Hard­ware

The best-sound­ing wire­less head­phones you can buy – as you might ex­pect from that price

Linux User & Developer - - Contents -

Bey­er­dy­namic’s new Am­iron Wire­less head­phones prom­ise au­dio per­fec­tion over Blue­tooth – but you may need a sec­ond mort­gage to buy them

Price £699 Web­site https://europe.beyer dy­namic.com

Specs Ca­ble length and con­nec­tor 1.2m, de­tach­able, 4-pole mini

stereo jack (3.5mm) Fre­quency range 5Hz-40kHz Sup­ported pro­files HSP, HFP,

A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP Sup­ported codecs aptX, aptX

LL, aptX HD, AAC, SBC Op­er­at­ing range up to 10m Bat­tery run time over 30hrs

Charg­ing time 2hrs Bat­tery ca­pac­ity 1050mAh Charg­ing port Blue­tooth 4.2,

USB-C Wire­less head­phones have been around for years but have never quite taken off with the au­dio­phile crowd as the lim­i­ta­tions of Blue­tooth codecs and band­width left out a lot of au­dio de­tail. Thank­fully, how­ever, Blue­tooth has ad­vanced sig­nif­i­cantly in the past sev­eral years and now we have codecs such as aptX HD and LDAC of­fer­ing high-res wire­less sup­port that en­able head­phones to cut the cord with­out los­ing fidelity. The re­sult of all this progress is the new Bey­er­dy­namic Am­iron Wire­less, the best­sound­ing wire­less head­phones we’ve ever heard.

The Am­iron Wire­less fea­tures the iconic Beyer look, which is to say the head­phones are huge but ex­tremely com­fort­able. These head­phones are cir­cum­au­ral, which means the ear cups en­velop your ears rather than sit­ting on them. This re­sults in supremely com­fort­able head­phones you can wear for hours, even if they’re not the light­est at 380g. Since the head­phones are so big and don’t fold up, they’re not ideal for trav­el­ling and are bet­ter suited for desk use.

The build qual­ity is ex­cel­lent and the head­phones feel like they will last for many years to come. The head­phones are made of a mix of plas­tic and metal to keep weight down. The head­band and earpads are made of Al­can­tara, a syn­thetic suede that is ex­tremely com­fort­able and built to last.

The earpads are re­place­able, which is good to see. How­ever, they’re ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to put back on as you have to ro­tate the pads while try­ing not to un­seat the bead. In terms of noise iso­la­tion, the earpads do a de­cent job of keep­ing some noise out but the head­phones are re­ally meant to be worn around the of­fice and at home.

For con­trols, Bey­er­dy­namic de­cided to go with a large touch­pad on the right earcup. We usu­ally dread us­ing touch con­trols as they rarely work 100 per cent of the time, but not in this case: the large track­pad pre­vents mis­taken ges­tures thanks to an in­creased sur­face area for you to swipe, and taps reg­is­tered ev­ery time. The right ear-cup also houses the USB-C charg­ing port, power but­ton, 3.5mm head­phone jack and mic.

When first lis­ten­ing with the head­phones, we weren’t blown away by any one as­pect of the sound pro­duced. It was only af­ter sev­eral weeks of lis­ten­ing and switch­ing be­tween other wire­less head­phones that we ap­pre­ci­ated the lev­els of de­tail, wide sound­stage and dy­nam­ics. No, these aren’t head­phones that wow you with big bass or sparkling highs – they just sound so clear.

Bass ex­tends low and has de­cent im­pact, though it won’t sat­isfy those hea­thens who like ex­ces­sive, thud­ding bass. Then again, these are au­dio­phile cans that aim to give lis­ten­ers ex­actly what’s on the track, rather than ex­ag­ger­ate any one part. Mids are ef­fort­less and do a good job of high­light­ing vo­cals and acous­tic in­stru­ments, such as the gui­tar and cello, while highs have great de­tail, ex­ten­sion and en­ergy. The head­phones never sound too bright or fa­tigu­ing, even af­ter hours of lis­ten­ing. More im­pres­sively, the head­phones sound ex­actly the same whether wired or wire­less. When wired, you’ll want a de­cent amp to drive them, though they are quite ac­cept­able used with a smart­phone at a pinch.

In terms of codec sup­port, the head­phones sup­ports AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, and aptX LL.

The aptX HD codec sup­ports up to 48kHz/24-bit LPCM au­dio data, pro­vid­ing higher than CD-qual­ity sound if you have the source ma­te­rial. We loaded up Ra­dio­head’s A Moon Shaped Pool in 48/24 on a OnePlus 5T (which sup­ports aptX HD) and the head­phones sounded ex­cel­lent, with no stut­ter­ing what­so­ever. How­ever, you’ll def­i­nitely want to go wired if you’re lis­ten­ing to source ma­te­rial that’s higher res­o­lu­tion than 48/24.

Bat­tery life is rated for 30 hours of lis­ten­ing and we achieved around 25 hours at around 50-75 per cent vol­ume – which is well above the com­pe­ti­tion. Not only do these head­phones last a long time, but they charge up rel­a­tively quickly thanks to USB-C.

As great as they sound, there are some com­pro­mises with these head­phones, such as their bulky de­sign and av­er­age noise iso­la­tion, mak­ing them less than ideal for travel. They’re also very ex­pen­sive, but that price isn’t too crazy when you con­sider that the DT 1770 Pro cost £430. If you must have the best sound in a wire­less pack­age, the Am­iron Wire­less head­phones are it.

Lewis Leong

These are au­dio­phile cans that aim to give lis­ten­ers ex­actly what’s on the track, rather than ex­ag­ger­ate

above Supremely com­fort­able head­phones that of­fer su­perb sound qual­ity at a high price

above We achieved 25 hours of lis­ten­ing time, which is im­pres­sive, and the USB-C port means you can recharge them fast

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