I was very happy to finally get something for review from Beyerdynamic - I rarely review headphones from companies whose specific purpose is neutrality, particularly in the portable market. The Amiron Wireless is a classically utilitarian execution of Beyerdynamic’s house sound; the headphone is generally neutral, although the highs are somewhat bright, particularly in this closed context. However, for the mixer-on-the-go or the classical-music-fan or those that simply prefer uncolored sound, these are a solid option.
Fit and Form
The utilitarian approach rings true throughout this headphone, in many regards. The first (and most obvious) is the design. The colors won’t wow you, nor will they draw anything but the basest level of attention - however, the size may get a few glances; these are not compact headphones.
The calipers extend to accommodate head size/shape by click-indentations in the metal calipers, themselves. One of the things that I quickly found key to having an enjoyable experience with these headphones is driver alignment, with the ear canal. The caliper pressure is relatively low, so you do have to somewhat consciously adjust the headphones such that the slightly raised domes of each driver, in the earcup, are aligned properly.
The reason I found this important was that, with the earcups resting back further, I would get far too much treble (to the point of a noticeable drop in perceived fidelity). This may just be a ramification of my small head and the size of the earcups (very roomy), along with reflections off my concha, so some (and maybe most) users may not have that issue.
Aside from that though, let’s run through some of the specs. The headphones are charged by USB-C which, in the modern state of USB-C, maybe isn’t the best thing. However, since this is a relatively low power-draw device to charge, it' likely won’t be an issue for (again) most users. It is certainly convenient, in the least!
The headphones boasts an absurd 30 hours of battery life, which I (somehow) found to be accurate. I literally had to charge the headphones once during my use period, which is pretty outstanding. In wireless mode, even with the ridiculous battery capacity, the headphones can drive up to a pleasant, engaging volume, without breaching on dangerous. The headphones are also operable by a 3.5mm TRS auxiliary cable for wired use with device power provision.
The right earcup is a touch-responsive surface that serves to control the connected device’s playback. It works very similarly to the Sony MDR-1000X’s interface, with swipes and taps being the main method of interaction. This was very intuitive, in my use, and worked consistently. However, unlike the MDR-1000X, these headphones have no active noise cancellation or automatic acoustic-level adjustment. This isn’t a mark against the Amiron, simply a comparative point.
In general, the finish is (again) utilitarian. Everything works, and it works consistently. However, there isn’t the same dire focus on comfort and luxury that some other headphone companies employ. I don’t mean this as a dig at the quality, as everything works and works well, just to say that they won’t be as plush, foldable, or compact-able as, say, the Bose QC-35.
Overall, I’m a fan of the design. Utilitarianism is something with which I jive and the execution here strikes just the right balance of ease-of-use and simplicity, for my tastes.
As mentioned in the introduction, these headphones set their sights on neutrality. I phrase it that way as there are far too many variables in headphone development for any over-ear to hit true neutral for every user. When the target is pure flatness (or the average representation of that before HRTF), every single difference in an individual’s outer ear shape does tangibly affect the frequency response.
Apologies for the excessive italicization and emphasis - that’s a point that’s usually not even relevant to discuss, as most consumer-oriented headphones don’t aim at neutrality.
Digression aside and speaking to my actual opinions on these particular headphones, I’ve very much enjoyed my time with them. The frequency response is not a perfect match to all of my listening; I spend a good deal of time with music for which I’d simply like a little more bass than these headphones provide, but there’s been pretty much no music of mine that’s been not, at least, enjoyable through these headphones.
I’d generalize that last statement to say that, in my experience, the Amiron Wireless will play well with most any, common genre (excluding, maybe, nightcore and industrial house). I think this is a result of the increased precision in frequency response (consider this a proxy for speed of the drivers) that is resultant both from Beyerdynamic’s in-house driver design and from the targeted, neutral sound signature.
Although there is no active noise cancelling, the large, closed-back earcups do a decent job of isolating most, usual noise. My walking through the city was infrequently interrupted, although if you walk past a concert, you’ll hear it clearly.
Songs used: Campfire by Aminé feat. Injury Reserve, Three Ralphs by DJ Shadow, and Phat Beat by The Floozies
Let’s start at the bottom - sub-bass response is pretty decent. Although it certainly won’t rattle the skull, there is more than enough extension to high enough depth to add weight and meat to any synth or bass line that I put through it. The mid-bass is relatively crisp and precise, with very good control over stop/start. This is usually the aspect I approach most critically, as I think acceleration (essentially) is very important to the perception of a headphone’s performance. These hit it pretty much on the mark, although I’ve heard better in some slightly higher-end offerings (e.g., Noble Audio’s Kaiser Encore, King Sound’s KS-H3, Fostex’ TH-900 Mk III).
In general, in the low-end, this headphone does not disappoint. It won’t knock your socks off, but it is by no means anemic or dry.
Key descriptors: precise, nimble, and satisfying
Songs used: Villains by Gabriel Kahane, Mama’s Gun by Glass Animals, and Hopopono by GoGo Penguin
The mids of this headphone are their high point. Instrumental lines are very precise and well-supported by the lower frequencies discussed above, although male and female vocals can be communicated with a slight veil, dependent on the recording and specific range of each vocalist. This wasn’t common in my listening, but I did notice it a few times, over the review period. I particularly enjoyed strings and horns through these, as those instruments play particularly well to the headphone’s neutrality.
Key descriptors: uncolored, accurate, and natural
Songs used: Viol by Gaseffelstein, Ageispolis by Aphex Twin, and K.K.P.D. by Christian Scott
The treble is a little rough for me, at times. This is (as with everything one hears) dependent on the specific songs and their exact spectrograms, which I won’t lie to you and tell you I can synthesize simply from audio. When I say rough, I just mean that occasionally, I’d experience a bit of listening fatigue from the headphones and have to take a break. This isn’t uncommon with headphones, as I’ll commonly have them on my head for 5+ hours at a time.
In general, though, the treble provides a good sense of lightness and touch to the headphones. As would be expected from a generally neutral headphone, it makes a perfect counterpoint to the bass - where the bass provides heft and weight, the treble adds a sense of space and staging to the recording.
Key descriptors: crisp, extensive, and light
So there we are. This is a very-close-to-neutral headphone - exactly how close only depends on how much your concha’s geometry differs from the “average”. In any case though, one can expect to have a very balanced, precise, and intimate listening experience with these headphones. Are they worth the $700? If you’re an on-the-go type and you truly prefer neutrality in your sound over all else, they very well could be. If that’s the case, I’d certainly put these on your short-list and maybe do some trials, if you’re able.
These headphones were provided to me by Beyerdynamic. I am not being paid by anyone to write this review, to endorse the product reviewed, or for the content that I put in the review.
These headphones were powered by an Astell&Kern AK Junior, an iPhone Xs, a Neurochrome HP-1, and by whatever soundcard is in the motherboard of my laptop.
I have had these headphones for about a month, and I have put about 30 hours of analytical listening through them during that period.