Rich, well-defined audio performance. Sound signature can be adjusted based on your hearing. Comfortable.
Expensive. Sound signature is overly sibilant at times.
- Bottom Line
The Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless headphones look and sound fantastic but cost a bit too much.
We've long been fans of Beyerdynamic's pro audio and critical listening gear, but Bluetooth headphones are relatively new for the German manufacturer. Happily, it gets many things right. The Aventho Wireless headphones feature a stylish, comfortable design, solid on-ear controls, and an app that customizes audio to your personal hearing abilities. They also sound quite good. The only thing we're not sold on is the price—to our ears, $449 is about $100 too high.
The headphone's supra-aural (on-ear) design is offered in black or brown, with metallic highlights. The earpads and headband are filled with lushly padded memory foam covered in a leather-like material—the fit is exceptionally comfortable. The left earcup sports the Beyerdynamic logo, while all of the controls and connections are located on the right earcup.
Inside each earcup, Beyerdynamic employs a Tesla transducer (the company's name for its high-resolution dynamic drivers) to deliver audio with a frequency range of roughly 10Hz-40kHz when used in wired mode. Bluetooth 4.2 and the aptX HD codec are used for a high-quality wireless stream.
A touch-sensitive control pad takes up the entirety of the outer panel on the right earcup. Here you can control playback, track navigation, volume, voice control, and call management, all with various combinations of finger taps or swipes. Beyerdynamic does a great job of making these controls easy to use, intuitive, and responsive. The only one we had a little trouble with was double tapping to control playback—the field that responds to this tap is slightly small, but once you learn where to place your finger it's not an issue. The only physical button is for power/pairing button on the outer panel, near the connections for the included cables.
Much of the Aventho Wireless experience is centered on the MIY app by Mimi Hearing technologies. The app, free with the headphones, measures your hearing during a six-minute test and creates a custom sound signature based on the results. iOS users can go enjoy this feature to its fullest; a streamlined version is available for Android, with popular presets available to use (a full version is due out in the future).
Using an iPhone 6s, we found the hearing test to be a simple process. You basically keep your finger on an on-screen button in the app whenever you hear a tone, and lift it when you can no longer hear it. This is done in both ears individually.
In addition to creating a personalized sound signature, the MIY app also can analyze your listening habits and inform you when your ears might be approaching fatigue levels. You can override these warnings, but it's refreshing to see a manufacturer put some effort into helping prevent hearing loss.
A USB-C charging port is located on the outer panel of the right earcup; a charging cable is included. The headphones also ship with a detachable audio cable for wired listening. In addition, Beyerdynamic includes a stylish drawstring soft-padded carrying pouch that everything easily fits into—the earcups swivel for flat storage.
The mic offers average intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we could understand every word we recorded, but the mic seems far away, giving it a muffled sound.
Beyerdynamic estimates battery life to be an impressive 30 hours or so, but your results will vary with your volume levels.
As mentioned, much of the audio experience is based on the MIY app. But since that app designs a customized sound signature for every listener, we chose to test the audio with the app disabled, listening to the default sound signature. Of course, we also created our own customized sound signature with the app, and we'll discuss those results, too, but for the purposes of providing a basic sense of sound quality out of the box, we'll stick with the default setting for the next few paragraphs.
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On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife's "Silent Shout," the headphones deliver some serious thunder. They aren't really boosting the bass wildly, the track just has some intense bass depth to it. At top, unwise listening levels, the lows don't distort, and at more moderate levels, the bass still sounds powerful without overtaking the balance of the entire mix.
Bill Callahan's "Drover," a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the overall sound signature. The drums on this track can sound overly thunderous on headphones that boost the bass dramatically. Through the Aventho Wireless, the drums sound rich and natural. Callahan's baritone vocals are delivered with an ideal low-mid presence, giving them some pleasant richness that is counterbalanced by the high-mid presence. Things are bright and clear, benefitting the guitar strum and the higher register percussive hits, though the vocals seem to get some added sibilance. Generally speaking, this is a balanced sound signature with a rich, but not overwhelming, bass presence, and plenty of high-mid and high frequency sculpting to match it.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," the kick drum loop receives an ideal level of high mid presence, allowing the attack to retain its punch and cut through the layers of the mix. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with some solid depth, but nothing like the thunder that seriously bass-forward headphones tend to produce on this track. You get the sense that the drivers are more than capable of dishing out mega-subwoofer-like lows, but Beyerdynamic has reined things in and kept it balanced. The vocals on this track are quite clear and crisp, though again, we notice a slight sibilance added.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary, get some noticeable bass presence that pushes the lower register instrumentation forward in the mix. It's not so dramatic that the lows start to threaten the higher register brass, strings, and vocals, but there is a noticeable richness pushing the lows forward a bit. Regardless, the overall sound signature remains crisp and clear here.
Using the customized sound signature created based on the MIY app's hearing test, we listened to all of these tracks again and found the adjusted sound signature to actually be quite similar to the default. There were some subtle alterations in the highs, but the rich bass presence and sculpted high-mids and highs remained more or less intact.
It all comes down to price. The Aventho Wireless headphones look and feel great, and delivers a solid audio experience. The app is neat, too, though you might not notice a tremendous difference in sound quality. But we can't quite get past the $449 price. We've tested plenty of headphones that cost less and deliver similar wireless audio. The Sony WH-1000XM2, JBL Everest 710, Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless, and B&O Beoplay H4 are all less expensive and worth your attention. We can't say Beyerdynamic doesn't offer a good audio experience here, but the price still seems inflated.
About the Author
Tim Gideon Contributing Editor, Audio
Contributing Editor Tim Gideon has been writing for PCMag since 2006. He specializes in reviewing audio products, and is obsessed with headphones, speakers, and recording gear.
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