Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote 2nd Gen Review: What does $1,000 get you? [Video]

I’ve been seeing more and more coverage of IEMs, or in-ear monitors recently, both for music and for gaming. And while there are some great entry-level and affordable options out there, when Beyerdynamic announced the new $1,000 Xelento Remote 2nd Gen in-ear headphones, I knew I had to reach out and see if I could try a pair. While they certainly aren’t for everybody, the overall experience was different from what I expected. Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.

For in-ear headphones, $1,000 might sound ridiculous to some, but that is exactly why I wanted to get my hands and ears on them to try them out. Just like Focal’s handmade high-end headphones, what makes these so expensive, and is it worth the premium price?

Not all of Beyerdynamic’s earbuds are so expensive – it also carries the Blue Byrd earbuds that are currently on sale for $69. Beyerdynamic provided a loaner pair of the Xelento Remote 2nd Generation earbuds. In addition to the wired Remote, Beyerdynamic has a $1,199 wireless version available.

What’s included

Beyerdynamic has included a few accessories With the Xelento Remote 2nd Gen. A hard case provides an easy way to keep the earbuds and cables organized. Two different cables are included — a balanced 4.4mm cable for hi-fi components and a 3.5mm cable with in-line controls and a microphone.

For getting the right fit, the Xelento Remote 2nd Gen also comes with 10 pairs of ear tips – seven silicone and three Comply Tx-500 sizes.

Xelento Remote 2nd Gen: Design

With this remote version, the earbuds are tethered to an audio source, but that hasn’t been an issue for me. The wires run over and behind the ears and don’t give off any cable noise.

The cable with the 3.5mm plug has a remote with controls for volume up and down and a multifunction button. On the back is an in-line mic for using a voice assistant or taking voice calls.

Notably, the Xelento earbuds are incredibly small and light. The ergonomic shape looks designed to fit most ears – unlike trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Most of the housing has a brushed metal finish, while the outside portion has a polished metal finish with real 24-carat gold Beyerdynamic logo, which, I’m sure, contributes to the higher price point. For the $1,000 price, they’re not loud and gaudy but are more subtle and elegant.

Xelento Remote 2nd Gen: Video

Xelento Remote 2nd Gen: Comfort

That assortment of ear tips (in combination with the small, lightweight design of the Xelento earbuds) lends itself to one of the most comfortable in-ear experiences I’ve tried. I was surprised to find the silicone tips were comfortable and provided great sound isolation. Typically I prefer foam ear tips when using earbuds, but I found myself sticking to the more comfortable silicone tips here.

Sound Specs:

Frequency Response: 10-50,000 Hz 

Transducer: 11mm 1-way, dynamic Beyerdynamic Tesla.11 driver 

Nominal sound pressure level: 114 dB SPL at 1 mW

Nominal impedance headphones: 16 ohms

MMCX connectors at the earbud


The low-end from the Xelento Remote earbuds was full and rich but was kept under control and was never overbearing or muddy. That massive frequency response lends itself well to full ear-filling bass. While it may be a bit exaggerated, I absolutely loved the low-end coming out of these earbuds.


An area that really shines from the Xelento Remote Second Gen is the midrange frequency clarity. Monica Martin’s voice on “Love is a Beautiful Thing” by Vulfpeck came through with more presence and detail than I’ve noticed with any other headphones recently. It really felt like I was hearing things I’d never heard before in the same tracks that I always use for testing headphones.

I found myself listening to much of Vulfpeck’s records again with what seemed like new ears. The vocals sounded rich and detailed, Joe Dart’s bass was smooth and thick, and the horn and woodwind lines also benefited from that midrange detail that made the vocals sound so good.


Where the Xelento excels in low and midrange frequencies, things are much more subdued when it comes to the higher register. On paper, these earbuds have a ridiculously high-frequency response, soaring all the way up to 50,000 Hz. In use, though, I found the highs to be pulled back when compared to the lows and mids. Vocals and guitars still sound incredible across many different genres, but where I noticed this most was on cymbals – they just don’t quite have the same bright shimmer that I’m used to on other headphones that I would characterize as bright or even neutral.


Through all frequencies, though, one of the most impressive features of the Xelento Remote 2nd Gen is imaging. The ability to distinguish individual instruments and where they are positioned across the impressively wide soundstage was some of the best I’ve heard in a long time.

Xelento Remote 2nd Gen: Full sound experience

All of this comes together for a really fun listening experience that had me listening to music differently than I have in recent months. The sound is smooth – rich, maybe even thick. This seems to be from subdued highs in favor of rich bass and incredibly detailed mids.

It’s like sitting by a warm fire in a comfortable chair sipping on a good bourbon – it’s smooth and cozy. Warm. It’s not harsh and bright but gives a more intimate listening experience. It makes me want to listen to more jazz tunes that emphasize delicate vocals and layered instruments.

9to5Toys’ Take

When it comes down to it, the Xelento wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, and I’m happy about that. Imaging and vocal clarity both performed well beyond my expectations and made for a truly great listening experience. At the same time, the earbuds are small, beautiful, and very comfortable, with a great variety of ear tip options. While it may not have the high-frequency presence that many crave, the Xelento provides a smooth and thick listening experience that is a pleasure to listen to.

At $1,000, these are expensive. But, for those who want a fun, smooth sound that’s comfortable and visually unique, the Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote 2nd Gen delivers.

While II can’t see myself purchasing a $1,000 pair of headphones anytime soon, if I did come across some extra spending money and were in the market for a comfortable, detailed, fun listening experience in a small, elegant package, Beyerdynamic Xelento 2nd Gen would be a top pick.

Buy Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote 2nd Gen

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