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

Average User Rating:
5/5,
  1. Dobrescu George
    5.0/5,
    "Beyedynamic Xelento Remote – Elegance – Enthusiasm"
    Pros - Natural Sound, Smooth Signature, Good Ergonomics, Beautiful Aesthetics, Great Build Quality, Natural Soundstage, Easy To Drive, Detachable Cable, Portable
    Cons - High-end Sound comes at a High-End Price
    Beyerdynamic has been tinkering with the idea of creating a miniature Tesla driver for a while now, Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote IEM being the first IEM feature it. The naturalness and detailed warmth that Tesla usually provides is now available while on-the-go!

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    Introduction


    Beyerdynamic is a large audio company from Germany that creates countless professional tools for musicians and music lovers, including Headphones, IEMs, Microphones and wireless audio conference systems. Most of their products are made in Germany, and Beyerdynamic is one of the oldest companies in the world, having started since 1924 and being family-owned.

    Beyerdynamic has been developing and researching audio technology for a good while now, and they have managed to create a technology that relies on a patent named the "Tesla Driver". In a few simple words, the Tesla technology employs sturdy drivers powered by extremely powerful magnets which help music come through with better detail and considerably lower harmonic distortion. This technology has been loved by many music enthusiasts from all around the world already, Beyerdynamic's headphones based on the Tesla technology being well-known for their natural and clear sound.

    I have absolutely no affiliation with Beyerdynamic or the affiliates, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review will be as objective as possible and it reflects my personal experience with Xelento Remote. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Xelento Remote find their next music companion. This review includes no paid information and no affiliate links, every link leading to normal pages, the main purpose of including them being to help the reader reach certain spots with ease.



    About me

    My name is George Dobrescu and I am the Director of the Seventh Heart Studios game studio. I work as one of the main programmers for the company, and I am the writer for Quantum Magica and Falsetto Memories projects. I spend eight – twelve hours a day working on a computer, writing and sometimes drawing. I also take care of administrative work which means that I require a portable setup so I'll be testing the portability of iDSD as well.

    Music is present all around me for a big part of that time as working with music is always more fun. With all the devices I own, I need great sound, comfort and ease of usage, not to mention that my listening volume ranges from "please stop that, it's far too loud" to "I can't even tell that you're listening to music".

    My collection includes everything from Classical to Metal, from Rap to Pop, from Punk to Cabaret and absolutely everything in between. There are great artists from every type of music, and I'm one to collect their albums, and keep a tidy order for my files.

    You can check out more about our games on our pages https://www.facebook.com/seventh.heart.studios/ and https://twitter.com/7heartstudios .

    At Seventh Heart Studios, we all love music and this has had an impact on our games as we hold the music close to our hearts and we are committed to only use ogg -q10 as the encoding format for our music since it offers the best disk space to sound quality ratio, OGG -q10 being closest to audibly transparent when compared to FLAC encoding.

    Personal philosophy: Music is more than a hobby or sound. Music is inspiration. Music is life. Music has meaning by itself, being the one thing that can define one's life while shaping one's imagination and creativity. Music can open doors to new plains and music can change one's mood. Music can rest the mind better than days of sleep or can give one energy better than a thousand cups of coffee. Music can be anything we want it to be and the music we experience using professional audition tools is more but at the same time it is nothing more than our way of enhancing the emotion we get from music. Love is a concept too shallow, unable to encompass what music really means to a music lover.



    First Impression

    I have owned quite a few IEMs and headphones before, Ultrasone DJ One Pro, Meze 99 Classics, Ultrasone Signature Studio, Dunu DK-3001, Sennheiser ie800, HiFiMAN RE-2000, Oriveti New Primacy, Kinera H3, and a few others. I also owned high end sources like DAPs (Opus #3, iBasso DX200, Opus #2), and high-end DAC/AMPs (iFi iDSD Black Label).

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    Beyedrynamic Xelento has been delivered on a nice day. Before it was delivered, the Romanian service who took care of it had missed my name, so I had to track down the package and let them know exactly how and when to deliver it. Although the sky was a clear blue and the weather was quite warm, it was slowly reminding me of hospital walls and the blue color was more clinical than friendly, the emptiness of the sky being more like an empty stare than a friendly place to be in. I received the package then rushed back to my room, since I was not accustomed to the strong summer soon. Beyerdynamic took great care to include an amazing deal of accessories, and made Xelento look way more like jewels than IEMs, but my mood was not the best on that day, so I was starting to slowly fade into a state of perpetual thought. The mirror edge design of Xelento surely brought me back for a few minutes, as it is possible to just stare into them for a while, before you realize that they are more a fine work of art than they are a IEM. I plugged them in, curious of what they'd bring. Xelento started playing music with euphoria, musicality, and soothed my bad mood with a dreamy sound that surely took all the problems off my mind for the rest of the day.



    Packaging:

    First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:

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    Beyerdynamic Xelento's gentle package looks stylish and elegant, but they are packaged professionally with a lot of very useful extras. The number of tips is very good, and although the tip seems to have a custom shape, I found out later that Xelento works with other tips as well.

    The package includes a cable based on the MMCX standard, 7 sets of silicone tips, 3 sets of foam tips, a shirt clip, a carry case, and the IEM units of Beyerdynamic Xelento themselves.

    There are two cables included with Xelento Remote, one with a remote and one without it, the cable with the remote being compatible with both Apple and Android devices.

    The carrying case looks different than the typical metal cylinder or plastic pelican like cases other IEMs comes with, Xelento coming with a leather case that offers a uniquely stylish solution to carrying your IEMs around. The case does an amazing job at keeping Xelento safe, being well padded and keeping them in place during transport.

    All in all, Beyerdynamic thought things through when it comes to packaging and including a lot of extras with their Xelento Remote IEMs. There is a different type of Xelento IEMs out there, one that also comes with Bluetooth cable designed especially for them, for those who require great sound with a BT connection.



    What you should look for when considering a IEM (In-Ear Monitor)

    When purchasing an IEM, there are a few factors you should take into account to ensure that you’ll have the experience you wish for. Sooner or later, all those factors will come into play one way or another:

    - Sound quality – This is, by far, the most important aspect of every purchase when you invest in high end audio products. The sonic abilities along with the frequency response / sonic signature widely differs from IEM to IEM.

    - Comfort / ergonomics – The fit and comfort are quite important, especially if you plan on using the same IEM for hours in a row, or in a live performance.

    - Isolation – Every IEM will offer some degree of isolation, but there are both models that focus on ultra-isolation from the outside noise, and open models.

    - Good Value – Always nice to have

    - Interesting/Intriguing design – Every user will have a personal preference and taste for what an “interesting design” is, but it is generally recommended to pick a IEM which you consider to be aesthetically pleasing, or in simpler words, Good Looking.

    - Drive-Factor – How easy it is to drive and how prone to hissing it is, since certain IEMs and headphones will require special sources to offer the best performance.

    - Accessories included – It is better to have a large selection of tips and accessories included with a IEM, especially for those that feature unique tips or require their own accessories.

    - Build Quality and Warranty – While it is good to have a solid warranty included with Every IEM, having a solid build quality is far better.



    Technical Specifications

    Impedance - 16 Ohm

    Connector - 3.5mm

    Frequency Response - 8 Hz - 48.000Hz

    Rated Power Efficiency - 110 dB / 1mW at 500Hz

    Cable length - 130 cm / 3.5mm Jack

    Driver Type - Dynamic, Closed, Tesla

    Coupling Type - In-Ear, Shallow Insertion Fit

    Headphone to cable connector type - MMCX



    Build Quality / Fit

    Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote is built to be both a jewel, with its mirror edge design, but an audiophile's dream as well. It has a highly reflective design and comes packaged with a high quality transparent – white cable that features MMCX connectors. The cable is quite good, tangle free, and after testing a few other cables with Xelento, their default cable is slightly warm in its sonic signature.

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    The fit is, in one word, excellent. Although Xelento has preparty tips, they work with Mandarin tips and other third-party tips as well. After placing them in your ears, they never fall, and the way the tips are designed gives Xelento a soft contact with the ear. There is just a tiny but of Driver Flex, but they work flawlessly nevertheless.

    The IEM body is glossy, with a slivery finish, going for a high-end impression along with a touch of style and elegance. There is a group of devices that always proves high end audio can look awesome, and Xelento is clearly one of them.



    Testing

    Beyerdynamic Xelento has been tested with Xiaomi Mi Max 2, FiiO X5ii, Opus #3, Opus #2, iBasso DX200, Hidizs AP200, Shanling M2s, and with the benchmark DAC/AMP we have, iFi iDSD Black Label.

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    Xelento is a high-end IEM that is quite good in its revealing abilities, but it is a single driver Dynamic IEM, and while its signature changes a bit with its source, it is not very sensitive to hiss or other impedance related changes.



    Sound Quaity


    Xelento is a unique IEM with a warm and romantic signature, good detail levels and a dynamic presentation. The sound is presented with good width and depth when it comes to its soundstage and the transient response is excellent, as expected from the Tesla technology within. The bass is the Tesela tech's strongest point, being extremely well layered, natural, well extended and having one of the best impacts there is. The midrange is natural, smooth and musical, Xelento being quite the romantic performer. The treble is smooth, but well extended and well detailed. All in all, a signature to listen to for hours in a row.

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    The signature is defined by an enhanced bass, a natural midrange, and a smooth top end, the topmost definition of a romantic and charming character.




    Little disclaimer


    All sonic impressions for Xelento have been taken with iBasso DX200, Opus #2, Shanling M2s, FiiO X7mkii, and iDSD BL, all of those being impressive audio devices, each having a signature of its own. All sources will influence the sound more or less, but Xelento has a certain sonic character that is present with all sources.



    Equalizing Xelento


    Beyerdynamic Xelento doesn't require any Equalization by default, being an extremely good performer, romantic, relaxing and enthusiastic. There is nothing to fix or change.




    Channel balance


    The Left and Right channels are perfectly balanced, as far as it is possible to tell from listening and measurements.



    Bass


    The bass of Xelento is one of the best there is. Natural, deep, extended down to the lowest notes the human ear can hear, and coming through with extreme amounts of impact and clarity. Bass layering and detail is also top notch, Xelento being one of the best there is when it comes to its bass, Tesla technology proving to be excellent in reproducing bass notes. The decay of the bass notes is natural, and the transient response is excellent. Despite having an enhanced bass, there is no bleed in the midrange, and the bass is always more than welcome with all types of music.

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    Brokencyde – Blame It on Tom – The song starts with an impressive set of bass notes woven with a gentle and playful synth. The voices sound natural and musical, the background instruments coming through as natural parts of the song as well. There is a special naturalness about the way Xelento renders Brokencyde's work, all synth notes being musical, voices having good textures and everything feeling right in its place.

    Massakren – Threshold – This is a good example of why Xelento is quite the versatile IEM, as it can render Black Metal nicely as well, Massakren's music feeling like one of the most beautiful melodies in this world, a magical smoothness about the midrange and the top end gives this black metal song an excellent feeling of greatness, yet musicality. All in all, Xelento portrays the story with good vividness, but it paints it musical at the same time, giving everything a clear sense of romance and positive emotion. The rest of the album feels quick, musical, enthusiastic and all in all a lovely experience to listen to, despite the rather dark lyrics Massakren employs in their work.

    Incubus – Vitamin – Another excellent example of how Xelento works with any type of music is Incubus, an Alternative Rock band which employs a unique set of special effects and mastering process. The song starts with a deep bass played along a crispy cymbal and snare pattern, with a playful set of electronic effects playing in the background. There is a very good sense of rhythm and pace for the whole song, and the guitar notes are musical and smooth, yet presented with vivid textures. The top end is always fun and never fatigues the listener, giving a general fun and romantic experience for the whole song.



    Midrange

    The Midrange of Xelento is smooth and musical, vivid and dynamic. The Tesla Dynamic Driver has excellent revealing abilities, but it presents music in a playful and romantic way, with lots of musicality and playfulness to its sound, no sibilance, no fatigue and no overexposure of details. Instead of dissecting music, Xelento plays everything together with an amazing sense of naturalness. Every instrument is played in its right place, being a part of a song, separated from the other instruments, yet naturally blending in. The soundstage is expanded naturally, with the midrange having a natural presentation in both width and depth, without relying on an enhanced treble to have a larger stage. The dynamics are also top notch, every instrument having a good texture, despite the romantic way they are presented.

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    3OH!3 – Richman – The song starts with a playful yet well detailed intro, the voices blending in with the gentle synth played in the background. The song has great bass impact along with an excellent spatial presentation of all instruments and electronic symbols. The top end is smooth, while the midrange is playful and Romantic. Voices have a natural tonality to them, along with a natural texture. The way synth notes blend with bass notes can easily give one the goosebumps while listening to this rather fun song played by 3OH!3

    Jason Derulo – Talking Dirty – This is an excellent song to test the bass abilities of Xelento Remote. The bass extends so deep that it can literally shake the listener's sense of space and time, even at low listening volumes. This excellent extension is something that high-end IEMs tend to achieve best, Xelento being one of the best there is. It is possible to distinguish all the voices and the details played in the background during the chorus. The top end is on the smoother side, the trumpets being smooth and lovely to listen to rather than abrasive and enhanced. This song, while a bit dirty by its lyrics, sounds rather fun, musical, and romantic.

    Machinae Supremacy – Cybergenesis – SID Metal requires a very able transducer to render both the metal part of the song, and the electronic / Chiptune part of the song in a natural way. Xelento proves its worth excellently with Machinae Supremacy's music, providing a natural voice tonality, a deep and impactful bass, a smooth and detailed top end, and a romantic presentation of all instruments. The story about the rebirth of humanity in a digital form is presented with excellent emotional attachment and credibility by Xelento, all played in a musical piece that can sweeten the day of the most bitter person in less than a second.



    Treble


    Xelento has a smooth and playful treble, a fatigue-free experience, that is pretty detailed, and a love to listen to for long periods of time. Cymbal crashes are presented in a silky and fun way rather than a serious tone, Xelento proving once again to be exactly what Beyerdynamic advertises it to be, an elevated listening experience that emphasizes radiance and the sublime experience of music, usually only possible with much more expensive setups. The treble of Xelento makes it the perfect IEM for those who want to get one the most musical experience possible, and indulge in the sweet drop of a heavenly touch.

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    Royal Republic – The President's daughter – An excellent choice to show how Xelento renders a clear and well detailed treble, while keeping it smooth and somewhere in the back compared with the bass and the treble. Everything is crispy and quick, the dynamics are excellent and no detail is lost, but it is presented in a musical way that makes every guitar note truly play for the listener rather than make him analyze what is already a well detailed a musical composition.



    Soundstage

    Xelento has a deep and wide soundstage that relies on its midrange more than its treble for its spatial extension. The Tesla Technology is excellent at providing a natural width and depth of sound, bass notes easily travelling through the scene and background synth notes being easily distinguishable from the forward instruments and voices.

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    Xelento has amazing instrument separation abilities, giving an excellent insight in how it is possible to define every instrument with a gentle sense of instrument, relying on the way instruments are each defined within the whole, rather than taken out and dissected.



    ADSR/PRaT


    Xelento has a natural ADSR (Attack Sustain Decay Release) and PRaT (Pace Rhythm and Timing) characteristics, the bass being huge but quick, the treble being smooth, yet well defined, and the midrange presenting music with great textures, yet in a smooth way. Things blend in naturally, providing a rather romantic experience.



    Portable Usage

    The portable usage is very good. Xelento can be worn over the ear, has no cable noise, and isolates fairly well, providing a natural listening experience for the audiophile on-the-go.

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    The single Dynamic Driver configuration works well with portable sources, and Beyerdynamic even has a Bluetooth cable available for Xelento. They are extremely easy to drive, very efficient, but it is still recommended to use them along a high-quality source for the best experience.



    Drive factor


    Xelento is extremely easy to drive. They are very easy to get loud, being some of the most efficient IEMs out there. They sound great with almost any source, starting with Shanling M2s, Hidizs AP200, HiFiMAN Megamini, FiiO x5ii, Opus #3, iBasso DX200, Opus #2, iFi iDSD BL, etc.



    Select pairings

    Xelento + iBasso DX200 – This is an excellent pairing as DX200 enhances Xelento's already excellent natural tonality and great detail. DX200 is quite transparent and will not change the signature of Xelento, but it helps them gain an even more detailed midrange.

    Xelento + FiiO X7mkii – This pairing works well for enhancing the already playful and musical character of Xelento, X7mkii being musical and natural itself.

    Xelento + iDSD BL – iDSD BL is a great choice for those who want to bring a tad more treble sparkle to Xelento, giving them a bit more sparkle in the higher registers, along with an even wider soundstage they already have.

    Xelento + Opus #2 / Opus #3 – Opus DAPs are excellent for giving Xelento a wider soundstage, along with a very good sense of dynamics. Opus DAPs have a very dynamic and organic sound by their own, giving Xelento an even more enthusiastic representation.

    Xelento + Shanling M2s – Although small, M2s can drive Xelento quite well, giving them a deep and large bass along with a more energetic top end. The detail level is on part with its price, a more expensive DAP providing better detail levels, M2s still being worlds ahead of most smartphones, being an excellent solution for the audiophile who wants a small-sized DAP.



    EMI

    Xelento have been tested against almost all types of EMI possible, they have been used under high tension power lines, used right next to a wifi router, and used to multiple devices while music was streaming, but there were no traces of EMI in the sound.



    Comparisons

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    Xelento vs Dunu DK-3001 – Xelento has a smoother top end, a larger bass that has a stronger tactile feeling, while having a similar way of presenting the midrange. DK-3001 is quite musical, but Xelento is a bit more musical. The detail levels are quite good on both for their prices.

    Xelento vs Oriveti New Primacy – ONP is a thick sounding IEM with a good sense of space and a natural sound, while Xelento is more of a romantic performer with a larger bass, a slightly smoother midrange, and a smoother top end.

    Xelento vs HiFiMAN RE-800 – RE800 is quite different, being V-shaped and a fun IEM with an energetic top end rather than a smooth IEM. The bass amount is larger on Xelento, the midrange is presented smoother on Xelento, while it has more detail on RE800, inherent to its rather energetic upper midrange. The top end is far more enhanced on RE800, while it is quite smooth on Xelento. The soundstage has a somewhat larger width and depth on Xelento, but it was already amazingly large on RE800 to being with.

    Xelento vs Kinera H3 – This is an unfair comparison, but still interesting to mention. H3 has a very very different signature from Xelento. Xelento is romantic, enthusiastic and smooth, while H3 is quite bright, colored, energetic and quite U-shaped. The treble is far more enhanced on H3, while it is smooth on Xelento, the midrange is recessed on H3, while it is natural on Xelento, and the bass is much larger in amount and impact on Xelento.

    Xelento vs Sennheiser ie800 – ie800 is quite different from Xelento, but also a IEM I like. The bass is similar between the two, but ie800 has more sub-bass, while it feels more tactile on Xelento, having a bit more tangible impact on Xelento. The midrange is considerably recessed on ie800, while it is smooth and somewhat forward on Xelento. The top end is very smooth on Xelento, and very enhanced on ie800, leading to quite different signatures, both of them being excellent at what they do. The soundstage is larger on Xelento, but ie800 has more separation between instruments, and better definition of each instrument.

    Xelento vs UM Martians – Xelento has a larger bass amount, while Martians tend to be tighter and to present the bass quicker. The midrange is similar between the two, both being quite musical. The top end is quite smooth on Xelento, while it is quite enhanced on Martians, the extension being good on both.

    Xelento vs HiFiMAN RE2000 – While a bit unfair due to the price difference, the comparison should be presented as RE2000 is a flagship IEM as well. RE2000 has a similarly deep and strong bass, while it has a more enhanced upper bass, whle Xelento stays a bit more natural. The midrange is presented different between them, Xelento being more mid-forward, while RE2000 is a bit recessed in the midrange, with more details and more texture definition. The treble is enhanced and energetic on RE2000, while it is smooth on Xelento. Although it is more detailed in general, RE2000 is also pretty V shaped, and almost double the price of Xelento.



    Value

    Xelento retails for about 1000$, being a high-end IEM and sold as one. Considering that the price is paid for the whole package, Xelento has a good value, providing excellent build quality and a large number of extras. Xelento has detachable cables and has a good sound quality for its price range, being a great IEM for the romantic music lover.

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    The value is as good as it can be for a high-end IEM, Beyerdynamic making sure that they are including everything the user needs with their high end products.



    Conclusion

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    Xelento is an amazing IEM when it comes to its musicality, romantic character and its ability to play music naturally, giving the audiophile on-the-go an enjoyable experience that reminds one of the vinyl sound rather than the digital era we live in.

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    Although they come at a high-end price, they also come with a high-end build quality, a great number of accessories, along with an excellent sound to match their suite.

    Beyerdynamic delivers on their word, and provides all music lovers with an excellent IEM that has a sweet and musical sound, being a delight to anyone looking for a smooth and romantic sound!



    Thank you for reading! I hope that this review is of help to you! Stay safe, and please remember to have fun while listening to music!



    Link to the review on Audiophile Heaven: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/2017/11/Xelento-Elegance-Enthusiasm-Euphoria.html

    Link to the official Thread on Head-Fi: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/beyerdynamic-xelento.827372/

    Link to the official product page: https://europe.beyerdynamic.com/catalog/product/view/id/4053/s/xelento-remote/category/1464/

    Link to the writer’s head-fi page: https://head-fi.org/members/dobrescu-george.170938/

    Audiophile Heaven: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/

    Audiophile Heaven on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiophileHeaven/
    Dsnuts likes this.
  2. twister6
    5.0/5,
    "Mini-me Tesla driver!"
    Pros - smooth natural resolving tonality, impressive bass slam, quality SPC cables (both audio and in-line remote versions), custom eartips, nice case.
    Cons - short nozzle, eartip dependent driver flex.


    The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion. The review was originally posted on my blog, and now I would like to share it with all my readers on head-fi.

    Manufacturer website: Beyerdynamic.



    Intro.

    I'm no stranger to Beyerdynamic headphones, and in the past reviewed their various full size cans and consumer iems. Even though I prefer a portable audio setup with IEMs and DAPs, I still enjoy the sound and the comfort of T5p 2nd gen (especially with TWag v3 pure silver cable and Alpha pads) and look for any excuse to indulge myself into their full Tesla driver "Made in Germany" experience. But in the back of my mind I always had a wish to scale down this experience to IEM level, and when it finally happened, I was a bit surprised that Beyer decided to introduce their first Tesla-driver IEM under Astell & Kern brand. If you go down the memory lane of Beyer and A&K releases, their collaboration effort started back in 2013 with a release of Beyer's A200p dac/amp, based on the original design of AK10. After the success of that collaboration, it continued with releases of re-branded and fine-tuned AK T5p and AK T1p, though in both cases it was released first as Beyer product. Not sure about the logic behind introduction of T8iE first under A&K, perhaps they wanted to give more credibility to this audiophile IEM release backed by one of the better-known audiophile DAP manufacturers.

    But regardless of why it was released first as A&K product and my speculative reasoning behind it, after waiting for more than a year, Beyerdynamic finally reintroduced their original 11mm ultra-wide bandwidth mini-Tesla driver under their own brand with a unique Xelento model name. I’m sure many will be interested how Xelento compares to AK T8iE, but unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with AK model, though have read some impressions mentioning about fine-tuning of the sound and improving the cable and mmcx connectors. Don't know if you can consider the original AK T8iE to be an early design adopter, followed later by an updated mk2 version (with new voice coil and spc cables), but I'm sure Beyer received plenty of feedback that got reflected in Xelento tuning and design. And speaking of the design, single dynamic-driver flagship IEM releases are rare in today’s multi-BA saturated market, but I think Beyer got something very special with this release. So, let’s take a closer look to see what I found.

    Unboxing.

    While Beyer always has an eye-catchy headphones packaging, the overall presentation of their products is typically nice but never quite luxurious, until now. Xelento Remote packaging really stepped it up, maybe even fancier than T8iE (judging by unboxing pictures I saw on-line). Btw, keep in mind that T8iE went from the original to mk2 revision, while Xelento was initially released as "Wired" model with audio cable only and then updated to Xelento Remote with addition of in-line remote cable, and just recently updated again to Xelento Wireless with a Bluetooth wireless cable. Maybe they should just release Xelento Ultimate with balanced and single-ended audio cables, remote cable, and wireless cable to cover all the bases.

    The packaging box Xelento arrived in is very compact and solid. The exterior sleeve has a very detailed picture of the shells with a cable and in-line remote in the background. I usually don't comment about the cover picture, but I thought it would have been better to show one of the earpieces disconnected to demonstrate removable nature of the cable. Also, while the shells have a unique shape, it can give you a wrong impression of them being on a large side. But as you start to turn the box, reading on the side a detailed spec, and turning around where you can read the philosophy behind Xelento design, you will also find a picture of some guy wearing Xelento which looks very small relative to the ear shape.

    Another thing that worth mentioning is Beyer's reference to Xelento as "an audible piece of jewelry". Many companies take a pride in their products, and Beyerdynamic is no exception. Once you remove the exterior sleeve and open the packaging box, you are presented with a foam insert setting and two sparkling jewelry-like Xelento shells. Lifting this foam insert up opens another grand view with all the premium accessories on display - a very luxurious presentation.

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    Accessories.

    Included accessories were all high quality, and with an exception of Comply tips, everything looks custom, nothing off-the-shelf. You get 7 different pairs of custom silicone eartips (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, and 3XL), 3 pairs (S/M/L) of genuine Comply foam eartip with a wax guard filter, a custom metal cable shirt clip with Beyerdynamic logo, 2 pairs of SPC mmcx connector cables (one 3.5mm audio one, the other one with in-line remote), a leather carry case, a pair of replacement nozzle guards, and a quick start guide.

    While some manufacturers utilize nozzle filters to customize the sound, here it looks like a regular replacement mesh guard you attach to the tip of the nozzle to prevent the earwax from getting inside.

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    So why custom eartips? Xelento nozzle is a bit short and oval shaped. While any regular eartip with a round-bore opening can stretch to fit, these are custom eartips with an oval shaped bore opening and a custom cap shape designed to form the best seal and the most comfortable fit. I went through my entire collection of silicone and foam eartips, and made a full circle right back to one of the larger Beyer silicone tips. Due to rear-of-the-shell only venting, Xelento is prone to driver flex, thus a selection of eartips will not only affect the sound (especially the bass), but also can prevent that annoying clicking of the driver flex if the seal is too tight (due to lack of front venting).

    Just keep in mind, everybody's ears are different, and whatever works for me, might not work/fit others. But at least you get a very comprehensive selection of different eartips to choose from.

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    The included custom storage case is very nice, perfectly suited to keep Xelento “jewelries” safe and secure, along with eartips and cables. This is not just a pretty leather case on the outside, but a very well designed practical case with a thoughtful partitioning on inside. In the upper left corner, you have a section for a few pairs of silicone tips, then next to it is custom cutouts for Xelento shells, and below it a section for your cables. There is a snap button in the middle of elastic band which you can open to place both audio and remote cables under the band, and once it's closed - everything is secured inside of this compact case.

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    Cables.

    Both included cables feature a high quality premium silver-plated copper wires. While it's more common for audio only cables, I was pleasantly surprised they used the same SPC wires on remote cable as well. Judging from the pictures, T8iE went through a cable upgrade in mk2 from copper to SPC. While Xelento also uses SPC wires, and the cable looks even more refined.

    Starting with a connector, you get a right-angled gold plated 3.5mm plug, single ended TRS with audio cable and 4pole TRRS for remote cable. The housing of the connector has an aluminum shell and a nice strain relief. Cable has a transparent soft rubbery sleeve which helps eliminate microphonics (skin) effect and gives you a glimpse at twisted silver-plated conductors. All the wires inside have a separate insulation, and then inner-twisted together to form a cable inside a transparent sleeve.

    Y-splitter has a compact aluminum housing, though no strain relief on either side, followed by a small matching aluminum chin-slider. The remote cable has an in-line remote with 3 buttons that feature a raised functionality ID, easy to feel by sliding a finger. The middle button is multi-function Play/Pause/Call with a single click, double-click to skip to the next song, and triple-click to skip to the previous song - worked flawless on my Note 4. And to my big surprise, both Volume +/- buttons worked with my Android phone as well, raising/lowering the volume without a problem.

    Going to mmcx connector housing, I was happy they didn't use memory wire which I find quite annoying with mmcx connector. The cable is soft and supple, but could get a bit springy, thus it wouldn’t hurt to have one of those flexible pre-shaped earhook sleeves, but even without them Xelento cable has advantage of slightly angled connector mold-housing which helps guide the cable over your ear. The rubbery connector housing is easy to grip when disconnecting the cable, and has L/R marking to attach the shells to a correct side. The connectors are standard universal mmcx.

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    Aftermarket cables.


    Before I started my usual cable-rolling, I decided to do a little experiment by letting the original cable burn in, along with Xelento, for 100hrs and then comparing to remote cable which has the same wire and no burn in. While the difference wasn't exactly night'n'day and I can't capture it with Veritas coupler measurements, I can hear the cable without burn in to have a brighter upper mids with a bit peaky lower treble. The cable with burn in sounded a little smoother to my ears. I don't have a huge selection of mmcx connector cable, but with a few I have, here are some comparisons and sound changes I noticed after switching from stock spc cable.

    Stock SPC -> Pure Copper - more booming sub-bass, a little stronger mid-bass, smoother top end (less sparkle and a little less resolution), a touch narrower stage perception due to smoother top end.

    Stock SPC -> ALO Ref8 - a little more sub-bass and a little stronger mid-bass, a little smoother top end, and a touch wider soundstage.

    Stock SPC -> ALO SPC Litz - nearly identical performance, including the same soundstage expansion.

    Stock SPC -> TWag v3 - wider soundstage, better controlled low end (tighter, more articulate punch), a touch smoother upper mids. Coincidentally, I also use this modular cable with Beyer T5p2 full size headphones, making it a great synergy with both types of Tesla drivers.

    I found the stock SPC cable to have an excellent pair up synergy with Xelento and its sound signature. If you want to get every ounce of performance out of Xelento, I enjoyed TWag v3 the most, but it's not an absolute necessity since a stock cable does a great job already.

    Design.

    The first glance at shiny Xelento shells can give you a wrongful impression about these being aluminum metal shells. But once you pick them up in your hand and feel how lightweight they are (each shell about 4g w/eartip), you realize it can't be a metal, especially since it doesn’t feel as cold. I know some people could be disappointed, expecting a metal shell, but Xelento tuning was based on using a housing with a plated/coated plastic shell which feels very solid, smooth, and super lightweight. The ergonomics of the design is excellent, these shells nearly disappear in my ears, you can't feel them due to their weight, and they are very comfortable to even go to sleep with my head on a pillow.

    The shell is small, rounded, with universal mmcx connector (meaning, can use other cables). There is a clear L/R marking on inside of the shell, hard to miss that one. I couldn't see a front vent, usually found in front of the driver toward the nozzle, and I assume that back of the shell plate with Beyerdynamic logo and serial number is where the back-vent is located. Lack of that front vent could cause a driver flex if you are trying to get a tight seal of our earcanal. That's why I enjoyed the included custom eartips because they have a soft cap which slightly relaxes the seal and eliminates driver flex for me.

    While the oval shaped nozzle is short, these eartips just mold to your earcanal, creating an excellent seal which you can control by switching between different eartip sizes to increase/decrease the amount of bass. As I mentioned before, even so the nozzle is oval-shaped, you can use any eartip with it, if the core of the eartip can stretch. Also, as already mentioned, there is a replacement mesh guard cover for the tip of the nozzle.

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    The fit.

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    Sound Analysis.

    I already mentioned about running an experiment with 100hr burn in to compare the cables, so all my sound impressions were collected after 100hrs of keeping Xelento playing in a loop.

    I found Xelento to have a slightly v-shaped signature with a smooth natural tonality. While low end portion of the sound is clearly elevated from sub-bass and through mid-bass, the upper mids and lower treble balance it out where sometimes I even forget about the bass impact. While tonality is smooth and natural with an organic timbre of the sound, it never becomes veiled or muffled, the sound always stays clear and detailed. Not analytically micro-detailed or with a super crisp clarity, but just a natural revealing clarity.

    Starting with a bass, the sub-bass goes deep, with a velvety rumble that makes you feel the bass, yet it's not distracting or overwhelming (even considering the lifted quantity). The mid bass has an average speed, typical slower attack of analog dynamic driver with a little faster decay which makes overall bass feel articulate and well controlled, no spillage into lower mids. Lower mids are slightly above neutral, adding healthy doze of body and warmth to the sound, but not too much, thus the signature feels slightly v-shaped. Upper mids surprise you with a great retrieval of details, though it's not on micro-detail level. They are warmer and smoother, have more organic natural tonality, nice transparency, though not very transparent or layered since that's driven by treble which is not as airy or super extended. Treble is well defined, crisp, but not too bright, even despite a little peak around 7k which just adds to definition/clarity, and in line to keep the natural tonality of the sound without adding too much brightness or harshness.

    Soundstage is wide, above the average, wrapping around you from left to right, while depth extends a few rows in front of you but not too much out of your head, giving some intimacy to the sound. With an excellent width, you also get a great imaging with an accurate placement of instruments and vocals around you, a natural positioning of the sounds.

    I did mention already the tuning doesn't have the greatest layering and separation due to a smoother natural tonality and not as much airiness, but every instrument and vocals are clearly separated and distinguished with the sound never becomes veiled or congested.

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    Pair up.

    With an impedance of 16 ohm and sensitivity of 110 dB, Xelento is easy to drive from many portable sources to sound “loud”, but if you want the performance to scale up to its full potential – you need to give it more power, especially if you want the bass to hit harder and to be more articulate.

    Micro iDSD - expanded soundstage (very wide staging, above average depth). The sound is very smooth and detailed, not super revealing or resolving, but very natural organic tonality with excellent retrieval of details. Sound sig is more balanced, with bass being not as elevated and some of the upper frequency peaks being smoother. With higher gain, bass hits harder.

    LPG - very expanded soundstage (wide staging that wraps around you, depth is above average). The sound is more v-shaped with a harder hitting very articulate layered bass that goes deep with a nice sub-bass rumble and faster mid-bass impact, neutral lower mids, more revealing yet still natural upper mids, and well defined sparkly treble.

    AK120ii - expanded soundstage (wide staging with more staging depth). The sound signature is more balanced with the bass being a little less elevated and upper mids/treble being smoother, more organic, with excellent retrieval of details but not as layered or resolving. The synergy is very natural, organic.

    X5iii - expanded soundstage, though width/depth is a bit less in comparison to other sources. Here, the bass hits harder than in some of the other sources, maybe even slightly overpowering the rest of the frequencies, making sound sig to lean more toward being L-shaped. Bass is bigger, more analog, warmer, and a little slower, but still has a beautiful dynamic texture. Lower mids have more body and upper mids, though a bit pushed back, are clear and detailed in a natural organic way. Even so this sound sig is a little different, here I really enjoyed the power of Xelento bass.

    i5 - very expanded soundstage (wide staging that wraps around you, above average depth). Sound sig is back to being more v-shaped with a hard hitting deeply extended sub-bass and strong fast impact of mid-bass, very articulate bass, neutral lower mids, very clear detailed upper mids with a natural revealing tonality, and well defined sparkly treble.

    Opus#2 - very expanded soundstage (wide staging that wraps around you, above average depth). Sound sig is also closer to being v-shaped with a deep textured rumble and faster mid-bass impact that hits hard, yet very articulate and well controlled. Lower mids are closer to neutral, while upper mids have a natural revealing tonality with excellent retrieval of details. Treble is well defined, crisp, and with a little more airiness in comparison to some other daps.

    DX200 - very expanded soundstage (wide staging that wraps around you, above average depth). Sound sig is between balanced and v-shaped with a deep textured rumble and fast mid-bass punch, hitting hard and still being articulate and layered. Lower mids are closer to neutral, upper mids are actually more revealing, still natural but not as smooth as with some other sources, being more analytical with a better layering and separation. Treble is crisp, detailed, very well defined.

    M2s - expanded soundstage, the width and depth are above the average, not super wide like with other daps. Sound sig is more v-shaped due to a more lifted bass and more upfront upper mids/treble. Bass hits hard with a warm analog tonality, not as articulate as some other daps but it feels like it has the deepest extension. Lower mids have more body, upper mids are very clear and detailed, smooth but with more energy, more upfront. Treble is crisp and well defined. I think in this case with higher output impedance of the source the bass impact went up.

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    Comparison.

    In the following comparisons, I will refer to Xelento as “X”. As you can see, I put Xelento against a wide variety of earphones, ranging from a single dynamic driver to extreme multi-BAs.

    X vs Vega - X has a wider soundstage, while depth is similar, maybe with X projecting sound a little further; with bass, they both have an elevated low end but in X you have more sub-bass and a touch less mid-bass impact while with Vega you have less sub-bass and stronger mid-bass. Also, X mid-bass has a little shorter decay which gives the bass more control and slightly better separation from lower mids. With lower mids, Vega has more body with thicker sound while X lower mids are leaner, north of neutral but still leaner in comparison to Vega. Both have a detailed clear upper mids with a natural tonality, X mids have a slightly more forward presentation in a relative comparison to Vega, but that could also be relative to low end impact which perhaps pushes Vega upper mids a little back. With treble, you hear the difference where even with Vega’s better extension and more airiness the tonality is brighter and harsher in comparison to a more natural smooth yet well defined crisp X treble which is more under control.

    X vs the Answer - X has a wider soundstage, while depth is very similar; X has a little more sub-bass and a more articulate faster mid-bass, while Answer bass is slower, with longer decay and less control which makes it spill a little into lower mids. My pair of the Answer was re-cabled with TWau cable which boosted low end a little, but it also made bass looser. Lower mids are thicker in Answer, while X is closer to neutral in comparison, still with plenty of body and better separation of mid-bass from upper mids. Due to the Answer’s slight spillage into lower mids, the sound is a bit veiled (though could be also due to the cable). X upper mids have more clarity and better retrieval of details while still staying natural in tonality, while Answer has even smoother upper mids with the less retrieval of details. Both have a well defined crisp treble, but Answer has more airiness and crunch while X treble is smoother.

    X vs RE2000 - both have a very similar soundstage width, while RE has more depth, extends further; X has a deeper sub-bass and more mid-bass impact, while RE has a slight boost but nowhere near the same quantity as X, while the quality is similar, just scaled back. RE lower mids are leaner, probably right around the neutral level, while X is a little north of neutral with more body, but not too much. Upper mids in X are smoother, more organic, more balanced, while RE upper mids are more upfront, thinner, more analytical, and a little grainy. With treble, both have a well-defined treble, but RE extends further, has more airiness, and a bit harsher tonality where it sounds a bit sibilant with poorly recorded tracks.

    X vs RE800 - X has a wider soundstage while the depth is very similar. With a bass, RE bass is close to neutral while X is lifted with both deeper sub-bass extension and more articulate harder hitting mid-bass. Lower mids are more neutral in RE, while X is slightly lifted with more body. Upper mids are smoother and more organic with a more natural revealing tonality, while RE upper mids are more lifted and pushed forward, thinner and more analytical and harsher in tonality. X treble is well defined, but smoother, while RE800 treble is crisper, airy, more extended and with hints of sibilance.

    X vs RE600 - X has a wider soundstage while the depth is similar. RE bass is more neutral and sounds closer to RE800, so the same comparison applies to X bass. With lower mids, they are both slightly north of neutral with just a perfect amount of body, both X and RE600. With upper mids, the tonality is similarly smooth and organic, but X has a better retrieval of details, more layered, more transparent. Treble is also similar, being not as extended, with a controlled airiness and not too bright, though X is a little crisper in comparison.

    X vs D100 - X soundstage is a lot wider, while depth is the same. D (Dharma D100 iem from Lotoo) bass is elevated but not on the same level as X. X sub-bass goes deeper, and mid-bass is faster and more articulate, and overall X has a better low end control. Lower mids are a bit thicker in D100, while X is above neutral, but still a touch leaner. Upper mids are also more revealing, layered, transparent in X vs D100 being smoother and a little thicker in comparison. D100 treble is crisper in comparison to X and has a little better extension, while X has an overall better definition.

    X vs U18 - a very similar soundstage expansion in terms of width, while U18 has just a little more depth. With bass, both have a deep sub-bass extension and articulate mid-bass, but X sub-bass quantity is lifted more and mid- bass is slower in comparison to U18. Lower mids are similar, slightly above neutral with plenty of body added to the sound. Upper mids are in both iems have a natural smoother tonality, but U18 is more revealing, more layered, and with improved micro-detail retrieval. With treble, both have a well defined crisp treble, but U18 extends further and has more airiness.

    X vs ES80 - a very similar soundstage expansion in width, with ES80 having a touch more depth. While ES80 bass is more neutral in quantity, X has a deeper sub-bass with more rumble and a lot more mid-bass impact. Going to mids reveals more similarities with slightly above neutral lower mids where ES80 is just a touch leaner, and natural detailed upper mids with lots of clarity where ES80 just has a little better layering and separation. Treble is very similar, well defined, crisp, where ES80 has just a little more airiness. But nothing is night and day, and the biggest difference is the low-end quantity which is clearly dominating in X.

    X vs K10UA - while X has a wider soundstage expansion, both have a similar staging depth. K10 sub-bass goes deep but has a little less rumble quantity, mid-bass impact in K10 also strong but X still hits harder, with more quantity. Both have a similarly articulate and well controlled bass, though K10 is just a little faster (attack and decay) while X bass is somewhere between a typical BA vs DD performance. Both have closer to neutral lower mids that add body to the sound, and very detailed natural upper mids where X is a little smoother while K10 is a little brighter and with a little better layering. Both have a well defined crisp treble, but K10U lower treble is brighter and has a little better extension and more airiness. K10 fine-tunes X sound by balancing out a bit the low end and heating up a bit upper frequencies.

    X vs T5p2 - a very similar soundstage expansion, though I'm hearing X with a touch more width and T5 with a little more depth. Bass is very similar in quantity (I'm using T5p2 with alpha leather pads, so there is more impact), but X bass is a little more articulate, faster, and has better control, while T5 bass is a little slower and has a bit less articulation. T5p2 lower mids have more body, adding a little more warmth to the sound, while X lower mids are leaner in comparison. With upper mids, T5p2 is a little warmer and fuller while X is a little brighter and more revealing in comparison. With treble, both have a great definition, but T5p2 is crisper, with more airiness and better extension (T5p2 earcups have 5mm port on each side, so that helps).

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    Conclusion.

    I mentioned this already in one of my previous reviews, design of single dynamic driver flagships feels like a lost art. While single DD iems and earbuds are among the most common budget earphones, not too many manufacturers can pull a true single DD flagship design. Beyerdynamic accomplished that by scaling down their award-winning Tesla driver technology of full size headphones into a small IEM. I read that Beyer engineers were able to make T8iE/Xelento annular magnet, which is a driving force behind Tesla driver, 16 times smaller than the one used in T1 model. And we are still talking about "Made in Germany" product, hand assembled at Beyerdynamic manufacturing facility, and backed by their solid 2-year guarantee.

    So, what makes Xelento unique? For me it was smooth, natural, and still resolving tonality with a quality of bass slam you would expect from its older full size siblings. Xelento enhanced bass might not be for everyone, and that’s where the tip-rolling fun begins to find a perfect combination of the seal, the comfort, and the sound tuning with a desired bass quantity without sacrificing resolution. Perhaps that's a reason why Beyer paid extra attention to include many custom size/shape eartips. The shell design has a very impressive ergonomics, with Xelento being one of the few iems which I can wear in my ears even with my head down on the pillow, though I wish its oval nozzle would be a little longer. Xelento is so comfortable, you will forget of even having them in your ears, and once the music starts to play, you will forget these are IEMs because they sound like full-size flagship headphones.
  3. 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.

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    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. 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:

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    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 headphones were measured using SpinFit tips, unless otherwise mentioned. 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.

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    Channel-Matching

    Dang this is close. I've never seen a headphone that had such good matching between L and R buds:
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    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. (Update: 9/23/2017. Ok, I have to back-pedal a bit here. After more detailed listening to the Utopia via the Chord Dave, I now get the Utopia. It is a very good-sounding headphone. Also, given the dangers of working with Beryllium, I can see why they might justify a huge price tag.) 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.
  4. 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

  5. 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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