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Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro review

Kat Orphanides
23 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
155
inc VAT

These high-end cans excel at electronic music but produce rather boxy renditions of acoustic recordings

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The Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro headphones look and sound like a standard set of cans, but they're much lower impedance than many similarly designed headphones, rated at just 16 ohms. This means that they can be driven quite happily by a mobile phone or MP3 player.

They look chunky, but don't weigh much and, for the benefit of those who like to customise their headphones, you can get replacement graphic panels that bolt onto the earpieces. Although the Cusomt One Pros are much lighter than your average headphones, we found them a little uncomfortable to wear for extended periods, as the large earpieces press on your jaw. Those with large skulls may have an easier time of it than we did.

More interesting than the replaceable decorations is the custom sound slider at the base of each earpiece. This effectively opens the driver to varying degrees, and is controlled by a switch on each can. Each switch has four different positions, and can the driver can go from completely closed to an aperture with a 4mm diameter. Having the driver all the the way open increases bass, and is absolutely fantastic for heavy electronic music such as hardstyle, drum and bass, dubstep and even industrial.

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro

Although we could happily listen to electronic, bass-heavy music through these cans for a long time, they're not as well suited to other types of music, which is a bit disappointing given their price. They're still great compared to the vast majority of headphones, but they didn't satisfy when we listened to folk and classical music. Strings, in particular, sound boxed-in and narrow, even the rich orchestration of our favourite recording of Holst's Jupiter suite. Opening the bass-enhancing driver apertures increased bass, but it did little to make the sound stage any broader, which is a particular problem when you really want it to sound as though the orchestra is all around you.

Rock and punk recordings, on the other hand, sounded convincingly emphatic with the custom sound slider on the first of its open settings. Mid-tones are slightly overpowered with the slider completely closed. It's also worth noting that individually recorded orchestral instruments often used in symphonic metal suffered none of the boxiness we complained of in live orchestral recordings.

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro

Although the Custom One Pros sound a little close on recordings of acoustic instruments, most users will find they provide a vibrant and brilliantly punchy listening experience that’s particularly pleasing to fans of bass-heavy music. The fact that you can vary the amount of bass you hear through natural means rather than artificial EQ settings makes them far more versatile than a lot of bass-focused headphones.

As is generally the case with high-end audio gear, you'll get the best results by listening to good quality audio files, but 256Kbit/s MP3s sounded great. The headphones can output plenty of volume, but sound good at lower volumes, too, and provide a good degree of isolation from outside noises. If you appreciate the punchiness of Beats headphones but want a more detailed, higher quality sound, the Custom One Pros are ideal, but they suffer when it comes to room recordings of acoustic instruments, which is a bit of a problem in a £150 pair of headphones.

Details

Price£155
Detailswww.superfi.co.uk
Rating****

Specifications

Typeover-ear headphones
Driverclosed
Active noise-cancellingno
Power sourcenone
Sensitivity96dB
Frequency response5-35,000Hz
Impedence16 ohms
Plug type3.5mm headset jack plug
Inline volumeNo
Weight290g
Cable length1.50m

Buying Information

Price£155
Supplierhttp://europe.beyerdynamic.com/
Detailswww.superfi.co.uk

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