Beyerdynamic’s range of largely identical-looking in-ears are difficult to distinguish at times, especially when the often similar product codes aren’t printed on the actual kit.
So let’s be clear: we’re looking at the DTX 102 iE here. But they could easily be mistaken for the MMX 102 iE (which are essentially the same, but with the addition of a one-button remote and mic on the cable).
The sound quality is more or less identical between the two as well, so if you are using headphones with a phone, you should opt for the MMX version (the price difference is only a fiver).
The design of the DTX is practically identical to previous models, too – small and relatively smart in a nondescript way. Black, white or red versions are available, and each pair comes with a carry pouch.
The pouch is probably too soft to resist any crush factor in your bag, but it is handy for keeping the earphones clean and untangled.
You also get three pairs of buds, which might sound a bit stingy compared to some competitors, but we had no trouble at all getting a comfortable, secure fit.
You will probably want to run the cables over your ears before inserting the tips, as the cable is troublesome in transmitting movement noise.
Once fitted to your satisfaction, you can get on with the listening, and the DTX 102 iEs are particularly enjoyable. They are clean, clear and tonally balanced – meaning the music does the talking.
Play Alt-J’s Indian-influenced Taro and you get the reverb and echo around the guitar, and vocals with harmonies are given their own space in the soundstage.
There’s a satisfying flow to the whole presentation. That doesn’t mean the DTX 102 iEs are dull (although they are a touch rounded, but that’s sensible given the compressed nature of what will be played through them, most likely) as there’s enough punch on drumbeats and enough dynamic subtlety and range for the musical changes.
Bass is well judged here, too: you get lots of weight, depth and texture when it’s required from the likes of Lorde’s Royals, but not at the expense of those sultry vocals or snap in the treble.
There’s little to fault here, given the price. If you’re prepared to spend up to £100 on in-ears (if you do most of your listening on the move, you really should), then the DTX 102 iEs (or MMX 102 iEs) demand a listen.