There's something so right about the Beyerdynamic DT 1350 headphones

The Audiophiliac finds a lot to admire about these high-energy headphones made in Germany.

Opening the Beyerdynamic DT 1350 headphone box gave me a déjà vu feeling. The headphone definitely looked similar to other Beyerdynamic on-ears I've tested over the years. That's not a bad thing, I think they're all attractive in a Euro modern way. This made in Germany 'phone feels sturdy while weighing just 6.1 ounces (174 grams), so it's nice and light. The velvety black ear cups and burnished metal parts lend an elegant look and feel to the design. The headphone sells for $280 in the US, £170 in the UK and AU$368 in Australia.

As for comfort, I prefer headphones that don't squeeze my ears as much as the DT 1350's do, but the upside is this headphone won't fall off or shift on your head when you move or dance.

dsc3415.jpg

The Beyerdynamic DT 1350 on-ear headphones.

Steve Guttenberg/CNET

And dancing might very well be in the cards when you start listening. The DT 1350 has a way with rhythm. It's a high-energy 'phone with bass that is not only plentiful, it's also deep and sure-footed. There's no bloat or thickening, but this is a rather bassy sounding headphone.

Moving up from there, midrange and treble sounds are clear, and the overall balance seems right to me. It's a closed-back design, and blocks a good amount of external noise. Impedance is rated at 80 ohms, so I used my iPod Classic and Astell & Kern Jr. music players for all of my listening tests. The DT 1350 comes with a beautifully designed, flat carry case that does a good job protecting the headphones. One downside, the 4.92 foot long (1.5 meter) cable isn't user replaceable, but the cable plug's slightly bulky reinforced strain relief should prevent premature cable failure. The 3.5 mm plug comes fitted with a screw-on 6.3mm adaptor plug.

Getting down to the business of listening to the DT 1350 didn't feel like work, as acoustic music had an organic natural quality. Voices inside these headphones sounded like actual human voices, imagine that! Flying Lotus' "Until the Quiet Comes" album is jam-packed with texturally and rhythmically dense instrumentals that practically massaged my ears with its low bass beats. The DT 1350 plumbs the depths of the music, no problem.

Then I compared the DT 1350 with a Beyerdynamic T 51P on-ear headphone. These two designs are obviously very similar, but the DT 1350's ear cups and ear pads are slightly larger. More important, how did they sound? The DT 1350 had more heft and body, and was a little clearer overall. With Arcade Fire's "Reflektor" album, the DT 1350 pulled way out in front, letting more music through. I was tapping my feet and bopping my head, the DT 1350 got to me. Still, I think the T 51 P's lighter bass balance might be preferred by some listeners.

There's not much more I can add, the Beyerdynamic DT 1350 headphones' sound and build quality are first-rate, and they're highly recommended.

Featured Video