Whether its rock and roll, blues, country, pop, rap, or instrumental, we all enjoy some type of music genre. With most of the world embracing the smartphone market and shifting away from MP3 players, one thing hasn’t changed; the way we listen to our music.

Many years ago, CD and cassette players were all the rage. Portable music players that allowed you to bring your music collection with you wherever you go! It didn’t matter if you were going on a long car ride or taking a walk down the streets of New York City.

You can still buy CD and cassette tape players, but with the adoption of a smartphone the built in music player will surely suffice.

As I said, one thing hasn’t changed. You couldn't just use the loud speaker in your phone while on a plane or walking down the street. Even back then earbuds were popular, with their compact size, quality audio output, and some were even quite stylish. No matter what new technology brings us, earbuds let us enjoy music in our own personal, private space.

Stock OEM earbuds offered by manufacturers when purchasing a smartphone have actually become fairly decent. Sound frequencies are good and they at least offer a new user the ability to listen to music while on the go. However, as some of you may know or have read online, OEM earbuds are the baseline for sound quality. There are much better sounding earbuds found on the market that also offer a more preferable style.

As a happy user of the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro , I decided to venture into the rest of their earbud collection. While searching on their website, the DX 120 iE earbuds caught my attention. Their premium flat cables and metal casings sounded promising.

Welcome to my in-depth review of the Beyerdynamic DX 120 iE earbuds. In the review, I will be speaking about the following topics: the unboxing, design, audio quality, and my overall thoughts. I would like to thank Beyerdynamic for providing me with these earbuds for this review.

The Unboxing

Right away, you get the sensation of having bought a quality unit. Open the front face panel of the packaging and you immediately see your brand new earbuds protected by a block of black hard foam. Found on the front panel itself, are small blurbs about some of the features of the DX 120 iE. On the rear of the packaging are some technical specifications and what you should expect inside.

Make your way inside the packaging and you will find the DX 120 iE’s themselves, a plastic Beyerdynamic branded shirt clip, a Y audio splitter, a felt carrying bag, seven additional styled soft touch ear caps and finally a user guide.

Being a German company who manufacture their products in Germany, it came as a surprise to see that the DX 120 iE’s were made in China. The product box states “Designed and engineered in Germany | Made in China”. As a known-name brand, and a producer of high grade audio equipment, it should be noted that Beyerdynamic would not allow for a low quality product to be shipped with their name on it, however, it was a small disappointment to see that it wasn’t 100% German made like other products they make.

The included branded carrying pouch is fashioned out of a felt material and has a tight band found on the top. All the included accessories fit well inside the pouch and even by shaking the pouch all around nothing fell out.

Something I was happy to see was the included Y audio splitter. This allows users to share their music with a friend or even have a speaker system function while using the earbuds. A handy and useful item indeed! Likewise, the shirt clip is great for joggers or people who wish to have the cable not fly around while walking.

Another enjoyment was the fact that Beyerdynamic included so many different shapes, sizes, and designs for the ear tips. The company states to “choose the correct size of ear tips for perfect fit and bass response”. Built using a silicone material, there are a total of seven ear tips: 5 types bowl shape, 1 type double flange, and 1 type triple flange. The preinstalled ear tips were actually too large for my liking, in the end I chose the second tree tip design. This one was a compact fit in my ear and was quite comfortable.

The Design

To my surprise, Beyerdynamic took a strange approach for the DX 120 iE. Instead of a single lengthy cable, they decided to create two sections. Section one being a split cable to single 3.5mm audio port, and section two being a single cable extension.

Different indeed, but in the end I like it better than I expected. If the device you are using happens to fall, your ear buds have a disconnection point which will stop the ear buds from pulling out of your ears. It also improves the long term life of the unit and if the second half of the cable were to ever become damaged in any way, you’re not forced to purchase a whole new unit.

Speaking about the cables, users will be happy to find that Beyerdynamic has given the DX 120 iE a flat cable. This voids all tangles and gives the ability to quickly wrap them into the carrying pouch. I’ve never owned flat cable earbuds, but after today, I will certainly not return to earbuds that have non-flattened cables. At the end of the extension cable is a TPE-material 45 degree angled plug to withstand the “test of time”. However, I will say at times it does feel like, with little pressure, the end tip could break.

Finally, we take a look at the earbud housing. Manufactured using a full-metal-housing, the DX 120 iE’s have a premium and attractive look to them. They are subtle yet stylish for any user. Towards the tip there is a shiny aluminum ring, whereas the rear has a subtle indent. To differentiate between left and right ear tips, there is a single bump that you can feel with your fingers. I will say it did take me a few days to notice it was there.

Audio Quality

My previous earbuds were from a well-known brand and cost about the same. I used those as my baseline when listening to music at night.

After breaking the DX 120 iE’s in, I took them for a spin, night after night, song after song. No matter what I listened to, the performance and audio reproduction was excellent.

They outperformed my old earbuds and they offered excellent noise cancellation. Even without music playing the earbuds were so well fit that they isolated the outside world.

The "isolated" world around me, however, had a different feeling while I was using the ear buds. While in a car or close proximity to one another, if I were to play music at a loud volume people me could hear the song quite clearly. Turn down the music to a level that is still enjoyable and the complains of others around you vanish.

Some people dislike the in-ear design of earbuds, and with certain earbuds I would agree. However, I found that the DX 120 iE offered a comfortable wear and did not put a strain on my ears whatsoever. At a total weight of 32g, they will never slow you down.

Rock and Roll music offers heavy bass songs and, again to my surprise, the earbuds actually recreated the bass effortlessly. At a headphone impedance of 47 ohms and a sound pressure of 107 dB, the ear buds have the influence of adjusting your mood to the feeling of the tune.

Finally we have the frequency responses. Lows, could use a tad boost in my opinion, whilst mids, and highs were spot on for my liking. There is a total response between 12 – 23,000 Hz.

My Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Beyerdynamic DX 120 iE earbuds have easily become my new favorite way to listen to music on the go. They are great whether you’re at home or travelling and their performance is unlike any other. At a total cost of $89.00 and two year warranty, you really can’t go wrong. Their statement of “premium in-ear headphones” is something I can agree with and for iPhone, iPad or iPod users, Beyerdynamic makes an Apple-certified edition with a built in remote for music controls.

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