There are a few brands that could be considered a powerhouse in the world of audio and headphones and Beyerdynamic is without a doubt one of them. beyerdynamic has been family owned since its founding in 1924 and are regarded as one of the best when it comes to headphones.
The original T5p was released way back in 2010 and was a fully closed, portable headphone with Tesla technology. Today I’ll be doing my review of the current tour with the Beyerdynamic T5p 2nd generation, a 32 ohm, closed-back designed for use at home or on the go.
This product was loaned to me as part of a Southeast Asian tour for the purpose of an honest review. All opinions and observations are my own, based on my experience with the product.
- Fantastic build quality and design
- Lightweight and comfortable
- TOTL sound
- Detachable cable
Packaging and accessories
In a typically styled Beyerdynamic box comes the T5p 2nd gen. Open that up and just like with the T1 2nd, some may be disappointed to find a fabric covered, portable carry case in place of the stunning aluminium one that housed the original.
Once opened we find the headphones, 1.4-meter textile braided cable and a 6.35 mm screw-on adapter. The unboxing was bittersweet as I was underwhelmed by the accessories but at the same time, it meant I could get straight to listening. The cable is much more manageable than the 3-meter version that comes with the T1 but it’s still a big old chunky thing which doesn’t shout “portable” when you feel its girth and weight. It is however of a high quality and is resistant to tangling.
Build, comfort and isolation
The T5p 2nd gen is constructed very similarly to the original but there have been some changes, most notably pleather on the headband in place of the original’s leather and now the cable is detachable. There have also been some tweaks to the sound tuning which the company claims is
“now an even more solid sound and a balanced, first-class listening experience”.
There’s no denying that the classic yet modern styling of this headphone is timeless just like its predecessor as it still looks absolutely gorgeous. Taking it out of the carrying case for the first time was like lifting a precious piece of treasure from a pirate’s chest. It feels as good as it looks with its robust materials and components that were handcrafted in Germany. It’s extremely comfortable with just enough clamp force to keep them in place without mashing your skull.
The pleather covered ear-pads are a generously thick and super comfy memory foam. The T5p has angled drivers, similar to the T1. This is to enhance the soundstage but because they’re non-centric there’s ample room for your ears so they don’t come in contact with the hard plastic baffles. The company is obviously confident in the build quality of these because they offer a generous 5-year warranty.
Isolation is good as you’d expect from a closed-back design. Sound can still get through but once the music starts you can easily become lost in your own little world and become oblivious to your immediate surroundings.
PC/MusicBee > Audinst HUD-MX2 > T5p
Shinrico D3S > Arcam irDAC-ii > T5p
Because they’re just 32 ohms these don’t really need amping but obviously, you’ll get a better result using a good DAP or headphone amplifier but a smartphone can happily power these.
Music used for testing (all flac files)
Katatonia – Night is the New Day
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 3
Usher – My Way
Storm Corrosion-Storm Corrosion (Special Edition)
For a closed set, these have a brilliant soundstage that is spacious and wide with a vivid sense of 3d positioning and imaging. Just like with the T1 and Amiron Home I was surprised with the warmth that the T5P brings. That’s not to say they’re dark but…words escape me.
For some reason, I’m thinking of a nice hot meal on a cold winter’s day. All the flavour, heat and texture is there and it’s welcoming, enticing and comforting. You want to wrap your hands around it and savour the experience. Okay enough with the bad analogies, let’s move on.
Bass is slightly elevated, as with the T1 but it’s just a slight boost and is still what I would consider balanced. There’s plenty of punch and texture that’s extremely well controlled and there’s no bleed into the lower mids.
Bass extension is great but I personally would have liked just a touch more quantity in the sub-bass regions for some added rumble in things like “The Vagabond” from The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt official soundtrack. That’s my personal preference though, as it stands the lows are spectacular. Midbass is not super fast but has a natural decay that makes it sound organic and natural.
The midrange is the star of the show again here, being rich and detailed without sounding too forward. Instrument separation is superb as is resolution and detail. Male and female vocals are treated to natural, rich tonality.
Everything from the pure, high notes of Marjana Semkina of iamthemorning from their Lighthouse album to the deep, gravely voice of Rory Graham (Rag’n’Bone Man) in “Disfigured” on his Disfigured EP is beautifully reproduced and loaded with emotion. Lower mids have some added warmth which gives them some body but they’re still startlingly clear yet smooth at the same time.
Treble also has a smooth approach that extends really well. It’s crisp and detailed with a light airiness and without any harsh peaks so it’s also non-fatiguing and perfect for lengthy listening sessions. It’s similar to that found on the T1 2nd gen and Amiron Home.
It seems that Beyerdynamic has gone for an overall smoother approach with their latest offerings which I for one am very appreciative of. That’s not to say they can’t be analytical because if you listen to them, the details are all still present.
Beyerdynamic T1 2nd gen ($1,199) USD
Physically the T5p is very similar to the T1 all the way down to the cups. Both headbands share the same materials and characteristics but the T5p has the slightest extra bit of clamping force which makes sense since they’re designed to be portable so you’re more likely to be moving around with them.
You can tell that Beyerdynamic’s engineers put a lot of thought into the entire design process that goes further than just optimizing the sound. Unlike the T1 the T5p is a closed back system so they lose some of the airiness and soundstage in comparison. They both share angled, decentralized drivers to improve the soundstage but because of its semi-open traits, the T1 comes out ahead in this department, though the T5p is still impressive for a closed set.
The ear-pads are different too with the T5p having pleather covers in place of the T1’s velour which means they get warmer on your ears but also improve isolation and reduce sound leakage. These two headphones share a similar bass signature that is slightly north of neutral with the T5p having a slightly crisper edge. I find near equal pleasure from both of these headphones and for me personally were I to buy either it would be a tough decision as you have the semi-open benefits of the T1 coupled with its demand for serious amplification vs the T5p’s versatility which allows you to pair it with almost any source without sacrificing quality and use it on the move.
Beyerdynamic Amiron Home ($599 USD)
Designed for portable use the cups on the T5p are smaller than those on the Amiron Home which means for some with large ears they might not be as comfortable. Because they’re a closed design the T5p don’t have the same sense of air yet they still have an impressive soundstage.
Being just 32 ohms the T5p is much easier to drive and can be driven by a phone or budget DAP. The Amiron Home sounds a bit more balanced, while the T5p has a bit more weight and sharper edge to its bass and just a little more energy in the treble. Just like the T1, the T5p is not as relaxed as the Amiron but that’s probably better when you’re on the move.
The Amiron Home is a super comfortable and slightly more relaxed presentation and at 250 ohms need amplification to sound their best. Apart from sonic differences, other considerations would be semi-open vs closed back design. If you have a quiet environment and don’t need to worry about sound leakage the Amiron Home is truly luxurious but if you ever want to leave your listening chair the T5p offers more versatility.
Beyerdynamic T5P 2nd gen Conclusion
Visually stunning, versatile, comfortable, balanced, resolving, 5-year warranty. Do I need to say more? In case you haven’t noticed, I like this a lot. In the past, if someone had suggested I pay over $1000 for a closed-back, 32-ohm headphone I wouldn’t have taken them very seriously. After my time with the T5p, however, I totally get it. In fact, these are now on my wishlist and I find the thought of life without them a little saddening.
The fact that you can unplug them from your high powered headphone amplifier and stick them straight into a budget DAP is a huge bonus but of course, the biggest draw is the great sound. If you’re looking for a TOTL closed phone, definitely consider the T5p.
You can buy the Beyerdynamic T5P 2nd gen on Amazon HERE.