Beyerdynamic iDX 120 iE review

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

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Our Verdict

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

For

  • Smooth, solid sound
  • Rich, weighty performance
  • Plenty of detail
  • Good build

Against

  • Bass is overdone
  • Dynamics could be more impactful

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

Sound

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.

Design

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.

Verdict

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.

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