Beyerdynamic DX 160iE Review:
I would firstly 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 160iE and DX120iE are the latest in the beyerdynamic IEM line up.
These received over 50hrs of burn-in, no differences were noted.
Fiio X3 > Silver mini-mini > JDS Labs C5D > DX 160iE (bi-flange tips)
Driver: Dynamic 10mm
Frequency response: 10Hz - 25kHz
Nominal Impedance: 47Ω
Cable Length: 1.2m
Connector: 3.5mm jack plug
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 semi-hard clamshell case 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.
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 semi-hard clamshell case. You get (XS, S, M, L) in standard single flange, L shallow single flange tips, M bi-flange tips and M triple flange tips, also included are a pair of M Comply foam 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: Good presence and extension, rumble is present and they don't struggle with deep bass, that's not to say they are bass heavy though, as they are not. The lows are not the tightest, but do not affect the mids too much, also they never become too boomy. The lows have very good impact with great body too, very fun yet not over the top, giving the sound a very nice low end yet never shadowing the other frequencies.
Mids: The mids are placed a little forward with the DX160iE and they don't suffer badly from warming of the lows, they portray both male and female vocals well, and guitars are nice and crisp. Mids are nicely detailed, acoustic music has great separation, decay and spaciousness.
Highs: These don't fair too badly in the highs, they have enough presence to keep them from sounding overly dark, and have enough sparkle to satisfy most without being overly bright. The highs extend nicely, they also have good speed and separation never becoming too splashy.
Soundstage is fairly wide and has good air and spaciousness, instrument separation is equally good and imaging is convincing.
Overall these improve upon the DX120iE by having a bit more of a balanced sound, not as warm as the DX120, these have much better presence and extension in the highs, the lows are slightly more controlled but do sound a little detached sometimes, and the mids are a little more forward. I would say they have a mild mid hump, which brings vocals forward, but they never become shouty. These again have a non fatiguing sound, and work well with most genres, but I found them to excel with acoustic music.
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 - 2/28/14 at 1:13am