The Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd is one of the flattest in-ear models on the market. However, what might first seem like a mere advertising gimmick actually turns out to be a rather practical plus point for everyday life when carrying out this product test. But the question remains: do these Soul Byrd headphones deliver sound performance to match?
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 25.000 Hz
- Impedance16,85 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)102,81 dB
- Weight with cable11 g
- Weight without cable6 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- 5 pairs of ear tips
- Cable clip
- Travel case
Beyerdynamic are keen to emphasise that these in-ears not only offer fine tonal resolution, but also a balanced sound. Naturally, I needed no more convincing to get started with the test and assess the headphones for fit, sound and possible applications.
The Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd comes with a small, artificial leather case that boasts secure zipper fastening. Inside, the headphones can be held firmly in place with a wide elasticated band. The included cable clip, optional adapters and additional earbuds can be stored alongside the main device thanks to a handy extra compartment. The Soul Byrd comes with five pairs of soft silicone ear moulds in various sizes. This allows for the in-ears to be adapted to just about any ear canal. In additional, optional memory foam earpieces are available, which ensures an even better level of noise cancellation and better bass production. What’s more, a quick start guide is also included.
Flat and Solid
For the design of these headphones, Beyerdynamic has opted for a flat, ergonomic housing that’s been developed with the input of hearing aid specialists. The result is something that not only looks good, but guarantees a good fit. The end caps, made from anonized aluminium, are visible from the outside when worn. They’re robust and lightweight, with the headphones giving off a convincing aesthetic of a high-quality finish.
A great thing to note is that it’s not just the ear moulds that can be changed. The protective grids behind them can also be changed for newer ones when the need arises. The particularly soft sheathing of the cables reduces transmission of movement sounds that might cause rustling to disturb audio enjoyment, while the high flexibility of the line ensures that it can be laid comfortably under clothing.
A Few Numbers
The drivers of the Soul Byrd process a transmission range from 10 Hz to 25 KHz. This allows them to cover a much wider frequency spectrum than the human ear can usually handle. The impedance as measured for this test stood at 16.85 Ohm, suggesting these in-ears are well-suited for use on low-powered smartphones, tablets and amps. Of course, this would need to be tested properly for conclusive results. In addition, the maximum sound pressure limit stands at almost 103 dB SPL, which provides sufficient volume for most purposes.
The first I noticed during the sound test was that the Soul Byrd headphones are quieter than I expected when considering the technical specs. If you like to bombard your ears with high sound pressure levels, these in-ears aren’t likely to impress.
In the bass, the Soul Byrd delivers a solid performance across all manner of music styles, from pop and rock to metal and classical. I wouldn’t describe the bass reproduction as impressive, but rather as differentiated. It’s all the more surprising that the Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd headphones make a good impression when it comes to urban music and its sub bass, especially when playing via a smartphone or media player with an equaliser with bass boost. Sub basses prove to be smooth and powerful.
The tonal balance of these in-ears is particularly useful for the mid-range. Many in-ears have problems in transmitting guitar-heavy music found in rock and metal genres, particularly when it comes to ensuring the distorted instrumental doesn’t overwhelm the auditory canal and vocals don’t suffer. Not so with the Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd. In my opinion, they cut a really impressive figure in the mids.
The sound of the Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd convinces thanks to silky smooth highs. Unlike other in-ears, the 10 kHz boost is not overly exaggerated. Here, the boost is clearly perceptible, but better integrated into the surrounding frequency ranges. In the highs above, the Soul Byrd is again discreet in performance. Accordingly, the sound doesn’t seem particularly open to me and also lacks some depth. Nevertheless, the signal resolution is fit for purpose when it comes to everyday listening.
The cable of the Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd features a remote control with three buttons. It works with both iOS and Android devices, and controls central media playback and telephone functions. Since the microphone is integrated, you can reject/accept calls and make calls with the Soul Byrd. Thanks to the lightweight design, the Soul Byrd can be worn comfortably without causing fatigue when wearing for longer periods of time. Due to their particularly flat design, they can be used to relax with or when listening to music as you drift off to sleep. Likewise, they’re also a good choice for workouts and when playing sports.
The Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd is a well-rounded choice. The flat and narrow design makes them a comfortable wear, while the balanced sound makes them ideal for enjoying all manner of listening genres. It comes with a cable clip, transport case and smartphone remote control, providing everything in-ear fans might need for audio enjoyment on the go. In terms of sound technology, the subtle treble is really the only thing that needs getting used to, with some limitations in terms of depth gradation and detail reproduction. The tonal strengths of these in-ears lie in the powerful sub basses and variable mid-range. However, the biggest plus is also the Soul Byrd signature as the flat design makes them a pleasant companion for many situations where conventional in-ears might prove uncomfortable or annoying to wear. Whatever you’re up to, you’ll find these headphones unobtrusive at all times. All in all, the Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd is a good choice for all-round listening, earning plenty of points when you consider the price/performance ratio.