Beyerdynamic Xelento 2 In-ear Headphones Review

Posted on 7th February, 2023
Beyerdynamic Xelento 2 In-ear Headphones Review

Matthew Jens dives into the latest and greatest in-ear-monitor from this esteemed German headphone specialist…

Beyerdynamic

Xelento 2 In-ear Headphones

Cheap and cheerful gym buddies, these are not. “An audible piece of jewellery” is inscribed on the packaging sleeve as the silver-plated earpieces take their first peek at you during unboxing – a sign of things to come, no doubt…

I love a bargain, and I admire when companies can cut corners on a product to make a budget-friendly design work. Admittedly, I love it even more when a company goes balls-to-the-wall and creates the most premium, high-end experience possible. 

When I reviewed the original Beyerdynamic Xelento, I was stunned by its build quality and presentation. I was already in love during the unboxing process, even more so once I popped them into my ears. You can imagine then that when I caught wind of the similarly premium pricing of the Xelento Gen 2, I was equally as excited to get a pair in my hands. But does this new model live up to the original's standard?

UP CLOSE

When you unbox a product like this, it's not just a perfunctory tearing apart of the packaging to feast on the goodies inside. It's a slow, methodical revealing of each feature and selling point. For example, the ear tips aren't just slapped into a box, but contained within a display box, with each size inscribed upon the plate. 

This is helpful, as there is a boatload of tips (seven sizes of silicone tips and a bunch of foam tips on top). They are oval-shaped (much like the first gen) and do need a bit of fiddling to get a secure fit; thankfully, you're near guaranteed to get one with this many tips.

The enclosures were handcrafted at the Beyerdynamic headquarters in Germany. The IPX4 buds are tiny but remarkably well made as a result. They also contain 24-carat gold in the branding inscription, just in case you felt the design was somehow lacking.

A lightweight build, tiny form factor and myriad of ear tips are the perfect trifecta for a comfortable wearing experience. The MMCX cable connection lets you easily swap between the included cables (a 3.5mm and 4.4mm Pentaconn). While including a remote in the standard cable was an interesting choice, it works without issue and is compatible with the various smart devices I threw at it.

Much like its predecessor, the insertion is very shallow on the Xelento 2. There is, however, quite a bit of driver flex when a proper seal is formed. While not inherently damaging for the drivers, the distinct driver crackling noise makes me wonder how many times I could insert them before something goes wrong. Once a seal is formed and a comfortable fit is discovered, all that driver flex dread goes away as soon as you hit 'play'.

THE LISTENING

One of my favourite parts of the original Xelento was the driver tuning, and Beyerdynamic has put the same amount of love and care into tuning this edition. Firing up the 2018 All My Life remaster by The Beatles demonstrated a sublime level of detail and driver separation. Despite being marketed as an audiophile-oriented product, I never felt that John Lennon's vocals delivered any harsh moments; instead, the sound was detailed and clean. I even had a few of those “this bloke is singing right into my ear” moments, which is always a plus. Such incredible insight suggests that the new model has taken its predecessor as a reference point for its tuning and expanded it to the new Tesla drivers this time around.

Bass is tight, punchy and accurate. It's no head-rumbling, window-shaking affair, but it is certainly taut and precise. This is demonstrated with Pill by Jonwayne and Danny Watts; bass plucks are clearly defined and easy to follow without being overbearing or pushing too much air. When I reviewed the first Xelento, I described it as “smooth and defined”, and I would repeat that sentiment for round two. Even with the volume (carefully) turned up, the sound remains cohesive, punchy and neutral – in other words, very easy to love.

THE VERDICT

Beyerdynamic's new second-generation Xelento fulfils its promise of being a no-holds-barred, high-end cabled pair of in-ear monitors with all the bells and whistles. With its sights firmly aimed at the likes of the Sennheiser IE 600, it's the easy pick for someone who loves a life of luxury.

For more information visit Beyerdynamic

Matthew Jens's avatar

Matthew Jens

Constantly keeping himself busy, Matthew is a production manager, Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt, Head-Fi fanatic, coffee enthusiast and all-round cool Dad.

Posted in:Headphones In Ear Monitors
Tags: beyerdynamic 

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