Since the days of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany has developed into a worldwide manufacturing power house that exports some of the world’s finest technology. German machinery, vehicles, and electronics are the country’s largest three exports, all of which can be seen all over the globe.

Here in the United States, there is a plethora of German manufactured cars, where even I drive one. Something that I have learned is there’s nothing like a German car for its speed, quality, and reliability. Likewise, German electronic equipment is something that invokes that feeling of quality.

Ninety years ago in Berlin, a young entrepreneur, by the name of Eugen Beyer, created a new German Audio Company with the aim of creating premium grade audio equipment. Today, this once small company has grown worldwide to produce some of the finest audio equipment spanning microphones, headphones, ear buds, and headsets.

For over a year now, I have used my Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro headphones as they have become my all-time favorite. Review after review, I’ve never come across a better sounding headphone that also provides a perfect fit and comfort. When asked to take a look at the T51i, I was optimistic about this unique looking headset. It carries the “Made in Germany” badge and is crafted by a company that understands the music environment. It may just be that the T51i could be the first competitor for my Custom One Pro.

Welcome to my Beyerdynamic T51i Premium Portable Headphone review. Throughout my review, I will be discussing the unboxing, design, speaker quality, and my overall thoughts of the T51i. I would like to thank Beyerdynamic for providing me with the T51i for this review.

The Unboxing

The product box of the T51i supports the Beyerdynamic expectation of a strong, thick, product box that contains convenient information including technical data, photos, and some documentation.

Slip out the “Enjoy!” tab to discover the internal contents. New to me, Beyerdynamic has included a portable carrying case. The carrying case is crafted out of a textured nylon material that supports a top handle followed by a Velcro strap to keep the case shut.

Inside the carrying case, you’ll find the T51i sitting snugly in a solid foam block. On the roof of the carrying case are two Velcro pouches containing a gold ¼ audio adapter, a flight adapter, a cable extension, and finally two Multilanguage manuals.

Branded as a portable headset, the inclusion of the flight adapter allows for users to use both a microphone and audio jack simultaneously. Moreover, the included cable extension is bizarre due to its short 2inch length, but is there if you happen to need it.

Previously, I reviewed the Beyerdynamic DT 660 headset and was a little let down small number of accessories. The T51i steps up to the plate and really shines with the premium carrying case and three accessories.

The Design

As a Product of Germany, the T51i provides a satisfying German design to them. Constructed out of an all-aluminum body, the T51i have a feather-light weight of only ~6.3oz, yet still maintaining a study build.

Beginning from the top, the headband uses two aluminum bands that span your entire head. Additionally, both bands contain two reasonably thick, but very comfortable leather foam pads. The headband also supports horizontal stretch to enable better head support.

The height adjustment system of the T51i is controlled by two sliders found on both ear cups. The sliders have preset notches that should support all head sizes and even stays firm while on the move. The adjustment system has an open design, meaning that the sliding mechanism lacks any covers. This design is my only disappointment as users will experience the mechanism trapping and pulling on hair. This slight annoyance is only present when the sliders are in use, but can certainly be annoying if you need to constantly change the height of the unit.

Moving on to the ear cups, users will find a brushed aluminum backing followed by a soft rubberized coating on the inner part of the ear cup. The leather padding of the T51i’s ear cups is adequate and provides all-day comfort for nearly all users. Additionally, both ear cups have a 180 degree swivel to allow for adjustments while on the head or to lay flat against the chest while not in use. Finally, I would usually criticize the circular ear cup design. Beyerdynamic, however, has created a circular ear cup design that I actually like. Being a hybrid between over-the-ear and on-the-ear headphones, the T51i rests gently on your ears, yet provides a closed back design to prevent sound leakage and increase noise cancelation.

Finally, there is the audio cable of the T51i. Wrapped in a rubberized coating, the cable is an adequate length that should reach easily to your pants pocket or desktop computer speaker system. The end connector is a right angle connector that I prefer to the normal straight connector. At chest height, the cable splits into two leads for each ear cup. Further up the split cable on the right, is an Apple iOS controller that supports quick selection for volume control and next/previous song button. Likewise, the controller supports a single microphone for voice chatting. (Supports: iPhone 3GS+ - iPad – iPod 2nd Generation or higher.)

Don’t own a mobile Apple device? Beyerdynamic has an alternative version of the T51i; the T51p for users who would wish not to have the remote.

Speaker Quality

Above, I mentioned that the T51i may be the first competitor to my Custom One Pro. As both headphones are built by the same company, it would make sense that the TS5i would come close to matching the sound quality of the Custom One Pro.

As I quickly found in my testing with the T51i, the music playback is nearly perfect. Voices are extremely crisp, voices are clear, and instruments are loud and full of bass. I listened to YouTube videos and rock and roll music, followed by some top 40 hits, and the T51i performed flawlessly.

At low volume people sitting nearby will hear nothing, but if you happen to crank up the music sounds begin to leak out. Music can be played so loud that others in the room can clearly understand and hear the content being played. This is great for people who like loud music, but bad for the people around you and your own hearing. Something to note is that even at high volume, there is little to no sound distortion.

The sound quality is certainly comparable to my Custom One Pro’s, but the sound leakage leaves them lower down on the rating system. Although, if you live alone then the T51i is certainly a headset that can extend your music listening habits.

When connected to my Dell laptop, I noticed there was a noticeable white noise sound. This is not present when sounds are active, but if you happen to use the headset without any music playing then the effect may start to irritate you after a while; this varies with the device you use.

Finally, the T51i uses Beyerdynamic’s Tesla Technology which allows the T51i to create the perfect sounds, the perfect hearing level, and the perfect bass level. By using a strong magnetic driver, the T51i can outperform its competition in this category. I would highly recommend learning more about this technology here .

For those that are interested, here are the full technical specifications:

Transducer Type: Dynamic
Operating principle: Closed
Frequency response: 10 – 23,000 Hz
Nominal impedance: 32 Ohms
Sound pressure level: 111dB
Power handling capacity: 100mW
Max sound pressure level: 131 dB
Sound coupling to the ear: Supraaural (on-ear)
Headband pressure: 2.5N
Cable: 1.2m (3.9ft)

My Final Thoughts

In the end, I would be hard pressed not to recommend the T51i. The all-aluminum design followed by the all-day comfort and superb sound quality makes this headset a must have for any music lover. If you’re a person who won’t settle for anything but the best, the T51i is for you. At a cost of $299.99, the T51i are marketed towards music lovers who want only the best for their music. If you’re fond of the T51i design, are always on the go, and want something that is backed by quality, the T51i is for you.

Buy it Now:

© 2014