Review: Beyerdynamic Byron sound more expensive than they really are
Affordable earphones don’t always have to be a compromise, and the Byron just proves that with resounding clarity
German premium audio brand Beyerdynamic is well known for high-end earphones and headphones. However, the more affordable price bands are something that the company isn’t ignoring anyway. The newest addition to the line-up are the Byron earphones, which are available in wired (Rs3,650) as well as wireless (called Byron BTA, priced at Rs15,350) options. It is the rather affordable price tag of the wired variant that would appeal to a much wider demographic of music enthusiasts.
Design: Understated brilliance
Beyerdynamic earphones are never about the flashiest designs or bright colours. What you get is a very conventional and equally sophisticated combination of black and grey colours. Each earbud has a very standard round design language. These are lightweight too—the Byron’s total weight is 13 grams, making this one of the lightest earphones that you can buy. And it is not as if Beyerdynamic has compromised on the build quality either, because the Byron earphones have aluminum housing.
There are three sizes of the silicone ear-tips with the Byron. You can easily clip on the ones that suit your ears best. If we are to nitpick, we can perhaps say that some earphones come with even more silicone eartip size options such as the A-Jays Two (priced at Rs3,499), but the ones that Beyerdynamic packages with the Byron will surely get the job done for most ear sizes and comfort levels.
A lot of earphones are sacrificed at the altar of broken cables, which either get damaged near the 3.5mm jack or near either of the earbuds. We feel that the cable Beyerdynamic has bestowed upon the Byron is quite sturdy. One of the reasons for our belief is that it doesn’t twist or tangle itself like lesser quality earphone cables. This should be able to withstand some accidental tugs and rough use, and won’t break a sweat. The cable also has an in-line microphone (for managing your calls) and remote (useful to change volume).
Sound: All about the balance
The Byron has a closed back design, and the frequency response ranges from 10- 23,000 Hz. These will work with your Android phone, your iPhone and iPad, Windows laptop, MacBook and iMac and any MP3 player that you may own. The connectivity is through the 3.5mm headphone jack, which will plug into the music playback device.
Plug these in, and you’ll realise soon enough that the sound signature that you get from Beyerdynamic’s neodymium audio drivers in each ear is quite smooth and balanced. This doesn’t lean towards vocals or bass specifically. However, the best part would perhaps be the fact that the mid-range frequencies are quite strong, which enhances the overall detailing of whatever track it is that you are listening to. While the sound signature remains neutral, the tweaks that Beyerdynamic has done make the Byron stand apart from rivals such as Sennheiser. First up, the sound isn’t exactly warm, but listening to this for hours on end is quite relaxing as there isn’t any sharp edge to the vocals or too heavy bass that might give you a headache.
No matter how high the volume, there always seems to be enough buffer left in the tank—at no stage do the Byron feel they have topped out in terms of volume, and there is always the feeling that it can be pushed even more. Clarity remains pristine even at high volume levels, which isn’t something that similarly priced earphones can truly be able to claim.
Verdict: The perfect sound
The Beyerdynamic Byron, with a sticker price of Rs3,650, lands in a segment that is already quite overcrowded with competition. You have the A-Jays Two, which also offers a very rich and vibrant sound stage across genres of music, including good bass. Then there is the Sennheiser CX 3.00, which does well with vocals and an overall soft sound signature, but struggles comparatively with lower frequencies. The Byron does all things well, and doesn’t limit itself to any specific music genre. The powerful sound cannot be ignored, and in the case of most rivals, cannot be replicated too.
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