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Beyerdynamic DTX 101 ie vs Sennheiser CX 400 ii for sound quality?

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samd1885's picture
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Hello,

I have cx300s and I am very happy with them however I have spare money and was looking for an upgrade, I know the DTX 101 ie's are what hifis best buy in their catergory however I was wandering what your views are? The CX400iis are on sale at £40s and the DTX 101 ie's are £67's. Money doesn't matter much however I was wandering which are better audio quality, I listen to mainly blues and blues rock, the bass on my cx300 isn't overwhelming at all and I find them clear, so bass isn't an issue. But I do want an upgrade.

Thanks,

All advice much apprieciated.

Guz2's picture
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I also have a few questions

I also have a few questions about the same model of Beyerdynamic 'phones. Do they have a warranty? And is Amazon an official dealer of Beyerdynamics?

 

Thanks in advance Smile

ESP2009's picture
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RE: Beyerdynamic DTX 101 ie vs Sennheiser CX 400 ii for sound qu

Hi, I am auditioning a brand new pair of the Beyerdynamics at present. I intend to write up my thoughts soon, but in the interim I am very much inclined to say they are not worth the extra in my limited experience.  I have a pair of the CX300 II 'phones and think that though the DTX 101 iE pair do improve on the sound, it is not really enough to justify the extra cost.  My Senns have a good mid to high end, but the bass seems a bit woolly.  The Beyers build on both, but I am finding the bass too weighty and almost overwhelming.  Personal preference?  Maybe.  A need for extra 'burn in' time?  Possibly.

I purchased both pairs from Amazon with no problem; both seem authentic.  I have since registered the Beyerdynamics with no problem.

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ESP2009's picture
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RE: Beyer(not so)dynamic?

I purchased these after seeing various positive reviews because I wanted something to upgrade from my Sennheiser CX300 II pair for holiday use.  I thought these seemed a decent compromise in terms of likely sound quality and cost/loss value.  There are only so many places I am willing to risk my Shure SE530 pair.  Smile

Out of the box (after a bit of a wrestle): first impressions were that the cute black mesh effect pouch won’t do much to protect the ‘phones from anything beyond everyday hazards you might get if carried with other items in your baggage or pocketses.  It certainly won’t keep them dry or prevent them being crushed.

The ‘phones themselves are unspectacular and unobtrusive in appearance, which is perfect since I don’t want sneaky pilferers on holiday fancying them.  The cable seems no better or worse than various others I have come across to-date, and is of ample, if not generous, 1.2m length.  Oh, and personally, I prefer the symmetrical L/R split of the cable. As for its durability, that’s much too soon to comment upon.  However, regarding reports about noise transfer from person/clothing to cable to ‘phones, I don’t think it’s all that bad – I’ve experienced worse.  Maybe if you’re thinking of using them whilst exercising it could become an issue, but otherwise I am inclined to discount it as much of an issue at this price point.  The Shure SE530 pair I have are close to zero transfer of such noise, but I would expect that, considering their cost!

So, bunging them straight into the lugholes and directly into the computer output socket, I fired up Winamp and a few recently ripped FLAC, Apple Lossless and also MP3 files.  First impression was that these ‘phones are light and quite comfortable, fitting easily into the ear canal with little fiddling necessary.  Then came the music: I noticed straight off that the sound seemed at once concentrated but clear, backed by a very solid lower end.  The bass heft of these is much greater than that I experience with the Shures.  But equally, the top end is clear and precise, providing detail that begins to support my purchase and a move away from the Sennheiser CX300 IIs I have been relying on for holiday listening.  Greater clarity and less woolly bass lead me to think that these aren’t money wasted thus far.

It is also noticeable that isolation from the outside world is good – even at lower volumes the background office hubbub all but disappears and a pestering colleague finds it hard to attract my attention.  Wink

Having established that this purchase shows promise, I decide to up the ante.  I remove the as-provided smallest buds and try the medium size buds from the polythene packet to give a snugger fit (the large size is a non-starter).  Next, it’s on with the HRT HeadStreamer.

Wow!  There is a difference!  The sound stage widens a touch and there is better separation of performers.  The mid to upper range is somehow that bit more refined and balanced.  Ah, but here’s the kicker: the bass increases in power too and, I regret to say, for my ears, becomes too weighty and over-powering.  What’s caused that?  Is it because I have really and truly established a snug in-ear fit?  Or is it something to do with the dynamics of the HRT – Byerdynamic combo?  At this point I can’t tell for sure and decide I will have to experiment further.  It is also true that this is based on the ‘phones aren’t yet ‘run in’ (if you subscribe to that school of thought).

At this point I was all set to ramble on about trying these ‘phones with various sources and DAC/amps, but feel it is not really the place for that.  Suffice it to say that I have been trying them with an assortment of both and the general trend is that, for my taste at least, the DTX 101 iE earphones are just too bass heavy.  I can appreciate that some listeners will really enjoy the power and weight that these are capable of delivering.  However, with or without DAC/amp supplement, I find that the sound is too dense and concentrated and lacks the sense of space I appreciate.  That’s not to say they don’t provide punch and a clear and detailed top-end.  With the right music, they easily provide that; it’s just that if there is a strong bass line, I think it can easily cause an imbalance.  Too much listening to the Shures?  Yes, probably, but that’s where my preference lies.

It’s early yet, and maybe with a few more hours of use they will settle down, but do I think they are worth the money over and above the Sennheiser CX300 II (or even the CX400) earphones?  Well, I did buy the CX300 II pair at approx £15 when they dropped to silly prices.  Given the current price differential, I would err on the side of caution. Swapping back to the Sennheiser pair, I note a distinct drop in bass impact and the overall sound is diminished in presence – it’s thinner by comparison but ultimately maybe less tiring and overwhelming.  The Sennheisers do benefit from a DAC/amp – it really seems to boost their performance nicely.  Add a DAC/amp to the Beyerdynamics and that bass just bursts with too much pondrous St Bernard puppy enthusiasm onto the eardrums!

So, will I be taking the DTX 101 iE pair away on holiday?  Damn straight!  I paid good money for them and they need to earn their keep!  Who knows?  I might get to like them with more listening.  Smile

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Naim Uniti (24/192); ProAc Studio 140 Mk2 ; Synology DS212j & Logitech Squeezebox Touch (it's a kind of magic!) ; Fewer boxes and stringy bits than previously. Subject to change at a whim or WHF delivery.

ESP2009's picture
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Beyerdynamic DTX 101 ie vs Sennheiser CX 400 ii for sound qu

Just a quick update.

I did take the Byerdynamics away with me on holiday.  I spent a good while listening via them from laptop (no DAC/amp) using Spotify Premium and also Winamp flac files.  I wasn't impressed by the time I went away - still too much booming bass, making my listening a bit leaden and dense.  However...

...I must admit that whilst basking on my sunbed (sorry, couldn't resist) I began to enjoy listening a lot more than anticipated.  Was it the environment that helped?  Maybe.  On the other hand, it may have been so-called synergy.  For some reason, though still a bit too dense and bass heavy, the flac files played on the Cowon X7 were much more enjoyable than expected.  Not blessed with the finesse of more expensive models, but capable of delivering a listening experience that more than sufficed.  Yep, I reckon I will keep them.

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Naim Uniti (24/192); ProAc Studio 140 Mk2 ; Synology DS212j & Logitech Squeezebox Touch (it's a kind of magic!) ; Fewer boxes and stringy bits than previously. Subject to change at a whim or WHF delivery.

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UPDATE:   Just to compare

UPDATE:

 

Just to compare (somewhat unfair comparison), I ran the DTX 101ie off my PC. Same Foo Fighters album but FLAC via VLC (my mobo's got a Realtek ALC888 chipset). Sounded pretty good and the sound imbalance I was complaining about didn't seem so noticeable. Shame my PC doesn't fit in my pocket.

 

Equally well, like in my previous post, your ears do adjust to the buds' sound, so maybe that's it. I don't accept that there's soooo much difference between FLAC and 320kb bitrate MP3s. I expect audiophiles out there will want to debate that but I believe we're talking about nuances, rather than massive differences... which just leaves the HTC Desire's soundchip (which could be pants).

 

Any advice / observations would be welcomed here Smile

 

 

Gary

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RE: UPDATE:   Just to compare

A word of caution to all, Amazon does have a lot of fakes running at the moment.

Ask the vendor first, if they are an authorised seller, usually I am met with silence to that question and it's one that I now frequently ask, particularly when looking for headphones.

The fakes are in fact almost impossible to spot in isolation. It is only when comparing to originals that the differences become apparent.

I just had a refund after a year of buying my fakes from Amazon, so to be fair, Amazon do actually take these things seriously, unlike eBay, which seems to have a very unhealthy detachment from responsibility of fakes on their site.

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gazzawazza's picture
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RE: UPDATE: Just to compare

gazzawazza wrote:

UPDATE:

 

Just to compare (somewhat unfair comparison), I ran the DTX 101ie off my PC. Same Foo Fighters album but FLAC via VLC (my mobo's got a Realtek ALC888 chipset). Sounded pretty good and the sound imbalance I was complaining about didn't seem so noticeable. Shame my PC doesn't fit in my pocket.

 

Equally well, like in my previous post, your ears do adjust to the buds' sound, so maybe that's it. I don't accept that there's soooo much difference between FLAC and 320kb bitrate MP3s. I expect audiophiles out there will want to debate that but I believe we're talking about nuances, rather than massive differences... which just leaves the HTC Desire's soundchip (which could be pants).

 

Any advice / observations would be welcomed here Smile

 

 

Gary

 

Just so people understand... for some reason my original post never appeared - it was, I thought, supposed to be being checked by a moderator but hasn't appeared, although prior to this post, I'd apparently posted 2 items (I.e. my 1st post was the one due to be moderated).

 

Anyhoooo... basically I was moaning about the good treble of the DTX 101 getting smothered when you get a full range of sound being produced by the drivers. I'd been listening to "Echoes, Silence..." by the Foo Fighters and aside from loving the album, I think it presents quite a range of sounds for buds to render I.e. everything from acoustic guitars and whispered vocals to heavier guitars, drumming, etc. I was listening to a 320kb bitrate MP3 on my HTC Desire and felt the bass was too much or alternatively, the treble didn't retain enough presence, when mid and low-range stuff kicked in. I'm not anti-bass, I just like stuff to be portrayed in a balanced, neutral manner... and had got frustrated with the beyerdynamics... and considering their cost was something like 4 times what I've ever spent on buds previously, I'd hoped for more... particularly as they were a What Hifi 2011 best buy.

 

Weird thing is they sound pretty good with some stuff and disappointing with others... but I'm not enough of an audiophile to understand / appreciate what I'm asking of the buds and whether I'm being unrealistic in my expectations. In summary, I reckon the treble on its on is great but can't quite hold its own when a full range of sound is presented to the drivers. I did question my sanity a bit with my assessment (considering it goes against the judgement of What HiFi's experts) but did feel very reassured when I read ESP2009's similar take on the buds.

 

As always, any reasonable comments welcomed Smile

 

 

Gaz