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The beyerdynamic Blue Byrd 2 lying on a white surface.

Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) review

Despite the retro look, modern features keep these buds on a band relevant today.
By
February 1, 2022
8.2
Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)
The bottom line
Thoughtful upgrades including an IPX4 rating and features like aptX Bluetooth codec support keep the Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd (2nd generation) relevant in the true wireless age. These buds on a band boast good audio quality and a comfortable design, though the less than stellar microphone is a bit of a bummer.

Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)

Thoughtful upgrades including an IPX4 rating and features like aptX Bluetooth codec support keep the Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd (2nd generation) relevant in the true wireless age. These buds on a band boast good audio quality and a comfortable design, though the less than stellar microphone is a bit of a bummer.
Release date

October 28, 2021

Price

Original: $149 USD

Jan. 2022: $139 USD

Dimensions

90 x 135 x 30 mm (carrying case)

Weight

3g (earbud)

31g (total)

Model Number

717649

Waterproof

IPX4

What we like
Good sound quality
Comfortable
Good battery life
Bluetooth multipoint
aptX, SBC, and AAC codec support
USB-C charging built-in to the band
What we don't like
Band design is a bit old-fashioned
Microphone is not great at blocking out noise
App doesn't have a full EQ
8.2
SoundGuys Rating
9.1
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Sound Quality
9.6
10.0
10.0
Bass
9.3
10.0
10.0
Midrange
9.9
6.7
7.0
Highs
9.6
7.8
8.0
Isolation / Attenuation
7.3
7.2
7.0
Durability / Build Quality
8.0
9.5
10.0
Value
6.9
9.5
10.0
Design
7.5
9.5
10.0
Connectivity
7.0
9.5
10.0
Portability
7.8
9.5
10.0
Battery Life
8.0
10.0
10.0
Feature
7.5
9.5
10.0
Comfort
8.0
9.5
10.0

Neckband earphones may seem like a throwback to a time before true wireless earbuds existed, but the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) incorporates many modern features, including aptX Bluetooth codec support, Bluetooth multipoint, and more. Having your earbuds attached to each other might seem a bit old-fashioned, but does the second-gen Blue BYRD keep the design relevant?

Who is the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) for?

  • Disorganized people who are tired of losing their AirPods can keep things together with the second-gen Blue BYRD.
  • Every day listeners can enjoy these comfortable earbuds that they can use while charging.
  • Exercise enthusiasts will find the comfortable fit and IPX4 rating useful here.
  • Visually impaired users will appreciate the clearly marked earbuds and the tactile differences between the left and right sides on the headset.

What’s it like to use the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)?

Three images of the beyerdynamic Blue Byrd (2nd generation) being worn. From left to right the images are of the left bud in a person's ear, the band draped around a person's neck, and the right bud in a person's ear.
The Beyerdynamic neckband is pretty comfortable, but be mindful if you have long hair.

The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) consists of two earbuds attached to a band, a design we haven’t seen much since the rise of true wireless earphones. Each bud weighs around 3g, and the total weight of them plus the band is around 31g. That might sound heavy for earbuds, but keep in mind that your collar bone supports most of that weight—each ear will only feel the buds. The weight of the band keeps things in place when walking or jogging, too, though it might start to shift during more intense activities like jumping jacks.

Start here: What makes a good set of earbuds?

Oh, and you can actually break a sweat in this headset now thanks to the IPX4 rating of the Blue BYRD (2nd generation), a major upgrade over its predecessor (which was recalled due to salt water ingress causing extreme overheating). This will likely please workout buffs and commuters because sweat, splashes, and drips aren’t a big concern when wearing these earphones.

Beyerdynamic provides five sizes of ear tips to choose from in the box. The second-largest size is the most comfortable for me, and while it is a little fiddly to get the ear tips onto the pegs of each bud, it’s not anywhere as bad as the 1MORE ColorBuds 2. The ear tips are a bit stiff, but holding them into your ears for a few seconds should mold them into place. The band drapes around the back of your neck so it doesn’t get in the way all that much. However, if you have long hair—especially long and curly hair—the band can get lost in your locks while it rests on your neck. It’s not a major issue, but you will have to scoop your hair out of the way before laying the band down. Also, be mindful of the order you put on a mask. If it’s the last thing to go on, the wires attached to the buds will get weaved inside its ear loops.

The beyerdynamic Blue Byrd (2nd generation) lies on a table showing the white "L" marking on the interior of the band.
Beyerdynamic distinguishes the headset’s left and right sides in multiple different ways, which is helpful for visually impaired users.

You don’t get a charging case with the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation). Instead, you get a simple padded carrying case. That’s because the headset itself incorporates a USB-C charging port. Therefore, if you ever lose the case, you can keep using these earbuds, which is good for forgetful people (like me). The case fits into a pants pocket, but it is on the bulky side.

Each bud and either side of the band are marked “L” and “R” with white letters on black plastic. It’s a pretty visible design, plus the control buttons are affixed to the right bud’s wire, as another nod to which side is which. Furthermore, the power button is on the left side of the band. That means you get multiple visual and tactile indicators of each side, which is helpful for people with impaired vision.

How do you control the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)?

The headset’s controls are located on the band. The right side has a small box with three control buttons mounted on it, and the left side is where you’ll find the power button. These aren’t touch controls per se, but Beyerdynamic uses multi-function presses to maximize functionality. By default, this is what each control button is set to do:

Number of presses+ button- button( ) button
Number of presses
One
+ button
Increase volume
- button
Decrease volume
( ) button
Start/stop playback or accept/reject call (if ringing)
Number of presses
Two
+ button

- button

( ) button
Jump to next track
Number of presses
Three
+ button

- button

( ) button
Jump to previous track
Number of presses
Press two times and then hold
+ button

- button

( ) button
Fast forward
Number of presses
Press three times and then hold
+ button

- button

( ) button
Rewind
Number of presses
Press and hold for 2 seconds
+ button

- button

( ) button
Activate voice assistant or reject call (if ringing)
Number of presses
Simultaneous press
+ button
With ( ) for 2 seconds to activate/deactivate voice messages
- button
With ( ) for 4 seconds to reset to factory settings
( ) button

Plus, you can use your voice assistant via the mic and button controls on the second-gen Blue BYRD, which is handy when you’re on the go.

The power button may not behave in the way you’d expect, however. Instead of pressing it to turn the earphones on or off, it too has multiple functions:

FunctionLength of press required
Power on
Two seconds
Power off
Four seconds
Turn on in Bluetooth pairing mode
Four seconds

Furthermore, the LED on the band gives you visual feedback on the current status of your earphones:

StatusLED
Charging
Flashes red/yellow/green (in that order from empty to full)
Fully charged
Solid green
Switching off
Illuminates red for 1.5 seconds
Battery nearly depleted
Flashes red rapidly
Incoming call
Flashes blue rapidly
Call active
Flashes blue briefly once every 7 seconds
Media playback active
Flashes blue briefly once every 7 seconds
Bluetooth pairing mode active
Flashes blue and red alternately
Bluetooth connection active
Flashes blue briefly once every 7 seconds
Bluetooth connection lost
Flashes blue briefly once every 3 seconds
Firmware update mode active
Flashes pink 3 times per second

Should you download the MIY Beyerdynamic app?

A screen shot of the MIY beyerdynamic Android app showing that the beyerdynamic Blue Byrd 2 is connected in three images from left to right. These are: the "Information" tab showing the currently connected model and some configuration options, the home screen showing that personalzied sound is off, and the results of the personalized Hearing ID sound test.
This set of buds uses the MIY Beyerdynamic app, which is a bit oddly planned, but helpful to have.

The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) uses the MIY Beyerdynamic app (iOS and Android) to install software updates, change settings, and more. It’s a good idea to install it. When you first start the app, you will be asked to complete your Hearing ID, Beyerdynamic’s sound personalization feature, on that device. By default, your Hearing ID lives only on that one device—having it available elsewhere means creating an account with Beyerdynamic, called Mimi. Though both are optional, the Hearing ID test is actually useful and you can retake it as desired.

The app splits its equalizer function across two features. Under the “Information” tab you can find equalizer presets, but Hearing ID is how you access a more personalized sound profile. The test has you strain to listen for high-pitched beeps through lots of noise. Beyerdynamic recommends you do this in a quiet, distraction-free room, and that’s a good idea. The end result is used to tune the headphones to your ears and your preferences.

You can slide between the default sound and personalized sound, but there's no custom EQ option.

It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition, however. You can adjust a slider in the app’s “Profile” tab between “Original” and “Personalized” to mix the default operation profile with your own, too. Plus, a chart gets created with your personalized profile compared to the headset’s default. While this is certainly a novel approach to creating unique listening experiences, I prefer a proper equalizer for fine-toothed adjustments. It’s also a bit of a quirk that many other features get tucked into the “Information” tab only after tapping on “Your headphone” in there, such as voice assistant controls.

What Bluetooth codecs does the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) support?

The beyerdynamic Blue Byrd 2 lying on a table looped around a smartphone in front of a black computer keyboard.
The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) supports Bluetooth multipoint, though the process for getting two devices synced up for the first time is a bit quirky.

The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) uses Bluetooth 5.2 and supports the aptX, aptX adaptive, SBC, and AAC Bluetooth codecs. It supports Bluetooth multipoint, too. As mentioned in the section on controls above, you must hold the power button for a few seconds to put the buds into Bluetooth syncing mode.

Because of this, the process for getting multipoint set up might be a bit unexpected, but it’s not too complicated:

  1. Sync the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) with the first device.
  2. Switch off Bluetooth on the first device.
  3. Turn off the headset.
  4. Turn the headset back on in pairing mode.
  5. Connect to the second device.
  6. Reactivate Bluetooth on the first device.

That might seem wonky, but you only have to do it once per device for up to eight devices. The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) will remember each device and connect itself automatically afterward if two of them are within its range.

See also: The best aptX Bluetooth headphones

Beyerdynamic claims these earphones can get up to 10 meters of range, but that’s in ideal conditions. Still, the connection remains solid with your phone in a pants pocket, for instance. You can also use one bud at a time because the earphones always sync to Bluetooth together. However, if your content is in mono, you’ll have to insert whichever side the content plays on manually—unless you use third-party software to swap the channels.

How long does the battery last on the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)?

The beyerdynamic Blue Byrd 2 lying on a table with its carrying clase placed on top of it.
Since this isn’t a set of true wireless earbuds, it doesn’t include a charging case. Instead, you get a USB charging port is built-in to the band.

Historically, one of the things hindering the development of true wireless earbuds was battery technology, and even today, many models of true wireless earbuds still can’t match the claimed 14-hour battery life of the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation). Our standard headphone battery test uses music played back continuously with a 75dB(SPL) maximum output level measured at the eardrum of our test head. The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) lasted 11 hours, 53 minutes. That is still pretty good, but it falls short of the manufacturer’s claim.

How do you charge the Blue BYRD (2nd gen)?

Beyerdynamic throw in a USB-A to USB-C charging cable but no power adapter. You don’t get a charging case because the USB-C port is on the earphones’ band. Furthermore, you can keep the headset plugged in and charging while listening to content—true wireless buds can’t claim that feature, and neither can many models of wireless over-ear headphones.

As mentioned earlier an LED on the right side of the band gives you visual feedback of the current battery status. There is an audible update on it every time you turn on the earphones, too.

How well does the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) block out noise?

The isolation chart for the beyerdynamic Blue Byrd 2, which shows that it blocks mids and highs quite well.
The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) blocks mids and highs rather well, but lows can get through a bit more.

The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) does not have active noise cancellation (ANC), so it relies on passive isolation to block out external distractions. That means your listening experience depends on getting a good fit from the included ear tips. Under ideal conditions, you get pretty decent isolation. These earbuds tend to block out more highs than lows—as is typical of isolation performance without noise cancelling—but overall the headset blocks out all sounds to some degree.

Good isolation is important because it helps protect you from hearing loss by making you less likely to turn up the volume to hear your tunes. The MIY Beyerdynamic app also includes a dosage meter to monitor how long you spend listening to content and how loud it is, which is handy for staying in safe territory.

However, the wires and band are a potential source of noise. If they bump into something or drape across your shirt, you might notice a “scraping” or “shuffling” noise. Once upon a time, we all lived with this, but in the age of true wireless everything, it might come as a slight shock to hear it again. You get used to it eventually, and it’s less noticeable when you’re playing music versus listening to audiobooks or podcasts.

How does the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) sound?

The frequency response chart for the beyerdynamic Blue Byrd 2 showing that it boosts both the lows and highs above the target levels of the SoundGuys' house curve.
The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) (cyan) boosts both the lows and highs above the target levels of the SoundGuys’ consumer curve (pink).

The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) has a consumer-pleasing sound profile, thanks to the fact that it actually boosts lows above the target compared to the SoundGuyshouse curve. That’s good news for bass-heads, and the highs see a bump, too. Plus, unlike many models of true wireless earbuds, the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) sticks pretty close to our target in the mids.

Lows, mids, and highs

The boosted lows and highs give you a good pop listening experience. A song like Hot Mango Chutney Sauce by Meesha Shafi sounds fun and bassy, while highs in the forms of synthesizer notes and bells also come through clearly enough. However, because the two ends of the spectrum are so emphasized, vocals in the mids might seem slightly quieter than the instruments. It’s not anywhere near a deal breaker though, and likely will go unnoticed during daily listening on a bus.

The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) isn’t bad at reproducing mids, far from it. In fact, it reproduces mids very accurately. As such, primarily vocal content is quite listenable, like audiobooks or podcasts. Furthermore, music that focuses on the human voice is also reproduced well. For instance, the qawwali Mast Mast Dam Mast as sung by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan has his vocals audible across their full range, while the drums and harmoniums add punctuation nicely.

Overall, the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)’s generally pleasing sound profile should satisfy most listeners. Though there is no fine-toothed equalizer, you can customize the sound to your tastes somewhat, too.

Can you use the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) for phone calls?

The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) has a microphone located in the same box where you’ll find the control buttons on the right-hand bud’s wire, so you can use it for phone calls. This puts the mic conveniently close to your mouth, too. In ideal conditions, your voice will come through clearly. However, in office environments, keyboard clacks, shuffling papers, and other sources of noise will obscure some of your words. Listen for yourself:

Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) microphone sample (Ideal):

Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) microphone sample (Office):

How does the microphone sound to you?

98 votes

Should you buy the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)?

The beyerdynamic Blue Byrd 2 lying on a white surface.
The Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) might look a bit retro, but it boasts modern performance and features.

If you want a set of earphones that more or less “just works,” the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation) makes for a solid choice—even during the reign of true wireless earbuds. While the band design is a throwback to an earlier era, Beyerdynamic includes many features that listeners have come to expect such as the aptX Bluetooth codec and multipoint support, and the battery performance doesn’t hurt either.

You might like: The best Bluetooth neckband earbuds

With its clearly delineated left and right sides, this headset is a good option for people with impaired vision. You may find the band and earbuds’ wires a bit annoying, however—especially at first. Plus, the microphone’s lack of effective noise cancelling and the less than fully-featured EQ in the app are both a bit of a bummer.

The Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd (2nd generation) product image against a white background.
Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

What should you get instead of the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)?

The field for wireless earphones on a band has grown thin ever since the rise of true wireless earbuds, but there are still alternatives floating around. The Sennheiser IE 100 PRO Wireless is slightly less comfortable than the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation), and it does not have any sort of IP rating or comparable battery life. However, it features similar Bluetooth codec support and audio quality.

Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Wireless earbuds on a wood table with sunglasses in the background and a Swiss Army knife in the foreground.
The Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Wireless is another set of neckbuds that’s comfortable and flexible.

Similarly, the Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear gets you the same Bluetooth codec support but slightly less stellar audio quality. The microUSB charging might be a bigger retro throwback than you’re looking for, however.

On the opposite end of the price spectrum, there’s the Jabra Elite Active 45e. It is far cheaper than the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation), but it does not have nearly comparable sound quality. Still, it suits workout fans well thanks to its IP67 rating, but once more you must use microUSB to charge this headset.

Next: The best true wireless earbuds under $200

Frequently asked questions about the Beyerdynamic Blue BYRD (2nd generation)

The Soul BYRD is a wired pair of earbuds with a great, lightweight build and integrated mic/control module. The microphone sounds quite good on the Soul BYRD, so long as you can prevent it from rubbing against your clothes.

The Blue BYRD (2nd generation) costs more than double that of the Soul BYRD’s going rate of $69 USD. If you must have Bluetooth with high-quality codec support, the Blue BYRD makes more sense. Otherwise, we still love the Soul BYRD years later.


While true wireless earbuds have their advantages for exercise and convenience, there are still plenty of reasons to get a pair of neckbuds. For one, you won’t lose the Blue BYRD (as easily) as you might a pair of AirPods or Galaxy Buds. What’s more, you generally get better battery life out of neckbuds compared to true wireless earbuds because the latter has smaller Li-ion battery cells that deplete quicker.