/990 always did a better job with depth of field whether the phone was sealed or open back.

 

Obviously, because of the easier 32ohm load of the T5p, I could tell the Luna amp was barely flinching and the control on the drivers was stellar. With

Chan Chan by Buena Vista Social Club, the Latin snap was just exhilarating. I actually got goose bumps a few times. That's when I can tell I am really enjoying a listening session when the music sucks me in to the point where emotion takes over. These are fun headphones my friends. This is the same feeling I got last CES when I heard the T1 for the first time.

BeyerT5pReview9small.jpg

 

In comparing to the T1, as I said earlier, the T1 does a better job of trying to recreate the stage's depth. Obviously, only a speaker set up can provide the perception of band arrangement on a stage. But with some headphones like theT1 and the Sennheiser HD800, I can definitely pick some points out in front of me where I feel the band members are taking their stance. There is a little more sizzle or snap with the T1, but not by leaps and bounds. There is a little more low end with the T1, but also not a big difference. The midrange and vocal reproduction is pretty close between the two. To be able to do all of this within a portable intention headphone is pretty impressive. The sound isolation is outstanding without the need for a clamping headband. The T5p did have a quieter background I thought over the T1. I don't mean in the sense that  I did not hear my children scurrying around the house. It just had a darker blacker quieter background sort of like the way balanced cables bring to a system over single ended cables.

 

My iQube portable amp's are currently on loan with Absolute Sound for review, so I was not able to do a lot of portable comparisons. I did use the T5p with just an iTouch and also with the Ray Samuels Protector portable amp. In both these scenarios the T5p sounded more engaging than the heavier load T1 because of the difference in load ratings. Equally, it was a better performer than the Denon across the board with the portable setups. I did a little gaming and movie watching as well with my Sony VAIO laptop. I find while IEMs offer better noise isolation and detail on airplane flights, they always tend to deflate the big explosive passages in a movie. If I'm watching Pearl Harbor on my computer I want the sound to compensate for the small screen and make me feel like I am in my own private theater. You get more movement of air with a full sized can than with an IEM. The T5p did a fantastic job of this. It is a very engaging sound that does not easily let go! The same could be said on gaming. I did a couple of rounds of Resistance 2 and could feel plenty of explosions as I terminated a plethora of alien invaders:)

 

Conclusions

 

The T5p offers you a world class high fidelity headphone that can not only be used on the homefront but can also be used as a primary portable headphone. If you are in a situation where your budget only allows for 1 headphone to cover all the bases, then this is truly the phone for you. The alternative is you own a Beyerdynamic T1, Denon AH-D7000 and also some portable phone for the road. It is a full sized can, so some of you may find that a turnoff for portable use, but if you are a audio nut like me then it's a non-issue. I have no problem travelling with a full size can. It is not as small as the Ultrasone Edition 8, but it is in the smaller sized, full size can category. That was a mouth full. I look forward to getting my pair and I hope you do too. More in the coming months once the iQube's get back in town....

Thank You. Drew Baird, P.E. Moon Audio 308 Chrismill Lane Holly Springs, NC 27540 919-649-5018 drew@moon-audio.com http://www.moon-audio.com Moon...

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post #2 of 83

Top notch review my friend. Well done!

 

Loved the formatting of the pictures. Very effective.

 

Overall, one of the best reviews I've seen.

post #3 of 83

^^

 

Great review Drew! Well thought out and presented (nice pictures too). Just gotta love them beyer headphones!

post #4 of 83
Thread Starter 

Thanx I had fun doing it. Need to do reviews more often. Here are some more fun pics.

 

BeyerT5pReview6.jpg

 

BeyerT5pReview4.jpg

 

BeyerT5pReview2.jpg

 

Thank You. Drew Baird, P.E. Moon Audio 308 Chrismill Lane Holly Springs, NC 27540 919-649-5018 drew@moon-audio.com http://www.moon-audio.com Moon...

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post #5 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by drubrew View Post

 Need to do reviews more often. 

 


Yes you do!

 

Great photos too Drew!

post #6 of 83

The tidbit about the electronic music part makes me want a closed headphone. I was thinking/assuming that T5p will be top notch there, but I guess D7000 are still better for that genre.

 

Did you try the leather earpads for these on the T1?

I grabbed a pair ofbeyer leather pads for my T1 from musicman who warned me how horrible they sound with leather pads.

He was right, I had to take them off right away. I wonder how these t5p leather pads will fare with the T1s.


Edited by Priyajeet - 8/23/10 at 11:31pm
post #7 of 83

These look great and seem to sound great. The only thing that is a bit puzzling. 

 

One will have to pay the same price for T1s as for T5Ps. T1s however, come with a nice case, while T5Ps with only a felt pouch? 

post #8 of 83
Thread Starter 

Honstly, I preffer the T5p to the Denon with Electronic. However if you are a Bass Head then Denon is the way to go. I like a tighter bass control.

No I did not try the leather pads with the T1. But I intend to buy a set as soon as I get the details on whether the leather pads are different or if they some how seriously softened up a pair just for this set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Priyajeet View Post

The tidbit about the electronic music part makes me want a closed headphone. I was thinking/assuming that T5p will be top notch there, but I guess D7000 are still better for that genre.

 

Did you try the leather earpads for these on the T1?

I grabbed a pair ofbeyer leather pads for my T1 from musicman who warned me how horrible they sound with leather pads.

He was right, I had to take them off right away. I wonder how these t5p leather pads will fare with the T1s.

Thank You. Drew Baird, P.E. Moon Audio 308 Chrismill Lane Holly Springs, NC 27540 919-649-5018 drew@moon-audio.com http://www.moon-audio.com Moon...

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post #9 of 83
Thread Starter 

I guess since it was for portable use, they figured the Pouch, Extension cable and airplane adapter made more sense. You can buy the flight case by itself if you want. These are $45.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Szadzik View Post

These look great and seem to sound great. The only thing that is a bit puzzling. 

 

One will have to pay the same price for T1s as for T5Ps. T1s however, come with a nice case, while T5Ps with only a felt pouch? 

Thank You. Drew Baird, P.E. Moon Audio 308 Chrismill Lane Holly Springs, NC 27540 919-649-5018 drew@moon-audio.com http://www.moon-audio.com Moon...

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post #10 of 83


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drubrew View Post

I guess since it was for portable use, they figured the Pouch, Extension cable and airplane adapter made more sense. You can buy the flight case by itself if you want. These are $45.

 


 

 

My comment was more about the money paid for both packages and not for usability reasons. Since the cable is shorter and there is no box it should mean T5P should be a tad bit cheaper than the T1s. Just my idea, but maybe I am wrong.
 

post #11 of 83

Drew that was a very good review. I have the T1 and the Denon D7000 and I use the 1001 with my ipod touch. Those are way too big for me to use sitting on a beach in public. I would like to see the new Denon portables and the 100 anniversary can coming out. Will you have those.

post #12 of 83
Thread Starter 

Well I wouldn't sit on the beach with them either:) But I would take them on a plane or train. I hope to have the 100th Anniversary Headphones but they may make us sell all of the products in order to get the headphones too. We shall see......
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

Drew that was a very good review. I have the T1 and the Denon D7000 and I use the 1001 with my ipod touch. Those are way too big for me to use sitting on a beach in public. I would like to see the new Denon portables and the 100 anniversary can coming out. Will you have those.

Thank You. Drew Baird, P.E. Moon Audio 308 Chrismill Lane Holly Springs, NC 27540 919-649-5018 drew@moon-audio.com http://www.moon-audio.com Moon...

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post #13 of 83

I would never take any of these $$$ cans to the beach (even if its all empty ).

post #14 of 83

Hey Drew, any chance you can offer a comparison to the Edition 8?  The two seem very similar in intended purpose, target audience, and price class.

post #15 of 83
Thread Starter 


As soon as I get some back in stock. They have been on Back Order:( But based on memory I like the T5p better. More dynamic. The ED8 is a warmer sounding phone. But has a smaller foot print for sure.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by insomniac View Post

Hey Drew, any chance you can offer a comparison to the Edition 8?  The two seem very similar in intended purpose, target audience, and price class.

Thank You. Drew Baird, P.E. Moon Audio 308 Chrismill Lane Holly Springs, NC 27540 919-649-5018 drew@moon-audio.com http://www.moon-audio.com Moon...

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