Beyerdynamic Official XELENTO Audiophile Tesla in-ear Headset for Mobile Devices

Average User Rating:
5/5,
  1. csglinux
    5.0/5,
    "Surprisingly Awesome Single Dynamic Driver IEM"
    Pros - Comfort, sound quality, treble extension, replaceable MMCX cables, remote compatible with both Android and iOS.
    Cons - Nozzles are a little short; vented housing sacrifices some isolation.
    Preamble

    I would like to be able to start by thanking Beyerdynamic for the free pair of Xelentos. Unfortunately, I can't, because Beyerdynamic didn't give me a free pair of Xelentos, so I had to buy my own :frowning2: But the silver lining for anybody reading this review is that I truly wasn't influenced at all by payment or free review samples :wink: I truly found them good enough to spend my own money on.

    Beyerdynamic's Xelento took me by surprise. I'd heard of it, but had no particular interest in listening to yet another single dynamic driver headphone. I didn't expect to be impressed, but decided to pull up a chair at the Beyerdynamic booth at the 2017 SoCal CanJam, and this headphone stole the show for me. It was the best all-round headphone I listened to (including a few over-ear cans) and I ended up purchasing a pair shortly afterwards. I own the Xelento Remote, but all my listening tests and measurements were made using a custom T2 silver litz cable.

    DSCN6802.JPG
    DSCN6803.JPG
    DSCN6806.JPG

    Fit, Comfort and Isolation

    The Xelento's have fairly short nozzles. I would personally have preferred the nozzles to be fractionally longer, but once I got use to them, and with some heat treatment to my cable, I was able to get a fairly consistent fit with my favorite CP100-M SpinFit tips. Because of the short nozzles, deep insertion isn't really possible with the Xelento. The advantage to that is they're incredibly comfortable; the disadvantage is they don't isolate particularly well. In fact, you can tick that box twice, because they're also ported. So while they sound amazing, don't expect them to rival the sound isolation you'd get from an Etymotic.

    Detachable MMCX Cable with Remote

    There are two great aspects to this. 1) Xelento uses (almost) standard MMCX connectors. 2) The remote that comes with the "Xelento remote" version, quite remarkably, works perfectly on both Android and iOS devices. I'm not sure how Beyerdynamic did this. I've owned several cables with iOS remotes, Android remotes and even a few that work with both, but those that are both Android and iOS compatible have always had a switch on them to toggle between the two systems. The Beyerdynamic remote works perfectly on both operating systems without any need to toggle switches. I don't know if I'll ever use the iOS remote functionality (I'm no longer a fan of Apple, and if you care at all about audio, you shouldn't be either: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/apple-ditching-3-5mm-jack.795656/page-2#post-12708687), but it's a nice touch from Beyerdynamic to give all users that capability.

    Now, about those MMCX connectors. I've never been a particular fan of these swiveling connectors. Any current or past owners of the awful (and awfully-overpriced) UE900s, will know what I mean. The MMCX connections on the UE900(s) were prone to drop-outs, no matter how much Deoxit you used. I'm sad to say, I experienced the same problem with the Xelento when attached to my various single-ended and balanced litz cables :frowning2: However, thankfully, there is an easy solution to this. The problem is caused by the center pin on the cable plug not extending quite far enough into the female socket on the Xelento, which is recessed a little too far. You'll know if this has happened, because the plug will swivel easily and loosely in the socket and/or you'll hear those drop-outs. What you need to do is take some very fine grit sandpaper and carefully (making sure to keep the sandpaper perfectly perpendicular to the axis of the plug), sand off a fraction of a millimeter from the plug (do not do anything to the Xelento earbud itself!). You want to shave off just a fraction of the plug's lip, shown in red below:

    mcxplug.png

    Be sure to clean off any debris and burrs (a can of compressed air will work) from the plug before you connect it to the socket on the Xelento. You should find you now get a snugger, tighter fit with less swivel. No more drop-outs and no more messing about with Deoxit :)

    Sound

    You really have to hear them for yourself! The Xelentos have a pretty exciting, gently V-shaped sound which stood out above everything else I heard at the SoCal CanJam. I'll go over this in more detail with comparisons to other competing products below.

    All measurements here were made with a Vibro Veritas coupler and either REW using a StarTech input and FiiO X7 USB DAC output (via the usual FFT/transfer function) or Android's AudioTool app using @crinacle's white noise signal trick (https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/crinacles-fr-measurement-database-240-iems-measured.830062/) played from a QP1R. All measurements are diffuse-field compensated and all used the same microphone, however, the REW and AudioTool software used slightly different compensation curves, since REW was used with a StarTech card which requires its own calibration on my Mac. REW is generally more reliable, but (given the same consistent seal in the coupler), the two procedures can get quite close to one another, at least up to 10 kHz:
    Xelento_REW_vs_AudioTools.png
    The oscillatory nature of the white-noise+AudioTool measurements is characteristic of all my portable measurements. I did my best to ensure a good consistent seal and measurement, but some (e.g., RE2000 and Andromeda) might need to be re-done with REW at some point.

    Burn-In

    I was advised by the Beyerdnamic rep to burn these in for about 80 hours prior to use. Burn-in with 80 hours of pink noise did make a measurable difference, however, it was pretty small - small enough that there'd be no way I could ever properly A/B those differences either side of an 80-hour gap. Burn-in seemed to increase the response at the frequency extremes for both left and right buds, but I don't want to make a big deal of this. The effects are small enough that I wouldn't worry about missing out on anything if you choose to use them straight out of the box.

    L-post-burn-in.png
    R-post-burn-in.png

    Channel-Matching

    Dang this is close. I've never seen a headphone that had such good matching between L and R buds:
    Left+Right.png

    Comparisons with Other IEMs

    Let's get this out the way first, because this was always going to be a steep mountain to climb for the Xelento. For my ears (I'm a fan of IEMs, detail, comfort and good isolation), the KSE1500 is currently my favorite headphones on the planet - and I would include full-sized cans in that comparison, such as the Sennheiser Orpheus 2 (HE-1), HIFIMAN Shangri-La, Focal Utopia, etc. (I did like the prototype MrSpeakers' Ether Electrostat, so the jury's still out on that one...) Of course, you sacrifice some soundstage with the KSE1500, but there are ways to get that back without having stupid amounts of sound leakage in both directions, e.g.,: https://fongaudio.com/out-of-your-head-software/

    There are two criticisms I often see of the KSE1500. 1) It lacks bass. 2) It's a pain to carry around the separate electrostatic amp. I completely agree with point 2. That separate amp unit does limit where (and therefore how often) you'd use the KSE1500. I completely disagree with point 1. For me, using CP800-M SpinFit tips, the KSE1500 frequency response is just about perfect. The criticism I hear usually goes like this "well, headphone X isn't as clear as the KSE1500, but it has more bass". Well, sure. If pumping bass is what you want, that's not hard to achieve and there are quite a few headphones out there that are almost (but not quite) as resolving as the KSE1500, but have more of a bass punch. I guess that's a legitimate preference, and the Xelento would fall into this category. Here is the KSE1500's FR next to that of the Xelento:
    kse1500.png

    There are two points I'd note from listening to these two headphones back-to-back. 1) The KSE1500 is cleaner-sounding and more resolving. 2) The Xelento has a more emphasized bass. Now, sub-bass rumble, I love; a boomy mid-bass... not so much. If I could tune the mid-bass down just slightly on the Xelento, I would. The fact that you cannot tune the Xelento is a point I'll discuss more later.

    The KSE1500 wins on SQ, isolation and FR customization (its amp/DAC unit has a built-in parametric EQ). The Xelento wins on portability and price.

    The SE846 is a tough headphone to compare against, because you can do lots of things to it to change its sound. In its stock form (factory issued black, blue or white filters), the SE846 lacks treble extension, with a significant roll-off around 8 kHz. However, there's an amazingly cheap mod for the SE846 that turns them into a whole new headphone (https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/se846-filter-mod.802350/):
    Xelento_vs_SE846.png
    This now becomes a tougher choice. In a quiet environment, I'd still favor the Xelento - their upper register is clearer than the SE846, even with its brown Knowles' damper mod. On the other hand, the SE846 fit in the ear very easily on account of their longer, thinner nozzles and isolate very well.

    The Xelento wins on SQ and comfort. The SE846 wins on isolation and customizability. They tie on price.

    Another tough one for the Xelento, which might not be immediately apparent from the following figure:
    FLC8S.png
    The above shows only one possible configuration of the FLC 8S, with red ultra-low frequency filters, modified (with acoustic-damping foam) black low-frequency filters and gun-metal high-frequency filters. The FLC 8S officially has 36 different tuning options, but once you get creative, you have an almost infinite number of ways you can adjust this headphone. With the exception of the blue HF filter (which massively rolls off the treble), most combinations sound great, which simply leaves you free to choose your own preferred response. Their sound quality is simply phenomenal. This is the only non-electrostatic headphone that I've found rivals the Xelento. Both are extremely resolving, with the FLC 8S having slightly more emphasis in the lower treble, with the Xelento pushing more into the 10 kHz + region. If I had a gun to my head, I'd probably choose the Xelento's treble, but only by a tiny fraction. Overall though, it's a tough choice and I might go with the FLC 8S, because I sometimes find the mid-bass on the Xelento a little too much (and I can't change that, other than by messing with EQ). On the other hand, the Xelento can sound a little richer as a result its heavier mid and mid-bass presence. I spent more time A/Bing these two headphones than any other - they're just both so good, I found it really difficult to pick a winner between the two. It might be fair to simply say sound quality is a tie - it's too close to call and just comes down to personal preference.

    Tie on SQ. Xelento wins on comfort. FLC 8S wins on isolation, fit, customizability and price.

    Here comes another tunable triple-driver IEM. If you were expecting another verdict like my comparison the FLC 8S, my experience with the LZ-A4 was waayyyyyyyy different. First, here's the FR:
    LZA4-BBF.png
    Again, the LZ-A4 is a highly-tunable/customizable IEM, and I'm only showing one configuration above, but, no matter the configuration of high- and low-frequency filters, no combination created anything that came close to the sound quality of the Xelento. Admittedly, the LZ-A4 is one fifth the price, but the Xelento makes the LZ-A4 sound like a cheap pair of Apple earbuds.

    Xelento wins on everything but price.

    The Lola is another truly wonderful-sounding IEM. I would need to have more quiet time for A/Bing these against the Xelentos to really be sure. What has stopped me from doing that is the fit of the universal version of the Lolas didn't quite work for me. I'm also not a fan of custom-fit IEMs. Here's why:

    I feel that custom-fit is the dirty little secret of IEMs. No question they're the best choice for long-term comfort, but there are many negatives:

    1) Tests and measurements support the fact that isolation is worse than that of a universal IEM with foam tips. The only way that's not the case is for people who can't get a proper seal with foam tips.
    2) You've no idea what custom IEMs are going to sound like in advance. There's a very good chance they won't sound exactly like the universal version you demo'd before purchasing, because your ears and ear canals are unique, leading to varying length bores and varying resonance peaks in the final design.
    3) If they don't fit you when they finally arrive, you'll have to send them back for re-working. The manufacturer will probably work with you until you get a proper fit, however...
    4) If you don't like the sound of them once you've achieved a proper fit, good luck getting your money back.
    5) Good luck selling them when it's time for an upgrade!

    The universal-fit Lolas (like all previous JH models) tend to be quite large and protrude from my ear on nozzles that are just too long for me. Consequently, I find it awkward to get a good, consistent fit and seal with the Lolas. However, they have a magical sound and if you can make them fit, they're well worth a listen. The measurement below was made with Lola's bass switches at about one o'clock:

    Lola.png
    Xelento wins on fit and price. SQ is about a tie - for now. I'd need more time to compare these two, but I'm nudging towards the Xelento.

    No comparison measurements (yet) for the Fourte, but I hope to add some soon. The Fourte is a good-sounding headphone, but even though I've heard it multiple times now, I've never found it a particularly exciting or special-sounding IEM. The Fourte is a standard 3 BA+DD earphone with a rather sketchy "Apex" module. It sells for an unbelievable price, given that all these drivers come from Sonion/Knowles at a cost of about 50 cents each. The Apex module is a semi-vent/port artifact left over from the days when 64 Audio used to con their customers with the ADEL (Ambrose Diaphonic Ear Lens) scam. After parting ways with Stephen Ambrose, I guess 64 Audio felt they had to either come clean with a mea culpa, or keep up the BS pretense. Unfortunately they chose the latter, which means you end up paying more money for less isolation and who-knows-what extra distortions as a result of a totally unnecessary Apex module. The tubeless-in-ear audio (TIA) concept absolutely isn't new (every IEM considered in this review also has a "Tubeless In-ear Audio" system - with the exception of the Noble Kaiser Encore, JH Lola and the Campfire Audio Andromeda) but 64 Audio are pushing it like they've just invented time travel. Despite 64 Audio's claims, the Fourte has resonance peaks like any other headphone. The problem is, the Fourte's frequency response cannot be adjusted after the fact. Consider that - a $3600 IEM that can't be tuned in any way.

    Xelento wins on SQ, comfort and price. TIA Fourte wins on placebo effect.

    Also no comparative measurements yet, but I hope to add some soon. These are impressive sounding IEMs, with a prominent treble and punchy, in-your-face mid range. It has a good low-end impact too, but something down there sounded slightly off to me, and their ergonomics are just awful. If you can get them to fit and stay in your ears, good luck! Also, is it just me, or is a little arrogant to label yourself "The Wizard", with the obvious implication that you're a master at designing headphones? Surely, that's for others to decide?

    Xelento wins on everything (with the possible exception of isolation, if you can get these enormous things to seal in your ear canals).

    I've long been a fan of Etymotic because of their isolation, which is second to none. They're also famed for their neutral sound signature:
    XR4XR.png
    In terms of sound quality, I prefer the Xelento in pretty much every area. Yes, the ER4XR are more "neutral", but I don't consider neutral sound realistic. If I watch a bass player live, I can feel the ground moving beneath my feet. The ER4XR does have a slight bump in the low end, but it still lacks that sub-bass rumble. Surprisingly (given that everybody extols the clarity and resolution of the Etymotics line), I also find the Xelento far more resolving and detailed in the upper range. By comparison, there's a coarseness to the sound of the Etys.

    Xelento wins on SQ and comfort. ER4XR wins on isolation and price.

    Sennheiser's IE800 invites the most obvious comparison with the Xelentos, being a similarly-priced (at least, at the initial launch of the IE800) single dynamic driver earphone. The IE800 sounds awesome for such a surprisingly tiny IEM, but it also has some unfortunate issues. The IE800 has the shortest nozzles you've ever seen, which require proprietary Sennheiser clip-on eartips. Other than trying to sell more of their own eartips, I can see no reason for this poor design choice. The IE800 also has non-replaceable cables with very little length from the earbuds to the y-split, so you're forced to wear the cables down and all this results in a pretty shallow seal. That, together with the fact they're ported, results in very poor isolation. That poor isolation tends to help accentuate the treble, which can sometimes be seen as exciting and detailed, and sometimes as a little bright and splashy.

    IE800.png

    Xelento wins on SQ, isolation, ergonomics, replaceable cable, and its ability to accept standard eartips. These days, the IE800 can be found (new) for around $600, so I guess IE800 now wins on price.

    This is going to be short, because I simply couldn't get them in my ears.

    RE2000.png

    Xelento wins on ergonomics (by a massive margin - what the heck were you smoking when you designed the shape of this housing, HiFiMAN?) and on price (RE2000 retails for $2000). I'm unable to comment on SQ, because I couldn't get any kind of seal with the RE2000.

    A lot of people really like the Andromedas, and I've seen several headfiers abandon the SE846 for these, because they do have better treble extension. To my ears, the Xelento has the more exciting sound signature. Andromeda also has just fractionally more mid-bass than I'd like (but that's just my personal weirdness - most seem to love Andromeda's sound signature). Ergonomics are a potential problem for many though. The Andromeda's housings are boxy and metallic, with very short, stubby nozzles. I can get them to fit, but not reliably; I have to hold very still and not move my head, for fear the seal will break.

    Andromeda.png

    Xelento wins on SQ (this is subjective - I accept others may disagree), ergonomics, comfort and price. Tie on isolation. Both have replaceable cables with mmcx connectors.

    Just for fun, I wanted to show an interesting comparison with some earbuds that you might not have expected to see here:
    20170511_200722.jpg
    Recognize those nozzles? Do they look familiar? :wink:

    Here is a comparison of their frequency responses:
    mystery_buds_x.png

    They're remarkably similar. Both feature a single dynamic driver, which has obviously been very cleverly (and weirdly similarly) tuned. Now, I will say that the Xelento sound better than mystery IEM X, but not by much - the differences are worryingly small.

    Xelento wins (just) on SQ. Mystery IEM X wins on everything else. Especially on price :wink:

    smokinbuds2.jpg

    I managed to pick these up for $12.99 at Ross. Many thanks to my buddy @moedawg140 for the tip on these. @moedawg140 - you're truly my headphone Maestro and Sensei!


    Here's my opportunity to vent cathartic about all the world's problems. Or at least, those that relate to headphones. While I absolutely love to see genuine progress and innovation, I've always had an irrational antipathy toward those that try to bull****, rail against known scientific facts and exploit others for their own financial gain.

    A few years ago, Ultimate Ears (Logitech) released an "upgraded" UE900 - the UE900s. It cost an additional $100, but many loved it and wrote rave reviews about how much better it sounded than the older UE900. It turned out there was only one difference - the cardboard packaging. Fast forward to Focal's Utopia - a pretty standard dynamic driver headphone that sold for more than many electrostatic systems. Plenty of people seem to have gone nuts over it. To my ears, it wasn't in any way revolutionary. Then came the 64 Audio TIA Fourte. Another pretty standard attempt at a hybrid multi-driver IEM, but with a giant leap forward in price. The Fourte also came with some dubious science (Apex) and some obviously false claims (acoustic tubing creates distortion and acoustic resonances, whereas machined aluminum housings don't). Again, there are people going crazy over it, calling it the best headphone ever made.

    There are worthwhile innovations out there that result in expensive headphones, for example, those that are genuinely unique, took years of expensive R&D, dedicated driver manufacturing and accompanying hardware (e.g., electrostatic amps). But it seems there's always an opportunity to exploit the gullible and ignorant, simply by taking established technology and slapping an ever-higher price tag on it. There was an interesting article in this vein that was recently cited by InnerFidelity: https://www.innerfidelity.com/conte...headphone-frequency-response-and-retail-price. Now frequency response isn't the only aspect that matters - we also care about efficiency, distortion, etc., but given that many of the component BA or DD drivers are all from the same manufacturer, I have to wonder how significant those differences are.

    The Xelento aren't cheap, but they're comparable in price to earlier single dynamic driver IEMs like the IE800, which were generally well respected. The added bonuses with the Xelento are the improved sound quality, replaceable cables with mmcx connections and the option of a well-designed remote for those that want to use it with their smartphones. I'm not entirely convinced there are major new technological breakthroughs with the Tesla driver (given how similar its sound is to that of the Skull Candy Smokin' Buds 2), but it has been very well tuned and overall I would consider it medium/fair value for money, considering it is one of the best-sounding IEMs I've heard.

    Summary

    I found the Xelento to be easily one of the best-sounding IEMs you can currently buy - at any price. I do prefer Shure's KSE1500 for detail retrieval, but the Xelento isn't all that far behind. The only other non-electrostatic IEM I've heard that had this level of fit and sound quality is the outstanding FLC-8S. However, the FLC-8S comes with a caveat - you need to be prepared to spend quite a bit of time tuning it, and it has tiny filter components that can be easily lost. The FLC-8S isn't for the casual listener or for the faint of heart. The Xelento sounds fantastic right out of the box, and even though it can't be tuned, its frequency response is already very close to that of my ideal sound signature.

    If you've never heard the Xelento, I highly recommend you try to get a demo with these outstanding headphones. I doubt you'd be disappointed.
  2. potatoe94
    5.0/5,
    "Luxurious Looks , Luxurious Sound !"
    Pros - Energetic , Fun , Attractively tuned . Looks beautifully discrete .
    Cons - Travel case is strangely designed .
    It was at CanJam Singapore where i was scouting for a new pair of IEMs , i dove straight into the convention trying all IEMs without asking any about the pricing . This allows for fair judgement of the IEMs , and whichever appeals to me best , i’ll get it . I’m looking for a sound that is energetic , fun and powerful , something that is small and would fit my ears flushed , of course , it has to look ok . So after hours in the hall , the Dita Truth appeals to me . Just as i was about to ask on the pricing on them , Beyerdynamic revealed their “new” flagship IEM with Tesla Technology . I queued up for some time before being given a pair to listen . The Initial impression hits me like a train , it sounded extremely beautiful , nothing the entire hall of IEMs could ever match . The intimacy , the power , the treble , the warmth . Extremely enjoyable to listen to , every song played was waves of chills sent down my neck , i removed them with a smile and i asked them on the price of it , i was expecting it to cost somewhere along 2000 , but was told that they cost 1599 . I went back to try the Dita Truth again , and it was far , so far from the bar Xelento has set . Guess what ? I reserved my interest to have them purchased at pre order price . The Xelento retails for SGD1599 , I got mine at 1429 with a pair of whisky glass .

    After about a month after CanJam , i’ve received my Xelento . The white cardboard box sleeve was drawn out , which revealed a box in black , XELENTO stamped in the front . As i lifted the lid , The pair of Xelento was presented in the centre of a foam board . Under the foam board , lies a neatly arranged array of Beyerdyanamic Signature oval eartips and 3 pairs of Comply Foam tips (with Waxguard) . It comes with 2 sets of SPC cables , one with remote , another without . A leather hard case with compartment for your eartips , earbuds , and cables . The box also includes an aluminium shirt clip as well as additional metal waxguards that comes included on the Xelento . Overall very well packaged , but i would rather have a slim waterproof hardcase for it , probably for me , because in Singapore , it rains rather often . The additional compartments are alright , but the leather certainly felt like it would peel after time , but dont take my word for it , i left it in the box and use a pelican 1010 for it .

    Audio
    Similiarly , the reason behind my decision is also the fact that i am a sucker for dynamic drivers , balanced armature just does not sound right to me , regardless how well they are tuned , no way will the sound resonates as beautifully and naturally as a dynamic driver . The magic of a single dynamic driver is on how it only has to be in phase with itself , most multiple driver iems are slightly incoherent due to the phasing that many did not pick up , this is so even for the TiaForte $5000 iems . Proper phasing is what makes sound sounds natural and relaxed , something that JH Audio has figured out with the freqphase technology for multiple driver iems . Note that the Xelento would sound better with about 100 hours of burn in . Notable difference would be less treble peaks , and cleaner sound .

    The eartips used will also affect the isolation and sound signature dramatically . By using the issued Beyerdynamic oval tips , it should be the intended sound of the Xelento , but it falls short in the isolation department . The Comply on the other hand , revealed more emphasis on the bass and mids , while supressing some highs as compared with the ovals , isolation was at its best with the comply tips , and i would reccomend it if you have to deal with the noise from public transport . However , i used my RHA MA750i’s dual density eartips as i was more familiar with the fit . The RHA tips is the perfect complement of the both types of eartips supploed by Beyerdynamic . It revealed a neat amount of bass , yet keeps the treble , and also provided an isolation in between , this should be mainly due to the fact that it was inserted deeper than the Beyerdynamic Tips .

    The first thing you would notice from the Xelento is how much energy they are capable to deliver . They have a very fun and lively tuning that makes them sound very closely to an actual performance in a bar . The Xelento would most certainly appeal to someone who prefers the dynamic sound with a warmth , yet with the ability to beautifully display the highs . The last time i was impressed by this amount of energy and tuning was from the Sennheiser IE800 which i tried years ago (i bought that too) . I did a comparison of the Xelento and IE800 again a few days ago , and realised they were both beautifully tuned in their own ways . But if i was presented with the Xelento and IE800 now , i would pick the Xelento . Mainly because it presented more energy .


    Xelento is an IEM that has a v shaped signature , it has a very nice body on the lows and highs that doesnt sound thin . It is capable of good instrumental seperation and positioning . However , instrumental layering is limited by the source , so get a good player for it . It sounds intimate , yet open when required , hence it is very natural to listen to , which makes it a pleasure .

    The Xelento is a very very picky IEM , if you feed it trash , it would probably play you trash . The Xelento is an IEM that responds very differently to different sources as well , i have tried players from Onkyo , Pioneer , Fiio and Astell&Kern . It seems like the Xelento forms great synergy with every single Astell&Kern Player . Which got me thinking of getting the AK70 or AK240 for it . The KANN pairs alittle to warm with it , regardless , you would find yourself finding what works best for the Xelento , because it is very rewarding if it manage to pair with something that it likes . Unlike the T8ies , i had no issues trying cables , every mmcx could be fitted with the Xelento with ease . However Xelento being a picky one , pairs overly warm with Copper , Overly bright with Silver , and seem to only pair well with SPC cables . Which almost makes me think that the Xelento’s drivers were tuned with SPC cables as priority . The supplied SPC cables has no Beyerdynamic logo on it , and the remote cables worked for my Sony Z5 smartphone .


    Built
    Overall built is great . It looks great , but should always be treated as a gem . The housing is really light , and has been confirmed by Beyerdynamic that it is plastic with layers of high quality metallic coat . The mirror gloss silver housing with the grey beyerdynamic disc faceplate complements each other very well as well . It does not looks like it would be scratched easily . Cables are slim and shines really well under sunlight , even with the durable kevlar coat . Terminations are discrete yet looks and feels really durable as well , very minimally designed with brushed aluminium . However durable it may seem , 1599 dollars is no small sum and you should always be taking care of it .


    Competitor
    if you have the Opportunity to try the Xelento , and liked it . Some iems worth trying would be:

    Etymotic ER4XR – for a less energetic and more leinear soundimg iem
    Andromeda – for a bassier crave
    IE800 – for a thinner treble crave and fairly wider staging
    Other iems to try would be Angie ii , Lola , TruthEdition , UERR , T8ie ii .


    Conclusion

    The xelento is a beautifully made IEM that sounds and looks unlike any other . I would highly reccomend you to try them out to see if they appeal to you as much as it did for me . Unlike most of my iems , this may well be here to stay . The only thing that could be stepped up would be to make each customer feels like they are in some exclusive club . Sennheiser has done it with the concierge and each iem is registered to the name of the beholder , where repairs and services would be collected from and delivered to you at your doorstep .

    Photos are taken and processed by myself :)

    _DSC7321.jpg _DSC7157.jpg
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    images

    echineko and earfonia like this.
  3. zeddun
    5.0/5,
    "Excellent Xelento Remote-Tesla IEMs"
    Pros - Sound fantastic; extremely comfortable
    Cons - Would like a different case
    Disclaimer:  I purchased the Xelento Remote directly from Beyedynamic.  Beyerdynamic has not compensated me in any way to write this review.
     
    When I heard that Beyerdynamic was releasing an OEM version of the AKT8ie my ears really perked up.   Based on the positive review from www.headfonia.com and because I am a fan of both Beyer's T1 and T51p I decided to take the plunge and purchase a pair.  Now let's take a closer look at their Tesla IEM.
     
    ​Specs: (from the Beyerdynamic North America product webpage)
     
    Headphone design (operating principle) Closed
    Headphone impedanceAlso known as nominal impedance. The impedance is the AC resistance of the coils of loudspeakers and headphones in ohms. Since impedance depends on the frequency, it is always specified at a frequency of one kilohertz.  16 ohms
    Headphone frequency responseThe frequency response specifies the highest and lowest frequencies reproduced by the acoustic transducer of the headphones. 8-48,000 Hz
    Nominal sound pressure levelThe acoustical level, the headphone transducer produces to an artificial ear (a measurement device, which simulates a human ear) with an input power of 1 mW (dB/mW @ 500 Hz). 110 dB (1 mW / 500 Hz)
    Remote Universal 3-button remote
    ConstructionSound coupling to the ear. A differentiation is made between supraaural headphones, circumaural headphones and in-ear headphones.  In-ear headphones
    Cable & plug 1.3 m detachable (MMCX) with 3-button remote and mic with 3.5 mm plug, 4-pole
    TRRS standard CTIA

     
    The Xelento remote is a single tesla dynamic driver universal IEM!  Due the bass response (I'm not a basshead by any means) I've always preferred dynamic driver IEMs to balanced armatures). It has good sensitivity so it should be easily driven from anything from smartphones on up.   Even my Nintendo Switch with a puny headphone amp is able to drive the Xelento to a satisfactory volume.
     
    What's in the Box: (again from Beyer's product webpage)
     
    Supplied Accessories
    1. 1.3 m silver-plated cable with 3-button remote and 3.5 mm plug, 4-pole
    2. 1.3 m silver-plated cable with 3.5 mm plug
    3. 7 pairs of silicone eartips
    4. 3 pairs of Comply™ eartips
    5. Case
    6. Cable clip
    7. Quick start guide
     
    You really get a generous set of accessories with the Xelento remote.  With 7 pairs of silicone eartips and 3 pairs of comply eartips, the Xelento should fit most ears.  I never been a fan of comply or foam eartips so I settled on the stock silicon tips.   Two cables are also included-a standard 3.5 mm cable and one for iDevices and Android devices.  All my listening was performed with the standard 3.5 mm cable as I prefer not to have remote buttons etc in the signal path.  The cables seem sturdy enough but neither have memory wire which I have never been a huge fan of.
     
    Isolation and Comfort:
     
    ​Let me get this out of the way right now.  The Xelento is the most comfortable IEM, universal or custom that I have ever worn.   With the right tips they fit snugly in your ears and can be worn for hours at a time with no discomfort.   I have owned Westone customs and other universal IEMS in the past (i.e. Sennheiser IE800, Dita the Answer, Campfire Audio Lyra II, Shure SE846 to name a few) and Xelento tops them all.  The only IEM that came close was the Lyra IIs, probably due to its small size similar to the Xelento.
     
    Isolation on the Xelento is good and above average for a universal IEM but can't match the isolation a custom can provide.  No surprise here.
     
    Sound Quality:
     
    ​All my listening was done with lossless and high res files using my Sony NW-ZX2 as source, my Erzetich Bacillus Tilia desktop headphone amp, and Tidal lossless files streamed from my iPad to the Bit Opus #11 USB DAC/Headphone amp.
     
    Bass:  The Xelento is not a basshead IEM but it does have great deep impactful bass when the music calls for it.  There were moments in EDM songs by Justice and the Propellerheads where I felt the bass was visceral.  
     
    Treble and Midrange:  The Xelento has a transparent midrange and treble.  I did not find the either to be harsh or sibilant in any way which combined with excellent comfort makes the Xelento good for prolonged listening sessions.  A rather dynamic sound.
     
    Overall the sound quality tilts warm but not overly so.  Sound quality is exactly to my liking-slightly warm, with good bass, and good transparency.   This is purely subjective however as sonic bliss is in the ear of the beholder.  I'm not going to comment on detail retrieval as I'm not a professional reviewer and I'm more of a person who listens to music for pure enjoyment to be drawn into the music (which the Xelento does) vs. critical listening.  The Xelento also scales fairly well sounding better with my desktop amp even though it really synergizes well with my ZX2.
     
    Select comparisons:
     
    ​Xelento vs. Campfire Audio Lyra II
     
    Both IEMs are single dynamic driver IEMs.   Both lean warm, the Lyra II even more so than the Xelento.  Xelento is more dynamic and more comfortable in my opinion and is also less warm and more transparent suiting my sonic preferences better. 
     
     
    Xelento vs. Dita the Answer (non-truth edition)
     
    Again both IEMs are single dynamic driver IEMs.  The Xelento is more comfortable and stays put in my ears better than the Answer.  The Answer has a more forward midrange and the Xelento has better bass.  The Xelento sounds good from an iPhone to DAP to desktop amp whereas I found the Answer to sound good plugged directly into an iPhone or iPad but I did not find it to synergize as well with higher end sources (like the ZX2 or my former Calyx M).
     
    Xelento vs. Shure SE846
     
    The SE846 is a quad driver balanced armature IEM.  It has a bigger footprint than the Xelento.  Even though the SE846 fits well in my ears it is not as comfortable as the Xelento.  The SE846 also has a more forward midrange.  The Xelento to my ears sounds more dynamic and has better bass.
     
    ​CONCLUSION:
     
    ​Overall the Xelento remote is a wonderfully sounding and extremely comfortable universal IEM.  Beyerdynamic has really done a fantastic job implementing and miniaturizing its Tesla driver.  My only quibble is the square case that comes with the Xelento.  I would prefer a case with a smaller footprint like the SE846 case or Lyra II case.   But sound quality is the most important factor and the Xelento excels in that area.




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