The Awesome Beyerdynamic DT 1350

Simply put, I'm stunned.

It's hard to make a good sounding sealed headphone, and much more so a small, supra-aural (on-ear) type. They all seem to falter sonically somewhere. In-ear headphones were the only way to get really good portable sound ...

... until now.

The Beyerdynamic DT 1350 ($299 Street)
Man, I'm in love. It's hard to know where to start when it's all so good. I suppose the place to start is with the manufacturer's intent. From Beyerdynamic's website, the DT 1350 are:

"Closed supraaural headphone for control and monitoring applications, musicians and DJ's."

These headphones are absolutely fantastic for pro applications. The sound is excellent, the isolation is excellent, and the durability appears to be good. They don't fold up, but they're small and come with a dandy carrying case. I would think on first use that most location recordists, ENG teams, DJs, and musicians who don't want to use in-ear monitors would lust for a pair. They are simply that good.

I'd like to quote from a Head-Fi thread:

    "It almost sounds like they have now something that could rival their own DT48." --- Kees

I think Kees nails it with this statement: I think the DT 1350 with its great sound and isolation will be the new standard for field recording professionals. The DT 48 sounds wretched in comparison.

But consumers will love these cans, too. They look good, sound good, play loud enough on portables, and sound even better off home gear. Why they produced the remarkable inferior sounding T50p at nearly the same price for consumers is beyond me. We listen to the same music the pros produce, why wouldn't the same headphones be appropriate. Argh! Rant over.

Styling, Ergonomics, and Build Quality
Form follows function forcefully and with great flair in the DT 1350. These are a handsome headphone from every angle, and appear to be very well built.

Twin metal headband straps can split to various angles at the hinge for a very secure fit on the head. Drummers will like these cans. Headband metal straps have a hard plastic covering, and a thin pleather pad on each band; they are not plush by any means, but they are light and unobtrusive on the head. The hinge also houses the detent mechanism for the earpiece adjustment, which is positive, and provides an appropriate range of motion. This same hinge mechanism allows the earpieces to be rotated forward or back 90 degrees for one-ear listening. DJs will appreciate the very secure and reasonably comfortable fit in this one sided configuration. (There is no mono switch, however.)

Photo shows the Beyerdynamic DT 1350 with headbands split, and one earpiece rotated up for single-sided listening.

The bail holding the earpiece to the adjustment strap is of formed sheet metal and elegantly follows the shape of the earpiece; the swivel action allows the earpieces to align easily with your ears, and twist flat for storage. The earcups are nicely finished black plastic.

Warning for longhairs: these headphones can catch on your hair pretty easily. They're so good though, that's it's worth a little pain ... heck, they're so good it's worth a haircut.

The earpads are pleather covered soft foam rings that have a somewhat flat profile and provide excellent isolation. The earpads are attached with a reusable adhesive and are replaceable. You will need to firmly pull on one side of the pad --- it's very well attached --- but once it starts coming off, it comes off readily and cleanly. (I recommend that anyone who has the old version of the T50p with the round cross-section pad, to replace them with this new style pad. Part # 906.794)

The 1.5 meter long cable exits the left earpiece and is terminated in a rather large threaded stereo mini-plug. A 1/8" to 1/4" screw-on adapter is included, as is a dual pin airline adapter. The included carry case is a sturdy fabric clam-shell with a Velcro closure strap. The interior of the case has a protective foam-filled and fabric covered insert with cut-outs nicely shaped to receive and protect your headphones.

Comfort and Isolation
Supra-aural (on the ear) headphones are never really comfortable when compared to full-sized circumaural (around the ear) cans. There's simply no way to make something pressing against your ear a pleasure for long term listening. This problem is compounded with the need for good isolation, which requires a reliable seal and generally greater clamping force. A good earpad is key to success. The DT 1350 earpads are soft and supple, conform quite well to the ear, and do provide very good isolation. While I would not call these a particularly comfortable headphone, I would also not characterize them as uncomfortable; rather, they are utilitarian and highly functional. The clamping force is firm without being overbearing and, because the pads are so nicely designed, is easily tolerable. Comfort with the DT 1350 is on par with, to slightly better than, other headphones of this type. If you want a truly comfortable headphone, you need to buy full-sized cans.

Fig 1 Shows the off-the-chart isolation of the DT 1350.

The measured isolation of 19dB (averaged broadband isolation from 100Hz to 10kHz) is very good on the DT 1350; the highest I've measured on an earpad headphone, and second only to the Beyerdynamic DT 48 of all sealed headphones --- not including in-ear monitors. This is simply an excellent result.

I took a flight recently with these and was amazed at the isolation. I could hardly heard the pilot announcements were happening, although I'll note that they weren't as obnoxiously loud as they usually are on that particular flight.

We should talk about the sound now ... 'cuz it's very good ...

beyerdynamic Inc. USA
56 Central Ave.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
(631) 293-3200

paberu's picture

I have to agree with your review, the DT1350s are indeed amazing sounding cans for how small and portable they are. Really enjoying my pair :).

Makes me wonder if this is a new direction Beyer is heading in, and if the T70 and T70p will carry the same sound signature as the DT1350.

p.s The youtube video is set to private....

Tyll Hertsens's picture
It's public now.
TheHeadphoneGeek's picture

hi im just wondering someone was giving an offer for my akg k701 for beyerdynamic dt 1350 is it worth it

Beagle's picture

"seems to me that the DT 1350 suffers from a lack of coherence somewhat, possibly due to the small size of the enclosure and all the correcting done to compensate for it. Again, in my experience poor imaging and coherence is very common for small, sealed cans, and it may mean that you have to psycho-acoustically reacquire the aural image encoded in the somewhat unnatural signal every time you put them on"

That's it!

Nice articulate detailed review. And the measurements. It's nice to read why one hears what they hear.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
.... and you heard them very accurately ... well done, good ears.
MayaTlab's picture

Thanks you Tyll for your review.

I seem to share your point of view on many headphones, so your website as become a reference for me.

What do you think about amplification ? I felt they sounded thin and uninteresting out of my iPhone 4, and that even my Hifiman HM 601 wasn't enough to bring the best out of them. Plugging them into my MacBook Pro (which I believe can output more than the HM 601 30 mW) made them get closer to full size headphones (the word I can think of is that they just sounded "big").

asmagus's picture

I was listening DT1350 with bunch of amplifiers (including Meier Concerto) and sources (including Meier Stagedac) and i have to say that ... DT1350 do not have proper bas response.

Ther is no proper bass below 100 Hz, ther is almost no bass at all!

Midrange is in front and ther is a lot of "harsh peaks" in high frequency.

Mayby something will change in the future (after hundret of hours brake in) but new DT1350 are not as good as AIAIAI TMA-1, DT150, D7000 and many many more.

MayaTlab's picture

It is likely you're not successful in positionning them properly as bass response is very good on these. Think about the DT 1350 as a quasi IEM in terms of positionning : what matters is to get a good seal (not just the right place on your ear). You can also bend the headband further.

dalethorn's picture

I would be very careful about bending the headband. One thing that sometimes works well is to rotate the entire headband forward on your head, which can angle the earcups better for some ears.

MayaTlab's picture

No problem on these. The headband is a very simple concept (just one layer of material) and not some complex assembly. I asked Beyer six months ago about my loose T50p and they told me I could bend it without trouble.

Beagle's picture

I find if the edge of your earlobes (near the opening) sit in the 'holes' of the pads, you probably have the best positioning. Works for me. YMMV.

It's a special sound and you may or may not grow into it.

DigitalFreak's picture

Thank you for your review Tyll I'm impatiently waiting for my 1350's to be delivered to me. In your opinion Does the DT 1350 show noticeable sonic differences when amped? I was thinking of maybe mating my 1350's down the road with a mobile rig consisting of a CLAS DAC and either a TTVJ slim or a MKII amp. In your opinion is it worth the investment?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
... a lot while writing the review. The Slim is a lovely, smooth amp, and the DT 1350 responds nicely when better amped.
ZAGRA's picture

Hm , Dt1350 it's new standard in studio.

Fight dt1350 vs dt70 !

CWFH's picture

As a direct response to your last call in the video: Yes, Sir, you've already encouraged me to consider buying those cans!

Very well done review, I enjoyed it very much - I especially like the balance between technical data/measurements and your obvious personal delight with the DT1350. Thanks, Tyll! :)

The Monkey's picture
How much do these things cost?
Tyll Hertsens's picture
Sorry, $299 street. I added it to the copy. Thanks! Funny thing is I couldn't find the MSRP. Also, like I said, it doesn't show up in all the normal places. J&R doesn't have them, but B&H does.
mathu's picture

How about the soundstage on these? I'm looking for something more open than Sennheiser HD25.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
I'd say they're more open than the HD25, which sounds somewhat strident to my ears. And I would say these are the most faithful to the music small sealed cans I've heard. But I wouldn't characterize them as open. I think you need a full size open headphone to really get at that.
Currawong's picture

Wow, with those square waves, did they sneak an ortho driver in there or something? Unfortunately Yodobashi doesn't stock them so I couldn't try a pair when I was in there today. I was scratching my head about picking up a portable Audio Technica, with all the good and bad that they come with, but I might have to pick up a pair of these instead.

BluesClues's picture

just curious is it possible that you would know the actual driver size of these headphones??
I can not find that bit of info anywhere?? Are they 40mm or 30mm..
They look like 30mm if so i'm curious is that the reason why they are very bass lite that some reviewers are experiencing??

dalethorn's picture

They aren't bass light when worn properly and the seal is reasonably good. In fact the bass is quite strong. So when reviewers say they are bass light it's a matter of fit and getting a good seal, unless .... unless there's a hifi philosophy that says if they sound bass light to any particular reviewer, then they are bass light. I don't know the answer to that - just speculation.

BluesClues's picture

ok thanks for the comment n i find that most know this bit of info about placement and positioning when wearing the cans. I also wanted to know if the driver size is 30mm and if that contributes to the bass sounding the way it does.??

Kool Bubba Ice's picture

The 1350 were not meant to replace the DT48.. If that was the case there wouldn't be an increase in the price of the DT48.. & the DT48 is made for hearing test, Hospitals, lab work, audiometrics, intricate testing, acoustic investigations.. Things the 1350 would fail miserably at. The 1350 serve a purpose in the industry, but were never meant as a DT48 replacement. I know. Trust me. I love the DT48 to death. The 1350 is your run of the mill, albeit, good, pro studio headphone that will be out of production in 10 yrs..

Reticuli's picture

Short of esoteric dedicated isolation headphones, these are easily the best commerical pro dj headphone you can buy right now. Bass fidelity and vocal clarity are almost as good as my ER4S even at low volumes. Not a comfortable headphone I find to keep on my head for an extended period of time, though. For djing or when taking frequent breaks, they're pretty hard to beat. Some of the talk about the upper mids being recessed and the mid/treble bands lacking coherence and thus liquid-ness are correct. But compensating for that with the EQ after having listened for a while makes them sound weird. Strange. They don't have any difficulty sealing on my ears, but the cable is very microphonic, like a thinner version of the one used on the KRK 6400. At low to moderate volumes, the sound of my breathing or body movements obscure the kick-drum initial attack band. I find this to be more noticeable than even with the Etymotic that loses this issue somewhat as they are sealed deeper.

13mh13's picture

It would help me tremendously if Tyll (or anyone) can DIRECTLY compare/contrast the 1350s to other beyer models, esp.:
T70 (yes, I already saw Tyll's comment that he didn't care for them -- why specifically??);
and, DT880 (I own the 250 ohm version).


branon's picture

Until I bumped into this review i did not even know these phones existed. On the other hand i have lusted over the b&w p5 for a long time. Given that you had reviewed the p5 shortly before the dt1350, I was wondering which one would you prefer? Both have the same street price.

Also, which one would be more comfortable for long use?


Username's picture

im in the same boat as you. tyle please do a closed on ear shootout. i am torn between the comfort and style of the b&w p5 that you seemed to enjoy and these perhaps more analytical DT1350 that you say have the best sound out of all closed on ears. PLEASE I DONT WANT TO BUY BOTH

Crenshaw's picture

first off.. thank you tyll, for the awesome section of data sheets.. i use those everyday and they have been an invaluable tool for me.

to the poster I am replying to. if you look at the headphone graphs in the resource section, you will find measurements for the P5 as well. the 1350 and the p5 are very different. the p5 doesn't have the bass extension of the 1350, and probably has more of a mid bass boost and slightly recessed mids compared to the 1350. the isolation isn't as good. and also the square wave response of the p5 follows the more conventional spike and roll. the p5 as tyll said in another article,the p5 is a headphone that doesn't measure well (it really doesn't) but is great fun to listen to.

there's is also the amp to consider. if you already have a decent amp, then getting the 1350 would make sense. if you don't have an amp.. and are not really looking to get one.. the p5 might be a better choice.

Marcilio's picture

Hi, I'm from Brazil, and want to buy the best headphones to use directly with my iphone. I got some very good reviews on the DT1350, HD25, M80 and P5. I usually listen to pop/rock, and like some good bass. Thank's, Marcilio

EiF0hn's picture

Did you already get your hands on a pair of the pretty new T 90s? If you did, what do you think about them. If not, I heard they're pretty close to the T1s but with a little bit more bass.

Greetings, Rene!

Marcilio's picture

Hi, I'm from Brazil, and want to buy the best headphones to use directly with my iphone. I got some very good reviews on the DT1350, HD25, M80 and P5. I usually listen to pop/rock, and like some good bass. Thank's, Marcilio

jcheadphone's picture

I recently purchased the 1350s for portable use with my iPod touch (playing mostly ALAC files) and my Fostex HP-P1 portable headphone amp.  The 1350s sound amazing for their size and are very resolving so good quality lossless recordings shine and low bit rate bad recordings well you know....For example Jesse Cook's "Ocean Blue" from his most recent album The Blue Guitar Sessions has great depth, detail, and clarity for a small sealed headphone and also has the bottomless bass Tyll talked about in his review.  In fact I'm so impressed I'm pondering purchasing a pair of the full sized T70ps or T90s for home use and selling my Grado RS2is.

RussellD's picture

You say "The earcups are nicely finished black plastic."


I thought so, too, but I was reading the box where it says the earcup is entirely metal and - guess what - it is! (and nicely finished indeed).

Realsoundisgood's picture

Primarily based on Tyll's review, I bought the "renewed" version of the DT1350 that have been on the market for the past 18 months or so. I've been using them almost daily for the past two months, and thought my experience might add to the conversation a bit.

The strong clamping pressure required for professional use causes very small adjustments and changes in the placement on the ear to have a noticeable impact on sound quality. I found my "sweet spot" by placing them exactly as shown in the user guide: the front of the cup resting just before the bone in front of the ear; the rear of the cup resting on the back edge of the ear; and the top of the cup even with the top of the ear.

They headphones have become much more comfortable now that the headband and and ear pads have had a chance to relax/soften with use. I can wear them comfortably for several hours at a time.

At comfortably loud volume levels the low bass response is noteworthy and deserving of a "WOW" - it is accurate, deep and solid without bloat, boom or bloom; the mids and highs are balanced, accurate, and clear; and the sound stage is quite good when the source is well recorded in stereo (binaural recordings really demonstrate this well).

They're signature provides a very different and enjoyable listening experience from my other headphones (AKG K701; SONY MDR-V6; and AudioTechnica M50x). With well recorded music (particularly classical and jazz), the DT1350 can transport the listener into the concert hall, transforming the recorded performance into a virtual "live" performance.

Thanks, Tyll for pointing me toward these headphones!

filter's picture

I just bought me a pair of Beyerdynamic DT-1350 for $200. I find them to fit well, fairly comfortable, well isolated. However, to describe the sound quality, rather, words as "disappointing" and "borderline terrible" comes to mind. I've been testing them for 5 hours on both an iPhone (no eq), an iMac (no eq) and my stereo (Peachtree nova se + Genelec G5s and no eq), streaming flac 1411 quality tracks of all genres. I find these headphones to be struggling dynamically, "canny"-sounding mids when playing full sounded acoustic recordings, hard on the ears in the treble area. The overall sound is bleak, lacking true definition b/c of lacking dynamics. In my opinion, a more fair and fitting description of the DT-1350s would be a mid-range, slightly overpriced, way overhyped headphone.

787cape's picture

I agree. I just bought a pair of DT-1350s and they have to be the worst cans I've ever owned. Bloated bass, missing midrange and honking treble. These are going back!!

stalepie's picture

"One thing missing for me in these cans is 'coherence,' which is essentially the time or phase alignment of the various frequencies."

That sounds REALLY important, like make or break, like the difference between $4 freebie phones and $400 decent phones. Not sure how these can be so amazing if they're not at least coherent.

Does it really make sense to listen to monitors for music pleasure? They're meant for studio recording sessions, field work and other listening tests.

stalepie's picture

Sorry I shouldn't have left this comment. I probably don't understand what was meant at all, just tired

Ignitron's picture

I'm considering buying these cans. I've went to the shop that sells them, they didn't have 1350, but recommended me T51p instead. They told me, that this model has the same driver, but it's softer on the ears and therefore more comfortable for listening at home (1350 is intended as a DJ headhone, so it presses harder to isolate from external sounds). Is that true, or is it totally different headphone?