Quarks rating explanation here.
It seems like every aspect of these headphones has been carefully thought out, with no superfluous lines or flashy colors. Beyerdynamic was able to make a pair of headphones that not only looks good, but that also feels good (and sounds even better, but more on that later). They represent the perfect combination of elegance, quality and industrial design.
There is only one button, but that’s enough, as the right ear-cup’s exterior surface is actually a touch sensitive pad, capable of controlling music (fast forward, rewind, skip), adjusting volume and taking calls just by tapping and swiping on it.
There is one USB port for charging the headphones and performing firmware updates. I should say I’m glad to see Beyerdynamic embracing the future by adopting a USB-C connection, more manufacturers should follow this approach. There is a 3.5-mm headphone jack for using the headphones with the included cable (in case you run out of battery) and an LED status indicator.
There is no noise cancellation, but some might argue it’s not really needed. Passive isolation works great (I’m writing this less than 5ft from a 3D Printer churning through a 12-hr print job and I can’t hear a thing. No need to crank up the volume either).
One pet-peeve I have is in relation to the way the on/off button has been designed. It’s just too difficult to press and keep pressed (which you need to do when trying to pair more than one device). Some may thing is a minor thing, but once you go over several on/off cycles, it get pretty irritating.
General build quality is superb, both metal and leather are liberally used all over and presence of plastic is almost null. There is really little that can be criticized on this front.
The ear cups are hefty and feel really solid in hand, yet the headphones are extremely comfortable and lightweight.
The headband adjusting mechanism is very similar to the one on the Beyerdynamic T51i (one of my favorite headphones). Although not the most fluid mechanism, they stay securely in place once set up.
Beyerdynamic included a canvas bag to hold the headphones and the included cables. Although it’s a well built fabric bag, at this price range, I would have expected at least a soft case to provide more protection.
I was blown away when listening to the Aventho for the first time. I wouldn’t call the sound profile flat, as it definitely leans towards the lows, but in a very subtle way. The whole spectrum feels extremely well balanced, with beefy low frequencies that don’t overpower higher ones at all. In fact, mids are crisp and highs are bright, but not overly so. Well done, Beyerdynamic.
The Aventho Wireless are one of the few on-ear consumer headphones capable of reproducing high-resolution audio. Their frequency response is within the most impressive I’ve seen. Jazz sounds amazing: Lotus Blossom by Kenny Dorham or If I Were a Bell by Miles Davis Quintet sounds majestic. Vocals, percussion, everything sounds effortlessly clear and crisp.
These songs were played wirelessly (aptX Codec on iPhone X). Wired performance was equally impressive. The Aventho were tested with high resolution audio. That is, music encoded at (at least) 96KHz/24 bit, which is effectively better quality than CD audio (and hence, better quality than MP3/AAC compressed “lossy” audio). The files were in either FLAC format or Apple Lossless format and were played/decoded through a DAC capable of reproducing them at 96KHz/24 bit resolution.
If the Aventho were sold as a wired pair of headphones, I think I would give them 10 points in this category. However, they are advertised as wireless headphones, and that’s where their flaws begin to show.
Their manual indicates they can be paired with up to eight devices. It’s also stated they can be used on multi-point mode, where they remain connected to up to two bluetooth devices and switch back and forward depending on their profile (i.e. headset, headphones) and the task being handled (i.e. listening music, answering a call, etc.). Unfortunately I couldn’t achieve a multi-point connection or even successfully pair more than one device. As soon as the second bluetooth device was paired, the first one would be forgotten.
I reached out to their support people, their product management people (which were very responsive, by the way), tried different setups (Macs, PCs, iPhones) and even tried two different pairs of Aventho headphones (the first one even seem to have more bluetooth problems as connection would drop constantly or music would stop or start unexpectedly). The results were always the same.
It’s worth noting that I’ve tried the same setup with other wireless headphones like the Sennheiser PXC-550 and the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless and they have worked with no problems at all (reviews here and here).
Hopefully Beyerdynamic will be able to fix these issues through a firmware update (if that’s the case, I’ll update this review).
The touch pad responsiveness and usefulness is hit and miss. Sometimes swipes and taps would not be recognized. Bringing up the phone’s assistant, which is supposed to be done by tapping the ear-cup for two seconds, only worked a couple of times.
Beyerdynamic has priced the Aventho Wireless at $450, which is a pretty steep price for the features it offers . Although audio performance is really outstanding, there are headphones in the market from other high-end manufacturers offering a similar performance and more features at very similar (or lower) prices.
Ease of Use
Although the headphones are pretty straight forward to use, for the most part, there are a couple if things that make them a bit frustrating to use at times.
As indicated above, the on/off button has been designed in such a way that is very hard to press. When I received the first pair of headphones, I thought they were damaged. I had to use my thumb’s finger nail to get the to work. Now, since I had to troubleshoot the bluetooth connection issues described above by pressing and holding the button many (many) times, the user experience wasn’t the best.
Beyerdynamic has developed the MIY app in collaboration with MIMI hearing technologies. The App is elegantly designed and very responsive. It allows you to personalize your sound profile (more on that later), track your hearing habits, and configure the touch pad sensitivity. Unfortunately, they didn’t include a way to manually set response to low, medium and high frequencies.
It’s worth noting that the Aventho Wireless uses two separate bluetooth connections to interact with your phone: one for transmitting audio and another one for communicating with the MIY app.
The app shows battery and connection status. However, the battery charge percentage seemed to go on 20% increments.
The main feature of the MIY App is the Sound Personalization. Per Mimi’s website:
Mimi is a scientific and data driven experience that will allow you to test your ears, protect them, and change music in a way that suits only your ears. Why is this necessary? Because one sound won’t fit all. Ears are not perfect. As with every part of our body, your hearing gets worse over time.
The implementation is really amazing: The user goes through a hearing test similar to the one performed by audiometrists, which lasts about 6 minutes. After completion, the headphones sound is personalized to the individual hearing capabilities. How cool is that?.
The feature is optional and can be deactivated at any time. Additionally, the sound personalization is stored on the device and not on the App, which means, it will hold as you switch between devices.
The App also tracks hearing habits (duration and volume of your listening sessions) and shows how much of your healthy daily quota has already been achieved. I really like the encouragement encouraging healthy listening habits.
Beyerdynamic claims up to 20 hrs of battery life on their website. However, my tests were closer to 18 to 19 hours, but that may have been because I was trying pretty much all features, changing settings constantly and interacting with the App on a frequent basis. Regular day-to-day use may be closer to the rated 20 hours.
This section is intended to give credit to extra features that set the reviewed device apart from competing devices. In the case of the Beyerdynamic Aventho, there are a couple of features that set the device apart:
- Compatibility with the aptX HD codec for the best wireless sound experience. Beyerdynamic worked directly with Qualcomm to integrate the technology on these Headphones.
- High-Resolution capable.
- The integration with MIMI technologies and the implementation of their sound personalization technology through the MIY app is really amazing.
The Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless goes on sale in February 2018, so it’s still a bit early and there are no additional reviews at reputable websites at the time of writing. Therefore, no other ratings have been accounted for when calculating the Quarks rating.