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Circuit Breaker

The Beyerdynamic Xelento Wireless cuts the cords on high-end in-ear headphones

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Photo: Beyerdynamic

Beyerdynamic has a new version of its top-of-the-line Xelento in-ear headphones: the Xelento Wireless, which true to its same, takes the same design and audio hardware of the original Xelento, and cuts the cord in favor of a Bluetooth connection. That means that the Xelento Wireless still offers the same Tesla transducer technology (and presumably, same audiophile-level sound quality) seen in Beyerdynamic’s wired model, but in an even more portable form.

When it comes to actually taking the Xelento headphones wireless, Beyerdynamic has taken a somewhat inelegant solution: instead of terminating the cord in a 3.5mm headphone jack, the end of the (much shorter) cable features an aluminum cylinder that houses the Bluetooth and battery components, along with a port for connecting a 3.5mm cable once the battery dies. It’s an understandable choice, given that Beyerdynamic likely wished to ensure that the actual earbuds of the Xelento Wireless offered the same hardware and size as the wired version, but it still seems like an awkward workaround to the problem, although the built-in clip should help alleviate that somewhat.

Photo: Beyerdynamic

Beyerdynamic notes that the Xelento Wireless has support for Bluetooth aptX HD (assuming you’ve got a phone that works with it), and can intelligently switch to regular aptX or AAC formats for phones that don’t have the higher audio quality standard. The company also claims that the Xelento Wireless will get around five and a half hours off a charge, which is done through a Micro USB port (sadly, no USB-C here).

Considering the $999 price tag on the regular, wired version of the Xelento headphones, Beyerdynamic is charging a hefty premium for the Xelento Wireless at $1,199. That said, my colleague Vlad Savov has been testing the wired Xelento model and reports that the sound is amazing — assuming Beyerdynamic has managed to repeat that experience over a wireless connection, you should expect the sound to be worthy of the cost.