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March 28, 2014

Recabling the Beyerdynamic Tesla DT-1350 Portable Headphones

Beyerdynamic has a number of different headphones featuring Tesla drivers now. Some are very impressive, like the Beyer T-1 and T-5p (see my recable of the T-5p here) and some aren't really my cup of tea, such as the Beyer T-70 with what I perceived to be a bright and peaky sound signature. So if you are considering purchasing one of the Beyerdynamics with Tesla drivers, to audition it before purchase if you can. In this post I will be recabling the Beyerdynamic DT-1350 portable headphones with Tesla drivers.

Like all Beyerdynamic headphones I've ever used, the DT-1350 is robustly built and designed to withstand many hours of use. The headphone splits in the center, much like the Sennheiser HD25-1 II headphones, for additional adjustment and comfort. The drivers have an 80 ohm impedance, so a headphone amp can be beneficial to bring out the best in these. Overall, I would say that the sound very clear, coherent, and is more concentrated on the higher end of the spectrum, more treble-oriented with a bit less bass quantity than I'd desire. I could see the similarity in signature to the DT880 250ohm headphones, which many audio enthusiasts enjoy for their even-handed presentation.

So in order to add a little warmth and bass to the equation, I decided to recable the DT1350s with Cardas internally litzed wiring. The Cardas 2x23.5 is a great size for portable headphones when you don't need balanced operation. It's relatively flexible and thin for an aftermarket cable. I also chose to use an Oyaide rhodium plated plug (see here for a 3.5mm plug rundown) as it works great with portable devices such as a phone with a case on it due to the slim barrel.

Oyaide Rhodium Plug and Cardas wiring

The end of the wire is stripped revealing two 23.5 gauge conductors and a shield which will be used for the ground (also called return). You'll note the Oyaide connector has teensie-tiny soldering areas, so care is required to ensure there is no shorting of the left and right channels or melting of the dielectric.

Stripped Cardas Wiring

As you can see, the Cardas wire fits perfectly in the thin barrel of the Oyaide connector, no drilling or dremmeling was required. 

With the cable ready for installation, the Beyerdynamic cups would be opened. The pads are held on with a sticky tack that goes around the outer circumference. In my experience, they can be pulled off with a bit of force and reinstalled without losing the tackiness, although I'm sure if removed multiple times, they would need to be replaced, or some sort of double sided tape might need to be installed.

Examining the interior, the Tesla driver is hiding under this white plastic shell, so not quite as fancy as the interior of the T5p. The wiring attaches to a small solder board, which allows the ground to be split, and would potentially protect the driver solder pads if there was some major yanking on the wire.

Beyerdynamic DT1350 with driver exposed

Installing the Cardas wire requires the existing wire entry area to be Dremelled slightly to accomodate the larger cable. Holding it in place is a pair of miniature zip ties and epoxy to ensure that when the wire is pulled, it will not damage the solder joints inside the cup. Heatshrink is used to provide some additional strain relief. The wire is soldered to the solder pad that distributes the different channel signals and ground to each of the earcups. 

Note the soldering pad near the top of the cup

After the soldering work is complete, the driver is returned to its original position.

The tacky pad is replaced on the headphone cup and the recable is now complete. 

A complete DT1350 with Cardas cable

If you'd like to purchase a new pair of pads for the DT1350, Beyer offers original replacements (of course) and they have some suede-type pads which some people find more comfortable for longer listening sessions. That part number is 908363 and can be purchased from Beyerdynamic USA. 

Suede Pads from Beyerdynamic

The DT1350s come with a very nice traveler case, and the recabled version fits inside just fine. 

So after performing the recable, the DT1350 has what I would perceive to be a warmer and deeper sound signature. It doesn't rival the Amperiors or HD-25 aluminums for bass quantity, but it has a nice, palpable midrange and upper treble presentation that other headphones can't match. 

The Fine Print: The above steps detailing the recabling of a headphone are for entertainment purposes only, and not to be performed under any circumstances. The owner of this blog and all associated parties can not / will not be held responsible if you attempt the process posted and cause physical harm to yourself, your surroundings or your property. Please keep this in mind.


  1. Be sure to prep the litz conductor. Here is a video from Cardas on how to do it: https://youtu.be/rCsttioRwqo

  2. hello, thanks for your work, but I need your help, I managed to extract the driver, but now I can not re-insert it into the cup, if I put it in position and make pressure slips and does not fit

  3. Hmmn, that's strange. I actually just handled one of these last week. Are you ensuring nothing is preventing the back of the driver from going all the down into the cup cavity? I assume you're lining up the little square protrusion/tab? That little guy does have to line up just right.

  4. The newer pads these are sold with seal on the ear better for bass. I forget the size difference, but they're just a little wider (like 70mm vs 65mm, and mushroom over the edges of the cups). They also use different pads on the T51i (or T51p) which bring out a different sound too. Those use metal cups, though, rather than rubber-coated. There's actually a limited edition "gold" (yellowish) metal cupped version of the 1350 that was sold through Focus Camera and is sold on eBay, which sounds more like the T51i to me. I can't decide which I like the best, but maybe the rubber-coated (all black) mark 2 release of the 1350 vs the metal cup ones and consumer models (T51). however it depends what one is listening to. The T51 has a more pop voicing and sounds nice for a lot of things.

  5. Sorry, I see you had already mentioned one of the other pads you can buy.

    They now have a wireless headphone that looks like these, the Aventho. I wonder if those sound similar or if it's just the way they look. But their pads look different, too, so yet another change!

  6. The cable of my DT-1350 is broken and I would like to change them by myself. I thought when I change them anyway I could use a better cable. I can not find the cable you used online. Would you use it again nowadays? How much would it cost and can you provide me a exact description or link please? My main driver for the headphones is a Sony NW-A30.

    Thank you very much!

  7. Thank you very much for the recabling guide!

    My DT1350 is broken... and I would like to fix them with a better cable. I can not find the exact cable you used. You wrote in your description 2*23,5 but the cable has a print 2*24. Is it still available? Would you use the same cable again? Can you recommend a good cable to drive my Sony NW-A30? Thank you so much!!!

  8. Hi Matteo. Yes it is still available and I would use it again. The gauge is actually 23.5 but it's called 2x24 for simplicity I suppose. Cardas still makes it but it's a darker blue now. It's not widely stocked but any Cardas dealer can special order it for you. Zynsonix.com is a Cardas dealer. You can also buy it from https://www.hificollective.co.uk/catalog/cardas-2x235-double-shielded-copper-metre-interconnect-p-8291.html ... or use the 4x24 - http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/cardas-4x24-awg-shielded-p-1911

  9. Thank you for the information! How did you remove the coating from the cardas cable? Did you use a solder bath to guarantee a good connection?

  10. Hi Matteo, typically I set my iron to 740 degrees and bead a little bit of solder on the tip and dip the tip of the stripped conductor there for a few seconds. The enamel will eventually strip off. I have a solder pot as well, but I only need to get that out for 14AWG or larger. Hope that helps.