Most of you probably know me as an IEM reviewer, and you’d be right! Lately though, I have been taking a look at portable headphones as well. Before I dive into this review, I have to emphasize the term “portable”. This headphone has been judged based on its performance through portable setups, and its usability in active environments. Naturally, design characteristics that work for (or against) portability have been taken into consideration. Without further ado, let’s get started with this review. One of the leading names in the audio industry, Beyerdynamic is known for producing classic headphones such as the DT880 and the T1. With the release of the Custom One, it’s clear that Beyer is trying to go the more portable route. Featuring the same tesla technology found on some of Beyer’s higher end headphones (including the T1), the T70P can be seen as an effort to bring higher-fidelity sound into the portable market segment.
DISCLAIMER: This unit was loaned by Michael @ Beyerdynamic for the purposes of the review. We are neither affiliates nor employees of Beyerdynamic. All media rights are reserved.
Like other Beyer products, the T70P is made in Germany. As would be expected, the build quality is very good. I like that the styling of the T70P returns to the look of Beyer’s now discontinued Premium Line (I’m not a fan of the Pros to be honest). The fabric on the headband and ear pads is a black satin, and the headband itself is made of metal. Like many other Beyer headphones, the T70P has a relatively light clamping force. In comparison to something like the V-Moda M-100, the T70P felt like a soft down cushion. However, this cuts both ways. In an active use role, the T70Ps definitely do not stay firmly in place, and adjustment is needed every once in a while to ensure that proper seal is maintained.
The earcups on the T70P are relatively large, and are made of two-toned matte plastic. While there is certainly no shortage of plastic in general on the T70P, the headphone still feels like a premium Beyer product (and in no ways kitsch or flimsy). Earpads are made out of the same black satin that the headphone band is covered with, and are extremely soft and comfortable. I found that they didn’t heat up quite as fast as the original velour pads either, which is great in my opinion. In public settings, they also looked much more presentable.
Overall, there’s very little to complain about when it comes to build quality. However, in terms of design quality and coherence, the T70P could definitely use some help. The “P” in the headphone’s name indicates portability. With large, non-folding earcups and a less-than-catchy design, the T70P really feels looks like a headphone that should have just been left for home use. The only portable aspect of the T70P is that it has an impedance of 32 ohms. This makes it great for running straight out of your average Apple or Android device. But is this really necessary for Beyer’s target audience? As a company that has traditionally catered to critical listeners, Beyer definitely did not have to lower the impedance to 32 ohms. Most buyers of the T70P would probably have a dedicated DAP or at the very least, a smart device with a headphone amp/DAC setup. In retrospect, this makes the low impedance unnecessary. It’s also not like the T70P is going to replace the Beats Studio as the general consumer’s go-to headphone because of its low impedance. I think that instead of lowering the impedance, a bit more time should have been spent on making the headphones actually portable.
In summary, the T70P features excellent build quality, but its design definitely does not endear it to the role of being a portable headphone. That said, if you don’t mind looking out of place on the subway, and have the means by which to safely store the T70P while on the go, the headphone might still be a viable option for portable use.
Starting with the bass, the T70P has some great extension, and renders everything in excellent detail. It is fast in nature, and I think that much of this can be attributed to the high efficiency Tesla technology utilized in the headphone. For critical sessions, this makes for a solid listening experience. However, while the details are great, the T70P’s bass simply doesn’t deliver in terms of fullness of sound. A less than powerful impact coupled with a small bass quantity means that the T70P really struggles at times to create an engaging lower frequency experience. During portable use, environmental sounds often drowned out the bass completely.
The mids on the T70P are very impressive. Slight forward, very clear and relatively uncolored, the T70P conveys a sense of effortlessness that makes for a truly wonderful vocal experience. Perhaps this might be because the bass is dialed back rather significantly, but the end result is still the same: the mids are excellent. My only complaint is that as the T70P reached into the upper mids/ lower highs, there was a bit of sibilance to be found.
The treble on the T70P is interesting. Bright, forward, and sparkly, it isn’t bad by any means. However, a tinge of artificiality and the lack of a corresponding bass response made for a headphone that was at times, quite hot. While it certainly isn’t as bright as the Grado SR325E (speaking from my auditioning experience here), there is a certain rawness to the T70P’s rendering of higher frequencies that can make it tiring to listen to. During portable use, environmental conditions meant that some of this intensity was toned down. However, this is definitely not an ideal solution to the headphone’s tuning.
The T70P’s soundstage is wide, though the lack of bass quantity means that its depth is somewhat limited. However, airiness and excellent instrument separation plays in T70P’s favor very heavily, and never once did I feel claustrophobic while listening to this headphone.
The T70P is definitely an interesting choice for a portable headphone. I think that it’s an excellent step on the part of Beyer to enter this fast growing market, and there are a great number of things to like about it, including the build quality and wonderful middle frequency performance. With a little bit more tuning and refinement in both the SQ and design departments, I think that Beyer could definitely be sitting on top of a potential gold mine. If you are looking for a closed headphone with a treble-oriented SQ, then don’t forget to give this headphone a try!