Earphones are a common accessory that people buy for their smartphones. While there are good budget options available in the market — such as the Ant Audio Wave 702 and the Boat Bassheads 225 — if you are an audiophile, you'll want to spend more for high-quality earphones. Thankfully, there are a few options that don't break the bank. One such option is the Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd, which is priced at Rs. 6,999 in India. Should you spend your money on these earphones or give them a pass? We review them to find out.
The Beyerdynamics Soul Byrd is well packed and comes with a hard carrying case in the box. The earpieces are compact and have an angled plastic driver chambers. The design makes them sit flush with the ear, so they don't protrude. This means you will be able to use them in bed and they won't be uncomfortable even when you're lying on your side.
The earpieces are light and have conical ear tips. Beyerdynamics bundles five pairs of silicone ear tips in the box, and we changed the default ones to a larger tip for a better fit. The earpieces are light, and using this pair of earphones for long durations didn't cause fatigue.
The Soul Byrds come with five conical ear-tips
These Beyerdynamics earphones have a 1.2m long cable that has a clip attached. The cable is made out of good quality rubber and did not tangle when we were using these earphones. It is very easy to change the position and angle of this cable clip. There is a three-button inline remote just before the right earbud. Two buttons are to control the volume, while the third is a multifunction button.
A single press of this button will play/pause a track or answer an incoming call. You can also long press it to summon the virtual assistant on your smartphone. Double-pressing this button lets you skip to the previous track and triple-pressing takes you to the next track The 3.5mm plug isn't angled, which could be an issue for some.
Beyerdynamics does not specify the size of the drivers used in the Soul Byrd, but they have an impedance of 18Ohms. Since this level is low, these headphones can easily be driven by smartphones. The drivers have a frequency response range of 10Hz to 25KHz and a sensitivity rating of 103dB.
The Soul Byrd earpieces have a good seal and manage to filter out some amount of ambient noise. We used our MacBook Air and a Google Pixel 3 (Review) along with the bundled USB Type-C adaptor to test these headphones. First, we plugged the Soul Byrd into the Macbook and streamed a couple of songs using JioSaavn. This pair of earphones is tuned to have a nearly neutral sound signature, not the common V-shaped sound signature with boosted bass and treble that most earphones are tuned to.
Thanks to this, these earphones do justice to the lows, mids, and highs. Beyerdynamic has managed to deliver good punchy bass without it becoming too boomy. The mids are strong and help vocals shine. These earphones have good highs as well, but they tend to sound shrill at very high volumes. There's also very little cable noise.
The in-line remote has three buttons that help control audio playback and volume
We played a couple of songs to check how the Soul Byrd performs. We queued up Thunderstruck by ACDC and the earphones reproduced the opening guitar riff beautifully. When the vocals came in, the Soul Byrd handled the strong mids, layering them on top of the guitar. The earphones had good separation and we could hear the various instruments clearly.
Next we listened to Joker and the Thief by Wolfmother, and this track also starts with a guitar riff, with the drums and the high-hat coming in in their turn. The Soul Byrd offers good clarity and you can focus on individual instruments without much effort.
To focus on the bass, we then played Starboy by The Weeknd. The Soul Byrd was capable of putting out tight punchy bass without overpowering the vocals. Some earphones overdo the bass but we like the balanced output of the Soul Byrd.
Beyerdynamic offers a hard case to store the Soul Byrd earphones
Listening to a FLAC version of Hotel California on the MacBook Air sounded a lot better than streaming it off the Internet. Highs didn't sound too shrill at higher volumes, and the separation in general was better.
We also used the Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd for a few of our phone calls. We could hear our callers clearly and they didn't have any complaints either.
The Beyerdynamic Soul Byrd is a nearly neutral sounding pair of earphones aimed at those who care about sound quality. It is well designed and the earpieces don't jut out of your ears. Thanks to its low weight, it does not cause fatigue when worn for long durations. The conical eartips fit well, and with five pairs of tips supplied, finding a good fit isn't much of an issue.
While this pair of earphones is good, it does seem overpriced for what it offers. We found the RHA-MA650 (wired) to be a very good alternative that offers similar sound quality at a lower price, if you can still get your hands on a pair.
Price (MRP): 6,999
Ratings (out of 5)
Which are the best budget Bluetooth earphones and headphones in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.