Monday, 2 September 2013

Beyerdynamic T1: Light on The Head, Heavy on Pleasure

 





It was a tough session listening to the T1s after a delightful session with the Audeze.... I was not sure what headphones can actually match the SQ from the Audeze. I received the demo unit courtesy of CMY One Utama arranged by the good man Steve Chua a few days before Hari Raya. So, I had good time to really listen to these cans.

BUILT


As oppose to Audeze, the T1s came in a metal casing with soft foam like material internally to house the cans.AT this price point, there is little to complain about the built. A mix of metal and fabric cushion on the cans itself and leather on the headband. An odd combination to me as it could also be more economical to just stick to one material or the most two. I do prefer the fabric cushion on the pads rather than leather given that I live in a humid country. Its OK to use leather if the pads are interchangeable as BOSE's headphones are. But if its  permanent fixture, I rather go for fabric. It would be even better if the headband was of fabric as well.


The headband can be adjusted easily and it gave me the right amount of pressure to keep the cans in place over my head. Not inducing any uncomfortable experience.


The unit comes with a double sided cable with a 1/4" jack..Sturdily built to precision tightly into the cans. No wiggly cables. But unfortunately, the cable cannot be easily replaced or changed to an XLR connection unless you start doing major modifications internally.

The ear cups of the T1 is made from soft fabric and the pads are soft and gentle on the ears as well. Very comfortable.

It is also lighter then the LCD2 which is a bonus for me. I can use this cans straight for 2 to 3 hours without resting back onto my sofa.

SPECIFICATION

The T1 of course employs Beyerdynamic Tesla technology. You can read more about this HERE

  • Transducer type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dynamic
  • Operating principle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Semi-open
  • Frequency response . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 - 50,000 Hz
  • Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600 Ω
  • Nominal SPL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 dB (1 mW / 500 Hz)
  • T.H.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . < 0.05% (1 mW / 500 Hz)
  • Power handling capacity. . . . . . . . . . 300 mW
  • Max. SPL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 dB (300 mW / 500 Hz)
  • Sound coupling to the ear . . . . . . . . Circumaural
  • Headband pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . approx. 2.8 N
  • Cable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 m / double-sided / balanced (6-core)
  • Connector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gold vaporised 1/4" stereojack plug (6.35 mm

Highlighted in bold above is the impedance of 600 ohm. Now, this unit really needs an amp to justify the SQ. However, I tried connecting to it to my iPhone 5 using an adaptor.... and the result was...actually not too bad.. it does not really deliver the T1s true potential, but if you would like to have a RM5000 headphones out and about connected to your phone while you jog, by all means, it can still be driven by iPhone.

THE SET UP

Source 1:
  • MF M1 CDT to M6 DAC to M6i amplifier to Bryston BHA-1 headphone using all Siltech interconnects. All balanced except from M6i to Bryston headphone amp using single ended RCA interconnect.
Source 2:
  • Clearaudio Concept turntable to MF M1 ViNL phono stage to Bryston headphone amp via its Balanced input using VDH XLR cables.


THE SESSION

I used the same track listing similar to when I demo-ed the LCD2. 
  • La Voce Del Silenzio - Andrea Bocelli (CD)
  • My Hero - Foo Fighters (CD)
  • Until It Sleeps - Metallica (CD)
  • Siboh Kitak Nangis - Zee Avi (CD)
  • Patience - Guns and Roses (LP)
  • Unforgettable - George Benson (LP)

For Andrea's track, the T1 presentation was very bold but maintains the airiness that I like from my MS Pro. I guess it being a semi open design, it was capable to provide that extra low end notes compared to my MS Pro but still maintain the subtle dispersion of music that creates that liveliness in the tracks. Vocals was presented in clarity and very melodious..

My Hero however was a little bit of disappointment. The kick drum did not come out as per my usual expectation from this track. A bit weak and did not bring up the adrenalin which I usually get from this track. The grungy guitar sound of Grohl is however very evident and the T1 maintains the clarity of his vocals even with all his growling. It was still entertaining but something was missing which I think was that extrat bass notes from the kick drums. 

To further test the low end notes, Until it Sleeps by Metallica was in line next. The T1 gave a better performance with this track. Lars's kick drums was detailed, bold and solid. I LIKE. His hand works on the snare was also very detailed and relatively similar to LCD2.

The best performance of this T1 came from Zee Avi's track. It was PERFECT headfi moment for me. The T1 presented the track in all its glory. Musically balanced between the low, mids and highs. Vocals was heavy with passion, ukulele strings was detailed and airy, the double bass was hitting the right vibration notes.

Patience was a track that brought back lots of memories from school. This was one of those GNR tracks that melts the hearts of the girls in my school. I had to pick up my Ibanez Semi Acoustic guitar and played along.... but of course... stopped half way through the song as I have forgotten the chords. But nevertheless, with the T1, it gave me that music passion from Axl's voice.

Unforgettable from George Benson sums up the performance of this T1. It was indeed another unforgettable experience listening to these T1s. This track alone is already a strong track to begin with eventhough its an old melody. The T1 presented this track  in a very emotional but strong experience especially from the violins playing. 

VERDICT


A must have for those who wants that little extra bass especially for those coming from open back headphones. It does not deliver as much bass as the LCD2 but it all depends on what you prefer. The mids and treble are balanced out with the subtlety of the bass.

I burn in the demo unit for more than 150 hours and the sound quality just got even better. Beyond that however, seems to be plateaued.

It suits well with Bryston BHA-1 amp using single end 1/4" jack.

Fortunately for me, the weight issue I had with LCD2, the T1 gave me the perfect comfort. So, its the T1 that is residing permanently in my audio den.



There are various hifi shops selling Beyerdynamic product besides CMY. But not sure which shop have an open demo unit for customer to try it out in the shop at least.

Thanks again to CMY especially Steve Chua from One Utama.

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