Teufel Airy Review
I like these Teufel headphones simply because they are called “Airy.” For example, XY0815 BT or whatever other manufacturers call their headphones – any combination of letters and numbers is possible, and “BT” stands for Bluetooth. The wireless type of music transmission is enjoying increasing popularity on the go. So “Airy” fits – airy – but in two respects: The music is transmitted through the air, and you can usually hear it through headphones like this when you are in the fresh air.
- Sounds remarkably good
- Good delivery
- Solid playing time
- Touch part sometimes clumsy
- More sizes of caps would have been nice
Some are probably thinking, “Fresh air in the city?” Others “Hell Airy, it’s old hat.” I’m not particularly eager to speculate about the air quality in cities. The thing with the “old hat,” however, I can answer with a clear yes and no. Yes, Teufel launched headphones called Airy back in 2015. But, no, the model we are testing here is not the old but a new, revised version that Teufel presented at the end of 2018.
Whereby: At first glance, not much has changed. The design has become a little smoother. The contrasts are more subtle. While the white 2015 version of the Airy still had black ear pads, the 2018 model now has gray – the same color as the soft silicone coating on the inside of the headband for support and comfort. With the new black Teufel Airy, however, this silicone pad is also black; it used to be a high-contrast white.
Since the current Airy looks a bit more subtle overall, Teufel has given it three pairs of colored rubber rings to be spiced up. They can be exchanged for the black or white rings between the ear pads and the case as standard.
We come to the main changes. What is new is that the Teufel Airy has articulated joints in the bracket and can be folded for easier transport. This is practical because Bluetooth on-ears like the Teufel Airy are particularly popular on the way to school, university, or work. When you arrive at your destination, it is usually not good to put the headphones on your ears or hang them around your neck.
However, the new design has changed the controls. While the round, attached Teufel logo on the right-hand side was used as volume control on the old Airy, the logo is only subtly engraved on the new Airy. Teufel has retained the original control knob, but it has now moved into the end of the temple. The wheel peeps out of the bracket at the front and back. So that you can find it, it is kept in a striking red.
What has remained is that the lower corners of the bracket serve as skip buttons for the title jump and that the area above the Teufel logo is designed as a multifunction button – pairing, start/stop, accepting and ending calls, activating the voice assistant. What I don’t like so much is that Teufel has relocated the USB socket for charging to the rear right on the side of the bracket, a little above the volume control. I found it less conspicuous when it was still pointing downwards like the connector for the connection cable.
Teufel has also changed something in terms of electronics. The new lithium-polymer battery should provide up to 30 hours of gaming time – that’s neat. It is charged within three hours—also a good value. With the Bluetooth protocol, the Teufel Airy 2018 relies on version 4.2, including the sound-enhancing aptX. For headphones with sound quality, I would have preferred aptX-HD.
How about the fit? At 165 grams, the Airy is quite light. Correspondingly little pressure is needed to hold it securely on the head. The Teufel Airy sits comparatively tight for its weight but not uncomfortable. The earpads are soft enough to cushion the contact pressure. The silicone padding in the headband has hardly anything to do, but it provides additional support thanks to a certain anti-slip effect. Overall, this results in a very secure fit for the headphones. Thanks to the washable head and exchangeable ear pads, the Teufel Airy can be used for sports. Even those who wear glasses get along well with the Airy.
There are deductions in the B-Note because the Teufel Airy passes mechanical noises onto the ear very directly. For example, when you bump into something with the headband and press the control buttons roughly. In addition, wind noises – for example, when you have the Airy on in stormy weather or wear it while cycling – can be heard mixed with the music.
Teufel Airy: Sound impression
Speaking of music: In keeping with the status quo, connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth and checked that the smartphone and Airy are talking via aptX, the devil is very cultivated. So it doesn’t quite fit the rowdy image that the company always likes to cultivate with a wink. (I’m only referring to the Teufel truck, which is present at every major corporate appearance.)
In the bass, the Airy is the well-behaved model boy. It saves an artificial bass boost and is thus capable of reaching a consensus on any music. The album Pouti ( listen on Amazon ) by 1980s electro-wave pioneers Silicon Soul has wild tones to offer in the bass range. Most of them come from the self-made electronic sound generators from KL Schafer and are extremely exciting in terms of frequencies and phase and what else can make up an electronic sound. The devil Airy also follows the wildest bass capers, maintains control at all times, and ensures that after 20 minutes, I think I lump my hearing. It has to be – the Airy does it right as hell. Overall, it is very similar to the over-ears of the Real series by Teufel. They are also quite neutral in terms of tone. If you need more bass, you will find a bass boost option somewhere in the depths of the settings menu of your player app.
As listeners with a more audiophile disposition, we, of course, keep our hands off such gimmicks and listen to what the devil Airy has to offer in the mid-range. And that’s a lot. Above all, it is the many details and fine information that attract attention. The Airy dissolves very well. After the synthetic bass orgies, maybe something natural: a great voice. Take Liz Wright, Dreaming Wide Awake ( listen on Amazon). Okay, the gospels, some of which are very “spiritually” sung, can get on your mind in the wrong mood. But in the right mindset, it’s just impressive to listen to this singer. The devil does you a great favor and saves himself having to follow up on the keynote. The sound engineer did that during the recording until shortly before the pain threshold. But I can still enjoy the thing through the Airy, and I am happy about how nuanced he brings the vocal performance of Ms. Wright over.
Yes, the Airy is trimmed for good sound. Unfortunately, I can only think of a few other Bluetooth on-ear headphones for comparison. The roughly equally expensive JVC HA-XP50BT, for example, is tuned completely differently. He deliberately goes for “bass monsters” and speaks more to the target group “beats.” Unfortunately, JVC has overshot the target for my taste: Even the entire keynote is too full. Singers sound like they’re on steroids, and he doesn’t dwell on things like detail reproduction because of the sheer bass energy. The similarly priced SoundMagic BT30, on the other hand, knows how to offer a bit more bass without sacrificing resolution and clean midrange reproduction. Despite its somewhat more bass-heavy tuning, I would see the sound at eye level with the Teufel Airy.
Of course, there is always room for improvement. If you are willing to spend more money, you will find precious on-ears à la Beyerdynamic Aventho wireless or AKG N60NC Wireless for 300 euros. They already offer aptX-HD, and with a suitable player (which, of course, also has to handle aptX-HD), there is even more resolution and details. Below you will find something in the class between 60 and 80 euros. There is usually no aptX at all, but together with a slightly softer tonal tuning, this can also work very well, but then overall does not offer the quality of the Teufel Airy.
Sure, the Airy brings that across quite confidently. Here it lives up to its name and sounds quite airy, sometimes even like a fresh breeze. At least nothing is dimmed artificially here. On the other hand, the devil Airy does not force the high frequencies either. All of this fits in with his overall very neutral vote. Here, too, I would see the SoundMagic BT30 as a “soul mate,” as well as the Real Blue as a devil brother of the over-ear category.
Let’s see if the Teufel Airy can do more. Change of partner. An Astell & Kern A & norma SR15 that is at hand can “clap” and remove the smartphone. Here I will stick to the Bluetooth connection for now. The noble player naturally also supports aptX. But as expected, the sound of the Airy changes – nothing. As well as? Ultimately, Astell & Kern can only supply the Airy with data via Bluetooth. The D / A conversion and amplification are still carried out by the technology in the headphones, just like when the smartphone gives the data provider. And here, too, Bluetooth, even with aptX, is a bottleneck because it gets exciting when I put the devil on a leash or the connection cable.
Yes, connected to a good player via analog cable, more is possible! The fine drawing wins again clearly. And the bass increases slightly. Less in terms of its presence in the sound image, there is little tonal shift. But more firmness and stability are noticeable in the bass. This can easily be attributed to the fact that the amplifiers built into Bluetooth headphones are not the most powerful. After all, the battery should last a long time. Even if it is mobile, an external amplifier has other reserves, which are particularly noticeable in the power-intensive area, the bass.
In terms of resolution, too, the Airy improves on the cable. However, here you have to be aware that Bluetooth technology is often the limiting factor. With this type of wireless transmission, the data rate and thus the amount of information that can be transported is limited. If you don’t use Bluetooth, you can either save money – purely wired headphones comparable to the “leashed” Airy is available for around 100 euros – or you get more sound for the same money.
Generally, valid statements about the spatial impression conveyed by the devil Airy are difficult to make. This is because the auricle contributes a large part to the spatial impression. With over-ear headphones, the “fully” remains involved so that you can hear “normally.” On the other hand, in-ears switch off the auricle completely, as they are located at the beginning of the ear canal. Here, too, understandable statements can be made. An on-ear like the Airy sits in the middle of the auricle. Here it depends on the position of the headphones on the ears which impression of the room you get. Anyway: for me, the devil seems “halfway”: not as direct as some closed over-ears, not as “airy” as many open over-ears.
Test conclusion: Teufel Airy
With the Teufel Airy, you get chic, well-made Bluetooth on-ear headphones that are especially convincing because they have been thought through and don’t require any compromises from their wearer in everyday life. As a result, it looks chic, is robust, fits, and holds well – and sounds like it.
Because the devil Airy is tonally so balanced that I almost want to speak of “audiophile.” Like all Bluetooth headphones, it is limited in terms of resolution and dynamics by the limitations of this wireless standard – but the feature is extremely practical. Wired, he can go further in all disciplines. Overall, the Teufel Airy are great all-around headphones for discerning listeners.