Beyerdynamic iDX 120 iE review

An appealing combination of thumping bass and full-bodied sound... Tested at £70

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Appealingly full-bodied and detailed performance, but the overly rich bass and flat dynamics won’t be to everyone’s tastes


  • +

    Smooth, solid sound

  • +

    Rich, weighty performance

  • +

    Plenty of detail

  • +

    Good build


  • -

    Bass is overdone

  • -

    Dynamics could be more impactful

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Beyerdynamic is no stranger to the world of headphones. Award-winning cans go hand in hand with a smattering of four-star recommendations, and it’s in the latter group that the iDX 120 iEs fall into.

MORE: What Hi-Fi? Awards 2015


The Beyerdynamics regale us with the groovy guitar riffs, a funky beat and smooth vocals of Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way. There’s abundant detail, with depth, warmth and layered texture. Voices sound lush and direct. It’s a smooth and enjoyable listen.

That appealing richness goes too far, though. The booming, lumpy bass hampers the otherwise balanced sound. Drums hit with a thump, rather than a sharp snap, and more complex arrangements can sound a bit muddled at times.

A subtler and more fluid approach to dynamics would make more of that lilt in alt-J’s Breezeblocks and maintain the build-up of tension in The Dead Weather’s 60 Feet Tall with greater intensity. A smidgen more insight and control, and these in-ears would be in a different league.


Elsewhere, Beyerdynamic shows off its headphones expertise: the sleek metal in-ears have flat cables to avoid tangling. You also get a three-button remote and mic.

The in-line remote is responsive, but we wish it was placed lower down the cable – it’s positioned quite high up and tugging at it can easily dislodge the buds.


These Beyerdynamics aren’t perfect – there are more capable rivals on the market such as the Klipsch Reference R6i and Sony MDR-EX650AP – but they are a strong, richly detailed set of in-ears.

Ultimately, an overbearing, thumping bass robs them of that fifth star, but their solid, full-bodied and detail sound will create a fanbase. Give them a whirl.

See all our Beyerdynamic reviews

See all our in-earphone reviews

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test