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No wholesale changes here plus they weren’t required. The Gen.2 T1s are truly convincing performers
Impressive combo of insight, fluid dynamics and rhythmic precision
Comfortable and well-crafted
Need a good quality source and amplifier to shine
We reviewed the initial T1 headphones back 2010. They cost £880 at that time and stunned us with their performance. It had been enough to see them grab a Best Buy award in the high-end headphone category that year.
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Build and design
Six years on and we’ve the Generation 2 version, and on first acquaintance little appears to have changed. The only visual dissimilarities are that the headband is currently lined with leatherette instead of genuine, and the cable – still 3m long however now detachable – is fully shielded and covered with a textile braid.
They’re comfortable too. When compared to original, the inward pressure is just a little less, but remains enough to keep carefully the headphones stable. Remember, they are designed for home use rather than for wearing during exercise.
The opportunity to swap leads not merely means replacement is simple, but also opens up a balanced option. The move from leather on the headband was prompted by toughness and cost reasons.
Yes, even headphones as of this price level are put through budgetary constraints, though at least these Gen.2s are cheaper compared to the originals.
Beyerdynamic’s engineers have tweaked the driver units to boost performance however the unusual semi-open enclosure remains unchanged.
This, as the name implies, is a halfway house between traditional open and closed designs, leading to an interesting mixture of strengths. There’s the spaciousness of open-backed (with some sound leakage) alongside the substance we hear from closed designs.
Compare the spec sheet of both generations and there’s little notable difference, although frequency response graph shows the brand new kinds to have greater low-end heft and smoother highs.
That’s not just how they present on initial switch-on though. The Gen.2s sound thin and bright, with a peaky response in the treble that grates with recordings that are anything significantly less than immaculate.
We’re an individual bunch and decide a weekend’s worth of running-in is necessary before we make any serious judgement. As it happens the very best part of weekly is needed prior to the G2s show their true colours. We’re glad we waited.
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After they stabilise, these headphones take the insightful yet entertaining sound of the originals and add extra doses of resolution, transparency and low-end weight. Even while we still have a company grasp of rhythmic information and the sort of fluid dynamics we rarely hear from headphones, even top-end models.
Our listening sessions start with Miles Davis’s JUST WHAT EXACTLY and we’re impressed by the T1s’ capability to render details. These cans capture the texture of instruments brilliantly and deliver the modulating but highly handled intensity of Davis’s using precision.
Instruments aren’t only defined well – leading and trailing notes are drawn with finesse, easy edges – but rendered with convincing body and natural warmth.
Tonally, there’s some emphasis from the low mid downwards and some extra sparkle in the treble, but neither of the traits are excessive, plus they don’t stop these headphones from conveying the music’s message authentically.
Switching to Drake’s Headlines demonstrates the T1s be capable of entertain and also inform. They charge along, pounding out the rhythm track with enthusiasm. There’s a good amount of attack here and a good dose of low-end authority. Importantly, that bass power isn’t purchased at the trouble of agility or precision.
Higher up the frequency range we’re impressed by the T1’s articulate way with vocals and just how they convey the dynamic nuances and varying pace of Drake’s delivery. With this track the Beyerdynamics submit a complete performance that’s hard to choose holes in.
The story is similarly positive whatever the musical genre. There’s blood and thunder with Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring and the sort of spacious presentation that inside our experience only famous brands Sennheiser’s excellent (an