Beyerdynamic Amiron Home Headphones

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Designed and made in Germany
Concise and clear sound
Extra comfy
Minus
Plastic earcups break the high-end spell

THE VERDICT
The Amiron Home’s open-back design delivers a rich, yet highly detailed sound and the extreme comfort Beyerdynamic’s headphones are known for.

Beyerdynamic is a pretty conservative company, and its sound hasn’t really changed all that much over the last decade. I started to sense something was up in 2015 when I reviewed the flagship T 1 second-generation headphone that took the brightness down a smidge. Now the smoothing trend continues with the Amiron Home open-back, over-the-ear headphone. The look is also fresher, and this headphone definitely has a warmer, sweeter sound than the model it replaces, the T 90. Beyerdynamic is onto something new, and I like it.

The Amiron Home’s velvety-soft velour padded headband also feels great, and the Alcantara-covered pads coddled my ears. The headphone’s real star attraction are the newly designed Tesla technology 45mm drivers. Solid aluminum side yokes enhance durability, and maybe it’s just me, but the mostly plastic earcups feel out of place on a $599 headphone. Then again, the plastic might account for the Amiron Home’s relatively light weight, just 10.8 ounces, which surely plays a role in the improved comfort. That trade-off—more plastic for enhanced comfort—seems worthwhile.

The standard 9.8-foot headphone cable is fitted with a 3.5mm plug, with a screw-on 6.3mm adaptor plug. If that cable is too long, a 5-footer is available from Beyerdynamic’s website. Though I didn’t get to try the Amiron Home with Beyerdynamic’s new balanced 9.8-foot cable fitted with a four-pin XLR connector, it’s nice to know it’s available if you’re running a balanced headphone amp.

The headphones come packed with a sturdy and stylish carry case. Like all of Beyerdynamic’s best ’phones, the Amiron Home is made in Germany. Warranty runs two years.

Just as I started listening to the Amiron Home, Tidal’s music streaming service put hundreds of MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) high-resolution (up to 352.8-kHz/24-bit) albums on its desktop app. The Amiron Home thrived with MQA, and the increased sense of depth and spaciousness on Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball album were given their full due. Continuing with the MQA-ed Black Keys El Camino album, Dan Auerbach’s deliciously raunchy guitar, and Patrick Carney’s pounding drum kit, the Amiron Home plastered a big, fat smile on my face. This headphone kicks butt! When I switched over to my 600-ohm Beyerdynamic DT880 PRO closed-back headphones, the midrange thinned out and the treble coarsened. The Amiron Home’s smoother tonal balance won the day.

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I also compared the Amiron Home with my Audeze EL-8 closed-back headphones ($699). I was surprised to note that the EL-8, despite being a closed-back design, still sounded more open than the open-back Amiron Home. The EL-8 was also slightly more transparent, but the Amiron Home countered with more visceral weight and body. It was also more comfortable than the EL-8.

Jonny Greenwood’s orchestral score for There Will Be Blood, with its madly churning basses and violent violins, felt liberated by the Amiron Home. There’s no better way to describe the torrents of sound swirling around my head!

Though it’s a 250-ohm, highimpedance headphone intended for home use, I still had good results with the Amiron Home teamed up with my tiny AudioQuest DragonFly Red DAC hitched to my iPhone 6S. Power wasn’t an issue; the Amiron Home had plenty of pep and sounded fine.

If the Amiron Home is a harbinger of where Beyerdynamic is going with a sweeter, more relaxed sound balance, that’s fine with me. And its uber comfort and ergonomically smart design are strong suits. The Amiron Home regularly kept me up, playing tunes into the wee hours, which is something only the best headphones do.

COMPANY INFO
Beyerdynamic