Introduction: Beyerdynamic, a name in all fields of audio that truly needs no introduction. In fact, since it has been established in 1924, the oldest currently still operating audio company, they have had their go at products ranging from microphones, home audio, wireless systems, and of course personal audio. My father even used a Beyerdynamic mic when he performed with his band in the 70's. Beyerdynamic in the headphone world has had their share of ubiquitous names, with popular models like the 770 and 990 families that until now provide great sound and great value to many music enthusiasts around the world, but what we have here today is the Amiron wireless, one of their entries into the current movement into the wireless audio spectrum. And speaking about wireless audio, it's a very interesting market where for the longest time wireless audio has been associated with poor sound quality, but with the advent of more and more high-quality codecs such as Aptx HD and LDAC promising, and for the most part, providing high-quality wireless audio solutions with a, for me at least, obviously discernable improvement over the likes of SBC. So what does the Amiron offer? Well for a start there's the circumaural/over-ear form factor, an important distinction in a market generally proliferated with supraaural/on-ear varieties. Additionally, these feature the Tesla Technology that is implemented in their other popular models like the Xelento, Amiron Home, T1, 1770, and 1990. On top of that, the Amiron Wireless offers Aptx and Aptx HD codec support and the Beyerdynamic MIY app that with the help of Mimi a German hearing technology company will measure your hearing and then adapt the sound output of the Amiron to achieve the "optimum" frequency response in wireless applications. At an eye-opening $699 what does the Amiron bring to the table? Read on to find out.
Transducer type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dynamic, Tesla
Operating prinicple . . . . . . . . . . . . . closed
Frequency response . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 – 40,000 Hz (wired
Nominal impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ω
Nominal SPL with jack plug cable . . 100 dB SPL (1 mW / 500 Hz)
Nominal power handling capacity . . 200 mW
T.H.D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . < 0.05% @ 500 Hz
Sound coupling to the ear . . . . . . . . circumaural
Cable length and connector. . . . . . . 1.2 m, detachable,
4-pole mini stereo jack
Bluetooth version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2
Frequency range. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4000 – 2.4835 GHz
Power class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.0
Supported profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP
Supported codecs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . aptX™, aptX™ LL, aptX™ HD,
Operating range. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to 10 m
Battery runtime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . > 30 hrs.
Charging time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 hrs.
Battery capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1050 mAh
Charging port . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . USB-C
Operating temperature. . . . . . . . . . . 0 – 40 °C
Weight without cable. . . . . . . . . . . . 380 g
Packaging and Accessories: The Amiron comes in a rather large box, that is, however, to be expected given the size of these headphones. On the box is the basic specs of the headphones as well as some images of the product, opening the box reveals the large molded clamshell case of the Amiron. Inside you find the Amiron, a USB A to USB Type-C charger cable, and a 3.5mm cable with inline controls. The molded clamshell case is very nice with a soft touch finish and the Beyerdynamic logo tag on the front and a black zipper and is very sturdy and should protect the Amiron from bumps and light falls. The inside has a small net mesh pocket to place little objects, though it is a bit too small for either cable to be placed in there. The cable quality for both the USB and the 3.5mm cable is about the same, as they both have the same type of coating a smooth, slightly rubbery but not tacky coating that does, however, prevent either cable from tangling. Overall the Amiron has a utilitarian package that provides everything you need in the package without anything superfluous. Some might argue that the accouterments are lacking given the premium price, but as long as the rest of the product delivers, I personally see no issue with it.
Build Quality and Design: The build quality is superb. Starting with the headband there is a metal frame, that is more than adequately padded and lined with breathable mesh fabric on the underside while the top is layered with an Alcantara finish with the Beyerdynamic logo stamped on top. The Alcantara is done in a dark gray. The headband transition into the plastic piece where the yoke of the headphones adjust from, its a satin piece of plastic with another printing of the Beyerdynamic logo on the outside, and Left/Right markings as well as other model information printed inside, with the model number is engraved in gold paint to add an extra touch of class while cabling travels from the earcup to this piece to travel under the headband. The yoke itself is a single piece of brushed metal that connects to a rotating plastic joint on both earcups that allow a couple of degrees of tilt up and down and allows 11 steps of adjustment for overall size. The earcups themselves are done in mostly in an almost gunmetal gray, with silver metal adorning a ring around the main face of each earcup. The earpads are of the velour type, and the drivers have a fabric cover similar to that of the headband. Overall a premium but understated design with hints of industrial influences here and there, that primarily focuses on function, being a wireless and of course possibly a more mobile headphone, it eschews heavy materials like metal earcups to reduce the weight if one were to wear it on the go, or for long periods of time. To round things out the right earcup houses a USB-C charging port, a 3.5mm jack, and the entire face of the cup is a touch panel for use when in Bluetooth mode as well as a power/connect button that also has an LED that will indicate power status, as well as pairing status of the headphones. With no gaps, creaky parts, or anything that seems loose or ill-fitting, there really isn't anything you can point out from these except that they are exceptional.
Fit and Isolation: The Amiron has a moderate to light clamping force that does not wear on you even over longer periods of wear. This combined with the adequate padding on the earcups and headband provides a good comfort experience that couples with adequate breathability. However due to the lighter clamping force even though it is closed the isolation isn't as good as other closed back models, so this may be a trade-off and may be a pro or a con depending on your individual use case.
Connectivity and Interface: The Amiron supports SBC, AAC, Aptx, Aptx HD, and Aptx LL, which basically covers most the popular audio codecs with the only real notable exception being Sony LDAC, this means that for basically any device out there the Amiron will work, and for most modern devices the Amiron will work very well since Aptx HD support is becoming more commonplace, and with the LL Low Latency Standard included using the Amirons for streaming is a treat since it while ensuring that lip movements are synced with the audio. With 8 total devices it can pair within memory the connection interface and procedure is very simple and intuitive with a single button controlling both power and pairing with lights to indicate if it is in pairing mode, with matching audio prompts on pairing, battery percentage, and codec used alternatively if your devices support NFC the Amiron can also connect via that method, and you don't even need to set it to pairing mode to do so. The Amiron also features a right earcup touchpad that allows you to control playback as well as other functions, double taps to play or pause, swipes forward and backward to skip or go back on tracks, a swipe and hold to fast forward or rewind the current track, swipe up and down for volume control, and even one second long taps to answer or end calls, two seconds to reject one, and a one second hold to bring up the supported virtual assistant like Google, or Siri if supported by your device. I found the experience with the touchpad very pleasant, not buggy or finicky like I had feared. You can also adjust the touch sensitivity in the MIY app which I discuss below.
MIY App: The MIY app is the companion app that comes with Beyerdynamic Bluetooth devices that have a few capabilities, first and foremost the sound optimization feature that will take your age, and a listening test and will tailor the sound. The other features are software updates and listening monitoring that is there to make sure you don't over-fatigue your ears. The app has a clean look that makes it very pleasant coupled with a generally uncluttered interface that makes navigating the different options a breeze, though the pairing of the headphones in the app can sometimes be finicky, and non-intuitive which I'm sure can simply be addressed in software updates. Overall I do like the MIY app because it is a companion app that isn't all fluff and gimmicks and makes managing Bluetooth devices even easier.
Sound: I listened to the Amiron both wireless and wired over a myriad of devices almost exclusively using Aptx or Aptx HD for Bluetooth ranging from laptops to phones like my LG G6, or OnePlus 5T, and iPhone 7s+, to DAPs like the Hiby R6. Wired they were plugged into the R6, G6, ifi xDSD, or the xDSD amped with the Massdrop CTH the Amiron is very easy to drive and remained consistent throughout the different devices I plugged it into. I originally planned to split my sound impressions between wired and Bluetooth, but remarkably the sound whether wired or wireless remained almost completely consistent, the MIY app sound optimizations notwithstanding which for the most part make the mids a little fuller and forward at 100%, but I will get to that in a second, the sound signature of the Amiron is balanced and natural exhibiting accurate bass, full mids, and natural treble. Back to the MIY app, it conducts a listening test with test tones that takes about 6 minutes and optimizes the sound, when in the app you get an option to adjust the optimizations from 20% to 100% though I wish a 0% slider was available for convenience. Detailed sound impressions below.
Bass: The bass on the Amiron is full, and well extended with a quick attack and a moderate decay that keeps it precise and natural, hitting all the notes well and providing a good sense of rumble and impact, while still having articulation for faster double bass tracks. In Love by Lana Del Rey the prominent bass drum hits are felt but don't linger too long or drag, and the bass line of David Cook's rendition of Day Tripper has a fullness and texture, without ever feeling bloated in relation to the other signatures. All of this is a stark contrast to many commercially available Bluetooth headphones with dark signatures or even bloated bass that really go and mask the overall sound. The Amiron doesn't have any of those qualities and instead just providing enough bass to keep the sound from being boring but at the same time providing such great quality in terms of texture and refinement.
Mids: The midrange, on the other hand, is overall transparent if maybe a touch behind the bass without being crowded out. It reproduces vocals and instruments with very good timbre as well as backing it up with good technical ability. In City of Stars, a simple arrangement with nothing for the mids to hide behind the vocals are clear and detailed with good definition and crispness to the reproduction, the piano accompaniment is similarly well done, providing a pleasant fullness to each individual notes as they cut through the chords of the song. Moving on to something more aggressive What A Catch, Donnie by Fall Out Boy, the Amiron continues to deliver in both the solemn and basic intro to the more complex pieces in the chorus, and bridge, song elements don't get lost in the shuffle and manage to be rendered with articulation even on secondary song elements. The transition between bass and midrange as well as that to the treble are smooth and no awkward and disjointed dips or peaks in those areas could be detected.
Treble: The treble presents itself as clean, crisp, and with good extension. I found no manifestations of sibilance or uncomfortable peaks in the usual areas I expect them to be, and overall round out the signature with great clarity that brings an overall tonal balance to the headphones. In Hibike by Yokoyama Masaru the piano and string parts in this instrumental exhibit the sparkle of the top end on the headphones with each note resonating and lingering just a bit before they fade away. There is good overall air and that lends positively to the spacing of the music presented and just lifts everything to let the individual components breathe.
Presentation: This is another area where the Amiron shines, all around the technical aspects are excellent. The layering of notes even in complex arrangements is superb with the strings, winds, and percussion harmoniously combining. The spatial presentation is accurate and 3D staging is very good being able to present a somewhat holographic image of the music, however, it doesn't feel artificial or hollow like some may do, it's just right with auxiliary notes like tambourine shakes just at the far edges of the spatial field. Consequently, the soundstage presents good width as well a depth that is both partly in concert as to the previously mentioned staging, and when listening to especially spatially tracked recording it can really express the capability.
Conclusion: The Amiron is an impressive accomplishment by Beyerdynamic putting together a headphone that excels both wired or wireless and with a sound signature that is natural but has enough life to be engaging, without trying to mask any deficiencies with muddled software, at least that's what the wired performance delivered. So the sound is nigh unassailable in the realm of Bluetooth options, and at the least can stand on its own two feet vs traditional wired options. But in addition to that, it also brings together a bevy of convenience features and an overall sense of quality fit and finish that leaves little to be desired. Looking at what is left to be desired, the lack of the ANC is a shame at this price point especially with ANC being the new "it" feature to look for in Bluetooth headphones, it would have been something that would have undoubtedly raised the value proposition of the Amiron, and really is something that can't be ignored especially when they do already implement some "secret sauce" with the MIY app. But aside from that there really isn't much to pick at the Amiron on, the sound is sublime, the build is superb, battery life that usually met at least 30 hours, and the design is attractive but not gaudy, it is understated in how it exudes its premium nature, and personally that aesthetic is something I prefer, but I know is different for everyone. Overall the Amiron provides a great package for those looking for as little compromises in sound as possible at this point in time, something with a very traditional sound profile that focuses on quality first, and if you're in the market for simply the best sounding over ear Bluetooth headphones on the market, then I feel like the Amiron should be very much on the top of your shortlist.