Bey­er­dy­namic Aven­tho Wire­less

£399 | $449 www.bey­er­dy­namic.com Small head­phones for those with a big bud­get

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Bey­er­dy­namic’s Aven­tho Wire­less head­phones are a high-end Blue­tooth pair for dis­cern­ing mu­sic fans who don’t mind spend­ing what ini­tially seems like a ridicu­lous amount on a pair this small. At £399 ($449) they are in­tim­i­dat­ingly ex­pen­sive.

Given than their clos­est wired rel­a­tives, the Bey­er­dy­namic T51i, cost around half the price, it’s a lot to pay for a wire­less up­grade.

De­sign

Most head­phones are made in China. Sennheiser Mo­men­tum 2.0? China. Bose QC35 II? China.

The Bey­er­dy­namic Aven­tho Wire­less are among a hand­ful of big-brand mod­els to be made else­where. Like the high-end Sennheiser HD700 and HD800, these are made in Ger­many.

This isn’t a magic man­u­fac­tur­ing bul­let, but the Aven­tho Wire­less head­phones are well-made from a com­bi­na­tion of metal and high qual­ity plas­tic, with fairly light syn­thetic pro­tein leather pad­ding cov­er­ing the earcups rather than dead an­i­mal skin.

The Aven­tho Wire­less are small too, with cups that ex­tend only a lit­tle be­yond your ears, tilt­ing and swiv­el­ling to fit your head eas­ily. Even the head­band ad­just­ment mech­a­nism has an in­dus­trial feel. There are also low-key de­sign flour­ishes, such as the cross­hatched tex­ture on the metal rings around the cups, and dim­pled cir­cles where the head­band at­taches to the stems.

Thanks to the pair’s rea­son­ably low weight, gen­eral com­fort is good. How­ever, we did find that while wear­ing glasses they tended to cause some car­ti­lage dis­com­fort af­ter a cou­ple of hours.

The pos­i­tive side of the Aven­tho Wire­less’ solid fit is that they can be worn while run­ning – they don’t make a bid for free­dom as soon as you start mov­ing more.

Fea­tures

Con­sid­er­ing the price, the Aven­tho Wire­less head­phones are rel­a­tively sim­ple – they don’t have ac­tive noise can­cel­la­tion like the Bose QC35 II. Take them on a flight or on a noisy un­der­ground train and their pas­sive iso­la­tion only just holds up.

They do have good Blue­tooth stream­ing specs, though – aptX HD sup­port pro­vides very high-qual­ity wire­less stream­ing and at 20 hours be­tween recharges, bat­tery life is fairly good for an on-ear pair.

When you turn the Aven­tho Wire­less on, a voice prompt tells you how much bat­tery is left. Like al­most all the lat­est phones, this pair uses a USB-C port to charge, and there’s a 3.5mm socket on the right cup so you can carry on lis­ten­ing when the bat­tery dies.

When we be­gan test­ing the head­phones with the Honor View 10, we had some is­sues with sig­nal re­li­a­bil­ity, but this seems to be solely down to a Blue­tooth bug

that af­fects some An­droid 8.0 smart­phones. Switch­ing to the OnePlus 3 and HTC U11+, Blue­tooth sig­nals im­proved im­mea­sur­ably. Us­ing these phones we heard just a cou­ple of al­most un­no­tice­able blips over 10 hours of fur­ther test­ing.

High-end Sony and Bose pairs are more re­li­able, but the Aven­tho Wire­less are good enough to make the dif­fer­ence moot.

There’s still some work for Bey­er­dy­namic to do on its soft­ware, though. You can use the Aven­tho Wire­less just like any other pair of Blue­tooth head­phones: con­nect and go. How­ever, there’s also a MIY com­pan­ion app that en­ables you to tailor the sound.

Two out of three of our test phones strug­gled to con­nect to this app, and we couldn’t get its most in­ter­est­ing soft­ware fea­ture – EQ based on your hear­ing – to work. This is a man­ual take on what the Nu­ra­phones do, test­ing your hear­ing by fre­quency band and then al­ter­ing the sound to suit.

We did get pro­fil­ing based solely on age to func­tion, though. And it doesn’t seem to just mit­i­gate the high-fre­quency hear­ing loss that hap­pens to us all year-af­ter-year – it also boosts mid-range pres­ence more gen­er­ally. How­ever, when the ‘user date of birth’ was set to a few decades ear­lier, there was a clearer high-fre­quency boost.

The MIY app can also al­ter the sen­si­tiv­ity of the con­trols on the right cup. Swipes up and down al­ter vol­ume, left and right change tracks. The fairly large ges­tures re­quired are al­most the equiv­a­lent of tak­ing a call on a Blue­tooth ear­piece from a few years ago, but they work well and avoid plas­ter­ing the Aven­tho Wire­less with but­tons. In­stead you get one tiny and very stiff power but­ton by the 3.5mm socket, but you soon get used to it.

Sound qual­ity

Aside from be­ing made in Ger­many, the Aven­tho Wire­less seem sim­i­lar to pairs cost­ing half the price. This means they’ve a lot to prove when it comes to sound qual­ity. Luck­ily, they’re among the best-sound­ing on-ear wire­less street head­phones you can buy.

They flat­ten most other on-ear pairs in terms of their mid-range de­tail, tone and pres­ence, which makes vo­cals sound more re­al­is­tic, and weight­ier. Its mid-range abil­ity also launches the sound­stage co­her­ence and ex­pan­sive­ness into full-size head­phone ter­ri­tory – big­ger cans may of­fer a wider sound­stage, but what Bey­er­dy­namic has coaxed out of such a small set is im­pres­sive.

“Luck­ily, they’re among the best-sound­ing on-ear wire­less street head­phones you can buy”

Vo­cals leap out of the Aven­tho Wire­less’ driv­ers even more im­pres­sively af­ter they’ve been tuned us­ing the MIY app, for a re­pro­duc­tion of the cen­tral chan­nel that even the full-size Sennheiser Mo­men­tum can’t match.

Add to this balanced but pow­er­ful bass and sparky but sibi­lance-free tre­ble and you have a near-per­fect mix of en­gag­ing sound and high-end el­e­ments.

There is a sign the Aven­tho are tuned for a ‘main­stream’ au­di­ence – some ad­di­tional bulk in the mid-bass makes the sound seem fuller and more lux­u­ri­ant, but also un­der­mines the sep­a­ra­tion of the oth­er­wise ex­cel­lent mids a lit­tle.

Us­ing the MIY app to cre­ate a cus­tom pro­file down­plays this ef­fect some­what, since it tends to in­crease the pres­ence of the mids and tre­ble. And this makes us hope­ful that more com­pat­i­bil­ity im­prove­ments will come.

Next to its price ri­vals, the other slight sound short­fall lies in the power of the Aven­tho’s low and sub bass. The Sennheiser Mo­men­tum 2.0 Wire­less de­liv­ers these fre­quen­cies with more au­thor­ity, and with a bet­ter sense of scale and space. But even on-ear head­phones have their lim­its.

Sum­mary

The Aven­tho Wire­less set a very high bar for Blue­tooth head­phones. They also have a price tag to match. They’re ideal for sound qual­ity fans who de­mand porta­bil­ity, al­though the lack of ac­tive noise can­cel­la­tion is a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing.

These com­pact, high qual­ity on-ear head­phones of­fer su­perb sound qual­ity – at a price.

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