This is a review of Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro (COP) headphones. beyerdynamic Custom One Pro: Interaktiver Kopfhörer
If you are following all the latest headphones reviews I posted in the last few months, you will notice a new trend of every manufacturer trying to come up with something unique to make their product standout from the crowd. I know I'm repeating myself, but ever since Beats catapulted in popularity for all the wrong reasons (eye candy appeal instead of sound quality), everybody is doing a catch up to turn attention to their products. Beyerdynamic is one of the premium headphones company with great German engineering behind their name, and Custom One Pro is their answer how it should be done. Let's look closer to see if they were successful in this journey.
Starting with a packaging, there is no mistake you are dealing with a premium product. Even before you open the box, taking a tour around it and under the front flap will reveal all the key elements of this Custom One Pro headset. I will reveal these features further down the review and will go over in more details about the meaning of each "Custom", "One", and "Pro". Once you open the top flap of the box, you find a hex key labeled as "Custom Style Tool". Make sure you don't loose it since you will need to use it for disassembly of earpieces to exchange the shield covers. Taking headphones out of the box reveal a rather large/chunky design which is typical for studio headphones. These over-ear headphones have a rather large earpieces with a soft memory foam that fits very comfortably around your ears. The steel headband is wrapped around in a soft foam/pleather material that makes wearing these very comfortable for extended period of time, despite a rather large size of this headset. It has a very solid design with steel y-fork construction holding earpieces and precisely adjustable extension to fit any size of the head. Clamping force was just perfect, and got better after about 30min of use. Unfortunately, these are not foldable so you will need a separate carrying case to take them outside of the house. To my surprise, none came bundled with COP. The only other accessory was a straight 3.5mm removable cable with a rather thick shielding and no in-line remote/mic, and 1/4" screw on adapter. I was very surprised by not seeing at least a drawstring bag or an additional cable with in-line remote, although Beyerdynamic offers that as additional accessory option (though, I didn't see any options for in-line remote). In theory this shouldn't be a show stopper because you can find plenty of 3.5mm male-to-male extension cables with in-line remote/mic (I highly recommend the one from V-Moda) as long as it has a thinner 3.5mm plug going to headphone jack since it uses interlocking mechanism with original cable. The whole idea of removable cable is a huge bonus since we all know that cable connection is a weakest link of any headphones. If it breaks, you can easily replace it and extend the lifetime of your headphones.
Let's look into other unique features of the COP. "Custom" part will be very familiar to V-Moda fans where you can customize the earpieces shields. Just remove 4 hex screws to access the cover and replace it with a number of extra ones offered from Beyerdynamic website ($19 per pair). Furthermore, you can customize with a different set of earpads and different headband wrap. "One" in my opinion fits a perfect description of One headphone to rule them all, where you no longer need to choose between headphones with different sound signatures. Audiophiles and sound engineers typically prefer a more balanced neutral sound to hear more details across the entire frequency range. Casual music listeners like a more fun sound with enhanced bass and treble, typical for v-shaped sound. Bassheads want a head rattling sub-bass where mids and treble doesn't matter. Until now, you couldn't make everybody happy with one set of headphones, but Beyerdynamic made a very legit attempt with the "One". Each of the earpieces comes with a 4-position adjustable slider that customizes your sound by providing additional physical port opening to enhance the bass. This is the main function of this slider to adjust the bass from neutral (quality with hardly any quantity) all the way to a deep sub-bass. Through this adjustment, mids and treble stay unchanged. This is where the "Pro" definition comes from - the sound quality of these cans. Both mids and treble are very clear and detailed. Treble is not as bright which is good for longer listening to avoid ear fatigue. Mids are clear, although they are somewhat recessed which pushes vocals a bit to the back. It becomes especially noticeable when you start boosting the bass. As I mentioned before, the boost of the bass comes more in a form of sub-bass where the quantity goes up by as much as 25dB from the lowest to the highest setting without adding any muddiness to the sound. The soundstage is wider than average and remains the same as you adjust the slider. All the instruments occupy their own space, and don't get drowned in bass even at highest slider setting.
Another interesting function of the slider, beside sound adjustment, is also adjustment of variable noise isolation. COP offers a passive noise isolation, and you can adjust its level by closing all the ports completely (neutral sound position) for a maximum sound isolation and then allowing more sound to come through port opening when you flip it to max bass position. If you think about it, this works hand in hand with sound signature adjustment. For a precise neutral sound you have the highest degree of noise isolation, while for extra bass - it doesn't really matter. Regarding the general use of these headphones, thanks to low impedance of 16 ohms, these work great connected directly to your smart phone or the tablet or the laptop. No need for external amp. At the end, there is One open question - are these really the only ONE set of headphones you will ever need? Unfortunately, even with all these cool features I didn't feel that way. They do have flexibility of removable cable and fine tuning of noise isolation and bass enhancement. You can also customize them with different headband colors, earphone pads, and outside shields, but they remain VERY bulky for a portable use The chunky design of earpieces, not being able to fold them, and uncomfortable to wear around your neck prevents them from "outside" use. These will feel right at home in a studio or with your PC/Mac or laptop, and perhaps when you are streaming movies or listening to music from a smartphone or a tablet while relaxing on a couch at home. In public, these will not be "cool", even with different color customizations. YMMV, but this is my honest opinion especially after recent reviews of a lot of other on-/over-ear headphones.
Overall, Beyerdynamic COP is one fantastic value currently sold on Amazon for $175 considering outstanding sound quality and level of sound customization you can get out of these. I can't really say these are MUST have for everybody, that is why I tried to be very fair in my review to let you know all the pros and cons according to my opinion so you can decide if these are your cup of tea.
Here are the pictures.