Beyerdynamic’s Blue Byrd model offers up an extremely lightweight choice of in-ear, making it a very interesting prospect for those after something suitable for mobile use. The Bluetooth model utilises a connecting cable instead of neckband, which, like the black plastic housing of the drivers themselves, allows of much lighter and low-profile construction.
On a technical level, the specs of these in-ears score highly. Here, modern codecs like AAC deliver good sound quality with iOS devices, while the fast aptX LL codec ensures a particularly good picture-sound synchronisation when watching films. It’s also technical superior to the SBC standard. Another enticing feature of the Blue Byrd is the sound personalisation options made available from Mimi Defined. The result of this personalisation promises better hearing results for every listener.
The manufacturer suggests total playing times of around six hours can be expected on a full battery. This places the Blue Byrd in the lower-mid bracket in terms of performance here when you compare it against competitor models on the market. For longer journeys where you want to listen on the go, the battery reserves here should be sufficient enough so that you don’t need to utilise the USB-C cable for a recharge, however.
The fit of these in-ears is very impressive thanks in part to a choice of silicone ear molds. There’s five pairs of these earpiece accessories to choose from, with each pair offering a distinct sizing option. Plugs fit securely in the ear canal and provide average dampening against external noise from the off. The lightweight overall construction of the headphones also makes these an ideal choice for mobile use. However, the headphones themselves aren’t all that stable when worn, which may cause some trouble for some wearers. I also encountered some issues with everyday operation of these in-ears. Although pairing is quick enough, there were occasional interruptions to playback when testing with an iPhone 8. There were also discernible rustling noises when I was in motion, which is likely down to the plastic housing of the product. Here’s one weak spot of the overall workmanship and manufacturing level of the in-ears I’d like to see improved upon in the future.
The remote control offers multiple functions to the user. Its three sensor ranges can only be determined by looking at the printed labelling of them, with this lettering not easily felt by touch alone. Volume is controlled via the front and rear switches, while the middle button can be used for on/off functionality. However, this did not always work reliably. When switched on, the same button is used to start/stop music playback, as well as handle telephone call acceptance and rejection. A longer press of this button calls up virtual assistants if you’re connected to your smartphone, while multiple clicks allow you to skip between titles. It’s also possible to fast-forward and rewind tracks with this control key.
The free MIY app for iOS and Android devices allows you to adjust sound specifically to your own hearing. Th4e MOSAYDC-named sound personalisation option is based on a hearing test, with the freedom to repeat and reprogram at any time. Both ears are played various frequencies at different volumes, which then need to be confirmed by the listener. Afterwards, a hearing profile is then calculated, with extra data like the age of the user being taken into account when formulating said profile. With the aim of compensating for any deficits in the hearing of the user, the frequency correction determined is then applied to the signal course at variable levels of intensity, much in the way a complex equaliser might work.
The result provides more clarity in the treble range and more depth, quickly proving this function a positive one for the user. However, it is also accompanied by a level change, making A/B comparisons more tricky. Sadly, it’s not possible to save multiple hearing tests and profiles for different users onto one device. However, the app does provide statistics on music consumption duration and volume settings selected for a more detailed insight into your listening habits.
The closed, dynamic drivers combine with high-quality codecs to ensure quality sound performance with the Blue Byrd. We tested this model with an iPhone 8 (AAC), with sound personalisation options enabled. The result was a powerful sound that’s quite harmonious and pleasantly open over the entire frequency range. Level reserves are sufficient, while good insulation against outside noise means there’s fee distractions to your listening enjoyment.
The bass is contoured and provides all the necessary detail as far as pitch and dynamics are concerned. Low-level bass is also present here. In my experience with the Blue Byrd, the sound personalisation function added a bass and treble boost to the overall sound image. Depending on the intensity control setting selected, the sound image can become more powerful, but the additional bass element becomes an increasingly emphasised overlay. At5 high playback levels, the drivers were even overloaded. As such, it’s recommend you take the time to play around with intensity level settings. The manual suggests a guide value of 50 percent, although I’d suggest opting for a lower setting if you prefer a more neutral sound.
When you have found the right value, the midrange also delivers good resolution and fine details, with a clean reproduction of instrumental elements and vocals. Even with higher frequencies, the Blue Byrd showcases some superb resolution and transparency, without the playback audio suffering from any sharpness defects.
Ultimately, I would still rate the stereo panorama of and associated movements as good, although it has be to said that spatial information is rather weak. In particular, voice quality only really gets any look in when telephoning.
Beyerdynamic are pushing the Blue Byrd out to market for a RRP of 120 euros and above. You can expect plenty in return for this reasonable investment. Technically, these featherweight in-ears offer a low-profile option that utilise high-quality codecs and personalised sound adjustment. Although the sound on offer isn’t neutral, it’s appealing all the same. However, the reality is, there’s some tough market competition from rival manufacturers delivering cheaper products with premium technical capabilities. The Blue Byrd only really loses big points when it comes to battery life and operational gripes, with both areas highlighting potential problems with the model some might have issue with.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 25.000 Hz
- Weight without cable6 g
What's in the box
- 5 pairs of silicone ear tips
- USB charging cable
- Travel case
- BT version: 4.2
- BT codecs: SBC, mSBC, AAC, aptX, aptX LL
- BT profiles: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP, SPP, GAP, SDP
- MOSAYC Sound personalization via app for iOS and Android