I recently said 2017 is turning out to be the year of the in-ear headphone and I wasn’t kidding. The pro-audio experts at Beyerdynamic have been cooking up a special brew of audiophile magic in the lab and its’ name is Xelento. This shiny and fierce looking in-ear monitor style earphone has been the talk of audiophiles since it debuted and it’s finally hitting the streets. But with a price tag of just under $1000 does the Beyerdynamic Xelento remote sound good enough to be worth all the hype or is it just another new headphone that will fade away in the months to come? I have access to thenew Xelento for review so I’m about to find out.
Beyerdynamic Xelento remote Review
IN THE BOX
The Beyerdynamic Xelento in-ear headphone is the full package. For this kind of money you get the royal treatment with a series of silicone and foam tips that are designed to please the pickiest of audiophiles. Also included in the package are 2 types of high quality silver-plated MMCX cables. You get 1 with smartphone controls and 1 without. Also included are additional 7 pairs of silicone eartips, 3 pairs of Comply eartips, a case, cable clip and a quick start quide. Clearly the Beyerdynamic Xelento is designed to impress and the package contents alone are enough to make any audiophile perfectly happy.
Design / Style
The Beyerdynamic Xelento is priced at just under $1000 and you get what you pay for. The design is elegant and sophisticated. The shiny (presumably stainless steel) finish is the finishing touch on the high-end style of this IEM. From top to bottom the Xelento is a top-notch design that outwardly exudes premium quality.
One more design feature I love about the Xelento is the fact that they use MMCX detachable cables. Some manufacturers have developed their own detachable earphone cable design. I get it but I hate it. Quality control is always a concern but most true audiophiles aren’t going to buy an expensive IEM and then think they’re going to get the best sound from a cheap $15 cable on Amazon. They know better. So the MMCX option is a smart decision for Beyerdynamic in making the Xelento.
Metal housings seem to be the way to go when it comes to in-ear headphones. They tend to get the best sound and of course the metal housing on the Xelento feels nearly indestructible. Combine that with the high-quality silver plated, removable cables with 3.5mm plug and the Xelento is a heavy hitting and durable headphone.
When it comes to in-ear headphones most are portable by design but the Beyerdynamic takes it a step further. You don’t want to ball up this IEM and throw in a bag or in your pocket. So Beyerdynamic includes a handsome carrying case that will hold your earphone, cables and extra eartips. This means the Xelento is totally portable and protected as well.
Comfort is everything when you’re getting an in-ear headphone of this quality and everyone seems to have a different angle on the design that fits best. The Shure 846 for example sounds amazing but is a tough fit for me because of the shape of the housing. I found that Beyerdynamic Xelento however is a perfect in-ear fit because of the unique housing shape combined with the over-ear wire design. And the option of silicone or Comply foam tips makes the Xelento in-ear headphone a perfect ergonomic fit for me.
When digging into an IEM like the Beyerdynamic Xelento expectations are high. Between the price point and the Beyerdynamic reputation I want everything. The frequency range of the Xelento is 8Hz to 48,000Hz and the impedance is a mobile friendly 16 ohms so I expect a full spectrum of sound and clarity from top to bottom.
At first listen to the Xelento with tracks I know well my response is…. wow! Beyerdynamic has in fact created an amazing piece of portable audiophile gear here. The bass (20Hz to 250Hz) is powerful, well rounded and impactful. And the sub-bass below 20Hz is there as well. It’s not overdone nor the highlighting feature of the Xelento sound signature. Nevertheless it’s there as it should be.
The mid-range on the Xelento (250Hz to 4kHz) is pristine. Mid frequencies seem to be the toughest for in-ear headphones. They often get lost in the attempt to bring out the bass or higher frequencies. This is not the case with the Xelento. Beyerdynamic has crafted a very balanced frequency response with this high quality IEM.
As for the top of the frequency range (4kHz to 48kHz) the Beyerdynamic Xelento is gold. I heard crystal clear presence and my favorite tracks gained a clarity never reached before with an in-ear headphone. The Beyerdynamic Xelento is full of high end brilliance while remaining balanced and true all around.
Best Types of Music
The Xelento sounds incredible with nearly all genres of music. From jazz to classical, even rock, hip-hop and electronic, the sound is truly a balanced, high-fidelity delight.
Sound Pressure Levels
Finally the Xelento has more than enough SPL without an amp running from a mobile device or computer. The specifications say it can push up to 110dB and it totally delivers. Running this headphone with a small amp however will definitely add even more life to your mix. But it’s totally optional.
In summation, my impression of the Beyerdynamic Xelento remote in-ear headphone is that this may be the one audiophiles have been looking for. It’s a solidly built, incredible sounding IEM that you can take anywhere and get premium sound on the go. Comparing it to some of my favorite IEM’s by Westone, Audio Technica, Shure and Sennheiser I would have to say the Beyerdynamic Xelento is hot competition. I’m giving it the MajorHifi Gold Award for its’ amazing sound and ergonomic fit.
The removable MMCX cables, carry case and eartip options simply add to the value of this headphone. Yes, it’s not cheap. With a price of just under $1000 audiophiles may have a hard time finding the cash to purchase this hard hitting earphone. But if you have the means I highly recommend it. It may just be the perfect in-ear headphone. You can be the first on the block to own the Xelento in-ear headphone. For the cheapest price, find it at the Beyerdynamic headphone store at AUDIO46 or on Amazon
Transmission type – Wired
Headphone design (operating principle) – Closed
Headphone impedance – 16 ohms
Headphone frequency response – 8Hz to 48,000 Hz
Nominal sound pressure level – 110 dB (1 mW / 500 Hz)
Smartphone Remote – Universal 3-button remote
Construction – In-ear headphones
Cable & plug – 1.3 m detachable (MMCX) with 3-button remote and mic with 3.5 mm plug, 4-pole
TRRS standard – CTIA