For more than a decade, I've been investing in the best and coolest gadgets to add to my travel rig, which is where I most often use headphones. In an Apple-dominated, iPhone X world where wired headphones are becoming a thing of the past, I have taken a look at nearly all of the key players in the higher-end wireless over-the-ear headphone market, but one brand that has stayed below my radar in this category--until now--is Beyerdynamic.
The Beyerdynamic Amiron is a $699 wireless headphone designed for ultimate level playback. While it can be wired (and even comes with a cable included) that's not really why you invest in such headphones. You want the freedom that comes with wireless headphones, but you also want the comfort, sound, and ease of use that come with top-level cans. The Beyerdynamic Amiron have a beautiful finish and come with soft, felt-like ear cups that are comfortable to wear from minute one. This is a big pair of cans, and adjustments are easy to make even for people with big heads, like me.
Connecting to Bluetooth is also as easy as any product in the category. All I had to do was charge the headphones for a few hours, open System Preferences, select Bluetooth, and click connect, since once you power the Amiron's up they simply show up as one of your Bluetooth devices. Click on their icon and a pleasant voice tells you that you are paired, and then a few seconds later you are rocking.
In addition to the optional audio cable mentioned above, they come with a USB-A to Micro-USB charging cable, as well as a pretty large but nicely appointed felt carrying case. Beyerdynamic touts the Tesla technology of Amiron, which doesn't seem to have anything to do with Elon Musk, electric cars, rockets, travel tunnels, or even DIY flame-throwers. Instead, this umbrella term describes how the company gets it drivers to perform better and more efficiently versus other headphones.
The Beyerdynamic Amirons sound good out of the gate. On "Love Is the Drug," covered by Grace Jones on her Island Life record, one can hear taught bass but not that bass-forward sound that so many of the fashion-forward brands push these days. Bass on the Beyerdynamic headphones is much more controlled. The overall soundstage is nicely presented, with nothing jumping out at you. But by no means are they shy in terms of detail.
On Rush's "Freewill" from the Permanent Waves album, you can hear a somewhat dry but highly detailed rendition of this progressive rock classic. The Neil Peart drum fills are shimmering, and Geddy Lee's vocals are well layered with the bass, drums, and guitar. Everything sounds right, and is presented in a very balanced way, which doesn't leave an audio writer like myself many descriptive adjectives to play with, but it's exactly the sort of sound I want to hear from a good set of headphones.
On "Lady Love" by Lou Rawls, you can hear a round and rolling but taught bassline bringing up the bottom end. Rawls' voice sounds epic, as you can hear the tiny bit of reverb on his vocals as they dance above the silky strings and super-mellow backup singers. I've used this track to test other headphones in the category, and these perform the best that I've heard to date.
Comparison and Competition
This is a tough category. Tons of competition out there. Believe it or not, Bose makes one of the best players in the space with its QuietComfort 35 (Series II), which sells for close to half of the price of the Amirons.
I have been using Sennheiser HD1 Wireless a lot in my recent travels, and they are cooler to wear and smaller, thus easier to travel with. I think I would give a slight nod to the Beyerdynamics overall for sound quality, although both are very good.
Bowers & Wilkins' PX Wireless are another nice player in the space, with great industrial design. The overall balance is better with the Beyerdynamic Amirons and they connect to Bluetooth more easily.
Sonically, the Beyerdynamic Amiron wireless headphones are at the top of the mountain. They have a balanced, accurate, detailed sound that any audiophile would enjoy. They don't suffer from the bloated, hip-hop-voiced bass of other players in the category. Their fit and finish is top notch. And battery life is amazingly long.
The Amiron's size might be a turn off to some because of travel restrictions, but they fit nearly any head comfortably. Their ease of use is also at the front of the pack as compared with the competition. There is little that these headphones don't do right.