Beyerdynamic T 51 i and T 51 p On-Ear Sealed Headphones Page 2
You know what's weird? A headphone that falls short in a number of ways, but still ends up being an enjoyable listen.
Mainly, this is a warm, somewhat veiled sounding headphone. Bass is boosted quite a bit and is somewhat loose and mildly distorted sounding; bass boost intrudes on the mids somewhat to about 300Hz. The midrange is on a mild warm tilt throughout, but is otherwise smooth and well behaved. Midrange to treble transition is a bit abrupt, and the treble doesn't seem to continue the warm tilt but rather seems to flatten out allowing the headphones to have a modicum of detail and sparkle, though it's still somewhat low in level relative to the midrange.
Treble clarity is rather poor, with detail being somewhat obscured by graininess. Treble tonality, however, is fairly good suffering only a bit from too much energy at about 10kHz. I did find that treble response was fairly sensitive to the position of the headphones on the ear; careful placement can yield somewhat improved treble response and clarity.
Marco-dynamics are fairly good, though suffering a bit in the bass from some looseness, and can be a tad hard sounding in the upper midrange. Imaging is about average in width and depth.
I also pulled out my DT1350 for a comparison and found the newer T 51 i quite a bit more even sounding. Hmm...wondering if the older model has changed over the years.
Here's the thing, despite a fairly lengthy laundry list of stuff that's a bit out of whack, I ended up enjoying these cans quite a bit. There's probably a couple of reasons for that. I tend to like a warm headphone much more than a bright or U-shaped response, so if it's going to err in any direction that's the one I'd likely prefer. Though the treble is grainy, it's never harsh and annoying, which is something I just won't tolerate. The sound overall reminds me of decent Old School mid-fi gear, which is what I grew up with. So it took very little time for me to accomodate to these headphones.
Boy, I really like the look, comfort, and utilitarian chic of the T 51 i. It pushes all my geekly buttons. And while I find it's overly warm tilt, somewhat loose bass, and indistinct treble response underperforming in light of more current offerings in this category, I also find the overall sound comes together in a far more pleasant way than one summing its errors might expect. I have no problem cuddling up to its old school, upper-mid-fi sound.
It's not going to make the Wall of Famein fact, it managed to knock its poorer sounding older sibling DT1350 of the Wallbut that won't stop me from recommending it to those, like me, who are turned on by its styling and comfy warm sound.