Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Mini-Review: Beyerdynamic T70
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mini-Review: Beyerdynamic T70

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Intro

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.

Equipment Setup

- 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

Evaluation Music

- 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

Assessment

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).

Related Reading

- Beyerdynamic T1 vs Senn HD800 comparison review: http://www.head-fi.org/t/511201/review-beyerdynamic-t1-vs-sennheiser-hd800

post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 

UNORGANIZED NOTES FOR MINI-REVIEW OF BEYERDYNAMIC T70

These notes include specific details not mentioned in the mini-review

> Comfort/Isolation

Very comfortable due to velour material, similar to T1/DT880 (though the DT880's pads may be softer). Not much pressure exerted around ears either. Moderate level of isolation - no leakage but can still hear loud sounds in the environment.

> Amping

Lyr w/ 6BZ7 adds more mid-range and bass quantity overall compared to GL. Considerably more bass on Lyr than on GL, but still not quite enough. Still a strong treble tilt even with the Lyr. Lyr is probably a better choice for T70 than GL, as GL makes it sound too thin while not adding much. May make sense to recommend Valhalla over Lyr as some amp noise is heard with T70. Tubes/hybrids probably better for T70 than solid-state, with solid-state exceptions like DIY M3.

> Music Details

- AKUS - Paper Airplane - "Paper Airplane"

Strong clarity and treble - good highlighting of plucks & string movements. Not too dissimilar from HD800 in this aspect. Bass very weak though - double-bass notes almost completely nonexistent. Impulse response moderately fast, definitely not too slow; about the same as HD800.

Overall sound more closed-in than HD800, with pronounced reverb as expected for a closed headphone (similar to bathroom/tunnel acoustics). Soundstage smaller than HD800 and music placed closer, not as much sense of space, but better than average for a closed headphone.

- Helloween - 7 Sinners - "Where The Sinners Go"

Not really "active" enough to give this kind of metal music a hard driving edge - lacks aggression. Also lacks the bass output to provide a "powerful" sound. Very weak sound overall that significantly diminishes from music type.

- Radiohead - OK Computer - "Paranoid Android", "Karma Police" / Porcupine Tree - Deadwing - "Halo", "Open Car"

T70 not too bad for music type but would be a lot better with more mid-range & bass. Sounds acceptable for this alt-rock/prog-rock type music and enhances guitar strings but doesn't exude power/depth. Weak sound not as noticeable with non-metal music.

- Julia Fischer - Bach Concertos / Carlos Kleiber & VPO - Beethoven Symphonies 5 & 7

Nothing really bad or great for classical with T70. Good dynamic range and clarity separates out the sections well. Performs acceptably - not terrible, but really not very good. Clearer than LCD-2 r2 though, which might make the T70 better suited for analysis of music by ear (an aspect in which the LCD-2 suffers).

- Trifonic - Emergence - "Lies", "Transgenic"

Clarity very good for this music type - able to hear nearly every layer discretely, with better-than-average float/suspension too (though not as good as HD800). Properly "diffuse" imaging on these tracks. Clean, clear sound that does proper justice to this music type.

> Conclusion

T70 not a bad headphone but lack of bass/mid-range below 200Hz definitely detracts from it. Personal ranking: average. Overall a thin sound that lacks presence & tactility. Might have some similarities to Grado SR line in fact? (As in spiked treble, thin mid-range.)

T70 sort of like a closed HD800 except with less bass quantity and a less open soundstage.

post #3 of 27

This is such a different review from Skylab's. Combined with recent amp-hum complaints, Im wondering if there isnt a quality control issue in the T70 line.

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

Where is Skylab's review? I did a quick search and didn't find one written by him.

post #5 of 27



Quote:

Originally Posted by mattseven View Post

This is such a different review from Skylab's. Combined with recent amp-hum complaints, Im wondering if there isnt a quality control issue in the T70 line.



 

The issue with some amps humming is due to the headphone sensitivity requiring less power and voltage level from the amp.  You would find that some very sensitivity IEM’s will do the same thing. The T70 is a high impedance/high sensitivity headphone. The amp noise floor level is not low enough for the headphone. There also can be other reasons why the amp does not have low enough noise floor due to the environment that the amp is working under. I am not having a hum issue using my T70 with a tube amp.


Edited by john57 - 12/12/11 at 7:22pm
post #6 of 27

the complete lack of bass makes me sad.

i loved the 770/880/990 line as they included good bass but not overwhelming(ignoring hte 770 pro 80) while maitaining very good detail and clarity

 

post #7 of 27

Heya,

 

Thanks for the info. I had high hopes for the T70. But anything less than even neutral bass is completely unacceptable to my ears. Looks like there's still not a new closed headphone in my sights as of yet. I wonder if Hifiman will ever produce a nice high-end closed back planar magnetic.

 

Very best,

post #8 of 27

Not to Defend the T70 versus other cans...I have little to compare it with. 

 

Theyve been running steady for a couple of days through my receiver. I am not listening to it throughout, just popping in now and then. But I am not hearing a "complete lack of bass." From Plastic Beach to the deep string bass of Pink Floyd's "Goodbye Blue Sky," I feel the bass. In fact, after only a few hours of burn in, several tracks on Siamese Dream felt overwhelmed by bass. (It has since tightened up.)

 

These cans do not have the sound description of the Audio Technica 1000's.  I will say that The mids are somewhat recessed and on some tracks it is distracting because while they are very revealing cans and show layers of music very well, sometimes the recessed mids dont seem to jive with what else youre hearing. LCD Soundsystem's This is Happening was the first album through the cans and it was frustrating in this regard. I will have to give it another listen in the next day or so.

 

Again, I do not know how strong the bass is on other cans ( or if I would care for them), but I think it is inaccurate to say they have no bass. If you read the main T70 thread, they mention the seal being key to the bass. I have a shaved head. But others say you can get gel pads that correct the bad seal for those of you with a full head o hair.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/553862/beyer-t70-t70p-new/375


Edited by mattseven - 12/12/11 at 7:30pm
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

UNORGANIZED NOTES FOR MINI-REVIEW OF BEYERDYNAMIC T70

These notes include specific details not mentioned in the mini-review

> Comfort/Isolation

Very comfortable due to velour material, similar to T1/DT880 (though the DT880's pads may be softer). Not much pressure exerted around ears either. Moderate level of isolation - no leakage but can still hear loud sounds in the environment.

> Conclusion

T70 not a bad headphone but lack of bass/mid-range below 200Hz definitely detracts from it. Personal ranking: average. Overall a thin sound that lacks presence & tactility. Might have some similarities to Grado SR line in fact? (As in spiked treble, thin mid-range.)

T70 sort of like a closed HD800 except with less bass quantity and a less open soundstage.


It seems like you are not able to get the right seal with the pads around your ears? If you do not have absolute isolation all around your ears the bass will disappear and you will also hear sounds from outside. When I used the T70 my family could sit two meters from me and had to wave their hands to get my attention, loud yelling I could not hear at all. They had an excellent isolation. I also found the bass to be deep and tight and I never found it missing any bass. 

 

The T70 might suffer from some of the same issues as T50p/DT-1350 for some users. If you can not get a tight seal the sound will never be as intended. 

 

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

I also tried pressing the earcups with my hands to try to achieve better isolation and more bass, including shifting the headphones slightly around on my head, but nothing I did helped to fix the bass for me.

 

As for your isolation report, the only way I'd be able to not hear people from that short of a distance is with IEMs. None of the closed headphones I've ever owned (and I've owned a lot) have been isolating enough to completely passively block out background noise at work (with no music playing), and my workplace is relatively quiet too.

post #11 of 27

The problem with the bass absolutely are the pads. It took over a week to eventually get a good seal. My wife still can't get one. Once you get a good seal, the cans are great. The bass extends very deep with good impact. The isolation is among the best I've heard from a close can. But I decided to ultimately put mine up for sale. I went back and forth trying to decided whether to experiment with different beyer pads, but I want something that I could just simply put on my head without thinking about trying to get a good seal. I just decided to stick with my denons when I need something closed. It's a shame though, these are really good cans once you get a good seal. Like I said on another thread, beyer really missed the mark with the pads here. Some people may never get a good seal and really hear what these cans can do.

 

 

Edit: The bass quantity for me is more than the hd600 with even more extension. That should give you an idea about how much bass these can produce.


Edited by moodyrn - 12/12/11 at 11:49pm
post #12 of 27

sigh..I had such high hope for the T70, especially wishing for more bass than the T5p.

post #13 of 27

I can relate to the bass complaint if I plug it straight into the iPad listening to a compressed file. Through the amp, no issue. I should mention that they sound much better through the iPad than one might believe reading these forums. I mean, head-fi makes it sound like without an amp youre listening to crap. And while I can definitely hear better bass, detail, and separation with the amp ...they are still FAR better than the sr80's without an amp. 

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

I also tried pressing the earcups with my hands to try to achieve better isolation and more bass, including shifting the headphones slightly around on my head, but nothing I did helped to fix the bass for me.

 

As for your isolation report, the only way I'd be able to not hear people from that short of a distance is with IEMs. None of the closed headphones I've ever owned (and I've owned a lot) have been isolating enough to completely passively block out background noise at work (with no music playing), and my workplace is relatively quiet too.


Hmmmm... These headphones seems to split the waters :-)

I sold my own T70 because I have the DT-1350 and it is much more convenient for portable use than the T70. I really liked its sound but the guy who bought it sold it again after a few days based on the same impressions as you. They were too bright for him. I seem to like most headphones a lot of others hate for being too bright like the SR325 and now the T70. 

Thanks or fthe review by the way :-)

post #15 of 27

Does anyone know if the DT770 pads (JMoney or Beyer) fit the T70?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Mini-Review: Beyerdynamic T70