The RHA MA390 lasted so long that I didn’t get to try a lot of headphones during that time. I did have the Beyerdynamic Byron and I do have the ATH-ANC500BT, but their purposes were quite different. I will put up the reviews for the aforementioned headphones soon.
When the RHA MA390 died on me (my bad, miscalculated the cable length while stretching and it strained the left ear bud. Kaput!), I thought I’d resist buying a new one, at least not the RHA again.
I started using the earphones that came with my iPhone – discovered them in the box, waiting to be unwrapped. Boy, they sounded great. Heck, can’t wear them for more than 15 minutes. Why would Apple, of all companies, design ergonomically unfit earphones?
Really tried living with those Apple OEM earphones. Went back and forth on my decision to buy the RHAs again – known devils that come with a superior 3-year warranty. Finally, decided against it and bought the Beyerdynamic Beat BYRD.
The international pricing is about US $25 and in India I got this for INR 999/- (~US $13). Great deal! The build quality is quite good for the price that I paid. It’s definitely still good for the international price as well. The first thing that you notice is the thicker than usual wire, and the ability to not get tangled. Great job there.
However, I think the weak point, just like in the Byron’s, is at the 3.5mm jack connection. Not confidence inspiring at all. I’d be surprised if this lasts for more than 6 months of regular usage, without losing the connection at the jack.
This is the most subjective in all of audio! Well, if I compare with the RHA MA390 and the Apple’s unergonomic earphones, the Beat BYRD is somewhere in the middle.
|Tight||Beat BYRD||RHA MA390||Apple OEM|
Beat BYRD – Any good?
If you look at the table, you may not end up having a great image about the BYRD. However, the measure used is super subjective. For example, I’ve mentioned the mids as ‘crisp’ – this will be a welcome tone for many, not for me maybe. I’ve mentioned the stereo image as narrow – if you’re using this for movies, you will really feel the difference in surround effect. Otherwise, not much of an impact for mp3 music listening.
Listening to Leonard Cohen’s Happens to the Heart, reveals good texture, but as I had mentioned, Cohen’s voice is crisp – not something that I’m used to. It was warm and luscious on the RHA MA390. Recondite’s Limber reveals how deep the BYRD can go, but at the expense of the sound stage – narrow (enough to make you frown, if you start focussing on the music).
Highly recommended, only if you are able to get these at around the $10-$13 price range. Anything more than this, I will gladly recommend the RHA MA390 over these. Time will tell if the BYRDs are rugged enough to be thrown into a bag and pulled out for use, without much care. I’m using these only as a stop gap – until I’m ready for a pair of good quality, wired headphones in the $100 range.
One thing I can say about the BYRD is that they don’t sound cheap.