This year Beyerdynamic has delivered a lot of surprises and changes this year,not only that Beyerdynamic is already 88 years old now,but they also made some new and different headphone which seems different from their original lineup,there is a lot of sales going on as well in Jaben,such as buy 1 pick 1 item promotion.It is now more affordable than it has ever been.
Years 2012 will be ended soon,2012 is a big year for Beyerdynamic,it released the Custom One Pro that I reviewed not too long ago, DT770 Anniversary/Limited Edition,and this 3 brothers which sit Rm199 (USD65) price point,which is a sweet deal and good price,people who want a beyond average audio quality headphone,or seeking for a replacement iem,or need a IEM to accompany while they are doing sport,might take a serious look into this review entry.
*Please noted that Beyerdynamic Xp1,2 and 3 will be only available in Asia market at the moment
Before we start to read the review, allowed me to address my thanks to Song Hui from Jaben Penang,he sent me this new set of Beyerdynamic brothers, and after knowing that I don’t burn in them enough, he agreed that let me have them longer than what we said before. Thanks for your understanding mate!
Description and Specification
What is so unique on the Beyer Xp brothers? I mean it created a hype in our local audiophile forum,and many of the listener is satisfied with it and think that its sound is wonderful,so basically they are unique because
1)You can get what sound you want,although they are not like Hippo VB,Phonak Audeo,Soundmagic PL30 or Custom One Pro which you can tuned the sound for yourself,but it has 3 variants which each of them has different kind of sound.
XP1 – Bass Edition the beast Bass focus earphone which suitable for bass head and love punchy tight bass.
XP2 – Balance Edition Good balance between treble and low frequency with great handle.
XP3 – Clear Edition the most neutral and detail out of 3, suitable for all kind of musics.
The idea is not new, Superlux has did it before with their HD381 series.
2) It is only available for Asia market. This is really Asians’ pleasure.
3) It is cheap! RM199(60USD) for each of them,and they are from a Giant Brand!
4) The wonderful sound as much of the crowd say about.
5) Design,its cable,fittings This is fun, Beyerdynamic take some different move into this audiophiles market and industry. Below is specification that I directly from Jaben shopping website:
Models : Xp1, Xp2, Xp3
Frequency range : 20 – 22000Hz
Impedance : 16 Ohm
Sensitivity : 98dB
Cable length : 1.4m
Connector : 3.5mm jack plug
At least from the paper,it is a easy to drive.
Packaging and Accessories
XP brothers have similar kind of small box packaging,which is normal for its market. Just the naming on the box is different.
Accessories wise,you will get 5 sets of silicon ear tip(XP1 and XP2 wil be supplied with larger hole eartip,while XP3 is small hole version eartip),a airplane travel adapter, and a earphone pouch. I have no issue with the packaging and accessories included for the XP brothers,in fact I found that it is pretty impressive.
Design,Build quality and Mechanism
Design wise,they are good looking I can say,it has some shiny ‘metal’ look on the earphone body,and flat cable which make it looks ‘unique’ than others. But its design is far from being fancy,looks might not be pretty,but it is not ugly,it looks cool and I think its design is mainly aimed for teenagers and those have young heart and love unique design.
Build quality is good and beyond average. First, the earphone’s shell is made of aluminum,although when you touched it,you can’t have the solid feel(Mainly due to the material is smooth finishing),but it is durable.
Along with the tangle free flat cable which minimised cable getting tangle(Although welcome microphonic issue and heavier). Every connecting place of it is durable and last long,especially the L shape angle jack.
Mechanism wise, its angle fitting nozzle worked better than what I expected,quite good.
Sound leakage/Noise isolation,Comfort and Microphonic
Sound leakage is inaudible as you would expected from an in ear monitor.Noise isolation is good,isolate well and I rarely heard anything outside,it is beyond average especially when considering its price point. It is quite comfortable when stayed in ear. It fits in ear nicely,won’t fall out. But XP3 is the most comfortable among the three,it is no surprise here as it has smaller hole ear tip and it has no that kind of ‘stick to your ear’ feeling,but no big different here.
The only slight issue(Only XP1 and XP2) is when you inserted the ear tips into your ear,it has some noise caused by the Silicone,nothing big matter,just clarify. It is only noisy when you push it into your ear,once it stay in your ear,no noise. Microphonic is typical for flat cable earphone,although it can be reduced if you use the cable slider brilliantly,it is still there. Wear it over ear can help as well,although this is not the correct way to wear it.
Pairing and Ease of Drive
It is not hard to drive,given its spec,it shouldn’t be as well. But one of my regular audiophile buddy do noticed it needs more juice than his regular earphone. Well,if you not giving these brothers enough power,they won’t be well-behaved. Extra juice from a simple amplifier is always recommended, JDS Labs CmoyBB V2.03 and Govibe Minibox will do the job well.
These Beyerdynamic brothers are all tested by using CmoyBB V2.03R,Govibe Minibox, through UD100 DAC,play through Foobar 2000,sometimes just Hippo Biscuit. Tested files are all lossless formats unless otherwise stated.
*Please read until finish in this area.
Burn In : This earphone has been burned in for 100 hours before really going into review test. I will have to say these earphone really need some good and long hours of burn in period. It sounded crap if you judge its sound quality when it is still new.
High : All of them have high that is quite harsh and often sibilant is noticeable,with XP3 > XP2 > XP1
Mids : All of the siblings are recessed,and vocal performance are a bit of mixed bag is we are talking about sweetness and clarity. But if not being too strict,it is only recessed. XP3′s mid in my opinion is the best out of three.
Low : There is plenty of it regardless which brother you are referring. XP3′s bass is already more than enough. For me,bass quantity is almost the same except that XP1 and XP2 rumble more and has bigger and heavier bass. Bass quality? erm… It has a lot of quantity, good rumbling,but not deep and hard enough,and not in controlled somehow.
Sound Signature : All of them have V shape sound,undeniable. And in my serious opinion, Beyer has done a good marketing strategy, I don’t think any of them deserve the name ‘neutral or balance’,they are all bass centric, with a lot of high that is somehow veiled and harsh. I am not saying this must be a bad thing,at least you feel the energy,maybe just I am too old to feel the excitement. All of them are not forward sounding,which I am liking. I don;t mean that they are bad sounding,but only for those who upgrade from lowest tier earphone or those who enjoy a lot of energy will be loving them.
Soundstage : It is average like typical IEM.
Instrument seperation : No night and day type of differences,but Xp3 has the best instrument seperation among the three.
Tested songs are all in lossless format unless otherwise stated.
现在这样 – 张雨生 （未来。日光面）
XP1 : It has some kind of distortion level once i start to play the music. Vocal is just ‘voicing it out’(No texture or so) with some sibilant. Bass is here even with kind of love song. It has the energy but sounded way too veiled to my preference. Mid is recessed and detail level is pretty poor.
XP2 : Bass level is not that as slammed as what XP1 had. Vocal is nicer and overall sound is less grain than XP1. It sound a bit more spacious than XP1 does. Sibilant is still noticeable and still veiled sounding.
XP3 : Detail level is better in Xp3 than both of its siblings,although I won’t be describe its vocal performance is sweet or great,but it is the best among the three. High is also better. Sibilant is by far less than its siblings. Don’t worry,you still feel the drum kicking. Although still a bit of veiled sounding,but it is not that bad.
Iris – Goo Goo Dolls (City of Angels)
XP 1 : Lack of layer and detail level,although this won’t be an issue for most of the users. Drum is kicking and song filled with energy.
XP 2 : Again,detail level is better than XP1. Drum is kicking although softer than how XP1 did on the kicking. Good energy.
XP 3 : XP3 sound is clearer and less grain than its siblings. Vocal performance is still the best among the three. Treble is less harsh and less messy one especially when the electric guitar play in chorus.
Good : Price point, A step up from lowest tier earphone, Deliver a lot of fun and excitement (Sometimes too much), sound tuning that liked by crowd,build quality and cable.
Bad : From audiophile point of view these XP don’t really have that kind of sound quality,grainy sound,marketing skill(Which Beyerdynamic is ‘over say’ in the
It won’t be fair if this review wrote up from audiophile’s point of view,as given its price point,it should not be as well. I would not say this earphone is better than those earphone which positioned in higher tier,but it justified its price point.
Do I heard better earphone in this price range? To be honest,yes I am,in my opinion,Soundmagic E10′s audio performance is better than these XP brothers,not without any restriction, E10′s comfort level,noise isolation,cable,look is behind XP brothers,but for me,E10′s sound is the sound that you can listen for long time given the fact that E10 is somehow also a bass centric earphone,but it give more layer and texture,sound is more true.
If you love those boomy/bassy earphone,personally think that 3 of them will give sort of bass. Why I love to compare these XP brothers to E10? Well,they are similar in some way,E10′s bass is more towards quality bass,bass is hard and deep while Xp brothers’ bass are more in quantity,rumbling here and there.
For audiophile purpose, I won’t be recommended any of these earphone,as anyone won’t be recommend any in this price point for audiophile purpose as well. Undeniable,Xp brothers will give you more than fun sound,and the sound signature is tuned for major consumers,whom love bass bombing their ears,looking at how its sales performance in Malaysia,it is a huge success for Beyerdynamic because had created such a successful product.
I know it will better for me to say that this is a very good sounding earphone as it is more safe(Everybody is talking about them in local forum),but I already promised from day one,I have to be honest to readers and myself.I would say it is good for those mainstream music,and if you are loving those mainstream music (LadyGaga,Taylor Swift etc) then I will recommended any of these earphone for you(XP2 and XP3 mainly) but if you are looking for those earphone that live soul inside the music or good vocal performance,my advice is,looks elsewhere.