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Headphone Sessions 7/29/2011: Beyerdynamic DT1350 vs. T50p

The Headphone Sessions are back with a battle between Beyerdynamic’s two high-end closed, on-ear cans, the Telsa T50p and the new DT1350, both $299. Although these two headphones look almost identical and both use Tesla transducers, they were each designed with different purposes in mind. The T50p is an efficient portable headphone while the DT1350 is designed for DJ’s and studio and live-audio engineers. The physical differences between the two are a single-sided cable on the DT1350 and Y-cable on the T50p, the split headband spreads apart for a secure fit with the DT1350 and is fixed on the T50p, and the earpads on the DT1350 are softer and make a better seal than those on the T50p. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Beyerdynamic DT1350"] Beyerdynamic DT1350[/caption] This last noted difference is probably the most crucial, because as we well know, the fit and seal of a closed earpad style headphone makes all the difference in sound quality and bass response. Because of the finicky fit characteristics for both of these German made headphones, we got some varying reviews here amongst the HeadRoom team. The majority found the DT1350 to fit better, but very small fit adjustments made for extremely different sound characteristics. When listening, it took a good part of the first and even into the second song to get the fit and sound right. The better the seal, the better the sound,and once a good seal was achieved they stayed nicely in place. With fit just right, the 1350’s sound was surprisingly natural for a portable size headphone with rich, full bass, mid-range that was a little boxy but overall fairly natural sounding, and nice extension into the highs without leaning too closely toward bright. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Beyerdynamic T50p"] Beyerdynamic T50p[/caption] Most of us found the T50p nearly impossible to get properly sealed, and sonically to be fairly bassless, with boxy, distant mid-range that sounds artificial, and highs that seem too bright because of the distant mids and lack of bass. The T50p also lacks the extra clamping power of the DT1350 and therefore ... BassBand required!! (See Headphone Sessions 4/20/2011 if you’re wondering what a BassBand is). The extra swivel of the DT1350 also made it easier to get a good fit on bigger heads. The majority agree that the DT1350 is definitely the better sounding headphone, but needs more power than your portable player will provide. We still like the Audio Technica ESW9A as a better-fitting, on-ear portable choice, and although slightly bassy, they’re a great sounding headphone with excellent clarity and detail. We also think, especially in a live-audio engineering setting, the Sennheiser HD 25-1-II is a better choice with a quick, easy fit, excellent isolation and great sound. For more information on these and all Beyerdynamic headphones, visit Headphone.com or call us at 1-800-828-8184. Our headphone geeks are patiently listening to headphones waiting for your call ... and loving their job!

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