beyerdynamic T51p & T51i impressions thread

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  1. Audionautics
    Hello Head-Fi'ers.
    I wanted to revive this thread with my impressions on the T51i's. I recently got a gig where I have to fly across the country on a semi regular basis and I needed some great travel headphones. I'm a Beyer fan and I push DT880's through a LittleDot at home, but that's not exactly a portable solution. I wanted something portable, something I could plug directly into my iPhone, and something that wouldn't look ridiculous walking around Seattle. Enter the beyerdynamic T51's.
    First off, as many have said, construction is top notch. They've got a solid feel, but they're not heavy. They come in a molded case that perfectly cradles the headphones, and there is a built in velcro pocket that can hold a couple bucks and my spare iPhone charger. It's designed and well executed for travel. A+ in my opinion. They're just perfect for slipping into your go-bag.
    These are my first on-ear headphones, besides the $8 variety that used to come packaged with a Walkman. Sound quality is incredibly impressive. The setup is extremely clear, well balanced, bass response is impressive, especially for the package. They're perfect for plugging straight into your iPhone and walking around a city, sitting on a plane, or even taking a phone call while out and about.
    When I'm back in my hotel room, quality appreciably improves when I plug them into my DAC/Amp (Macbook Air -> Audioengine D1). The biggest improvement I see is that I just get more power through the DAC and the Amp than I get through my iPhone, so the punch from the bass-to-low-mids is improved. To be fair, rest of the sound quality improvements are a bit difficult to judge, mostly because the ambient soundstage changes dramatically from an airplane or city street to a quiet hotel room. These headphones, even just directly from my iPhone, just start with such a very high quality sound.
    Now I believe it's a bit unfair to compare them to my critical listening setup, but here we go. They are not my DT880's. In my experience, the over-ear experience just provides a better soundstage than the on-ear's. The bass is fuller in my DT880's, and I think that some of the highs are better on the 880's, like when you're listening to crash symbols in jazz or something similar. But again, I think that's unfair because that's not what the T51's are for. I'll say that the phone call quality is much better on the T51i's than the DT880's :)
    Cons: There really is only one con, and it is big enough that I might not keep these. My right ear hurts after about 3 hours of listening and there appears to be nothing I can do about it. I've adjusted the band to adjust the pressure, I've experimented with slightly different headphone placement, but my ear just gets fatigued. This is due to the sensitivity of my right ear (left ear is fine. go figure.) and is not really a fault of the headphone, just that the design isn't going to work out due to the shape of my ear. I got these headphones almost exclusively for travel, and with pain setting in 3 hours out of a 5 hour flight, that's a problem. At the end of the evening while I'm traveling, I like to listen to an album or two while I'm getting work done and surfing the net, and the pain gets to be so much that I have to result to the built in speakers on my MacBook Air. Talk about a difference in quality. I got around it last time by bringing my old Sennheiser mid-tier noise cancelling headphones, but the goal here was to limit my travel gear. Plus, these beyer's are better than my old noise-cancelling Sennheisers.
    So, here's my bottom line. These headphones are fantastic. They are very impressive in all arenas that they were designed for--plugging directly into your phone, staying light on your head while not being obtrusively big, excellent sound quality for music, phone calls, and some portable critical listening. If they're comfortable for you, I can guarantee you will love them. However, if they aren't completely comfortable, there's not much in the way of adjustment. If you're looking for something in this area, I'd definitely encourage you to give them a try.
    Viber and rasmushorn like this.
  2. pdferguson

    Thanks for your comments, very interesting. I have the same setup (MacBook -> Audioengine D1 -> T51i) which I used for commuting by train for several years. I've also used the T51i on cross country flights.
    My issue with them is that they have poor isolation in noisy environments (such as planes and trains...) That's not a flaw per se, it's a limitation of on-ear versus over-ear. I don't really recommend them in these environments, although the headphone otherwise is an excellent travel companion. In quiet environments with a decent DAC/amp, it really shines. It even sounds great just directly plugged into an iPhone.
    Audionautics likes this.
  3. Audionautics
    It's funny that you mention that about the ambient noise on the train. It got me thinking that their lack of isolation might have been more of a plus than a minus in my application. When I'm on the airplane alone, the ambient noise is so loud that I can crank these things without worrying about bothering anybody around me. However, when I'm on the airplane with my family, I'm able to keep tabs on my toddler while I'm rocking out and not leave it all to my wife.
    Oh well. I'm flying solo more often than not, so I've grabbed a pair of PXC 550's to try. Sorry wifey :wink:
  4. ThatBass
    So I am quite tempted to pick up the T51Ps. The reviews everywhere are very positive plus the sound signature seems to be inclined to my listening style. I really don't like to pick up stuff without auditioning since sound is very subjective and I have instances in the past where blind buys have turned out to be a disaster. While I try to find a pair to demo, I would like to know from you guys if this would be a good buy against the ATH M50x? Just to give you an idea of what IEMs I have owned/demo'd - Love the RHA T20s (demo'd them for hours) and MA750s (Own them). VModa Zn IEMs are good but I would pick the MA750s over them anyday! Two IEMS I had but now sold - Klipsch R6 and Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 IEMs. I liked both of them especially the Momentums. 
    Considering the above options, the T51Ps would be a better bet or the ATH M50x? I plan to use them with my laptop and the iphone 6. 
  5. Slaphead

    That's weird, because the DT1350, which has the exact same earcup design - at least externally, has excellent isolation - better than most closed over ear HPs IME.

    I was thinking about picking up the T51is as I love the DT1350s, but miss the inline controls. However if the isolation is not up to much then they'd be useless for me.

    I suppose the difference in isolation could be down to different earpads used on each of the models.
  6. tackytiger
    I find the isolation of the T51 to be just as good as my Senn HD-25.
  7. CJG888
    Same here, T51Ps are my go-to inflight cans.
  8. Audionautics
    As far as isolation goes, it's never been a problem for me. They're not as isolating as ANC headphones, obviously, but they're better than they have any right to be.
  9. pdferguson
    I probably was a bit strong in what I said in my previous post.
    The T51i does provide some isolation, and I have used them for years on a train (CalTrain in the Bay Area, specifically), which is an especially noisy environment. My Sony MDR-V6 provided more isolation, and Audio Technica noise cancelling headphones even more, although the AT headphones are my least favorite of the three. I still chose the T51i because I also had a walk to/from the train station, and would listen during lunch, etc.
    I like the T51i a lot, and even use it at home occasionally (mostly listen to HD650 at home otherwise).
  10. JerseyD
    I think most people would find their ears hurting after three hours wearing ANY on-ear headphone. Nature of the beast. 
  11. Audionautics
    That's a fair point JerseyD. I've auditioned other cans in search of a replacement (Sennheiser PXC 550's, B&O Beoplay H6's) and nothing really compares. I've definitely decided to keep my set around. They're just too good.
  12. Viber
    FINALLY ! ! !

  13. Fixxxer86
    Hi guys! my first post here. And I can tell that looking for info about headphones in this forum is overwhelming, I don't mean it in a bad way, there is lot of information (wich is always good) compared to other forums about other topics.
    My name is Agustin, I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina (sadly, it is very hard to find good audio equipment and good prices here, everything is way too expensive) I'm a newbie in the "headphones world" so maybe express myself bad (sorry)
    I ended up in this thread because I think that this headphone may be the one I'm looking for, and I am posting this to look for assistance (and to find if there is a better option out there)
    Music taste and equipment that I had (maybe is a good reference point)
    Music taste:
    Rock pop
    Some headphones and in ears that I used or use now:
    - Sennheiser cx275s (sold)
    - Philips shb7150 (sold)
    - Sony mdr-xb950bt (currently using, selling them)
    - Shure SE215 (currently using, I love them)
    Most of the time I listen to music when I am out of my home, that's why I like wireless headphones, specially for their functions and controls. So I ended up getting the Sony's mdr-xb950bt, and at the beggining I liked it a lot, but after going back and back to my SE215 I knew that this king of sound signature is what I like. I know that the SE215 are bassy, but the Sony's are way too bloated for my taste, and I am looking for more SQ than anything else. Other thing wich I don't like about the Sony's is that they are too big (comfy but big), and when I'm at the street I get lot of attention (there is some places in my city where you have to take care of your things... you know...), so I'm looking for something more discrete.
    I use the SE215 for excercise mostly, and I want something more comfy for my walks outside, going to work, etc. 
    I don't mind giving up wireless capabilities if SQ is better.

    I think that the t51i check all boxes: they are discrete, have an in line control (I use a oneplus 3t, I hope it works with android too), and the sound signature may be of my liking (sadly I can't test them first, someone can get them for me from USA)
    I know that these are on ear headphones and may not be that comfy as my Sony's, but I prefer to sacrifice that for a more discrete headphone.
    It is a good pick then? there is other options wich check those boxes for me?
    Sorry for the long post guys. I appreciate your help. Thank you.
    (sorry for the bad english :p)
    Cya! [​IMG]
  14. analog'd
    hi Agustin. welcome to headfi! the sq on these is light years better than the cans you've been using so far, in my opinion. 
    these are not a "reference" headphone, they are a fun headphone, but that said they are much much more refined than cans you've been using including the shure i would imagine. i can only go by my knowledge of the higher end shure in-ears, which is more the level that the t51i plays on.

    they are great for the genres that you mentioned. a lot of very good bass and highs with some very nice sparkle but not the over the top tizzyness that some headphones generate.

    my other headphones right now are audeze lcd-3f (2016 version). i just sold senn hd800, focal elears, beyer t1 gen 2, fostex th900, grado ps1000e. i could go from any of the flagship headphones to the t51i and they sound great. NOT if i was looking for the same totl refinement as the lcd-3f or hd800, but still so good overall, and so much fun to listen to, that they are a joy even though not in that class. i love them.    
  15. Fixxxer86
    Thx you so much! I pm'ed you back.

    I'm looking for some info about Sennheiser Amperior because I found a deal wich is almost half the price of the t51i. I know that they are different from each other, but i heard nice things about the amperiors. The t51i price is high for me, but I can get it if it is worth it over other headphones.

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