While other headphone makers are rushing to put translation technology and digital assistants into their cans, Beyerdynamic has a different goal: helping to preserve your hearing. The company's Aventho Wireless headphones deliver warm, rich audio while keeping the volume at safe levels. Thanks to the companion app, the $449 Aventho Wireless can adjust the sound profile based on your age or provide an in-depth hearing test for a more personalized listening experience. But floaty bass and an expensive price tag might turn listeners off from an otherwise-great set of cans.
The Aventhos command your attention not with flashy colors or gaudy bling, but with sturdy, elegant construction that's both classic and modern. The majority of the cans' construction, like the headband and interior ear cups, consists of padded memory foam covered with soft, black leatherette. The extenders and yoke are made from silver aluminum. The exteriors of the ear cups are made from matte black plastic lined in silver, textured aluminum. The cans are also available in brown, but I prefer the black.
The left earcup is stamped with a gray Beyerdynamic logo, while the right cup has four notches placed in cardinal positions to signify where to swipe on the smart panel. Along the bottom of the right panel sits a USB Type-C port for charging, the power on/off button and an audio port in case you want to use the included audio cable.
The Aventhos command your attention not with flashy colors or gaudy bling, but with sturdy, elegant construction that's both classic and modern.
The earcups can swivel 180 degrees, so they can lay flat in their gray cloth bag, which ships with the headphones.
Typically, I'm not thrilled about supra-aural (on-ear) headphones, but the Aventhos convinced me to make an exception. Even though the Aventhos sat securely on my ears, I never experienced any pinching on my ears or any uncomfortable pressure, even after 2 straight hours of wearing the headphones. The memory foam isn't overstuffed, leaving a nice, squishy surface pressing against my tiny ears.
I never experienced any pinching on my ears or any uncomfortable pressure, even after 2 straight hours of wearing the headphones.
The leather covering the foam created a nice seal for some solid passive noise cancelling. The Aventhos weigh 9.6 ounces, which is slightly lighter than the 10.6 ounces of the Even H2 Wireless headphones.
Setup and Controls
Pairing the Aventhos to my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was pretty easy. When you power the headphones on for the first time, they automatically enter pairing mode, as indicated by the flashing blue and red light. That's the cue to open the Bluetooth menu on your phone and select the Aventhos. Once the pairing is successful, you hear a pleasant, female British voice informing you that the headphones are indeed connected, while telling you the current battery life and which audio codec the headphones are using. In the case of my Note 8, it was Qualcomm's aptX codec.
The smart controls, located on the right ear cup, are pretty easy to use, but they could use a little tweaking. Swiping upward on the panel raises the volume, while a downward swipe lowers the audio. Skipping forward on the track involves swiping right, while skipping back takes a quick left swipe. A double tap in the center of the panel pauses or plays the current track.
The swiping mechanic is responsive and accurate, but I do wish there were some sort of aural cue to let you know when the command has been accepted. Several times, I was frantically swiping, only to drastically change the volume or blow past the song I was looking for by two or three tracks.
As lovely as the Aventhos look and sound, the magic lies in the companion MIY (Make It Yours) app. Beyerdynamic has partnered with Mimi Hearing Technologies, the leading experts in sound personalization, to create something that not only enhances your listening experience, but also helps protect your hearing.
The free app is available on Android and iOS and is still in its early stages, but what it has so far is promising — at least on iOS. Some aspects of the app, such as the advanced hearing test, are extremely buggy on Android. Using MIY on the office iPhone 8, I chose my birth year to get a personalized profile based on my age. This basic profile tries to account for the way our hearing naturally degrades as we age. When the test was completed, I had the option to create a more customized profile, by taking a 6-minute hearing test.
Comprised of a system of beeps at different frequencies, the test has you hold down a button when you think you hear the sounds. This more in-depth test accounts for the differences in hearing between your right and left ears. The test is a bit demanding and works best when you're in a completely silent space.
As lovely as the Aventhos look and sound, the magic lies in the companion MIY (Make It Yours) app.
Once your profile is complete, you can adjust the intensity, which tweaks how full or shallow the sound space sounds. The intensity percentages are set up in increments of 20, and I found that my sweet spot was 60 percent, which for me sounded like I was center stage in a small concert hall.
The app also keeps track of your daily listening habits, offering advice in accordance with the World Health Organization, which recommends spending no more than 60 minutes listening to audio via headphones per day. In addition to listening duration, the app also takes into account the volume level. After my 25-minute commute to work, the tracker reported that I had used 2.5 percent of my allotted 60 minutes and that I was "all good." It also advised that I could turn up the volume a bit if I wanted.
You can also adjust the touch-panel sensitivity on the right ear cup. I was fine when the slider was placed slightly in the middle, but you can move the slider to increase or decrease the sensitivity to your liking.
I know what you're thinking — for $449, the Aventhos better sound amazing. I'm happy to report that the headphones do live up to the expensive hype, for the most part. They consistently delivered rich, spacious audio, although the bass was a bit too boomy for my taste.
When I listened to Jill Scott's "Le Boom Vent Suite," the Aventhos delivered a warm, forward performance. Scott's honeyed alto sounded like it was coming from right in front of me, with the piano on my right and the percussion on my left. The bass drum was a little diffused, which muddied the track ever so slightly. The Even H2 had a tighter, more distant performance, which allowed me to hear more delicate details like the bells and wind chimes.
The two headphones were almost evenly matched when I listened to Dru Hill's "Beauty." Each pair of cans clearly reproduced the album static, along with the layered harmonies in the vocals and the piano. Once again, the Aventhos provided a richer performance that helped bring the clarinet and snare drums to the forefront. The Even H2s had more-precise bass, although the overall sound was cooler.
The Aventhos were noticeably louder than the Even H2 when I listened to Santana's "Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)," even though both headsets were at 50 percent volume. That extra oomph on the Aventhos made the electric guitar sound alive, like it was singing lead, and the bass guitar was more pronounced.
I was really impressed with the call quality on the Aventhos. When I called my boyfriend initially, the audio was so loud that I had to quickly make adjustments. Afterward, outside of a few instances when the connection seemed to fade in and out, it sounded like I was speaking to him directly from my phone.
Details were sharp enough that I could hear the television playing in the background, but not so sharp that I could identify the show. My boyfriend didn't know I was using a headset until I informed him, and he said he could hear me loud and clear.
Beyerdynamic claims that the Aventhos can last up to 30 hours on a charge. After I spent a week commuting to work, attending after-work functions and just walking around New York City in general, the voice on the Aventhos informed me that I had 50 percent battery life remaining. The Even H2, by comparison, claims to last 20 hours on a charge.
The Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless headphones not only look good, but they sound great too. And they do so without wrecking your hearing. The leather and metal design make the cans look sophisticated and chic, while the embedded touch panel provides a nice shot of tech. The MIY app is smartly designed and is easy to navigate, and it could help listeners learn good aural health. And 30 hours of battery life ain't too shabby.
However, $449 is a bit pricey. The Even H2 Wireless headphones cost $229 and offer a stylish wood design, solid audio and their own hearing test, which is also designed to help preserve your hearing. Granted, this test is nowhere near as advanced as what the Aventhos offer, but it's serviceable. However, if you're looking for wireless headphones with top-shelf design, tech and audio, the Aventhos should be at the top of your list.
Credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide