Recently, Beyerdynamic rolled out their next-generation models of one of their flagship lines. The T5 is the closed-back headphone of this series, and though both models share some similarities, they couldn’t be more different. They look almost the same on the outside, but the inner workings of the T5 shaped its build quality and sound signature significantly, and the overall character changes. There’s a reason these models were rolled out together, but for this review, we’re sticking to the 3rd generation T5 and what makes it worth your purchase. The T5p was the previous generation of this design, and also featured a closed-back, low resistance build. I very much enjoyed the T5p and was excited to get my hands on the next-gen edition to see how things improved.
What You Get
The third-gen T5 plays it straight when it comes to providing you with what you need. The package includes a protective hard case containing the T5 headphones themselves, along with a 1.4m double-sided detachable cable with quarter-inch jack included.
Look and Feel
The T5 is a more minimalistic, and sleeker look than the previous T5p model. The silver faceplate features filled in dotted grill marks that remind you of the headphone’s closed-back nature. The lacquered aluminum brings a nice sheen to the housing, and overall these are just a get set of cans to look at. Like the T1 it rolled out with, the T5 also features replaceable earpads. These pads are made from a protein-coated leatherette that contains a multi-layer filling. The headband is also made from a similar material and rests well on the head. Honestly, this is close to a perfect fit for a headphone of this stature. It’s cushiony, comfy, and just really sits well over your ears, and is the ideal headphone fit.
The build of this series is some of the best craftsmanship Beyerdynamic has done thus far. Every component, including the famed Tesla technology, is handcrafted individually. The idea that makes the Tesla drivers so special is their tilted design, which aims to achieve the best possible pairing and realistic, accurate sound reproduction. The closed-back housing of the T5 creates a self-isolating effect that makes the headphones useful in louder environments. Finally, the 3rd generation T series sports a textile-covered cable made from OCC7N high-purity copper that optimizes clean signal transmission.
With the T5 you’ll get an easy to drive signal due to its 32 Ohm low impedance. These headphones become easy to connect to any smart device or computer headphone jack. An amp isn’t necessary, but the quarter-inch adapter comes included to make those devices accessible for the T5 as well. The nominal sound pressure level is capped at 100dB per 1mV, and the frequency response goes for a wide range at 5Hz-50kHz, ensuring the T5 picks up as much detail possible.
Though it doesn’t offer the blissful, spatial pleasures of its open-back counterpart, the T5 still supports a fair and accurate soundstage that excels in positioning and accuracy. The image sits in its natural place in the mix, while the T5 reproduces each sound element naturally. The T5 exhibits a lot of spatial information with tight positioning, and they have a wide resonance that plays well in the stage.
The T5 has a dynamic, neutral bass that features some good body and thick textures. They possess a throaty resonance that will make bass heads happy without the lows taking up too much of the stage. Bass strings appear with a solid growl as they resonate within their respective space leaving room for details to shine. It’s a subtle timbre that will please bass lovers and fans of most genres.
Mid-range sound elements receive some nice tonal balance and clean textures. They benefit from a high mid focus that brings some needed top-end resonance to instrumentals. Elements like synths especially come out super clean, like in tracks by Tangerine Dream where you feel a little extra life in each note being hit.
I was very surprised by the expression of highs in the T5. They’re full and pushed a little more forward than usual. The highs lift the mids up and add a twinkling tonality to clean electric guitar performance or piano ballad. Tracks from Joanna Newsom bring out her songbird vocals and emotional harp performance due to a passionate response from the highs.
My time with the Beyerdynamic T5 was really enjoyable. I could see myself listening to these headphones for many hours, testing them out with a whole plethora of tracks. For $999 I would say this is definitely a worthy upgrade from the T5p and is a great experience for a closed-back headphone.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Sound quality, Comfort, Easy to drive
Cons: Headphone amp users may be disappointed
Beyerdynamic 3rd Gen T5 is available at Audio 46
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