Pros: sound quality, soundstage, isolation, easy to drive, detail, balance, durable, user replacable parts, long straight cable, musicality, bass
Cons: not too classy, loooong cable, clamping force
I'm really only half a year into my serious headphone journey, which began when I got a pair of Shure SRH-840 and Grado 125i at around the same time, along with a solid custom headphone amp (which never ceases to amaze me) from my brother-in-law. Both of those original headphones are gone now, but the journey has taught me a lot about my own tastes, pushing me ever closer to a pair of headphones that I would be happy with for the long term.
That pair is the Beyerdynamic DT-150.
Before starting, I'll go through a few things that I've learned in this journey, and how the DT-150 fits into those lessons:
1. Professionals know what they're doing.
I have found myself increasingly gravitating towards studio-driven products, and now all of my headphones are geared for professional use. I believe strongly that this is where the deals are, and the DT-150 fits into that category. All the money you spend goes into sound quality and build quality, and none of it is wasted on bling that most people would laugh at anyway.
2. Balance is important.
I am not a basshead, but I do like impactful bass. Midrange is where the real magic is, and it shouldn't be sacrificed. Highs are what gives music brightness, speed, and sparkle. That's why the Grados are gone, and that's why the Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pros don't get much head time anymore. The DT-150s reveal exactly what's in the music.
3. Musicality is even more important.
In theory and on first listen, the Shure 840s do a great job with lesson #2. They just weren't that engaging, though, and a level of aggressiveness, responsiveness and musicality is just as importance as balance. This is the danger with studio headphones, and it's one that the DT-150 avoids with ease.
After a month of listening to these headphones, I find myself a bit amazed that they haven't gotten more positive attention around here. The buzz has been positive overall, but it's been awfully quiet.
The headphones themselves are big, bulky, and feel like they could take a bullet. All of the cables and parts are possible to replace, which is nice in an industry with so many stories about cables that disconnect, wood that cracks, and ear cups that fall off. They do clamp fairly tightly, but I don't find them horribly uncomfortable. I can certainly wear them for hours without problems, but I know a lot of people have found them less comfortable--definitely rule them out if you have glasses with thick frames or frames that stand out from the sides of your head. Thanks to all the pleather, they do get sweaty as well.
Thankfully, the sound is absolutely sublime. The DT-150s were originally made to build on the design of the classic DT-100, but with added bass response. The design team definitely succeeded on that front. I wouldn't necessarily call the DT-150s bass monsters, but they are happy to supply whatever level of bass recorded on music tracks. They create an impressive sense of pressure on Massive Attack's Angel, which means they have both powerful and deep bass. Even when the song gets more busy, the bass is still there as well (it gets buried on many other headphones).
The mids are equally excellent. Many Head-fiers with studio experience claim that the DT-250s reflect voices and instruments more accurately, and I can't really comment on that. What I can say is that the DT-150s showcase vocalists beautifully. They do a great job with guitar and piano as well, revealing minor details and depth that I had rarely heard previously. The midrange doesn't quite have the sweetness of the GMP 450s, but it's much meatier.
The high end also exhibits the signature Beyer brightness, without ever threatening to ascend into harshness and sibilance. If there is harshness in the recording, the DT-150 will reproduce it faithfully, but it definitely doesn't have the overbearing highs of the DT-990 Pro. Even though the bottom half of the sound is so rich, it's the high end that prevents them from becoming too dark (I've definitely found that I like a brighter sound, though).
I wouldn't describe the DT-150s as either aggressive or laid-back, but they are definitely musical. The soundstage is nice and wide, and they're highly responsive. They do a great job with rock, easily wiping the floor with the Shure SRH-840. They also do a great job with electronic music, movies, and games. I don't listen to much jazz and classical, but they sound not bad on those genres either. In the end, it's really the flexibility of the DT-150s that I've been so impressed with. I wouldn't quite call them a chameleon, because they do have a distinct sound, but they largely stay out of the way of the music and deliver exceptional, well-balanced, engaging sound. And that's more than enough for me.