We have already reported on the Byron series from beyerdynamic last year . Now we were able to test two of the models against each other. The review of the cheaper Byron Wired can be found here. Next we take a look at the premium model, the beyerdynamic Byron BTA, which is currently on the market for approx. 199 €.
The development trend, which has picked up speed since the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack from Apple’s iPhone 7 at the latest, is moving towards Bluetooth. The wireless interface is becoming more and more popular with headphones and earphones. Beyerdynamic sees itself as a well-known manufacturer under pressure and presents the Byron BTA. For a product, the first contact is probably the most important to convince the user. According to the motto “What the farmer doesn’t know, he won’t eat” you look at the object very carefully and look for corners and edges.
As a tester, the earphones are related to other audio listeners that I can’t and don’t want to hide. Are they more beautiful than XY, which colour is better, but I found the packaging more successful on the other model, etc.? When unpacking for the first time, I certainly have the price in mind, which sets the bar high. The headphones currently change owners for about 199 €. Therefore, gross mistakes in the packaging would have been unforgivable. Fortunately, no nasty surprises await me at the Byron BTA. The in-ear headphones are beautifully embedded in a sophisticated nest of cardboard and plastic. We have a coherent overall picture that consists of the following.
Scope of Delivery
- Transport bag with magnetic closure
- 3 pairs Ear-Tips (silicone earmolds)
- 1 pair Ear-Hooks
- Magnetic USB charging station
- Manual (unfortunately only in English!)
- Clamping attachment for clothing
|10 – 25.000 Hz
|Sound characteristic pressure level
|90 dB SPL (1 mW / 500 Hz)
|Max. Sound pressure level
|100 dB SPL (200 mW / 500 Hz)
|< 0.7% (1 mW / 500 Hz)
|Type of coupling to the ear
|Insulation of external noise
|10 dB @ 1 kHz
|2.402 – 2.480 GHz
|HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP, SPP
|aptX™, AAC, SBC
|up to 10 m
|Run time music
|Run time Standb
|Lithium Polymer battery
|Contacts on controller (charging cradle required)
As I already complained about the other model in the series, the 3 Ear-Tips are now standard. A higher choice of fits would have been appropriate to the price. That’s why they’re no more comfortable. At the first change an Ear-Tip broke, which can be due to my stupidity, but nevertheless shows that the material selection is not “special” or better than with other models. If you want to do it right, you would have to buy external ear tips.
The carrying bag is once again a nice encore and even more stylish than the Byron Wired. I also liked the earhooks very much. With the additional transparent contact surfaces in the ear, the in-ears slip less. This provides more comfort and is particularly helpful during sporting activities. The charging station is very interesting because the cable bridge of the headphones only has to be placed on the contacts. Therefore, the headphones do not have a direct connection to be charged. This is comfortable, more beautiful and works very well with the magnet function. The station can be connected via USB to devices such as computers, mains plugs and the like. A disadvantage here, however, is that one is relatively lost if one loses or forgets his charging station. Other chargers are not compatible with the headphones, and so far I haven’t seen that you can buy a replacement – too bad. I leave it up to everyone to decide whether or not you really need the clamping attachment for the short cable length – but at least it’s included.
Entrance with the Byron BTA
Visually, the price is only reflected in the beyerdynamic logo. However, the quality is very good, the headphones make a very valuable impression. They are framed in aluminium and look very elegant in their black. A silver stripe introduces the rear end of the headphones, a flat black magnetic surface then looks out of the ear. As with the other models in the range, they are simple and simple, but well-designed, I like them visually very much.
Unfortunately I miss a Quickstart guide when unpacking. How the pairing works exactly is explained on pages 11/15 of this manual. The main button must be pressed for six seconds when the earphones are turned off. The headphones are switched on beforehand. One gets a speech feedback of the earphones to those actions. The “power on” announcement, however, is of such poor quality that I am immediately deterred. The feedback is meant nicely, but should have a better sound quality and be matured. Even the statement “Battery is enough” does not exactly defy precision. With the knowledge of the operating instructions, the connection to the smartphone is at least quickly established and remains reliable. I hope to experience the first pieces of music in a better quality than the voice announcements.
The sound is, to sum it up in one word: “powerful”. The sound is well tuned to each other, you can hear precisely, with powerful bass, natural and real. The Byron BTA can be loud & quiet, heavy metal & classic, warm & cold, “dirty” & clean. I was able to enjoy all the music during the test period, without any dropouts. There were no mistakes and nothing that disturbed me mixed into the sound. But there’s still thin air upstairs. Even more precision, less focus on the midrange, a slightly less dominant bass could still be there. Unfortunately the Eartips criticized before are not appropriate for this high quality sound, one could possibly help here. The luxury model is also still lagging behind good circumaural headphones in the price range. Therefore unsuitable for gaming, but top for frequent listeners in everyday life.
In contrast to the cheaper model in the range, the Byron BT, the BTAs have a DSP (digital signal processor) built in, which is intended to ensure a much better sound experience. The increased frequency range and AAC codex support (as well as Bluetooth 4.2) of the BTA compared to its sister model may not justify doubling the price for everyone. To sum it up: the sound is great, but minimally limited by some circumstances. The Byron BTA are the best in-ears I’ve tested so far.
Other Features at a Glance
The features make up a large part of the Byron BTA, they round off the overall package well and make the product more valuable.
First of all, the ends of the in-ears are magnetic. So it’s easy to connect them and they stay together. This is a common problem with Bluetooth headphones when they are separated – especially at that price, you’d rather not lose your favorite pieces. If you take it off for a moment, you can wear it as a chain …
Unfortunately, it is not possible to connect the headphones with cable. After a reasonable battery life of 7.5h, the time is over. This is very good for Bluetooth headphones of this size and is loosely enough to get through the day. With an occasional stop&go you can also get over the week. Filling up the lithium-ion battery only takes 90 minutes.
The Bluetooth interface is the latest (see sound), the quality is almost lossless. It is also good that the Byron BTA can be used by the arch enemies Android and Apple alike.
The technique is integrated in the cable routing so that the user does not have blocks on his ears. The cable is wider and wider than usual, but very flat, it looks robust. The earphones are slightly larger than the Byron Wired, but the technology is space-saving overall. The body made of aluminum protects well against scratches, the headphones are made in Korea.
Even with microphone I simply don’t find anything to complain about. Good speech quality, for an in-ear microphone.
The Byron BTA are not only casual, but because of the accessories and the Bluetooth function also suitable for sports .
The evaluation of the sound is, of course, marked by high standards, because it is understandable that they must be related to the price. Can you hear the 199 € in its entirety? I’d say no. Because a large part of the investment lies in technology, comfort and other features. But in the overall package the beyerdynamic Byron BTA scores well and, if you have the necessary small change, can be worth a purchase. It is also worth taking a look at the sister models Byron BT and Byron Wired. The BTA are not a value-for-money bargain, but a piece of German engineering art.