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These Beyerdynamic headphones made me a believer in the open-ear form factor

If you're not a fan of open-ear headphones, the crisp sound and comfortable form factor from Beyerdynamic's Verio 200 sport just might change your mind.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Beyerdynamic VERIO 200 open-ear headphones.

These are the best open-ear headphones I have ever owned.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Beyerdynamic Verio 200 open-ear headphones are available now on Amazon for $219. 
  • They offer the classic Beyerdynamic sound: rich, active bass, well-defined mids, crisp highs, and a remarkable soundstage for the form factor.
  • The Verio 200 only have an 8-hour playtime on a full charge, but the carrying case adds another 27 hours.

Personally, I've never been a big fan of open-ear headphones. They lack sound quality in my experience, are usually uncomfortable to wear, and aren't much use for phone calls.

That said, when Beyerdynamic asked if I'd like to review their new Verio 200 Sport open-ear headphones, I admit that I was intrigued. Beyerdynamic has created some brilliant headphones over the years and I've always enjoyed their sound. Just read my review of the DT770 Pro X headphones to see the respect I have for the company's products.

Also: I'm an audiophile, and these $150 headphones had me fooled

Could open-ear headphones possibly capture the Beyerdynamic sound? Especially after reviewing the DT770 Pro X, I assumed that surely the Verio 200 Sport would fall flat.

Much to my shock, they did not. In fact, these open-ear headphones sold me on the concept; something I never thought would happen.

Let's talk about them.

View at Amazon

Beyerdynamic Verio 200 tech specs

  • Support for the latest codecs (including Qualcomm aptX, AAC, and SBC)
  • 8 hours play time with an additional 27 from the charging case
  • Headphone frequency response: 20-20.000Hz
  • Supported Bluetooth profiles: HFP 1.8, A2DP 1.3.2, AVRCP 1.6.2, AVCTP 1.4, AVDTP 1.3, SPP 1.2, RFCOMM 1.2, GAVDP 1.3.
  • Bluetooth version: 5.3
  • Range: 15 meters
  • Mics: Two integrated with cVc and ambient noise reduction.
  • Price: $219 on Amazon

The Beyerdynamic VERIO 200 open-ear headphones

These headphones have a bit of heft to them, but they're still supremely comfortable.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

My experience

Instead of jumping right to my usual test song ("Analog Kid" by Rush), I decided to play through the entire "Signals" album and was immediately impressed with how it sounded on these headphones. There was bass, there was separation, the highs were crisp, and the mids were just right. Although the Verio 200 can't stand up to the sound produced by the DT770 Pro X headphones, as far as open-ear devices are concerned, these are the best I've ever heard (by far).   

Even though the Verio 200 have slightly more heft than other open-ear headphones I've worn, they are so comfortable that you hardly notice them on your ears, meaning you can wear them for hours and not feel the slightest bit of fatigue or discomfort.  

Also: One of the best-sounding speakers I've listened to is not made by Sonos or JBL

As for the sound quality, I was shocked. Rush's track "Subdivision" was rock solid, Geddy's bass stood out, Neil's drums had the necessary punch, and Alex's guitars were sharp and brilliant. Of course, there's also the keyboards. As a huge fan of '80s Rush, I can say that the sound from the Verio 200 did them justice.

"Digital Man" also stood out to me, with a soundstage like I've never heard in this form factor. I could close my eyes and see the band before me, spread out and clear. Every instrument was distinct and clean.

Also: The best AirPods of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

Because of the way open-ear headphones sit on your ears, tapping or pressing a button can cause the earbud to lift up and off or press into your ear. This wasn't a problem with the Verio 200, however, because they are equipped with a sensitive touchpad that only takes a soft tap to control the music. This was a welcome change for the form factor and one all other companies should take note of. 

Speaking of which, the Verio 200 stayed perfectly in place during a 7-mile run. The only issue (which is a problem with all open-ear headphones) is that not enough air could get into my ears to help prevent sweat from collecting. This is a problem I've had for a long time (and also why I default to bone-conducting headphones for running), but it probably won't be an issue for most users.

ZDNET's buying advice

If you prefer using open-ear headphones, you can count on Beyerdynamic's Verio 200 to be a serious upgrade to whatever pair you're using. If you don't like the open-ear format, these might just change your mind.

At $219, these babies deliver the classic Beyerdynamic sound and are worth every penny.  The only drawback I could find was the 8-hour playtime, but with the sound these headphones produce, I'm more than willing to overlook that. 

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