DavidMahler here. Beyerdynamic sent over a bunch of headphones for us to try out at Headphones.com. We were delighted. The headphone which was the biggest surprise for me personally was the T5P. I have a soft spot for this headphone as I've simply never heard anything which made classical music sing out of an iPod quite as well. The last time I was blown away by classical music out of iPod was the first time I heard my UE10 Pro. If you are a classical music lover looking to skip over an amp and just plug into your portable, I have no hesitation in proclaiming the T5P the best sonic offering on the market today of all the headphones I've had the pleasure of hearing. Of course, some of you aren't classical music fanatics. I feel the presentation here is best suited for classical music and that they're may be better offerings (even from Beyer) for rock and jazz and certainly hip-hop.
Below I am posting my review which will be included on the headphones.com product page review section. For this review I specifically focused on using a portable player since the T5P were designed with this in mind and also because when compared up against other iPod-compatible headphones, these really show their superiority.
I hope you enjoy my impressions. I am now saving up for a pair of these!
By the way, the fit and finish is my favorite I've ever seen on a stock Beyer headphone. Since I've written the review, I've spent some time at home with my beloved T1s and I come away missing the leather cups even though the velour cups of the T1 are just slightly more comfy - the leather cups feel so good!
On to the review:
I have been waiting for a headphone like the Beyerdynamic T5P to come along for a very long time – a headphone which, when plugged directly into a portable player, possesses the type of refinement and tonal character necessary for critical classical music listening. I honestly never believed that any company would supply such a headphone, but I am certainly glad Beyerdynamic has done so. The T5P are unique in an abundance of ways: With an impedance rating of 32Ohms and a closed back design, they are intended for the portable-player, yet are large and by today’s compact standards, not the first word in portable design. However, the T5P are successful in adhering to the century-old audiophile preference that sound quality is paramount at all times.
The headphones come with an attractive storage pouch with a soft microfiber exterior. If I had any qualms about this beautiful storage pouch, it would be that I would have preferred a handle so that it was easy to carry around on its own. The headphones also come with an extension cable for use when not plugged into your portable player and of course the ¼ inch adaptor for home amplifier usage.
When holding the headphones in my hand for the first time, I was struck by the high quality feel of the leather ear cups and headband. The headphone feels rugged and looks very high-class without the excessive beauty of the Ultrasone Edition 8 which prevents me from bringing those outside, in fear of damage or worse – theft. When I put the T5P on my head I was truly surprised by how much the headphones were able to attenuate outside noise. It’s not up to the standards of an Active Noise Cancelling headphone, but even still by the standards of passive noise isolation, they are excellent. Considering the ear pads are leather, they did not heat up nearly as much as I would have anticipated they would and the comfort level was just a notch below the usual velour Beyerdynamic pads. I suspect the leather pads are chosen not only for the luxury look and feel, but the leather contributes to the isolative aspects of the headphones and a bit to the sound as well.
How about that sound?
One of the first question people are going to ask is “How do these compare to the T1?” (the 600 Ohm – amplifier preferred – semi-open reference headphone from Beyerdynamic which introduced Beyerdynamic’s patented Tesla design which the T5p also incorporates). My answer regarding this is that despite a few similarities in sound presentation, the tonality is vastly different and extremely hard to compare to the T1. The T1 have a much fuller bass presentation, and a more evenly tempered midrange presentation. The T5P feel rolled off in the bass and have a midrange which have more peaks and dips. In most circumstances I’d prefer the smoother midrange of the T1. However, the T5P have a tonality that enhances most of the classical music I’ve thrown at it. Violins sound even more alive on the T5P. There is a very slight nasal character to the T5P’s sound presentation which, in conjunction with the rolled off bass response may limit their appeal for some users. I find that these headphones work extraordinarily well with orchestral, chamber, piano and opera. However, when thrown electric instruments, excessive percussion, heavy bass tracks – I found the headphones were not suited. As an all-rounder I feel Beyerdynamic has offerings in the 32Ohm range which I prefer – The DT770, DT880, DT990. Yet, even with this in mind, I would much rather own the T5P because of its incredible nature with classical music which I feel is truly a marvel considering that the iPod is my primary source with this headphone. The treble extension/presentation reveals so much detail which remains absent for me when using any other Beyerdynamic headphone out of the iPod.
The transient response is excellent here – Percussion instruments are not overly abrasive, but I still feel the tonality may be a bit bright for those seeking to listen to heavy percussion genres such as rock and rap. The instruments are nicely separated and the soundstage is wide and well-defined. Like the T1, the T5P have angled drivers which enhance the headphones’ ability to place the instruments into the sound-picture.
The Beyerdynamic T5P fills an important niche: audiophile level quality for classical and acoustic music directly out of an iPod. For classical music enthusiasts who listen on-the-go, the T5p is something to write home about and absolutely the new industry standard in a very niche field!
Audiophile on-the-go rating chart
Sound Quality: 9
Features & Design: 9