The Beyerdynamic T1 is a pair of high-end Tesla headphones with award-winning sound quality and exceptional sonic performance. The 3rd generation is the pinnacle of its series and the flagship model commands a hefty price tag. If you have already invested so much in high-end headphones such as the Beyerdynamic T1 then you certainly shouldn’t slouch on investing in a premium quality DAC partner for them.
Every part of your headphone system will affect the sound quality and this is why we need to find the right DAC for the job where it can match with the Beyerdynamic T1 with complementary effects. Another major influencer will be your own DAC requirements as what you need from a D/A converter will also partly determine your choice. It is wise to have a better understanding of the T1 headphone’s sonic prowess as well as your requirements. Once we’re done, you can take a look at the list of the best matching DACs to go for which we have prepared for you.
Sonic Characteristics of Beyerdynamic T1 (3rd Generation) and Your DAC Requirements
The Beyerdynamic T1 looks high-end and sounds high-end, we do find the latter more attractive and alluring though. There is no doubt that most listeners pay for sound quality and are not really bothered by the visual aspects of the headphones. Comfort level on the other hand is different, as it indirectly affects the sound quality. To really enjoy listening to our music, we need to feel comfortable and relaxed as discomfort will affect our mood and ruin the experience. And as expected, the T1 Tesla headphones are comfortable to wear and allow us to listen to our favorite tunes for hours on end.
The treble of the T1 headphones is easy on the ears which also enables us to keep listening to our music without feeling fatigued or discomfort. Cranking up the volume or pushing the Beyerdynamic T1 doesn’t make it sound harsh or hard. The musicality of the T1 is slightly up a notch when compared with the other high-end models within the same price range. It has an open-back design and at this price point, we easily expect a wide and expansive soundstage. What we didn’t expect will be how powerful the bass performance is, as usually, open-back design headphones are lighter in the low ends when compared to closed-back designs.
There is enough impact and punch to nearly satisfy the bass fanatics which we were rather dumbfounded by how authoritative the Beyerdynamic T1 bass performances are. It is tightly delivered and well-controlled, doesn’t really overshadow the upper registers. There is a sense of warmth in its overall sound reproduction and does help to provide us with a full-bodied music presentation. The sound quality is pleasing and has a smooth music delivery, this does make it easy for most headphone enthusiasts to enjoy. It may not be suitable for analytical audio enthusiasts as it is not the most neutral-sounding high-end headphone.
If you prefer to have more clarity and transparency, you probably might want to get a DAC with these sonic traits. Getting a D/A converter with a lean-sounding characteristic might help to improve the music pacing especially those with impeccable musical timing. You might want to jot down certain sonic traits that you want to add or tone down, for instance, easing down the warmth of the Beyerdynamic T1 headphones. These DAC requirements should also be discussed with other individuals who are sharing the use of the T1 as you might even get more opinions to consider.
The more DAC requirements you have the better, as this will help a lot in deciding the type of digital-to-analog converter to go for. The usual requirements to consider will be the amount you are comfortable in spending on a DAC. Whether to go for a desktop or portable D/A converter. How big do you require the DAC to be or not to exceed, due to the current available space you have on your table. It will be easier to have a checklist of these DAC requirements and rank them accordingly to their importance. Once you are 100% sure of what you require from a D/A converter, please take a look at the list of the best matching DACs below.
Best DACs to pair with Beyerdynamic T1 (3rd Generation)
The Schiit Audio Gungnir is an award-winning DAC and will be a worthy match to your Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla headphones. This desktop D/A converter has a more well-balanced midrange sound reproduction which will help to deliver more natural-sounding vocals for both male and female vocalists. The music handling of the Schiit Audio Gungnir is superb, the music presentation never once sounds strained or congested. Everything went smoothly, giving us a fluid music delivery rich with information. The dynamics handling of the Gungnir DAC is equally as impressive and fits nicely with the Beyerdynamic T1.
Chord Hugo 2 is another amazing and talented award-winning DAC to pair up with the Beyerdynamic T1, and it can amplify the Tesla headphones with relative ease. This high-end DAC scales well with the audio sources, feed it with a high-res audio file and it will deliver higher sonic performance. It also shows how remarkable the music details retrieval of the Hugo 2 DAC is, and is capable of delivering rich musical performance without sounding clinical. Partly due to its wide dynamic range and snappy timings, the Chord Hugo 2 could land an impactful crescendo when it needs to.
Gustard X16 will be one of the best DACs to match with the Beyerdynamic T1 headphones. The X16 uses two ES9068AS chips supporting up to 32-Bit/768kHz (PCM) and DSD512. It also provides native MQA decoding and has Bluetooth connectivity with LDAC capability, giving us high sound quality when it comes to wireless music streaming. The Gustard X16 has an innate ability to dig out a massive amount of music details and this will work well with the T1 Tesla headphones. The neutrality of the DAC will allow the sound signatures of the headphones to prominently show in the overall sound reproduction.
The Black Ice Glass FX is a high-quality Tube DAC DSD and comes integrated with a headphone amplifier which is powerful enough to drive the Beyerdynamic T1. This is an exemplary choice for listeners who want a smoother treble and music delivery without adding too much warmth. It is able to deliver an accurate music presentation with an open and spacious soundstage which complements the T1 headphones. The fun part of owning a Tube DAC is the tube rolling option where you can further alter the sonic characteristics of the Black Ice Glass FX to your liking especially when you have a change of preference in sound quality.
The Denafrips Ares II is an exceptional R2R DAC to go with your Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla headphones. Ares II is a magnificent DAC which is probably the endgame for some listeners and it is sanely priced. The DSD decoding goes up to DSD1024 and supports up to PCM1536 for PCM decoding. There are 2 filters, NOS and OS that you can use to alter the sonic characteristics of the Denafrips Ares II DAC. It is neutral throughout the frequency range and you can hardly detect any colorations, this is fantastic if you want your Beyerdynamic T1 to shine. The overall accuracy of the Denafrips Ares II R2R DAC is outstanding as well.
If affordability is a concern and you still want a DAC that could support up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and DSD512 natively then the Topping E50 will be an ideal D/A converter for you. It is modestly priced and has all the mentioned features including MQA full decoding. The overall bass performance of the Topping E50 DAC will work nicely with the Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla headphones, giving it a bit more midbass punch with a hint of warmth. All in all, the E50 doesn’t really color the sound and has precise stereo imaging. The Topping E50’s dynamic range is pretty wide as well and we find it impressive for a DAC at this price point.
To Sum It Up
A few of the DACs mentioned above have headphone amplifiers and are capable of driving the Beyerdynamic T1. If you are also currently in search of an amp, you might want to consider them as this might help you save some space and money. It is recommended to listen to them first together with your Beyerdynamic T1 before making a purchase. Do give some time for the tubes to warm up if you are planning to audition the Black Ice Glass FX Tube DAC DSD.