One of our favorite brands in the headphone world gave us a pair of their new Beyerdynamic Custom Studio to review, and after extended use and testing of these, we were quite satisfied with what they provide to the audiophile and musician. With a very familiar sound and build that we’re all accustomed to nowadays when it comes to Beyerdynamic headphones, the Custom Studio also have a bit of a twist to them as we’ll spell out below. To put it simply, we aren’t just limited to what look the headphones come as in the box. Pair up the ability to replace quite a few parts of these headphones with some signature Beyer sound, and this may be the perfect pair for you.
Features of the Beyerdynamic Custom Studio
- Over-ear, closed-back design
- Custom studio ‘sound slider’ on both ear cups
- Adjustable variable bass reflex system built-in
- Recommended use: leisure, mixing, recording and monitoring
- Detachable cable (into right ear cup only)
- Replacebale ear pads, headband and ear covers
- Gold-played mini adapter jack included
- Nominal SPL: 96 dB
- Maximum SPL: 116 dB
- Frequency response: 5 Hz to 35 kHz
- Weight (with cable): 15.1 ounces
- Made in Germany
Build and comfort of the Custom Studio headphones
These headphones definitely give competing models in this price-point a run for their money, especially when it comes to overall build. The skeleton of the headphones as a whole reminds us of one of their best headphones ever made, the DT 770 Studio. The larger-than-normal ear cups, metal connectors from the headband (yes, adjustable), as well as flexible fit all combine for a nice outer shell. The ear cup casings in particular are of a higher-quality plastic, and the ear pads themselves are a soft velour material — not necessarily velvet or leather, but to us felt very pleasant not only when feeling them with our fingers but wearing them on our ears for a long-period of time without feeling any discomfort or pain.
When trying these babies on, we first and foremost noticed the ear cups were huge! Bigger isn’t always better necessarily, but the Custom Studio were clearly over-ear and the overall feel and comfort of these was very familiar when it comes to Beyerdynamic headphones — immersive, pain-free, and nearly pillow-like when it comes to the overall fit of on our heads. The very large ear cups are signature of Beyer headphones.
The Custom Studio’s standout features
At first glance, the cable here is interchangeable, which is always a plus when it comes to being able to replace it if it breaks or of course customize how long you need the cable to be (yes, it only comes with this one in the box — coiled 3 meters). However, you can purchase some after-market cables on the side no problem. Aside from the cable, this is where the main concentration-point of that word ‘Custom‘ comes in to play — you can also replace the headband cover, ear pads, as well as ear cup covers, which is something we haven’t seen before when it comes to the ‘replaceable’ or ‘customization’ arena of headphones, although very similar to Beyer’s Custom Pro headphones many love.
See those little screws on the side of the ear cups? You can use the small tool they provide in the box to actually remove the cover and put your own custom plate. You can purchase quite a variety from Beyer separately, or perhaps create your own (maybe paint or draw over a white cover or the existing plate that came with the headphones). What’s even more nifty is the fact that they offer some separate ear pads for sale on the side with different designs, such as random colors and designs, ‘mosaic lime’, or even a stars and stripes version. The headband is also able to come off very easily, just snap those three buttons on top and you’re good to go. Lastly, the ear cups in particular are sturdy but just take some adjusting to remove as well. After removing them a few times and putting them back on, we didn’t have a problem with them staying in place when using them afterwards.
As far as other versatility to the headphone build, they do not collapse, the ear cups do not swivel and the overall unit does not fold. The headband however does bend relatively well, and we are able to twist the pair to make them slightly compact (shown in the photo gallery later on), but that is all you get when it comes to body versatility. That’s not completely important to us if we’re in the studio, but if you do intend to travel with these it will just depend on your personal preferences — we know some who say fold or bust, while others could care less. We aren’t getting a hard case in the box here so make sure to keep them safe in at least the cloth bag they provide — it’s a nice feeling, soft material that fits the headphones, cable as well as a few other parts you may need to carry along with you.
Sound quality of the Beyerdynamic Custom Studio
Now let’s get into the most important part of headphones — how is it on the ears? The sound overall of these in our subjective opinion gave us very fine detail, and most noticeably a very flat response with little to no embellishments of any of the frequencies. We did notice a deeper bass than some ‘studio headphones’ but that was us nitpicking, and actually felt this to be magnified when it came to the actual variable bass sound slider which we’ll talk about shortly.
Without touching the slider yet, the lower end is definitely warm here, and the rich sound in our opinion doesn’t necessarily allow us to hear ‘problems’ in our mix like some other open-back or semi-open headphones, but it’s not expected with the closed-back and over-ear design here (if you are mixing or mastering, we recommend their DT 880 PRO). The Custom Studio are more geared towards producers or recorders for better sound isolation and the blockage of sound from leaking out. Eventually you’ll get some build up (in particular the lower-end), but that isn’t a problem for us when we’re creating. This closed-back design is also great for those in an office setting or any other type of environment in which you need privacy (or others do around you). Ultimately, the overall sound of these Custom Studio are great when it comes to being rich in detail and having a warmer bottom end, especially if you use the sound slider which we’ll touch upon next.
The last feature we’d like to look into, especially when it comes to ‘sound’ and the feel we get when wearing these is using their ‘Custom Studio Sound Sliders’, the four-point sliding mechanism that allows you to adjust the bass response of these headphones. Again, a very unique feature here as not a lot of headphones sport this “custom” capability (as you can see that ‘Custom Studio’ name implies numerous ways you can tweak the sound of these headphones, not just the look). This ‘custom slider’ isn’t just fancy or stuck on to the headphones for no reason — yes, it actually works, and we tested this by listening to some of our favorite bass-heavy songs. Keeping the slider at the very top ensures a flatter, clearer and evenly distributed response, and the more you slide them downwards, the more bass embellishment you’ll begin to notice. Once you start to get to the lowest point of the slider you’ll definitely notice a change in the lower-end here. Technically speaking, you’re adjusting the porting of the back side of the driver’s enclosure, and it’s in our opinion very effective.
We love this feature for a few reasons. For one, why not? If you’re recording or producing and need a flat response to get an accurate portrayal of your tracks, just keep the slider high. On the other hand, if you’re enjoying some music leisurely and want to up the bass for a deeper experience, simply slide them down and you’re good to go. When it comes to being able to adjust certain features of headphones, we’re always fans since it allows versatility to pertain to each individual’s subjective listening preferences and use. Note that there are sliders on each ear cup, so don’t forget to match them up if you need the same sound in both ears (we forgot a few times).
Concluding the Custom studio headphones review
Do we think these are replacing the DT 770 PRO, Custom Pro or really any other Beyerdynamic headphones that are heavy-hitters in the studio headphone world? Not so fast. While effective, these are indeed slightly more expensive, so if money is a big factor for you we can’t hold you back there. If you’re in need of some professional studio headphones, we’d still gravitate towards one of their DT series models. Especially if you’re actually mixing or mastering professionally as an engineer — stick with an open-back pair of studio headphones.
At the same time, if you’re a producer or recording artist or perhaps one to need a higher-end pair of headphones for leisure listening, these could be a very great choice for you especially with the effective bass response adjustment we have at our finger tips. However, the overall determining factor with wanting to purchase the Custom Studio instead will lie in the replaceable parts as well as customization you get when it comes to matching your personality with your headphones. They offer a wide array of choices for Custom Studio accessories when it comes to colors, styles and designs. As stated previously, you can even make your own.
Overall, the Beyerdynamic Custom Studio are a great pair of headphones for those recording or producing in a home studio, as well as those who want some accurate sound quality that dominate after-market headphones that claim to be ‘studio headphones‘. Even better, if you’re to one to enjoy customizing the look of your headphones and want to browse around Beyer’s replaceable parts to match your personality, this is the pair to buy.