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Beyerdynamic Lagoon Around-Ear Bluetooth/ANC Headphone review

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Here is a $400 USD bargain. It might not have the absolute resolution or toe-curling bass of the average $3000-and-up headphone, but I don't there's anything below double its price that can touch it for overall sound quality. Highly recommended, and Bluetooth and ANC are merely the icing on the cake.

http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/beyerdynamic-lagoon-around-ear-bluetooth-anc-headphone-review.4548/

 

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Continuing my review with a few additional music samples, the following are some of the "odds and ends" I've picked up in the process of reviewing headphones. The sound of most of these tracks is good enough to complement any decent headphone, but they show off the Lagoon's sonic qualities as well as anything I've heard. Some of these may be hard to find, particularly in the exact mix/remix listed here.
 
My last post will be the EDM tracks I test with. The interesting thing is, I started this review using my Pioneer HDJ-X10c review as a template, then rewrote the main body for the Lagoon. Most of the music samples have agreed in sound (both headphones EQ'd), but still, some bass lines sound better on one and some sound better on the other. Not so much with the treble since I get those extremely close. The mids is where most of the personality of each headphone asserts itself, so I make adjustments there only when a coloration just doesn't sound natural.
 
Le Voyage Dans La Lune: Soundtrack to a hand-painted color movie. A terrific variety of sounds that show off the excellent audio qualities of the Lagoon.
 
Muse - Madness: Strong bass line with mass vocals. Clearly delineated by the Lagoon.
 
Mylene Farmer - Desenchantee: French vocal over a driving bass beat. Very enjoyable with the Lagoon.
 
Robyn Hitchcock - Autumn Is Your Last Chance: Acoustic/electric guitar with compelling vocal. Pure class as reproduced by the Lagoon.
 
Samantha James - Amber Sky: Reverberant instrumentation and ethereal vocal. Dreamy stuff that sounds amazing on the Lagoon.
 
Satchmode - Best Intentions: Atmospheric vocals over a very decent bass line. Exquisite reproduction by the Lagoon.
 
Sneaker Pimps - Underground (Nellee Hooper Mix): Slow-paced club music with female vocal and subtle but very effective bass impacts. The bass in this track will be fully appreciated only in a quiet listening spot.
 
Soliquid - Shibuya (Paul Keeley Remix): Eight minutes and 50 seconds of heavenly beats and awesome musical synth effects as heard with the Lagoon.
 
Stones and Bones - Love Lockdown: Ibiza 2014 track with a very spacious atmosphere and a bit of contrapuntal vocal. Outstanding on the Lagoon.
 
Susanne Sundfor - Accelerate: High-ambiance noise with decent bass impacts and reverberant vocals. The Lagoon makes this track come alive.
 
Third Sex - Monster Snack: One of the best of the Goth/RiotGrrrl genre, available on the Free To Fight CD. Somewhat primitive sound with aggressive vocal, but there ya go - as good as it gets with this headphone.
 
Three-11 Porter - Surround Me With Your Love: Pleasant male-female vocal mix against a big-ambiance backdrop. Lush presentation by the Lagoon.
 
Visage - Fade To Grey: Atmospheric and reverberant recording supported by a luscious synth line. The Lagoon plays this perfectly.
 
When Saints Go Machine - Love And Respect: Super-energetic music with reverberant vocal counterpoint. Strong bass impacts delivered cleanly by the Lagoon.
 
Yaz - Situation: Bright pop-EDM music from the past. Played exquisitely by the Lagoon.

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One more thing before I review EDM tracks for the Beyer Lagoon headphone: Now playing Pink Floyd's DSOTM album - a CD rip (WAV format) of the latest master stored on my 256 gb iPhone XSMax. Whatever magic is happening here (see below), this is the best sound I've ever gotten from this album.
 
From the iPhone we go to the Apple Lightning-to-USB-A adapter**, then to the DragonFly Red DAC, then to a heavily-shielded 6-inch 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter, then to a Lehmann headphone amp, then through a Marshall headphone cable to the Lagoon headphone. The headphone cable has gold-plated plugs and strain reliefs on both ends.
 
**The Apple adapter also has a charging input, but I never use it since simultaneous charging can affect the sound. The reason for this particular adapter is because it's had a firmware update, and many users claim it sounds better than the Apple adapter that doesn't have the charging input.
 
Speak To Me has bass impacts that are very strong and impactful.
Breathe has a liquid-like sound that's very spacious and clean.
Time has some high-frequency harmonics and strong bass impacts that sound amazing on this headphone.
The Great Gig In The Sky has some subtle vocalizations mixed between loud vocal bursts that remain clean at whatever volume.
Us And Them (my favorite) is a softer more lyrical sound with strong vocal parts.
Any Colour You Like has a lot of sound effects with a nicely-detailed bass synth.
Brain Damage starts off much like Us And Them, with energy-filled crescendos of voice, instruments, and sound effects. I could wish that the instruments in these crescendos were better delineated, but the age of the tapes used in these masters probably limits the resolution.
 
I also added Comfortably Numb to this listen, and the extended highs from the cymbals were very comforting to hear (pun intended).

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And now for phase 3 of my Beyerdynamic Lagoon ('Lagoon') Bluetooth/ANC headphone review. As noted above, I use a minimum amount of EQ with headphones that need it, in an attempt to bring them closer to the sound of live acoustic music**. This doesn't always succeed, either because the equalizer is too limited, or the curve I apply doesn't work for some reason. In the case of the Lagoon, it worked very well indeed.
 
**I'd prefer that my headphones sound truly neutral, with as little EQ modification as possible, but in the end I get there only about half of the time. In the other cases, I either give up or settle for a "warm-neutral" result that's satisfactory for most genres.
 
The ultimate test for me is when the headphone has good frequency extension on both ends with no apparent distortion, a tonally accurate midrange that blends well with the bass and treble, and plays equally well with all of my favorite tracks in multiple genres. The Lagoon does very well for me in this regard - all the more amazing given that it's designed to be a Bluetooth headphone with ANC.
 
Above & Beyond - We're All We Need (feat. Zoe Johnston): A very nice tight but impactful bass with crystal clear vocals - the Lagoon plays this with great ambiance.
 
Anamanaguchi - Planet: A complex mix of percussion sounds and hummed vocals. The bells and other high-frequency percussion are highly detailed, the bass line has average weight, and the bass detail is excellent.
 
Armin van Buuren - J'ai Envie de Toi (Orig Mix feat Gaia): Good bass impacts, breathy vocals, lots of fun noise - the Lagoon plays this perfectly.
 
Avicii - Feeling Good: Classic female vocal in movie-theme style - the Lagoon brings this to life like few other headphones I've heard.
 
Carl Kennedy-Tommy Trash ft Rosie Henshaw - Blackwater (Original Master): Nice strong tight bass impacts, female vocal, rendered delectably by the Lagoon.
 
Crystal Castles - Wrath of God: Atmospheric tune with vocal sound effects and strong bass line, plus some unique treble percussion sounds. The Lagoon brings these unique sounds to life.
 
Digitalism - Pogo: A driving beat with a detailed bass synth and great vocals ("There's something in the air...") - the Lagoon makes this very enjoyable.
 
Dino Lenny-Lino Di Meglio - We Will Make It: Atmospheric tune with mixed vocals - the female vocal is a special treat with the Lagoon.
 
DJ Shadow - Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt: High-pitched tones and strong deep piano chords with a hummed female vocal - ultra-cool with the Lagoon.
 
Fairmont - Poble Sec: Awesome detailed bass impacts with some nifty pingy guitar/synth effects. I discovered this tune at the time I purchased my 3rd v-moda M100 - the Lagoon makes this just as enjoyable.
 
Giuseppe Ottaviani - Lost for Words (On Air Mix feat Amba Shepherd): Strong bass impacts behind a female voice - a large-scale sweeping sonic image reminiscent of epic adventures in an exotic land. The Lagoon is playing on a whole new level here.
 
Hecq - Enceladus (With Skyence): Prodigious deep bass and clean at that. This tune's melody is more abstract than most of the others here, but the Lagoon makes it a real adventure.
 
Katy B - Crying For No Reason (Tom Shorterz Remix): Oh myyyyy, I love Katy B. The vocal mix here is awesome and the bass is solid. This is the Lagoon at its best.
 
Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch: I first heard this in The September Issue film and soundtrack, as the backdrop for the opening catwalk (watch Andre grinning at 1:51 - all you need to know) - the Lagoon plays this amazing tune perfectly.
 
Lee and Malinda - Truth Will Set You Free (V-Moda Mix): Lee Kalt is the master, this is the masterpiece. The drum (or tom-tom) hits here have a very realistic skin-tone, the female vocal is seamlessly integrated into the driving beat, and the synth effects also blend well - the Lagoon just owns this.
 
Markus Schulz - Mainstage: The granddaddy of bass is in this track, and the Lagoon plays it smooth and clean.

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