ALL ABOUT THE SOUND…
The “T” in T70p stands for Tesla, as in Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor and electrical engineer, whose last name is used as a unit of measurement for magnetic flux density. When Beyerdynamic debuted their T1 headphone model in 2010, they unleashed the very first headphone driver with a magnetic flux density of 1.2 teslas. The result was a new level of detail and clarity for Beyerdynamic. since the debut of this flagship, Beyerdynamic has continued to incorporate this driver technology in other headphones. First was the T5p (which was closed-back design incorporating a similar design to the T1) and the T50p (a small on-ear) and now the T70/T70p. Beyerdynamic’s patented Tesla driver design is perhaps the most significant contribution Beyerdynamic has provided the headphone industry since its founder Eugen Beyer invented the very first dynamic transducer headphone in the late 1930s. Unlike the T1 and T5p, the drivers of the T70p are not angled. Angling the drivers helps provide a more forward soundstage presentation and a center with greater focus. Therefore, in this sense, the T70p is perhaps a tad inferior to Beyerdynamic’s current flagship models. But make no mistake about it – I LOVE the sound of the T70p. I find it to be among the most natural sounding headphones that I have used directly out of a portable device. Here are my findings upon several days of critical listening:
- Exceptional tonal balance – close to neutral.
- Wonderful bass extension without any overwhelming boom
- Clear, detailed and very refined
- Excellent instrument placement abilities
- May be a tad bright and/or thin-sounding for some listening preferences
The first track I listened to was Chick Corea & Origin’s “Sifu” recorded live at the Blue Note. The track opens as a piano / bass / drums trio: the piano a hint to the left, the drums a hint to the right and the bass more or less in the center. I was really surprised how each instrument existed almost completely in its own space. In my opinion, it may in fact be superior to the much more expensive T5p in this regard. Once the horns dropped in, I knew that this headphone was superior to the headphone which it has replaced. The upper harmonics were so clear and gave each instrument the chance to display its own timbral character. While the sound of 8 instruments playing at once can be dense and congested, good headphones and speakers allow for all the highlights and shadows to coexist in a rich and three dimensional soundscape. This was most certainly the case here. Next up I listened to the 2000 remix of John Lennon’s “Instant Karma.” Listening with the T70p, the drums which come in with extreme power (especially on this remaster) have incredible dimension and snap. With some headphones, the vocals, which are were recorded with an overdriven tube preamp, can sometimes sound harsh if the overtones are not reproduced cleanly. The vocals sound wonderful here however – the T70p did an amazing job with this track. Before I took a listen to classical, I already had the preconception that these headphones would sound AMAZING with classical. The reason is that they are fairly neutral, but have stellar clarity in the upper harmonics. I listened to a bunch of classical pieces – Schumann’s Piano Concerto, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Mendelssohn’s Octet. With each work, I kept hearing incredible nuances right out of my iPod! It was in fact more detailed than any headphone I had ever used out of the iPod, even without an amplifier. There was air surrounding each instrument or section of instruments that allowed for a livelier sound. At the same time, I did not feel the T70p were overly analytical. I have not yet compared the T70p and T5p back to back just yet, but my initial reactions lead me to believe that I in fact, prefer the T70p! Revealing headphones are not necessarily the be-all-end-all for hip hop and R&B. Listening to Jay Z’s New York State of Mind, I was not quite as enthused. The bass had great extension, but lacked a bit of weight. The vocals were mildly sharp and ever-so-slightly sibilant. But I still persist that the T70p functions as a fantastic all-rounder.
The T70p should be on the short list of anyone seeking audiophile grade performance from a headphone when paired with a portable device. It is a very revealing and realistic sounding headphone. It may not be as affordable as the DT770 which it replaced, but it is certainly an upgrade Beyerdynamic should be proud of. Highly recommended!
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