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Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD
We’re bombarded with the latest wireless and true wireless gadgets and gizmos, but Beyerdynamic kept things simple with the Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD wired earphones. The angled nozzles and slim housings make for an unbelievably comfortable fit, and sound quality is above par as we’ve come to expect from the company.
Let’s see if less is more, or if you should invest in a more feature-packed pair of earbuds.
Editor’s note: this Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD review was updated on January 18, 2021, to mention a sale and adjust formatting.
Who is the Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD for?
These earbuds are a great option if you’re looking to upgrade the in-ears included with your phone but don’t want to spend a fortune. For less than $100, you get a chic, all-black design with earbuds that sit flush with the outer ear. While they don’t isolate you as well as a pair of noise cancelling earbuds, they’re effective enough for most commutes. Since these are wired, you’re going to need a phone with a headphone jack or a dongle adapter.
What’s it like to use the Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD?
The Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD earbuds are elegant. Ornamented with anodized aluminum panels with the embossed Beyerdynamic logo, the flush housings look sleek. Inside each chamber is a dynamic driver, and extending from the housings are tangle-resistant cables that converge at a Y-splitter.
Between said splitter and the earbuds is an in-line mic and remote module along with a cable management slider. The oblong divot on the module displays three separated buttons for playback controls and virtual assistant access. These all rest on the same plane, but are easy to distinguish blindly; this ability flies out the window when you wear gloves though.
Related: Best earbuds under $100
These earbuds are how unusually comfortable. The cable descends just below the bottom of the targus, and the angled, conical ear tips rest with the ear canal, rather than against it. This design is great for side sleepers who fall asleep to podcasts, because the flush panels are painless to wear in bead.
The Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD earbuds are remarkably comfortable.
Listeners get a hardshell case, one shirt cable clip, five pairs of silicone ear tips, and the earbuds. You can swap out the ear tips for a pair of memory foam ones if you want, but the provided ones are very nice, and don’t require much upkeep.
Does the Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD have a microphone?
The earphones have a microphone embedded within the control module, and it’s very good. You can certainly use this for personal calls, and even in conference calls. Because there’s some distance between you and the microphone, the proximity effect is less of an issue, relative to internal mic systems found in true wireless earbuds.
Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD microphone demo:
How does the microphone sound to you?
Do the Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD sound good?
As indicated by the frequency response chart, the Soul BYRD emphasize low-frequency sounds, to the point where you’re likely to perceive bass notes as two-times louder than some treble notes. If I just looked at the chart, I’d be skeptical about clarity, but auditory masking is rare with these buds. Plus, many of us prefer some bass and midrange emphasis like this: it adds that extra oomph that we’ve grown familiar with.
Passive isolation is good, but low-frequency sounds aren’t even remotely nullified. For that, you need to invest in some noise cancelling earbuds. Background noise like nearby chit-chat is blocked out very well by the earbuds, though. This, again, is wholly dependent on you finding the ear tips that fit you best.
Lows, mids, and highs
In the Alabama Shakes’ song Future People, the opening bass line is clear, including the resonant harmonic frequencies. Immediately after the opening note, a rustling sound is introduced to the mix, which is reproduced with great clarity through the right channel.
Though the bass response is very intense, it doesn't create too much auditory masking.
At 0:30, lead vocalist Brittany Howard belts the lyrics, “Some want to see…” While her voice remains distinguishable from the cymbal hits and continuing bass-line, the low-end emphasis does degrade detail. This makes sense as 1-2.5kHz frequency range is the less prominent relative to the bass and midrange notes. Generally speaking, though, the bass and treble-oriented sound signature is what most of us consumers are used to and prefer.
Should you buy the Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD?
The Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD hold up, even in 2020, when true wireless earbuds and Bluetooth headphones are all the rage. If you want something simple, these are some very good buds.
When discussing audio quality, it’s no contest: wired products win every time over their Bluetooth competitors. If your smartphone retained the headphone jack and you’re looking for an upgrade to your current dollar-store earbuds, these are a fine option. They’re also on sale right now for $69.
Either way, there are comparable products for the price, one of our favorites being the 1MORE Triple-Driver In-Ear. If you’re an avid pre-bedtime podcast or audiobook listener, though, these chic earbuds may be very easy to justify buying.