Reviewed on: SoundStage! Solo, October 2022
I measured the Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote earphones using laboratory-grade equipment: a GRAS Model 43AG ear/cheek simulator/RA0402 ear simulator with KB5000/KB5001 simulated pinnae, and an Audiomatica Clio 12 QC audio analyzer. For isolation measurements, I used a laptop computer running TrueRTA software with an M-Audio MobilePre USB audio interface. The earphones were amplified using a Musical Fidelity V-CAN amplifier. Except as noted, I used the supplied medium-sized silicone tips for all measurements because they fit best in the ear simulator. These are “flat” measurements; no diffuse-field or free-field compensation curve was employed. If you’d like to learn more about what our measurements mean, click here.
This chart shows the Xelento Remotes’ frequency response. Hey, I said these were unusual! There’s a substantial bass bump below 200Hz; a very uncommon (but mild) boost in the midrange around 1.4kHz; some very narrow peaks centered at 5.2 and 7.2kHz; and an overall downward tilt to the tonal balance. From hearing them, I’d never have thought this is the way they’d measure.
This chart shows how the Xelento Remotes’ tonal balance changes when they’re used with a high-impedance source, such as a cheap laptop, some tube amps, or some professional headphone amps. There’s no difference that the human ear could pick up.
This chart shows the Xelento Remotes’ right-channel response compared with various earphones, including the AKG N5005s, which are said to be the passive earphones that come closest to the Harman curve. All the other models have a peak in the 2-to-4kHz range, like most headphones and earphones do. The Xelento Remotes do not. I’d finish this paragraph by holding down the question-mark key for several seconds, followed by a couple more seconds on the exclamation-point key, but the SoundStage! editors would just take them out.
The Xelento Remotes’ spectral-decay plot looks unusual, too. There’s some kind of apparent resonance in the bass, probably having to do with that big bump in the frequency response. There are also some super-high-Q resonances at about 2.5, 3.7, and 4.4kHz; they’re so narrow you’d never hear them, but they are yet another clue as to these earphones’ singular nature.
Very, very, very low distortion here—so yet again, unusual!
In this chart, the external noise level is 85dB SPL, and numbers below that indicate the degree of attenuation of outside sounds. The lower the lines, the better the isolation. In the 43AG ear/cheek simulator, the Xelento Remote earphones, to my surprise, given their compact size, achieved extraordinary levels of isolation, especially when I used the foam tips. This would make them great for frequent flyers who don’t like noise canceling.
The impedance curve of the Xelento Remotes is pretty flat, averaging about 19 ohms, although both the magnitude and phase response rise at high frequencies.
Sensitivity, measured between 300Hz and 3kHz, using a 1mW signal calculated for 16 ohms rated impedance, is 112.1dB, which means the Xelento Remotes will play loudly from any source device.
Bottom line: There earphones seem very well made, with robust drivers, but the frequency response is quite unusual. If you read the review, you know I liked the sound, but this is one of those audio products that’s best tried before purchased—unless you’re a well-heeled audio enthusiast in search of something out of the ordinary.
. . . Brent Butterworth