Beyerdynamic T5 3RD Generation Headphones
Luxury headphones from Heilbronn
The Beyerdynamic T5 headphones are one of the two new upper-class models from the traditional company Heilbronn. With the headphones of the T series, Beyerdynamic serves high audio demands, primarily for the consumer sector. However, due to the high sound quality, they are also suitable for studio applications. Furthermore, the T5 model is particularly interesting for microphone recordings and use in noisy environments because of its closed construction.
- Sound quality
- Easy to drive
- Headphone amp users may be disappointed
Like the T1 sibling, Beyerdynamic delivers the T5 in a robust, fabric-covered hard case that can be opened with a zipper. Inside is the full-size silver-gray T5, as it cannot be folded up. The dimensions of the case (27 cm depth, 21 cm width, and 14 cm height) are correspondingly expansive, but the headphones can be transported very safely, even if not exactly space-saving.
All around, the T5 appears to be of absolutely high quality and flawlessly processed: Its headband has around 1.5 cm thick padding and is covered with soft Alcantara synthetic leather. The forks on which the earcups are mounted are made of brushed aluminum and also anodized. They can be pulled out of the bracket to adapt the T5 to the head size of the respective user, whereby a grid engages, which offers a solid safeguard of the selected setting.
The ear cups have a total diameter of 10 cm and enclose the entire ear. Their interchangeable pads have a protein-coated synthetic leather cover and are filled with different layers of foam. One of them consists of so-called “memory foam,” which is supposed to adapt better than conventional materials to the shape of the head of the respective user. Beyerdynamic also uses brushed and painted aluminum for the housing cover on the outside of the ear cups.
The T-series is largely hand-made at the company’s headquarters in Heilbronn, including the dynamic Tesla drivers developed in-house. They generate a very strong magnetic flux, which provides a powerful drive, which should give the sound more precision and transparency.
To achieve a more authentic spatial representation, the round, 4.5 cm wide membranes are slightly angled in the front part of the ear cups.
The playback range extends from 5 to 50,000 Hz. Because of this large frequency spectrum, the T-Series has also been awarded the “Hi-Res Audio” certificate from the JAS (Japan Audio Society), a seal of quality for audio devices with high-resolution sound.
Like the previous model, T5p, the Beyerdynamic T5 also has a nominal impedance of 32 ohms to be used with smartphones and tablets without any problems. The characteristic sound pressure level is 100 dB (1 mW), the nominal load capacity is 300 mW, and the maximum sound pressure level is 124 dB. For example, if you connect the headphones to a current iPad, the output of which is fully controlled, the T5 generates an enormous volume that should not be exposed to healthy hearing for a long time.
The Y-shaped cable included in the scope of delivery is 1.4 m long and covered with black textile fabric, while the conductors inside are made of high-quality OCC 7N, a particularly pure type of copper. Gold-plated 3.5 mm jack plugs are attached to all three ends, two of which are plugged into the ear cups, so the cable can be easily replaced if it should break. For the audio input, Beyerdynamic has included a 6.3 mm jack adapter – unfortunately not screwable – and a cable with asymmetrical XLR connection is also available as an option.
Although closed headphones are usually heavier than open headphones, the T5, like its sibling T1, weighs 360 g.
The Beyerdynamic T5 has a closed working principle, so on the one hand, ambient noise for the user is suppressed quite efficiently. But, on the other hand, the sound emissions of the headphones are low even at a high volume.
Thanks to the thick, high-quality padding, the T5 is extremely comfortable to wear. The so-called “memory foam” actually adapts very well to the shape of the head and, in conjunction with the soft, protein-coated synthetic leather, provides considerable insulation for the earpiece. In addition, according to the manufacturer, the contact pressure is approx. 4 Newtons, which again creates a more tight seal between the head and the upholstery.
Despite the high level of wearing comfort, just like with other closed headphones, they need to give your ears a little breath arises after one to two hours at the latest – of course, that always depends on the individual feelings of the respective user.
The transmission of movement noises on the cable, which Jochen Schnur already described in the test report of the T1, can also be heard at low volume. Moreover, they are even stronger than when using a conventional cable with a smooth, rubberized surface since the rough structure of the textile sheath creates more resistance and thus creates scraping and scratching noises.
Every user also finds this annoying to a different extent. If it is very annoying, the cable must be laid so that there is no friction anywhere.
During the test, the T5 was operated in the studio with two different headphone preamps. The internal amplifier of the SPL MTC 2381 was used for listening and mixing in the control room, and a Lake People G93 Phone-Amp was used to align microphones in the recording room.
Just listening to music is a real revelation with the Beyerdynamic T5.
The representation of the entire frequency spectrum makes a very balanced impression, with the bass range – compared to open headphones with a linear sound – clearly stronger and more muscular. Because of that, it does not seem overemphasized but rather fits into the overall picture in a balanced way. In addition, it has a powerful and fast response with a clear, tight contour that reproduces the low-end cleanly separated from the upper bass.
The entire midrange is also finely structured with an enormous wealth of detail. The lower mids are very powerful, provide a full-bodied warmth, but always retain their high precision.
Beyerdynamic has changed a lot in the upper mids compared to its predecessor, the T5p. In fact, on the one hand, this frequency range sounds extremely cautious, i.e., nothing seems too harsh orbiting. But, on the other hand, it impresses with a strong but incredibly pleasant presence.
The T5, on the other hand, reproduces the heights in a very beautiful and charming way. They have a silvery, silky character that is clearly articulated and, at the same time, sounds very open and lively.
When locating individual instruments in the stereo panorama and – above all – with the depth display, the T5 is surprised with its closed design. The transparency of the sound is astonishing: With a high degree of selectivity, the gradation of depth of a well-mixed recording is revealed, whereby each level is represented extremely vividly. Even subtle parts of the room have a clear definition but are still nicely embedded in the context.
Thanks to all of the sound properties mentioned so far, the T5 is ideally suited as a monitor for making music and mixing “on the road.” Especially in noisy environments, its strong sound insulation ensures the required quiet, which should be very advantageous for live productions, when traveling by train, on a plane, or wherever you want to isolate yourself from the outside world acoustically.
The headphones are also a great addition to any studio. If it is all about sound mixing, the open T1 model is certainly the better choice, but the T5 also does a very good job as a supplement to studio speakers. Just distributing instruments in the stereo image or staggering rooms and reverbs gives you enormous security to make decisions quickly and confidently. Equalizers and compressors can be easily set thanks to the high level of detail and very analytical playback.
Even when aligning microphones, the T5 is an excellent helper because of its sound precision and the very good sound insulation of the ear cups.
If, for example, the ideal position is to be found in front of the body of an acoustic guitar, the smallest changes in the sound can be precisely perceived when the microphone is moved. This creates an enormous accuracy, which searches for the sweet spot a real pleasure.
The same applies to setting up stereo microphones: the T5 displays minimal movements in the panorama with meticulous precision, so that, for example, when setting the angle of an X / Y microphone, the change in the width of the signal is reproduced with absolute point accuracy.
Only with very loud sources such as drums does the sound isolation reach its limits, making it difficult to hear the exact microphone sound in the headphones differentiated from the room – but the isolation is always sufficient for monitoring a drummer during the recording.
The Beyerdynamic T5 are noble headphones with excellent sound, exquisite components, and exemplary quality.
Thanks to its closed design and the associated strong sound insulation, it is ideally suited as all-purpose headphones – and not just for recordings or sound mixes in the studio.
On the go, at home, or wherever a noisy environment has to be faded out, the T5 offers a luxurious listening experience. Its sound is incredibly precise, powerful, rich in detail, and always retains a balanced and pleasant character.