• November 30, 2022

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The German audio brand beyerdynamic has a long and proud reputation for making excellent broadcast products, but lately, the company has been aiming for the upper end of the consumer audio market with its Xelento range of IEMs (In-Ear Monitors) or earphones. The latest model to join the lineup is the Xelento Wireless 2nd Generation, a premium pair of Bluetooth earbuds that the company describes as “an audible piece of jewelry.”

There’s no question that these neckband-style of IEMs are beautifully crafted and they certainly have a feel of a high-end piece of jewelry. A metal and rubber neckband houses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a DAC/amp. There’s a power button for firing up the Xelento Wireless on the neckband and cables lead from either end for attaching to the Xelento earpieces using an MMCX connector.

The right-hand cable includes an inline remote about one-third of the way along its length and that’s where the controls are for skipping tracks, pausing music and taking phone calls. The inline remote also houses the noise-canceling microphone for making phone calls and issuing voice commands. The overall build quality is every bit as high as you’d expect at this price and it all feels suitably expensive.

The Xelento Wireless IEMs come with a wide selection of silicone and Comply memory foam ear tips in various sizes to suit most ears. I opted for the largest Comply tips available as they usually offer the best passive noise isolation for my ears.

Inside each Xelento earpiece is an 11mm diameter Tesla transducer made with a neodymium ring. The driver is fed with a signal generated from an AKM4377A DAC/amp in the neckband and there’s support for every Bluetooth audio codec you could want: LHDC, Qualcomm aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC and the fallback SBC. The designers have thought of everything.

The Xelento Wireless IEMs can be customized using the beyerdynamic MIY app. I downloaded it and was immediately prompted to update the IEMs’ firmware to get the best performance and latest features. The app lets the user personalize the sound using hearing ID and EQ adjustments. The EQ settings are limited to presets, but there should be one there to suit most people’s tastes.

A full charge of the Xelento Wireless will deliver up to 14 hours of playing time. That surprised me as I imagined the neckband could hold a more significant charge, but some advanced codecs can gobble up quite a bit of power. Although 14 hours isn’t bad – enough for a transatlantic return flight – I was somehow expecting something closer to 24 hours.

Getting connected and running took very little time once I’d updated the firmware. The first impression was of a sound full of dynamism and incredible punch. The Tesla driver is light on its feet and can even sound lightweight with the wrong size of ear tips. With the correct fit of tip, there’s bags of bass on offer and a nice, open soundstage that places all the instruments in sharp focus, just where they should be. These are analytical earphones, but they aren’t tiring or overly sharp. The bass line is tight and punchy, with good articulation that carries the music along at quite a pace. If the bass sounds a bit metallic or light, you can always boost it using the MIY app, which adds a large dollop of rumble without squashing the midrange.

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The midrange is where the Tesla drivers excel, especially when it comes to vocals and rhythm guitars. There’s nothing recessed about the mids and they can handle just about any kind of music, always bringing the tonal quality to the fore. They are especially clear with vocals like those of the excellent fadista Mariza. Try almost any of Mariza’s recordings on the Xelento Wireless using a hi-res streaming service like TIDAL and you’ll hear what a superb midrange can do to a well-recorded vocal.

The treble from the Xelento Wireless sounds ever-so-slightly blunted to my ears, but here I hold up my hand and plead age. At my advanced age, I couldn’t pick up all the upper frequencies, but I did detect a bit of holding back on the top end, which gives the Xelento Wireless a more polite finish that won’t tire your ears. Some of that has to do with the low distortion levels of those brilliant Tesla drivers and I would much rather have a slightly tame treble than one that was too scratchy and raw.

Verdict: The high-end Xelento Wireless IEMs from beyerdynamic are more than just a pretty face. I don’t think high-end Bluetooth earphones can get much better than this. The Xelento Wireless 2nd Generation IEMs cost a lot of money and you could probably get the same or better sound on a pair of wired IEMs for half the price. That said, they wouldn’t be wireless. The Xelento Wireless are not true wireless earbuds because they use a large neckband for housing the battery and DAC/amp. However, they deliver an excellent sound that would be hard to beat with many other wireless earbuds. The battery life is a bit disappointing and, as I said, the price is slightly rich, but if you have the cash to spare, then the beyerdynamic Xelento Wireless IEMs are hard to beat.

Pricing & Availability: The new beyerdynamic XELENTO Wireless earbuds are now priced at $1,199. They can be bought from the beyerdynamic online store and beyerdynamic’s Amazon brand shop.

More info: beyerdynamic.com

Tech Specs:

  • Transducers: 11mm dynamic Tesla.
  • Frequency response: 10 – 50,000Hz.
  • Acoustic design: Closed.
  • Nominal impedance: 16Ω.
  • Nominal sound pressure level: 114 dB SPL at 1mW.
  • Nominal power rating: 200mW.
  • Max. limiting sound pressure level: 134dB SPL.
  • Total harmonic distortion: < 0.02 % at 1 kHz.
  • Connection: Detachable MMCX.
  • Sweat and water resistance: IPX4.
  • Bluetooth: Version: 5.2.
  • Audio codecs: LHDC, Qualcomm aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, AAC, SBC.
  • Battery life: 14 hours.
  • Range: 10m.
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