Despite its wireless nature, the design for the Xelento wireless is remarkably similar to that of the wired version. The earbuds are connected to a Bluetooth dongle at the end of the headphone wire, which terminates at about the same spot that the earbud wires converge on the wired version. So, while you’ll still have to deal with some cables, you’ll be untethered from whatever device you’ll be listening to. The dongle houses both the Bluetooth receiver and a battery, which can be charged via micro USB for up to five and a half hours of continuous playback.
The most important point of comparison is the drivers. Like the Xelento Remote, the Xelento Wireless use Tesla transducers, which are made with tiny ring magnets and voice coils, and translate to the same fluid and exquisite audio that we loved on the Xelento Remote.
While it’s one thing to be equipped with high-performance drivers, wireless headphones have to contend with the obstacle of connection quality. While it may seem unreliable to use Bluetooth as the transmission method, especially when these headphones are being marketed to the audiophile crowd, Beyerdynamic is opting for the AptX HD codec, which enables 24-bit transmission at full resolution (Xelento wireless also supports AptX, AAC, and SBC Bluetooth, for those without aptX HD-compatible smartphones). For those who want the option to listen via wired connection — or in the even your battery runs out — the Xelento wireless’ Bluetooth dongle features a 3.5mm jack to plug into.
Considering the wired Xelento Remote cost a whopping $1,000, it feels reasonable that the Xelento wireless will be going for $1,200. Beyerdynamic will be debuting the earbuds at High End 2017 in Munich, Germany. The show takes place May 18-21, 2017.