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.
More after the break
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.
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