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Over-Ear item created by MarkJnK, May 5, 2010
Pros - detailed, dynamic, focused
Cons - tonally overdamped, ultimately univolving
See a full discussion on the following thread:
Like The Monkey, I tried gallantly to like these headphones but, for me, they fell short. While they do lots of things very well, for me there was no synergy among the parts working as a whole. I ended up preferring the DT880/600 and have since sold the T1 with no regrets.
Pros - Neutral, Comfortable, Well built, Detailed and comfortable sound, Soundstage!
Cons - High Impedence means you cant use it with portable sources like iPods
I have been a fan of Grado sound for over 4 years now. My first set of cans was Grado SR60 which I replaces with the RS2 and finally with GS1000. I loved their fastpaced and fun sound, they are and forever will be the perfect Rock and Metal and Bollywood cans! (Yes I am a big fan of music from India). But I could never wear them for more than an hour because my head would be hurting with what some call harsh treble.
Now before I go further in this review, I want to talk a little bit about my music philosophy (for whatever its worth ): "When headphone makers such as Grado, Sennheiser, beyerdynamic, AKG release their headphones they never tell you what source or amplifier to use. Thus I believe that for a headphone to be 'really' good they must sound good with any amplifier as long as they are impedence matched."
The reason I mention this is because just because I get a new headphone I must not change my entire source / amplifier setup. Which essentially means that the headphones must be Neutral. They should sound exactly like the sound coming out of the 'headphone out' of the amplifier. Now many have suggested that the panacea to overcome Grado treble is to get a Tube amp like Woo Audio 6 or Zana deux, but I say why, the sound coming from the extremely detailed Benchmark DAC1 or the slightly warm Lavry DA10 should sound good and the headphones should not add to any harshness other than that present in the original recording.
Thats where Testla T1 come in. They are neutral: they donot provide any texture to the music other than what the source / amp provide. Therefore when I plug them to my Macbook Pro or Lavry Da10 or any other source they sound musical, they donot accentuate lack of detail in the Macbook pro output or muddle the bass in the Lavry DA10 warm headphone out. This is something which the GS1000 and RS2 lacked sorely. They needed me to use the EQ to sound 'natural', using Grado is like having headphones with a built in Loudness button, extremely groovy and fun but lacking the comfort and left you feeling as if you are listening to some part of the music - this is called by many as a dip in the mids.
Both GS1000 and T1 are extremely fast they have great sound stage but the T1 beats the GS1000 handily in width of soundstage. You can feel different instruments placed in 3D space as if you are present at the time of performance. This is especially true of Vinyl recordings that were not badly remastered to make CDs.
GS1000 have more visceral punch in the Bass which T1 definitely lacks. T1 is not Bass light but if you switch from Grado to T1 you feel something is missing, but as time passed I realized that I am not missing anything but gaining immense details in the mid bass and vocals.
T1 treble is more refined that Grado, which comes out a grainy in comparison.
In terms of comfort GS1000 are much more comfortable that T1. The light wooded construction, classy goat skin leather headband and the roomy bagel pads were a perfect fit on my medium sized head. T1s are a lot heavy and cause my neck to hurt if I am sitting with them with neck bent to work on my computer. Having said that T1s feel more solidly built and come with 5 years of warranty from beyerdynamic as compared to 1 year with Grado GS1000.
Stock cables on GS1000 and T1s are 24AWG oxygen free copper, which to me sound just about okay for headphone application. It might be worthwhile to upgrade the cables to 18AWG (such as ones ALO audio provides), but I wouldnt recommend anyone to go for overpriced 24 AWG cable. I am an electrical engineer and there is no way 'snake oil' covered 24AWG cable will make any tangible difference in the sound of the headphones.
So which do I prefer, ofcourse the Tesla T1.Dont get me wrong GS1000 are better than every other headphone I have heard, save for the T1.
Pros - Great build quality, no terrible flaws
Cons - Joyless, lack of impact and immediacy
BORROWED FROM A FELLOW MEMBER
Wow, did I want to love these headphones. And I just don't. They're fine. They don't do anything horribly wrong. But the also don't do anything extraordinary, and for the price being charged, they should. I think the HD800 is better. However, it is a very comfortable phone and the build quality is superb. Just a bit blah to me.
Pros - Incredibly balanced and the best all rounder I've heard
Cons - Nothing yet.
My comments echo Skylab's. These are simply the best dynamic headphones I've ever heard. While the may not be technically equal to the Sennheiser HD800s, they certainly make up in the fact that their overall presentation simply works better than every headphone I've heard to date.
I love the HD800s, but I limit listening to them to jazz, classical, and some prog rock. The T1s on the other hand are incredible all rounders and work with everything that I've ever thrown at them. They even rival my all time favourite rock cans the Grado RS1s.
These are simply amazing cans and my personal favourites! Well done beyerdynamics!
Pros - World class sound and comfort from Beyer
Cons - Cable isn't as pretty as rest of headphone
This is not going to be as thorough or long as my normal reviews for now - but I wanted to get something in place. I have always liked Beyer headphones, but they all had some very defining character or flavor - even the most neutral, the DT880/600, was a little hot in the treble and a little light in the bass, IMO.
Well, the T1 changes all that. While maybe just a touch lush, it is possessed of an amazing transparency and neutrality. While slightly behind the Sennheiser HD800 in terms of midrange transparency and soundstage realism, it beats all other dynamic headphones in those areas, and slightly bests the HD800 in terms of treble smoothness and realistic bass. The T1 has an absolutely unique ability to make music sound natural, in my experience. Music simply flows from the T1 in a way that makes it unbelievably enjoyable to listen to, but without requiring any kind of noticeable coloration to get that job done. In my experience, it is that combination of neutrality, accuracy, and musicality that makes the T1, for me, the king of the dynamic headphones.
My basic description is as follows:
* Very neutral overall response, but perhaps just a tiny bit lush
* incredibly nuance and detail
* completely grainless
* an amazing transparency
* tremendous imaging and soundstaging
The T1 is, undoubtedly, a phenomenal headphone, and an enormous step forward from the DT880 (or its siblings). In terms of looks and build, it's basically like a much, much better build 880. Same basic size and shape on the exterior, but better materials and a higher level of workmanship. But sonically, it is on another level altogether.
This is a terrifically balanced headphone in terms of its sonic presentation, and as a result, it sounds VERY natural, or, more accurately, music coming from it sounds very natural.
One thing which I think is a VERY good sign - different songs sound VERY different from each other - there is absolutely no homogenizing of the sound. So you have to listen to a bunch of songs you know REALLY well to get the right measure of the T1 - as one recording will often sound very different from the next, due to the recordings themselves.
Comparisons: w/r/t the HD800, I don't have them anymore, and so I'm not sure my comparison would be valid. But from what I've heard over the last few hours, with no break-in, I think the two are in the same league, and there are subtle differences. From memory, the HD800 has the even more expansive soundstage, but the T1's have a presence to the mids that lends a sense of musical realism beyond what I ever felt from the HD800. The T1 has the stronger bass, although it’s in no way overbearing or bloated. And the T1 has the slightly less aggressive treble, while still being just as extended. They are also a very significant cut above the HifiMan HE-5, in every respect, as good as I feel those headphones are.
Maybe the best description I can give the T1 is that it is highly musical, but without having to be a technological apologist An incredibly comfortable, well-engineered headphone, but one that still lets the music come shining through.