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Review: Beyerdynamic DTX 300 p - Pretty in Red

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Competing against the likes of the Sennheiser PX200-II and Soundmagic P20, the DTX 300 p is Beyer's new mid-range closed ultraportable. There is no doubt that Beyer can make a great-sounding headphone but the new 300 p is Beyer's cheapest ever over-the-head set. What does one of head-fi's most respected headphone makers offer for $60? Beyerdynamic USA was nice enough to let me find out.

 

Build Quality

Beyerdynamic DTX 300 p.jpg

 

Beyerdynamic DTX 300 p folded.jpg

 

The construction of the DTX 300 p is a lightweight affair of metal and plastic. The brushed stainless steel headband feels robust and the hinges click precisely into place. The plastics are sturdier than they look but the possibility of cracking always exists if these are dropped. The rotating hinges at the bottom of the headband, which allow the cups to be folded upward, are very reminiscent of the cheaper Soundmagic portables. The cups themselves have a glossy plastic finish accented by a matte metal ring around the outside. The cable, complete with a well-relieved y-split and L-plug, is reminiscent of those found on the Beyer IEMs and similar in thickness to the Sennheiser PX-series cords. Like the Soundmagic headphone with the same folding mechanism, the cups do not feature any real strain relief as it would get in the way when the headphones are collapsed. A canvas travel carrying case offering some protection is included.
 

Comfort

The DTX 300 p is extremely lightweight and generally remains as comfortable as any of the other small supraaurals for prolonged listening. The headband is not padded but two rubber bits are glued on the underside to prevent it sliding off, a-la Sennheiser PX90. The cups don’t have any freedom of motion about the horizontal axis, which could be an issue for some.
 

Isolation

While fully closed, the DTX 300 p is too small to provide serious isolation. Leakage is expectedly low, however, and they are definitely usable out in public - just don’t expect to enjoy them on a plane.
 

Sound

Manufacturer Specs:

Frequency Response: 25-18,000 Hz

Impedance: 32 Ω

Sensitivity: 104 dB SPL/1mW

Cord: 3.94ft (1.2m); Angled Plug

 

I’ve previously reviewed the Beyerdynamic DT235 – a somber-looking and slightly unwieldy semi-portable circumaural that remains one of my favorite $60 sets on the market when it comes to sound quality. The new DTX 300 p, however, is targeting the closed ultraportable segment, thus far dominated by pricier entries from Sennheiser and AKG. Truth be told, the sound quality of the DTX 300 p is quite competitive in the context of its slightly mid-centric signature. The bass is punchy and controlled but a bit soft in nature, making notes come out slightly ‘rounded’ compared to the DT235. It rolls off gently (as does the top end) but still has decent enough depth for most tracks. All in all, the DTX 300 p is not a bottom-heavy headphone, lagging just behind the MEElec HT-21 in bass quantity, but does relay the information present on the track quite accurately.

The midrange is where the little Beyers are most impressive – clear, focused, and quite enjoyable. For a slightly mid-centric headphone, the mids are appropriately detailed and surprise with their clarity and tone. Though not as bright or crisp as MEElec’s HT-21, the DTX 300 p is still slightly brighter than neutral and makes sets such as Sennheiser’s HD428 and Pioneer’s SE-MJ71 sound dark in comparison, just as the HT-21 does. Smoothness is very good and the headphones are never overly aggressive. At the same time, the midrange can hardly be called lush or full-bodied. Those who prefer a thicker, weightier note may be disappointed but I find the clarity to be a worthy tradeoff. The treble transition is smooth and the top end is very slightly laid-back compared to the midrange.

Treble presentation is polite and refined, with no harshness or sibilance to be found. Compared to the Sennheiser PX200-II, the DTX 300 p is smoother and slightly less sparkly. The PX200-II also fares a bit better when it comes to top-end extension, though the DTX 300 p is no slouch. Like the low end, the treble rolls off gently instead of fading out immediately but direct comparisons with the (far pricier) Senn HD25 make the dip fairly obvious. The presentation of the little Beyerdynamics is quite typical of a bright-sounding portable headphone – airy and spacious, but not particularly enveloping. Soundstage depth and height, expectedly, lag behind the width. Layering and separation are quite good but the soundstage is not three-dimensional enough to provide imaging more convincing than that of the average entry-level portable. Business as usual on the whole, then - not even Beyer can break out of the form factor's constraints.
 

Value (MSRP: $59.00)

Beyerdynamic’s answer to higher-priced ultraportables from AKG and Sennheiser, the DTX 300 p is a competent performer with a surprisingly reasonable price tag. Endowed with impressive clarity and a polite, slightly mid-centric sound signature, the DTX 300 p makes for an all-around pleasant listen. It really is amazing how clear the mids are next to a bass-biased set such as the Sony MDR-770LP or Pioneer SE-MJ71. Bass lovers need not apply and those with larger heads may not appreciate the supraaural fit but for everyone else in search of a highly portable set with respectable sound, the DTX 300 p may just be worth the asking price.

 

post #2 of 9

a mid range based ultra portable, seems like an odity. If i ever need one Id look into these or the Mee HT21

 

Thanks for the review, well put as usual.

post #3 of 9

IjokerI, Your 2 threads on portable headphones and iem's are frighteningly good, directing me to great purchases, so thanks for that.

 

About these beyers. I suspect your about to add these to your chart, but just to jump the gun, around what number would you give to its SQ.

 

Would you say its similar to the akg k430 and between these two, which has the better stock pads and larger soundstage?

 

 

It looks like these beyers have an akg k271 like pleather flat pad- which caught my eye!!


Edited by CantScareMe - 5/3/11 at 7:05am
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post

IjokerI, Your 2 threads on portable headphones and iem's are frighteningly good, directing me to great purchases, so thanks for that.

 

About these beyers. I suspect your about to add these to your chart, but just to jump the gun, around what number would you give to its SQ.

 

Would you say its similar to the akg k430 and between these two, which has the better stock pads and larger soundstage?

 

 

It looks like these beyers have an akg k271 like pleather flat pad- which caught my eye!!


They will be added to the chart with a score of ~6.75 in sound. These have a larger soundstage than the K430 but the K430 is warmer and a bit more musical in nature, though it does have a slight shimmer that I find less than appealing. I prefer the Beyers but expect to be in the minority on that count and of course neither set is perfect. The pads on the DTX300 are small pleather donuts and pretty standard fare for a folding portable headphone. 

post #5 of 9

Seems like a decent enough phone.

 

post #6 of 9

Wow, the K430 warmer? Probably the bigger soundstage helps to make them sound even leaner. Maybe they just should have put DT235 drivers into a similar but slightly larger 300p housing with some strain reliefs and pads that isolate more. Simple as that, people would love a warmer(due to the pleather) smaller, foldable DT235 with a 4' cable.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

Wow, the K430 warmer? Probably the bigger soundstage helps to make them sound even leaner. Maybe they just should have put DT235 drivers into a similar but slightly larger 300p housing with some strain reliefs and pads that isolate more. Simple as that, people would love a warmer(due to the pleather) smaller, foldable DT235 with a 4' cable.



I suspect you are correct - DTX 300 is certainly on the lean side which would be more difficult to forgive if it had a compressed presentation. As it stands, it really doesn't bother me any. The DT235 could stand a refresh anyway and I certainly wouldn't mind a portable model. I suspect it would be priced higher than the 300 though.

post #8 of 9

i was just in the market for ultraportables and had dtx 300 and the px200II as my final 2, so i'm glad you reviewed these.  from what i can tell if i like electro and hip-hop i should go with the Senn px200?

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by willienelson75 View Post

i was just in the market for ultraportables and had dtx 300 and the px200II as my final 2, so i'm glad you reviewed these.  from what i can tell if i like electro and hip-hop i should go with the Senn px200?



There's not a huge signature difference between the PX200 and DTX 300 p so I wouldn't say that one is necessarily better than the other. I think biggest differences are that the PX200-II extends a bit higher and also tends to be more sparkly/lively when it comes to treble presentation while the DTX 300 is more focused on the midrange. 

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