The Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd is the wireless iteration of the company’s Soul Byrd, an excellent pair of lightweight earbuds. While the Blue Byrd is nearly double the price of its counterpart, it brings high-quality Bluetooth codec support with a supremely comfortable fit to the table.
Editor’s note: these earphones have been recalled by Beyerdynamic. The company stated the following in a recall release to consumers: There is the possibility that under certain circumstances this in-ear headphone can exhibit overheating of the controller component during the charging process. If the headphone has been exposed to salty water which has penetrated the case it can cause damage to the charging circuit which can then lead to overheating to a level that can distort the casing and cause the casing to become very hot.
Who is the Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd for?
These earbuds are for listeners who want to invest in a pair of earbuds, rather than settle for a pair that just works. The Blue Byrd features replaceable ear tips and protective grilles, which can be purchased directly from the company’s website, as opposed to jumping through countless hoops with customer support.
Additionally, these a smart pick for fashion-conscious listeners. If you’ve balked at the sight of bulky earbuds like the Bose SoundSport Free or JBL Endurance Peak, then the recessed profile of earbuds is likely an appealing feature. The covert design is extremely comfortable and easy to wear with hats or beanies.
How is it built?
The earbud housings and cable material are identical to the Soul Byrd, the Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd’s wired sibling. Flat anodized aluminum panels decorate the exterior and sheathe dynamic drivers. Opposing the brandished flat panels are angled nozzles that provide a comfortable fit, further enhanced by the soft silicone ear tips.
Listeners experience the same superb fit with the Blue Byrd as is provided by the Soul Byrd. If your outer ears are typically bothered by earbuds rubbing against them, the Blue Byrd may be your ideal in-ears.
The neckband design differentiates itself from others because it’s really just a cable broken up by equally weighted battery modules, instead of a stiffened neckband constructed from different materials than the cable. This design keeps things lightweight but is prone to slipping around the back of the neck.
The integrated mic and remote on the right side of the headset is difficult to use blindly as there’s hardly any distinction between buttons. They all rest on the same plane the raised symbols aren’t differentiated enough to operate blindly with confidence. Once I found the multifunction button, Google Assistant access was a breeze.
The above chart is limited to display the human voice frequency response of the Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd microphone which, as you can see, is fairly neutral. This means that the microphone clearly transmits all relevant frequencies with relatively equal loudness. As is expected from a headset mic, plosives (p, f, b, etc) and sibilants can be a problem—but the same stands true for professional-grade mics. Hence why many podcasters and musicians use a pop filter.
Battery life is bad at just 5.48 hours of playback. Sure, it’s just 30 minutes shy of Beyerdynamic’s claimed six-hour battery life, but it’s less than some true wireless earbuds are able to achieve. On the bright side, the earbuds charge via the included USB-C cable but quick charging isn’t supported.
The Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd earbuds use Bluetooth 4.2, can connect to two devices simultaneously, and support a slew of high-quality codecs including AAC, aptX, and aptX LL. If you happen to be a gamer, the aptX LL support, makes these a great option for lag-free streaming when milliseconds make the difference between digital life and death. General consumers benefit from the 10-meter wireless range, a standard for Bluetooth headsets.
The earbuds produce the same frequency response as the Soul Byrd, meaning that bass and treble notes receive the greatest emphasis. That said, clarity isn’t sacrificed; the Blue Byrd successfully navigates musical complexities with minimal auditory masking.
Additionally, while isolation isn’t remarkable with the silicone ear tips, the Comply 400 series ear tips are compatible with the Byrd line for optimal isolation. Picking up a pair may also reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss as you’re less likely to crank up the volume to potentially dangerous levels.
Related: How your in-ears fit matters
Lows, mids, and highs
Shakey Graves’ song Mansion Door sounds clear through the Blue Byrd earbuds. The first 50 seconds of the song is occupied by a dual-guitar riff, of which both guitars are distinctly audible with virtually no masking between the echoing parts. Just 27 seconds into Mansion Door, the guitars are joined by a drum kit and bass guitar. Both low-frequency instruments are reproduced with enough emphasis to standout from the introductory guitars without distracting from them.
Vocals, while relatively clear, are underemphasized. This is apparent from Alejandro Rose-Garcia’s vocals: at 1:08, Rose-Garcia sings, “… would you put some time aside?” Here, the exaggerated kickdrum reproduction makes it difficult to hear him annunciate the words “would you.” Then, at the end of “aside,” drum sticks are hit together, making it nearly impossible to hear the word’s second syllable.
As you can see, I’m nitpicking here. The Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd effectively handles all genres of music with excellent clarity.
Should you buy the Beyerdynamic Blue Byrd?
If you’re in the market for a pair of lightweight earbuds that are fashionable and functional, yes. While you’re paying a premium for the ergonomics and Beyerdynamic name, the price may very well be worth it. Although battery life could be better, these are the most comfortable wireless in-ears around. If battery life is a top priority, be sure to check out our list of the best neckband earbuds.