Beyerdynamic Tesla T70 Review
Interesting new technology, but it’s not quite there yet.
The Beyerdynamic T 70s (MSRP $669) are the first of many headphones in the new Tesla line that we’ve been able to review. For those of you who haven’t read the press releases about this line of headphones: these cans have drastically redesigned drivers that use an absurdly strong magnetic field, lightening up the voice coils and supposedly producing a more accurate sound. The T 70s may be impressive in that regard, but they have some rough edges in a couple of areas too. It may be a while before the Tesla line is as polished as Beyerdynamic’s older models, but they're certainly worthy of a listen if you can justify paying so much.
Comfort Design & Features
As if often the case, these cushy, comfortable on-ears are the antithesis of portability.
For connectivity, these cans have a straight, 1/8th-inch plug that can be used as a 1/4th-inch plug with the included adapter, which screws onto the base. Additionally, though these headphones come with a carrying case, you shouldn't take that to mean that they're in any way portable. Quite the opposite, in fact. Though it is possible to venture away from the computer without breaking them, they're not meant to be used in tandem with a mobile media platform. Especially when you consider that they have a 9.6-foot long cord.
As far as maintenance goes, outside of being able to pull off the ear pads to clean the foam guarding the speaker element, there really is not a whole lot you can do to maintain these headphones. Should the cord break, the Beyerdynamic T 70s do not have detachable cable structures, so unless you’re very used to soldering electronics, you're out of luck.
When first putting on the Beyerdynamic T 70s, you’ll notice how gingerly they cradle your skull, and how evenly they distribute their weight on the sides of your head. They do a good job of accommodating various head sizes, so don't expect much pinching or general discomfort. After listening to the Beyerdynamic T 70s for a period of six hours or more, there were a couple complaints about heat buildup in the office, but only a few people had this trouble. On the whole, the Beyerdynamic T 70s hold up very well over time, and don’t slide around too much.
It's also very worth mentioning that you'll need a fairly strong amp to power these cans—they're not going to work with a laptop or an iPod, as they require more juice than those products provide.
The Tesla T 70s are average performers, but they don't match the value requested via their price.
Beyerdynamic makes quality headphones, and the Tesla line still carries that badge of honor. The T 70s' redesigned drivers resulted in a somewhat uneven frequency response, though, worse than we've seen from Beyerdynamic in the past. There are some bizarre areas of underemphasis, making high mids and trebles sounds very muffled, and very distracting. We’re not sure why this is the case, but it’s a flaw that these cans were not able to correct even after hours of use and many tests.
Their tracking and distortion results were about average, though, and they are surprisingly good isolators. When listening to music, isn’t it a pain to have to raise your volume level due to outside noise? Well, if you’re listening in the right environment, the Beyerdynamic T 70s will help you prevent this, as they block out quite a bit of mid- to high-range noise.
The Beyerdynamic Tesla T 70s feature some interesting new technology, but it needs to develop a little more.
Earlier this year, Beyedynamic announced their line of Tesla headphones, which promised a new improvement on the dynamic driver design. By drastically increasing the magnetic strength of the drivers, Beyerdynamic has created drivers that require fewer voice coils to operate, theoretically creating a driver that can move quicker, making the sound more accurate. While it’s certainly possible that this is the case, we currently do not test for clarity, and thus we cannot tell you for certain with scientifically-collected data.
While the Beyerdynamic T 70 is certainly impressive in many respects, we find that it does have some troubles that Beyerdynamic headphones typically do not have. We realize that it may take a while for Beyerdynamic’s new technology to mature and become as polished as some of its older models of premium headphones, but it’s not quite there yet.
All that being said, if you’re an audiophile looking for something new that works very hard to preserve detail in sound, the Beyerdynamic T 70s, and the rest of the Tesla line, are certainly worth a listen. Like we said, there are some blemishes in performance that are a little mystifying, but nothing that should destroy your listening experience, especially if you are a fan of high levels of detail in your music. Just be ready to pay through the nose for the novelty of having a driver that generates a magnetic field of 1.2 Tesla.
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