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Colour me impressed with Beyerdynamic’s Lagoon

  • When Beyerdynamic’s Lagoon, the 94-year old German manufacturer’s first ever pair of active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones, begin shipping later this year, they’ll arrive with a €399 price tag, touch-sensitive earpad controls, a USB-C recharging port, 24-hour battery life, advanced Bluetooth codec support (AAC and aptX Low Latency, but no LDAC) and a carry case into which they fold. None too dissimilar to the Sony WH-1000XM3 also launched at IFA 2018.

    Setting the Lagoon apart from their Japanese rivals are circumaural ear-cups whose internal light-guide system shows us L and R channels, Bluetooth pairing status and battery life. And with a nod to the other ANC headphone class leader, B&W’s PX, the Lagoon will detect when you put them on your head and when you remove them to automatically play/pause accordingly.

    Asserting a major point of difference within the Lagoon’s smartphone app, Beyerdynamic has partnered with Berlin’s Mimi Hearing Technologies to adjust the headphone’s audio output according to age (reportedly based upon 1,000,000 data points collected by Mimi) or, for a more bespoke-fitting sound profile, a hearing test. Recalling a Photoshop opacity slider, users can also adjust the intensity of the hearing ‘correction’.

    More hands-on sound and vision in this video:

    The hearing test portion of the app wasn’t available at IFA but a quick listen to the Lagoon with no sound profiling applied revealed a Bluetooth headphone with an enormous headstage and punchy dynamics — every bit the rival of the aforementioned Sony and yet another example of how Bluetooth audio opens the door to real-word-relevant features that just aren’t possible in the analogue domain.

    Further information: Beyerdynamic

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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