Review: Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless On-Ear Headphones | iLounge

Review

Review: Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless On-Ear Headphones

B
Recommended

Company: Beyerdynamic

Model: Aventho Wireless

Price: $449

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Guido Gabriele

When headphone enthusiasts hear the name "Beyerdynamic", they think of full-size over-ear studio monitors like the DT 770 and DT 990. In business since 1924, Beyerdynamic is an institution in audiophile and music production communities. Over the next few months, we're going to be reviewing many of the headphones that Beyerdynamic is best known for, including those of their iconic DT Pro line. We are starting, however, with something that Beyerdynamic is not known for — an on-ear, portable, Bluetooth headphones with DSP. With its Aventho Wireless headphone, Beyerdynamic has expanded in a new, techy direction, and we think they've done quite well.

The physical design of the Aventho Wireless might be polarizing. In stark contrast to the simple black and silver plastic designs of Beyerdynamic’s DT headphones, the Aventho Wireless has a steampunky, almost DIY look. Its joints, fasteners, wires, and sizing mechanism are all exposed. Padding is found only at the contact points — ear pads and top half of the headband — and it’s spartan at best, with just enough padding to be comfortable. Its metal headband and yoke construction are strictly utilitarian; the only flourish on the Aventho Wireless is a set of knurled metal rings on the driver cups, which serve to break up the otherwise simple black metal finish. It’s all very well put together, with no creaks, squeaks, or jiggles.

The Aventho Wireless’ styling is in sharp contrast to futuristic and shiny consumer headphones like the JBL Everest Elite 750NC, but doesn’t skimp on technology — the right ear cup is touch sensitive, handling volume and track controls with taps and swipes. We found this headphone to be reasonably comfortable for an on-ear headphone but, as with all on-ears, it did leave our ears warm and squished after some extended listening. The Aventho Wireless will fold flat for storage, and includes a USB-C charging cable, 3.5mm analog cable, and a very nice canvas storage bag. Battery life is claimed by Beyerdynamic at 30 hours, and that seemed to hold true in our experience — we needed to charge the headphone only once in our testing.

The Aventho Wireless uses Bluetooth 4.2, and supports aptX, aptX HD, and AAC. Out of the box, it has a warm, slightly relaxed sound signature that we very much enjoyed. Bass extension is reasonable, without overpowering the music. We are often underwhelmed by on-ear headphones, but the Aventho Wireless is impressive in its detail and clarity, even if we might prefer just a little more bite in the upper midrange and treble.

The Aventho Wireless’s standout feature, however, is its DSP — the Beyerdynamic “Make It Yours” app. In addition to tracking your daily listening habits (to avoid hearing damage by alerting the user if they’ve listened too loud for too long in a given day) and adjustment of the Aventho Wireless’ touch control sensitivity, Beyerdynamic claims that its MIY app uses science to personalize sound to the listener’s individual hearing ability. The app uses a kind of hearing test — playing test tones at varying volumes, asking the user to tap when they hear the sound — to create a custom hearing profile that is stored inside the headphone so it can be used with any device. When activated, the headphone will apply a custom DSP compensation to the audio being played based on the user’s age and test results.

We took the hearing test (which was very similar to the professional hearing test we had in the past) and tried the MIY app’s DSP at varying levels of intensity. To our ears, the app seemed to boost midrange and make music sound more present; the difference was subtle, but undeniably more targeted than simply raising the volume. This is an interesting result, and we’d be interested to hear if the app makes different adjustments for other users.

We think the Aventho Wireless is an excellent headphone on its own, but we think its MIY app and DSP features need to be very good to fully justify its price. In our testing, the MIY app made a real, but not extreme difference to our music experience; in fairness to the app, however, our hearing was confirmed as normal by an audiologist, so we wouldn’t expect major compensation to be required. Perhaps some feedback from the app about the compensation curve it was applying to the sound would improve messaging to users about the value actually being added here. Still, we like what Beyerdynamic has done here; the Aventho Wireless gets our general recommendation.

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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