This mini-review covers my thoughts on the Beyerdynamic T70, which I acquired via Headphone Solutions' recent contest in this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/577265/enter-to-win-a-free-t70-beyerdynamic-669-retail-value
Unlike most of my previous reviews, this isn't entirely a comparative one (as my reviews tend to be comparisons and not stand-alone) but some comparisons have been made where I saw fit. This review moreso draws from my personal cumulative experience with the variety of headphones that I've heard over the last 5+ years, all of which are listed in my profile.
Usual disclaimer: listening for this mini-review was done over about 2 weeks, which is a lot less time than I usually do for full reviews (hence why I call it a "mini-review"). That means my thoughts aren't necessarily final and susceptible to change. I'd describe my approach for this mini-review as informal & short-term with semi-critical listening.
Appended in post #2 directly below are my review notes - didn't create a PDF for them this time due to their short length.
- Source component: Plinius CD-101 (CD player) (Signal Cable Silver Reference power cord, directly into wall)
- Analog interconnects: Analysis Plus Silver Oval RCA
- Headphone Amps: HeadAmp Gilmore Lite and Schiit Audio Lyr (w/ 6N1P & 6BZ7 tubes)
- Comparison Headphones: Audeze LCD-2 r2 w/ stock ADZ-6 cable, Audio-Technica AD2000, Sennheiser HD800
- Alison Krauss & Union Station - Lonely Runs Both Ways, Paper Airplane
- Carlos Kleiber & VPO - Beethoven Symphonies 5 & 7
- Helloween - 7 Sinners
- Julia Fischer - Bach Concertos
- Porcupine Tree - Deadwing
- Radiohead - OK Computer
- Trifonic - Emergence
For the average $569 street price that the T70 is sold at, I think I'd call it overpriced, primarily due to its sound. Given the variety of other more affordable "studio"-type closed headphones from brands like AKG and Audio-Technica (among others), I'm not really sure that the T70 stands out enough and I certainly don't think $569 is merited for what it sonically offers. I'd be more inclined to call it fairly priced if it were in the $300-$500 range, not over.
I think its sound could best be described as being bright (skewed towards the treble), clean, & clear - actually not too dissimilar from the Senn HD800. In fact, another way I'd describe it is a smaller-scaled, closed version of the HD800, but with less bass quantity. For those who've heard the HD800, hopefully this provides an idea of the T70. I think its strong points are definitely its overall clarity and separation of musical layers - i.e., what I personally call "diffusion", as it tends to "diffuse" the music.
For me, the one thing that detracted from the T70 the most was its relative lack of bass compared to just about everything that I've heard - and I should add that I'm not even a bass-head, as I tend to favor treble over bass. Almost everything from approximately 200Hz down was very recessed to me and barely audible - nowhere near enough to even begin to be satisfactory for acoustic music, let alone synthesized music (i.e., electronica). This was my impression of it when amped by the Gilmore Lite though, so of course I had to try it on the Schiit Lyr as well to see if it would change. Fortunately the bass/mid-bass/lower mids did fill out quite a bit on the Lyr, enough to partially rectify the amount of bass for me, but not totally enough that I thought it was acceptable. Even on the Lyr, I still thought there was a lack of bass. The lack of bass was so severe to me that I didn't even bother formally testing the headphones with electronica (i.e., synthesized bass), as I could tell it'd be pointless and a waste of time.
I ended up being very underwhelmed by the T70 and barely a shadow of Beyerdynamic's T1, which I previously owned. That doesn't mean I think it's terrible though - as a treble-head, I actually liked its treble a lot, and its strong clarity was an unexpected pleasant surprise. But it could have been a lot better with a more balanced sound. I decided to not keep the T70 mostly because its sound wasn't balanced enough to accommodate a wide variety of music genres for music listening, and its fit mechanism didn't really work for my head shape either.
I think anyone seriously considering the T70 after reading this mini-review should use a proper high-voltage amp with it to ensure balanced sound (as it's rated at 250 Ohms) and keep in mind that it may or may not deliver sonic satisfaction with multiple music genres. I liked it most with bluegrass and ambient electronica because of the clarity & treble quantity. It was very middle-of-the-road on the rock and classical music I tested it on, and by far the worst with the metal music I tried.
I'd maybe consider the T70 to be somewhat complementary with the Audeze LCD-2, in the same way that the Senn HD800 can be sonically complementary with the LCD-2. As in, the T70's treble/clarity (like the HD800) as a counterpart to the LCD-2's heavier, thicker, & fuller sound, with plenty of bass. Including the functional aspect of a closed headphone (the T70) vs an open headphone (LCD-2).
- Beyerdynamic T1 vs Senn HD800 comparison review: http://www.head-fi.org/t/511201/review-beyerdynamic-t1-vs-sennheiser-hd800