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Review: Beyerdynamic DX 120iE

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Beyerdynamic DX 120iE Review:


I would firsly like to thank Thomas from Polar Audio (Beyerdynamic distributor in the UK) for lending me this sample for review. I will write as honest a review possible. The DX 120iE has not yet been released in the UK, but will be shortly.

These received over 50hrs of burn-in, no differences were noted.


Gear Used:

Fiio X3 > Silver mini-mini > JDS Labs C5D > DX 120iE (bi-flange tips)



Tech Specs:

Driver: Dynamic 10mm

Frequency response: 12Hz - 23kHz

Nominal Impedance: 47Ω

Sensitivity: 107dB

Cable Length: 1.2m

Connector: 3.5mm jack plug

MSRP: £60gbp (aprox)


Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:

Packaging is white and grey, similar to most Beyerdynamic packaging, very sleek and clean packaging. The front has a magnetic flat that opens to allow you to see the IEM's inside. Specifications and accessories are listed on the back, information is listed on the inside of the front magnetic flap. Inside you will find the IEM's securely placed in a foam insert, a soft carry pouch and other accessories are found below in a white card insert. Very easy to open and get to everything inside, and a very simple but attractive package.


(photo pictures the DX 160iE but the cable bundle is the same)


Build quality is great, as are most Beyer models, the housing is metal and feels very sturdy, the cable is a flat cable with a detachable section at the y-split. The strain relief on the housing is nice and flexible, the strain relief on the right angled jack however is very stiff, but that section of the cable is replaceable. The cable unfortunately doesn't have a cinch, so you cannot tighten the slack from the y-split to the ears, which is unfortunate as these suffer from mild cable noise, and that would have solved the problem. Overall the build quality is good though, and apart from maybe the bottom section of the cable failing because of the lack of strain relief, I see no problems with it.


Accessories are good, you get plenty of tips and a soft carry pouch. You get (XS, S, M, L) in standard single flange, L shallow single flange tips, M bi-flange tips and M triple flange tips, plenty of tips to ensure all will get a good fit. Also included is a cable clip and adapter so you can share your music with someone else, and a cable clip. All the necessary, and they haven't forgotten anything.


Comfort, Isolation, Driver flex and Cable noise:

Comfort is good, with the bi-flange tips I can get quite deep insertion, and the housing is a good shape to fit in your ear, not protruding much. I really like the understated design of these IEM's, the cable is comfy and the y-split where it detaches is not bulky.



Isolation is good, especially for a vented IEM, they block out plenty of noise for general usage, and would be fine for public transport.


Driver flex is sometimes present, but not a big problem with these.


Cable noise is present unfortunately, and the cable doesn't like to stay behind the ear so it is difficult to wear them with the cable over the ear, and there is no cable cinch so it is a hard problem to solve. The cable clip helps somewhat but not as good as a cinch or if they were suitable to be worn over the ear.



Split in to the usual categories with a conclusion at the end.


Lows: Punchy, tight and with good extension, the lows are full bodied but not dominant, they don't ever become the most prominent part of the music. They work well for all genres, they don't quite have the quantity for bass heads, but there is plenty for most casual listeners. They are fun but not bloated or too much, they just add a little extra kick and body without sacrificing the mids and highs. The lows are also well separated and articulate, they also don't warm the mids up too much.


Mids: The mids are well placed, even a tad forward, they are very well separated from the full bodied lows, not suffering from veiling or mufling of even male vocals. The mids are crisp and detailed, male and female vocals fair very well, guitars have authority and power in Rock and subtlety and body in acoustic. The mids are great for a budget IEM, and merge very well with the rest of the sound.


The highs are a little too recessed for my tastes, they do have some sparkle and detail, but the lack a little presence. They could be placed a little more forward in the mix, but they never fatigue. I could listen to these for hours with no problems, they have an engaging sound but not bright in the slightest.


Soundstage is fairly average, imaging is fairly precise. Instrument separation is fine, these have quite a full sound so there isn't a lot of air between the instruments.



Overall for the price these are great, I always get worried when big brands come out with budget IEM's but Beyerdynamic consistently deliver good sound for a good price. I remember when the XP series came out, I wasn't expecting much but they were excellent. These have a full bodied sound, slightly towards the dark side of sound, with enough detail to please and a very fun and enjoyable sound which makes them perfect for on the go listening. The only problems I have are no chin slider, and the highs are a little too recessed for my liking.


Tracks Used:
Skrillex – First Of The Year (Equinox) (320kbps MP3)
Paramore – Franklin (320kbps MP3)
Diana Krall – The Girl In The Other Room (FLAC)
Deolinda – Passou Por Mim E Sorriu (live) (ALAC)
Suicide Silence – Unanswered (FLAC)
Massive Attack – Angel (ALAC)
Eat Static – Dzhopa Dream (ALAC)
The XX – Crystalised (FLAC)
Funeral For A Friend – Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings (ALAC)
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (FLAC)
The Scene Aesthetic – Humans (259kbps MP3)
A Hero A Fake – Swallowed By The Sea (254kbps MP3)
Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, Spring Allegro (ALAC)
Johnny Craig – Children Of Divorce (161kbps MP3)
Deadmau5 + Kaskade – I Remember (Caspa Remix) (320kbps MP3)
Black Uhuru – Utterance (ALAC)
We Are The In Crowd – Never Be What You Want (226kbps MP3)
Silverstein – Discovering The Waterfront (320kbps MP3)
Concept Of Thought – Our Thought (FLAC)
Nirvana – Something In The Way (Unplugged) (ALAC)

Edited by ostewart - 2/20/14 at 10:18am
post #2 of 9

Thank you for this very nice review. Have always liked Beyerdynamic's headphones but have never been able to try out their in-ears. Looks like this is more like a budget itme, great value but not the best out there. Do you think it has the Beyerdynamic house sound?

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Very much so, it has the smother sound, more natural than some other more analytical or overly warm sounding IEM's. Of course there is better for the price depending on your preference, but for a well built all rounder these are very good, also they are a big name brand but don't over price their IEM's heavily unlike Sennheiser and Sony (to name a few)

post #4 of 9
I got these IEMs last week and have been enjoying them quite a bit. I feel like this review presents them very accurately. They're the best pair of IEMs I've tried, but then again, my experience goes from crappy ones included with most phones to Sennheiser CX-400 ii (unsure if mine are fake or not - they don't sound "bad", but the bass is too prominent and somewhat boomy) to these Beyerdynamic IEMs.

I'm plugging them straight into my Nexus 5 and keep the volume between 40-60%. I didn't notice much of a difference when plugged into an amp.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my purchase.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for letting us know about your experience. The CX-300/400 are very bassy and not to my liking at all. The beyers are more refined and controlled.

post #6 of 9

These are currently on massdrop (approx £10 off amazon price).

There were many comments on massdrop and within amazon stating the extension cable breaks after 3 months of use. Have you found that to be an issue?

post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by fusionmaster View Post

These are currently on massdrop (approx £10 off amazon price).

There were many comments on massdrop and within amazon stating the extension cable breaks after 3 months of use. Have you found that to be an issue?

They still work for me after almost exactly one year, although I must say I don't use them all that much, but I'm not exactly a big fan of IEMs, but I still wanted something that at least sounds sort of decent for the times when I need something much more portable than my DT 770 Pro (32 ohm). On second thought, I think the DX 120 does have a little bit too much bass and lacks clarity, but I suppose you can't really expect much of that at their price.


I put them in the included pouch when not in use. I'd say the cable does feel like it's lacking in build quality, so I would advise being careful with them (and with reports of the cable breaking, that's probably a good idea..).


If they were to break in the future, would I buy this model again? Most likely not, but this has more to do with how many different brands of IEMs there are rather than the DX 120 being "bad" (which I don't think they are, but I have to wonder if it's not possible to get something better around this price).


£10 off the amazon price is an okay deal on these, I think.

Edited by guywithtwohands - 3/28/15 at 9:59am
post #8 of 9

I've been happy with these.Crisper with a good defined bass and a step up from the RSA MA 450i though one of the channels has failed after just under a year.


Will hopefully look to replace / repair shortly

post #9 of 9

Does anyone know how the iDX 200 Stacks up against the idx 120 - 160 versions, I haven't found a place around me that has them to sample. it would be cool to a & b the 160 and 200. Where can I find them in nyc?

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