I just received the super cool looking Beyer T50p portable headphone. Brief comparison to the other closed headphones (HD25-1, Shure SRH-840) reveals that the T50p is much superior in resolution. It’s really a baby T1, and it would seriously challenge the supremacy of more expensive portables like the ATH-ES10 and the Ultrasone Edition 8 in technicalities. The treble is pretty much the best I’ve heard on portable headphones, getting very close to the T1’s treble territory. Very clear treble, very well extended, and yet very smooth and effortless, and in some ways reminiscent of the treble in Stax Lambdas. The Edition 8, though a very fine headphone by itself (you can find the review here), simply can’t match the treble resolution of the T50p. I think Beyerdynamic has succeeded in creating a truly revolutionary product in the T50p than they did with the T1. Clearly, the full size, 600 Ohms T1 headphone is still superior in terms of technicalities. But what I mean is that while the T1’s performance doesn’t stand out so much in the realm of flagship full size headphones, the T50p is truly a revelation in the class that it’s competing in.
When I first heard the T50p straight from the box, I only hear the brilliant treble, but everything else is not very good in terms of frequency balance. I thought that the midbass control was lacking, and that there is a dip in the midrange area which makes the problem worse. However, after only a few hours of running in, the frequency balance has smoothed out a lot, and it’s becoming very nice to listen to. I think that the improvements here are more on the pads softening and following the shape of my ears better. Previously it’s very hard to get a good sealed fit, but now the fit is very good on my ears.
I compared the T50p to the T1 from the Burson HA-160 amp. While the T1 ultimately has a more superior technical performance, its musicality is not very good, lacking a little warmth and midrange body. The T50p is more favorable in terms of musicality, having a less hot treble, slightly warmer sound, and more midrange and bass body than the bigger brother. I also played some female vocals on the T50p and found the T50p to have more body on the vocals than the big brother. Very good indeed.
In my experience, it’s easier for a closed headphone to have more low end and midrange body than an open headphone, and that’s probably the biggest reason that the T50p has more body than the T1. Yet, headphones with fuller low end body often also have less precision in the bass areas, and that’s what I’m hearing here too. The T1 has a much better control and focus on the bass than the T50p. Keep in mind that the T1 is still superior in terms of overall technical performance, and these comparisons are just for the sake of giving a picture of how the T50p sound.
These observation is taken when the T50p has less than 24 hours of run in, and so I will hold final comments after at least 100 hours of playtime.